Reading scrambled words

This program tests (not very scientific) the hypothesis that we are capable of understanding a text when each word have the first X letters and last Y letters inplace and the rest is either sorted or scrambled randomly. (Well, almost random, since I check that the generated substring is not equal to the original substring. This is of course only be possible for words with length >= X + Y + 2 and where the characters in the substring is not the same.)

The first Swedish examples I saw are here (with X=2, Y=2, from September 1 2003) and here (X=1,Y=1, from September 15 2003) respectively. For an English text see this blog thread.

The sorting option was inspired by Niklas Johansson's comment (in Swedish). He is inclined to think that the word seems to be less understandable when the no-fixed characters are sorted. I tend to agree with him.


Type in a text in the text area, change the number of characters to keep at the start and the end of the words. Also choose if the no-fixed words should be sorted. Then click on "OK" to proceed. The scrambled text will be shown below. How readable is it?

Test the program with an English text here.

Number of beginning characters (X, default 2):
Number of ending characters (Y, default 2):
Sort no-fixed characters: yes no

Type the text here:

Scrambled text

Parameters: X = 2, Y = 2

En venatpselkig unnöskreidng gjord vid ett uniistevret i Engalnd har visat att utfaill de två fösrta och de två sista boäkretvsna i alla orden i en text är riiktgt pleacarde, splear det liten roll i viklen ornglöinsfdjd de övirga boärsetkvna i orden kommer. Tetxen är fullt läbsar t.o.m. om de andra bokservtäna kommer hubelmulllroer! Detta efrtseom vi inte läser varje ensikld botksav, utan ser bidlen av ordet som hehlet.

Maybe there are some comments of my (Swedish) blog post announcing the program.
Also, see the related program Generate spelling errors
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Created by Hakan Kjellerstrand