Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Death of Enunciation

          Well, it has finally happened.  Clear speech is being trained out of us by the dictation feature of our cell phones. We already know that no matter how distinctly you speak into that device, it will come out, “You are the breast!” and worse (see my blog about St. Bob’s blunder here).
          But now we have to slur what we’re saying just to get the correct words to appear on our screen.  If I say “question mark” it does not place a ? at the end of my sentence.  It spells out question mark.  If I want it to actually use the ? symbol, I have to hurry along and say, “Queshamark.”
          And if I want it not to write out exclamation mark, but to print ! I must say, “exlamashamark.” And if I want extra ones it sounds like I’m drunk, cursing, and hacking up a hairball. Make that hairball !!!
Elocution teachers must be turning in their graves.  And then, when you don’t want a punctuation symbol, it gives you one, anyway.  As a substitute high school teacher I dictated, “I’m teaching first period” and it came out, “I’m teaching first.”  And when I wanted to commiserate with a friend who couldn’t get a response from HR I said, “It’s like they’re in a coma,” but it came out, “It’s like there in a ,” with “they’re” misspelled as well.
What if you’re making a list and you want to say, “Here’s what to pack:”?  It will say, “Here’s what to pack colon”.
If you say, “Quotation mark” it will write that out.  You have to say, “Quote” to actually get a quotation mark.  But then how can you say, “I’d like to quote you”? It comes out, “I’d like to “ you.”
And all this extra back-spacing and correcting is eating up our time! So, no offense, but I have to --.
Have you ever scrolled through my blog posts?  Give it a try; hilarity has been happening for years.  

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