Most People Can't Pick Out The Right 'G' Despite Seeing It Millions Of Times


April 6, 2018 17:10 By Fabiosa

Most of us learn the ABCs in our youth. We see and say the letters so many times, they eventually become etched in our minds.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University discovered that many people don’t know what the most common lowercase print version of the sixth letter of the alphabet really is.


The letter "G" is the hardest letter to write


In fact, many of the adults they tested weren’t aware that there are two versions of a lowercase "G" at all and don’t know how to draw the less common one.


READ ALSO: Two Intriguing Puzzles Will Let You Know Why Adults Benefit From Solving The Tasks Even More Than Kids

So why does this matter, besides being vaguely embarrassing? When we read, nobody has trouble recognizing the letter "G," no matter how it’s written.


The lower-case "g" actually comes in two typographic forms: The fish hook, a circle with a left facing curl beneath it, and the loop-tail, two closed, connected circles with a sort of rightward-facing tassel on the top one. However, while the loop-tail is everywhere, it’s the rare person who can reproduce it on demand.

The riddle that got people confused

But before we get into that, just take a look and test yourself. Just pick one.

The researchers asked 38 adults to name letters that have two lowercase print forms. Two said "G," while just one could write it correctly.

Another 16 people had to read the text, say the words that included the "looptails" aloud, and then write the "G" they saw. Half wrote the "opentail," while the rest tried to write the looptail — all but one failed to do so.

READ ALSO: Riddle Me That Two Not-So-Easy Puzzles To Train Your Lazy Brain

A lot of people tried and failed


To be clear, there are two lowercase "Gs." There’s the one that almost everyone writes by hand, which is a circle with a tail that points left.

It’s like the "G" in the Arial font, and the researchers call this one “opentail.” The other one, called “looptail,” is the kind you see in a font like Times New Roman: two circles, connected by a line on the left side. So, the correct answer for the above test is 2.

Overall, the study shows we don’t really know what the letter "G" looks like, and it may be because we’re writing by hand less as we use electronic devices more. The researchers wonder if picking up a pen less has had implications on how we pay attention to letters and learn how to read.

Did you scroll the article to find the answer? Let us know in the comments below.

READ ALSO: Faces In The Crowd: Why Challenging Yourself To Solve Puzzles Should Be An Indispensable Part Of Your Life