I knew a guy in high school who could do this just as fast... he explained that he sees the word in his head and reads it backwards.
Posted by: jim | Jan 30, 2012 2:06:54 PM
i bet she'll end up on Ellen next week.
Posted by: dg | Jan 30, 2012 2:18:24 PM
Posted by: AdamK | Jan 30, 2012 2:22:52 PM
@ Charles, LMAO!
Posted by: RonTEX | Jan 30, 2012 3:06:56 PM
Who are those two chicks in the back staring at the floor?
Posted by: Yeek | Jan 30, 2012 3:35:18 PM
I can do that, too. Have been able to all my life. If you have the ability, it requires no thought; it is just automatic. You don't actually "see" the word backwards; you just "hear" it.
I won the talent show at my graduate school by doing it.
Extremely rare ability and this girl is the only one I have ever seen who can do it as well as I can.
Posted by: Rick | Jan 30, 2012 3:44:22 PM
I can do this too and always have. It freaks people out. One of favorites is Subaru, which backward is U R a Bus. I think she messed up a few (slightly) near the end, though. But she's great at it.
I can say the alphabet backward as quickly as forward, and I speak very quickly.
Posted by: Paul R | Jan 30, 2012 5:17:14 PM
They're all taking her word for it...
Posted by: BobN | Jan 30, 2012 5:25:30 PM
I can do this and there are plenty of videos on youtube of this, but she's not really saying the word backwards in the way that I had hoped (which is phonetically and not graphemically). She seems to be transposing the written word backwards. For example, "wire" (why-ur) is returned as "eriw" (ehr-ew). Actually saying the spoken word backwards would require a reversal of the phonetic components of the word, not the graphemic parts. A reversal of that kind, such as with "wire", would roughly be returned as "roo-aihw". Although to be honest I've never seen someone who could do THAT in less than 3 seconds, and I'm not sure it's even possible.
Posted by: Linguist | Jan 30, 2012 6:13:45 PM
@Rick: actually, I see the words. Hearing has never played into it for me.
I've never met anyone who mentioned having this "skill," so this post fascinates me.
I also have a compulsion to make words out of the letters on every license plate I see, in order.
Posted by: Anon | Jan 30, 2012 6:16:54 PM
!!WOW si yas nac i llA
Posted by: aj | Jan 30, 2012 7:45:57 PM
@Linguist I do it phonetically, Linguist. In the talent show I mentioned, we got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and played it in reverse when I was through reading an article "backwards", reversing both the order of the words AND the pronunciation.....and the crowd erupted into a frenzy when they heard what came back as regular English, albeit with a bit of a strange accent.