What Do You Mean?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


Yes I know it’s Monday morning but hey, you could still read that! Before you celebrate and quit your job to apply at MI5, it might be worth knowing that it’s a common phenomenon and you are not the only person who can decipher this.

So, just what does this piffle have to do with data solutions?

Well sadly, typos aren’t quite so easily rectified on a machine. So when someone is on your website with a shopping cart full to the brim of this season’s latest socks and they spell their address wrong out of the sheer excitement, any e-commerce manager’s heart would sink when they receive the ‘where is my shopping?’ email and they find that the customer has provided an inaccurate address.

Have you heard of fuzzy matching? No it’s not a form of fluffy animal adoption, but a very clever algorithm that enables users to type bizarre waffle as their address entry and still return a correct, verified address which the user can then select and question how they got it so wrong in the first place. It’s a sort of ‘Did you mean this?’ service that Google also utilises to help you on your browsing path. So, 8 Caambrian Road will be recognised as 8 Cambrian Road and boom, the address is lovely and correct.

 Also, just for your information. There was no research carried out at Cambridge University regarding this, it’s a shame as it probably would be an interesting project so it seems to be ‘one of those popular internet stories’. However the point still stands and fuzzy matching is still awesome – you can demo Predictive Address and I think you’ll find it pretty cool.



2 thoughts on “What Do You Mean?

    1. Yes I did come across this research not long after the article – I thought the finding about how the overall shape of the word affects the ease of reading was very interesting!


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