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Phonemic Distortion is the practice of using words whose phonemes, when used together, mean something entirely different to the original sentence. The original sentence often means nothing at all. This is why it is particularly useful in ciphers and other tools of espionage.

For example:

  • Wheat hook thud oh gout fora war con a feel d'ya sturdy.

To help you decipher this message, here it is repeated with underscores denoting where the words are split in the deciphered text:

  • Whea_t hook_ thu_d oh g_out_ for_a_ war c_on_ a_ feel d_'ya sturdy. (We took the dog out for a walk on a field yesterday.)

When read aloud, these sentences are clearly distinguishable. For this reason, this method is to be used in conjunction with other coding methods. When coupled with just a simple character offset algorithm as in the following example, the meaning is very difficult to ascertain.


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