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.
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.
— Travis Mayfield ???????? (@TravisMayfield) April 4, 2018
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.
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.
idk what this is but i choose C ????????
— totallybitchcakes (@m33gs) 4 April 2018
Three is correct, but not realistic to use. Keep in mind cursive may be going away except baby boomers still using.
— CopplesCorner (@copple63) 4 April 2018
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.
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