Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What's wrong here?

So, apparently there's a new chain message going around the internet. It's some sort of neat little brain teaser-mabobber, that goes like this:

Whats wrong here
Did you know that 80% of UCSD students could not find the error above? Repost this with the title “what’s wrong here”, and when you click “post “, the answer will be really obvious.

Note: You may want to read the following post before wasting your time trying to solve this.

I found this message on a friends profile on Facebook. So I decided to ponder this for awhile. After a couple of seconds, I decided to do a Google search to see if I could find the answer. Apparently, this message is starting to plague comment sections on blogs, journals, and profiles across the internet. Some people are getting bombarded with this nuisance, probably largely in part by people reposting it, as per the instructions, out of curiosity. I also found that there were many people who, like me, decided to try to satisfy their curiosity by looking it up, probably a wise decision.

So, I found a couple of articles dedicated to solving this little pest, and saw that not only are there several possible answers, but even different variations of the problem stated.

Now, the two most common answers I found had to do with the problem being in the question, "Whats wrong here". Some people say it's the absence of an apostrophe in "What's", and others, the absence of a question mark at the end. In these theories, the alphabetical, triple-columns are only there to distract from the actual situation. Problem is, some variations do include the apostrophe, question mark, or both. I've even seen variations where the beginning of the sentence isn't capitalized, which could be another possibility under this theory.

In another variation of the problem, the question is, "Find the error. It's impossible!". Which changes that theory, unless they originally left the apostrophe out of "It's", or something.

Another theory, is that it's a logic problem. The question asks what's wrong, but there is nothing wrong, thus the question of "what's wrong" is the very problem.

I've even seen it suggested that the problem is the presence of "KKK" within the triple columns, an idea which did occur to me, but I don't find very likely. (That would make an already lame riddle that much lamer.)

Thing is, the end of the problem states, "when you click 'post', the answer will be really obvious"
Another theory explains this, in that the "I"s are really lowercase "L"s. In most default typefaces, capital "I"s look the same as lowercase "L"s. In the text editor, however, the "L"s and "I"s are distinctly different, as they are in my Georgia typeface. Problem is, I copy and pasted several instances of this case into Notepad, which uses a distinguishable I/lowercase-L typeface, and found that in every instance, the capital "I"s are infact capital "I"s.

So I believe this last theory is infact the originally intended solution to this problem, simply because of the, "it will be obvious when you hit repost", part of the equation. This is the only solution where this statement is relevant. The problem is that at some point, somebody retyped this message instead of reposting it or even copy/pasting it. This person typed it out with capital "I"s, not knowing what the solution was supposed to be. It may even have been the original recipient who did this. That variation of the message is the one that ended up spreading, and spawning even more sub-variations. Because of this, the riddle is being posted like wildfire, yet irrelevant in that it lacks the originally intended problem.

Possibly, only the initiator of this pesky little message knows the truth. And they probably had no idea what a monster they were creating when they posted it.

sources: Banana Smoothie, Drunken Texting, 360 Gamers Together, XIHA Life BBS, I luv Korea

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