What I Meant to Say…

Progress is a wonderful thing.  I am a terrible speller, and the advent of spell check changed my life.  So when I started a project that required typing in page after page of already written material, I was intrigued by the idea of getting a voice recognition program that would allow me to speak (read) the material into my computer and it would type out the words by itself.  A new kind of techno-magic.  I chose Dragon Naturally Speaking.  My husband set it up for me, and I went to work.

Speak, speak, speak.  Type, type, type.

Speak, speak, speak.  Type, type, type.

Speak, speak, speak.  Type, type, type.

I was on a roll.  I finished pages of text before I paused to read what my magic program had written.  The first clue that something was wrong was the presence of someone named Claude.  Who was he and where did he come from?  For instance, I read: 

  • By Claude’s mercy…
  • Giving thanks to Claude…
  • Whenever we spoke of Claude…

I finally realized that every time I said God, my Dragon program thought I was saying Claude.

As I read, I found more and more astounding phrases that made no sense to me.

  • The journey through the North African desert was an indoor pool.
  • The tip of Topeka, shrouded in clouds…
  • The Israelites laundered in the wilderness for forty years.
  • Myra was shot into silence.
  • Beavers in Algeria rebuilt the church.
  • …set up for her grandchildren idiots where several…

After much head scratching, I figured out what I had intended my Dragon to say:

  • The journey through the North African desert was unendurable.
  • The tip of the peak, shrouded in clouds…
  • The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years.
  • Myra was shocked into silence.
  • Believers in Algeria rebuilt the church.
  • …set up for her grandchildren. In it were several…

I still use my Dragon Natural Speaking, but now, after every paragraph or two, I go back and read what it’s written.  Still plenty of funny surprises, but at least I can remember what I meant!

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.”

James Joyce

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “What I Meant to Say…

  1. Yeah, but I didn’t mean to be writing comedy! Sigh~!

  2. Oh, poor Myra!

    This reminds me of a recent trip with our GPS leading the way. Sometimes we laughed out loud at that computer generated voice!

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