The word of the day is "captcha". I learned it from the August, 2008 Reader's Digest. It is an acronym (sort of) for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. Alan Turing devised tests in the 1950's to tell machines from humans. This may seem technical and boring so far (and may continue to do so) but here is where it has meaning for you and me; This is the correct term for those hard-to-read word verifications many of you have on your blogs. It is designed as a hurdle to be cleared indicating that comments left were from humans and not computers generating "spam".
Thus far this has been factual information. For all you know, it may have been generated by a computer. Here is the human part. Some of us have trouble reading those swervy, faint, dot-matrix, non-sensical letters with lines through them. "Is that a "g" or a "q"? My new blogger friend, Kathryn, (http://fritterfarmers.blogspot.com/) has written a beautiful explanation of the struggles she has with dyslexia and the comments on her post verify how common degrees of this condition really are. In fact, she has created questions in my mind that may lead to answers for life-long questions about myself.
What does this have to do with you? We would respectfully request that you consider canning the CAPTCHA. Not only are you keeping out the occasional spam, you make commenter's reluctant to go to the trouble. If it kicks back twice on me, I figure what I had to say is not really that important. "But," you say, "what if the spammers get through?" So what? If you occasionally get "I like your blog. Please visit my site and buy vitamins that make your nose smaller", just delete it. Or leave it. I have gotten less than half a dozen in all the time I have been blogging. Sometimes they are on old posts, but I get a notification via e-mail and just go delete it. It is so rare I have to stop and think through the process each time (may be dyslexia). The result; the author of the blog does a little extra work to eradicate spammers, rather than requiring extra work by the commenter's.