An Overthought CAPTCHA

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

The overthought 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.

The failure of the overthought CAPTCHA

I tried entering 16:

The failure of the overthought CAPTCHA

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.

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