A couple of weeks ago a video went viral on the internet featuring a 14-year-old girl, later found to be named Alyssa Kramer, whose unique talent is to be able to take any word and say it backwards within seconds. The video quickly gained popularity and at the time of writing has around 2.7 million views. Here’s the video, for those of you who might not have seen it yet:
The big question is, how is she able to do this? Alyssa claims that she’s always been able to do it. You can tell from her replies that she is not doing it entirely phonetically (like the effect you would get if you played a recording backwards), but rather reconstructing the word backwards in her head and then reading that as a new word, applying standard English pronunciation rules.
This is most clearly shown when she reverses the word “garage”, saying “egarag” exactly as you would expect that word to be pronounced if you saw it spelled that way, not pronouncing the second g as a soft g like in the original word.
It’s certainly an interesting talent to have, though of course almost entirely useless. However, that isn’t stopping Alyssa from making the most of her internet celebrity: she has her own YouTube channel dedicated to her skill: Alyssa Talking Back, and has also appeared on the Today Show. However, judging from the views and subscriptions, it seems that like many viral video stars, her celebrity has been very short-lived.