I'm not sure how to phrase it, but I'll give an example. Let's say I want to type "Think this will be the last instruction?"

While typing this out, I recite the phrase in my head, but I type the following: "this this will be the last instruction?"

Instead of writing "Think this", I mentally skipped the word I was supposed to write and instead wrote the next word in the sequence twice.

Is there a word for this, or is this some form of dyslexia?

  • 3
    It's a common and quite natural phenomenon, it's one of the most frequent writing mistakes, for example there are many instances of that in the Old Novgorod birch-bark letters, 9th to 15th century CE, where a following, anticipated letter is written instead of the current one.
    – Yellow Sky
    Dec 15, 2022 at 20:13
  • I don't know about accidentally duplicating a word, but intentionally duplicating it is called en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduplication and is a way of creating emphasis.
    – Nayuki
    Dec 17, 2022 at 5:43
  • 1
    "Dittography" is a word for accidental word duplication. It is used by textual scholars. Dec 17, 2022 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


This is called an anticipation error, where your planning for the next word interfered with your planning for the current word.

The opposite is a perseveration error, where your planning for the previous word interfered with your planning for the current word.

  • 4
    In my experience, this tends to happen mostly when the words are similar. As in the example, where both words start with "thi".
    – Barmar
    Dec 16, 2022 at 17:02
  • 5
    @Barmar: It is also more likely to survive the editing process if it's a short word and/or a function word, like "the," because the reader may mentally correct such errors without even noticing them.
    – Kevin
    Dec 16, 2022 at 18:02
  • 2
    @Kevin Or like the old puzzle with a sentence in a triange, where "the" is repeated across line breaks.
    – Barmar
    Dec 16, 2022 at 18:09

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