19 August, 2011
I was watching BBC News with the sound down and the subtitles on again. OK, I admit it, I was in a pub at the time, but at least it wasn't a Wetherspoon this time. And the subtitles were a real mess. A sort of alphabet soup that was reminiscent of the plucky but totally useless efforts of a 1980s OCR program faced with a font more adventurous than Courier.
And then the business news came on, along with the exchange rates summary, where "pound" was rendered as
... doud ...Aha! Has the revoicing operator got a cold, I wondered.
Which begs a very interesting question. Revoicing text to the speech recognition software is one of those jobs where the state of the worker's voice is a key element of the job, as much as it would be for, say, an opera singer.
So how does that work then? Are there pre-arranged stand-in arrangements, or is the attitude: you're lucky to have this service at all, you ungrateful bastards; just suck it up?
Amazing what you take for granted.
"How many times as the High Streets went up in flames and ordinary folk appeared before the cameras did the cry go up for the philosphers to make a stand and get stuck into the lawless mob? 'You never see a philosopher around here any more' was a common complaint. And try phoning one: they're not even interested these days."
I can't use my truncheon meat, therefore I spam.
Recall the uplifting tale of the Surrey Rozzer. As The Bard wrote,
A policeman of Effingham Junction
Whose organ would no longer function
For the rest of his life
Deceived his dear wife
By the dextrous use of his truncheon.