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Belief in the importance of the bouma in word recognition persisted (and still persists) in typographical circles despite scientific debunking: the evidence is that we recognise words by their constituent letters, and Larson outlines the experiments that led cognitive psychologists to shift to this view.
The bouma theory has relevance to a popular factoid (see Snopes) that Cambridge researchers have demonstrated that the order of letters within words is unimportant to reading comprehension, as long as the first and last letters are in the right place.
A bouma (named after H Bouma) is a typographical term for the overall fuzzy shape of a word, and Mark draws attention to a paper by Kevin Larson, The science of word recognition.
The Science of Word Recognition, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bouma, by Kevin Larson, discusses in detail "the history of why psychologists moved from a word shape model of word recognition to a letter recognition model."
It is hopefully clear that the readability and legibility of a typeface should not be evaluated on its ability to generate a good bouma shape.
Luke young is a good footballer and would change our right side a lot if he eventually gets back there when bouma is fit.