Today even amateurs, given time, are intuitively predisposed to recognize otherwise “logical” patterns strewn in ciphers and codes alike. This is due to the fact that analytic methods now utilized in the realm of cryptanalysis are not products of innate understanding, but a general improvement of societal and formal education as a whole. Frequency analysis today, for example, proves a fundamental and rather elementary conceptual strategy in decrypting an enciphered message. In the wake of cryptanalysis, however, frequency analysis was a novel and unprecedented notion.
During much of cryptanalysis’ infancy, education was a luxury, largely unattainable to the masses of commoners who preoccupied themselves with self-sustaining labors specialized in practicality rather than subjects of intellect. Such individuals would find themselves entirely dumbfounded by the prospect of solving even the simplest encryptions, provided they harbor any extent of literacy. This approach accounts for the inability of the uneducated to resort to frequency analysis, thus furthering Singh’s argument. On the other end of the societal spectrum, scholars managed to stumble upon the prospect of frequency analysis – but only after a considerable amount of time and inquiry. Singh’s argument again proves sound, for frequency analysis incorporates mathematics, statistics and linguistics, itself being a development in all three fields. Therefore, it seems that “a sophisticated level of scholarship” was indeed necessary to consider frequency analysis as a viable approach for solving substitution ciphers – back then. In a temporal context, perhaps a “sophisticated level of scholarship” is not termed appropriately for the overstatement that it is. Amateur cryptanalysts, along with much of the developed world, have likely received a formal education, in which they have been exposed to the very areas of “expertise” incorporated in frequency analysis. Societal exposure similarly promotes the deciphering technique, the best example of which remains “Wheel of Fortune,” which automatically assumes the most frequently repeating English letters as common knowledge amongst contestants. Moreover, modern society in general places great emphasis on cognitive reasoning from infancy to adulthood, surely fueling the tendency to apply frequency analysis by even the most amateur of cryptanalysts.
In hindsight, the development of frequency analysis was indeed a feat of innovative intellect. Today, however, it seems only a natural inclination to attempt such a logical and practical method of deciphering.