## An Overthought CAPTCHA

When I was trying to sign up for something on Dice.com, I got this CAPTCHA:

So, if you mean in numerical order, it would be `seven`

, but wait a minute, *seven* is not a number in this question, it is a word representing a number, in which case 15 would be the first number in the series. BUT! in the list, 16 is the first number, and the list is missing the serial comma which might indicate that the `and`

is equivalent to the + mathematical operator, which would make the second number 22. But what if it’s one number: 16,157? Then the first number is 1. But wait! If we’re counting ordinal numbers along with cardinal numbers, `1st`

is the first number that displays!

I tried entering `seven`

.

I tried entering `16`

:

To hell with it. I reloaded the page and got a CAPTCHA that makes sense.

So what are the effects of CAPTCHAs on users, particularly in abandoned forms? Here’s one fellow’s thoughts.