This morning I composed a longish message to my nephew, James, by dictating to my watch – a procedure that worked beautifully. There then followed a brief discussion on the quality of speech recognition. I turned to my Mac – because, of course, iMessage conversations are synchronised across all devices – and I continued dictating. “It’s good in a quiet location with a good network connection!”
Sadly, this time, I did not enunciate the first couple of words quite so clearly, and the Mac cheerfully recorded, “Screwed in a quiet location with a good network connection!”.
Which might have conjured up all sorts of interesting images at the other end.
Still, I guess that’s just what they call ‘social networking’.
Now, had I instead sent the message, “It’s god in a quiet location with a good network connection!”, it would still have been amusing, but understandable, in these days of careless typists and small keyboards. It’s something we’ve adapted to, like illegible writing in the past. But, as I have a rapidly dwindling number of electronic devices in the house that do not at least claim to understand speech, I wonder when our ability to understand speakos will become as well-developed as our ability to interpret typos…
My mother in law dictates sms habitually. Combined with a slight accent, this leads to some hilarious errors. Reading her texts is like playing a game of Mad Gab (where players have to figure out common phrases written as phonetically similar words). Instead of error correcting the spelling, you have the much harder problem of correcting errors from homophony.