BALTIMORE - You know what the lowercase version of the letter ‘G’ looks like… right? According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, you probably don’t.
Well, not entirely anyway. Take a moment to think of what a lowercase ‘G’ looks like. You’re probably thinking of what’s called the “opentail g.” That’s the one that has a circle top and a tail beneath that opens to the left.
But what about the other lowercase “G,” the one you probably see everyday? That’s called the “looptail G,” and it’s far more common in print than the opentail g. It’s the one with two closed loops on top of each other, connected with on the left side, and opening to the right.
Even though you see it in print probably every day, that Johns Hopkins study found that not only did most people not know there were two versions of a lowercase g, most couldn’t draw the looptail g when asked or even pick the correct version of it out of lineup of options.
Some people even refused to believe there were two versions of the same letter when they were told until they saw it for themselves.
It’s a letter everyone can read, but almost no one can remember how it looks. It’s amazing proof that humans can see something millions of times in their lives and have no idea what it looks like.