Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 588. Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/> <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/> Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 07:32:55 +0000 From: "Tarvers, Josephine K." <email@example.com> Subject: RE: 14.0582 teleprompto? Having just spent some time with my elderly, hearing-challenged mother, I tend to sympathize with Jim. Another place where the problems Jim writes about can be seen is in closed-captioning. It's usually of good quality for prerecorded programs where the captioner has the luxury of backing up and checking what s/he hears. But for live broadcasts, such as the news, discussion programs, [my mother's favorite] church services, or (in the US most recently) things like live election coverage, the captioner, who is trying to keep up with rapid-fire conversation, often substitutes homonyms and near-homonyms for what has actually been said. [Especially since the captioners are often young and not widely-read.] And in the case of speakers like George W. Bush, for whom malapropism is an art form, the captions can really get sticky. If your TV set has the option to provide closed-captions, I suggest you turn it on and watch an hour or so of CNN sometime. It's really revealing. So is using voice-recognition software, where you try to convince the computer that your pronunciation actually produces recognizable words. My New Jersey accent apparently defies most programs' acceptability algorithms. Fugeddaboutit. Of course, I once had a graduate student write about Spenser's poem _Epifiletmignon_ on an exam, so I don't suppose this problem is new. I'm not sure it's going to be the job of philologists alone to clear this up--we will undoubtedly need a full range of specialists, from speech pathologists to artifical intelligencers, to address the problem. Peace-- Jo --*--*--*--*--*-- Jo Koster Tarvers, Ph.D. Department of English Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC 29733-0001 USA phone (803) 323-4557 fax (803) 323-4837 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org on the web http://faculty.winthrop.edu/tarversj "My view on current affairs? I'm too busy to have one."---Broom Hilda -----Original Message----- From: Humanist Discussion Group [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 7:28 AM To: Humanist Discussion Group Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 582. Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/> <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/> Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 11:22:10 +0000 From: "David L. Gants" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: A Teleprompto? >> From: "Jim Marchand" <email@example.com> A New Kind of Error? As a humanistic philologist, I spend a great deal of time listening and watching for `errors', such as the recent use of _livid_ to mean, not purple, but `quite angry', or such things as the hyperurbanism `between you and I' (and others of the kind). Each new invention brings with it its own types, as the stylus and the clay, the chisel and the stone, the brush and the papyrus, the pen and the parchment, etc. brought us the scribal error, the typewriter the typo. We had the mixup of the idiot boards in one of Reagan's speeches (bothered him not at all). Each of these required special skills on the part of the philologer, and we have books on how to recover the original. Now comes a new invention: the teleprompter (and the see-through teleprompter). Those who watched both conventions, with speakers changing their positions to accomodate cameras and teleprompters know what I mean. In one of his speeches Bush referred to people `filing out their forms'. Here, one cannot be sure whether this was his error or that of the teleprompter typist. Just this morning, I heard a senator speak of `Britian's role', and I feel sure that must have been the teleprompter, since I know of no one who says Britian for Britain (spelling is a whole nother thing). Those who watched the Supreme Court recently on TV and saw how badly the court reporter spelled can be sure that teleprompter typists are likely to do so also. Thus, there may spring up a new task for the philologist. I am sure that in the future we will see people claiming that World War III was started by a misreading of a teleprompter by some great official, just as that everyone knows that World War II was started by the mistranslation of a Japanese word. Perhaps awareness will mitigate (I saw that recently, too) against this.
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