The problem with writing longhand is that eventually you have to type all the stuff you’ve written. This is where I am now. Since I find this typing such a waste of time and since I don’t like it much, and since no other human being could ever read my scrawl (I spend long minutes staring at paper trying to figure out what in the world a certain squiggly line I made means), I decided to try out some voice recognition software. I’ve never believed in it very much, having tried it years ago but I read some online reviews and it seemed that it had come a long way. Some people said it actually worked quite well. These people must be trained, professional actors with years of training in voice and enunciation. I, quite simply, am not. I’ve been known to mumble when I talk and I have a pretty thick bay accent. But when I concentrate, I can speak more clearly and slow down my normal rate of speaking. Plus, the software allows you to train it to your own voice so one would expect it could figure it out. Problem solved. No more typing for Tina.
Here are the first few lines of my test as the computer recognized it when I transcribed it (after I thoroughly trained the software to recognize my voice):
“‘s absence has order for a couple of weeks my life changed. I came home from work with day before five every day and we are sad at the table together to eat. They had picked up his dishes from the table and insisted I do the same. There didn’t see it in his recliner chair in the corner and read the paper. He set next ma’am the coach watch TV with her calmer his looking strange around her shoulders as he fidgeted.
When I went to bed on him typing, listening to them as they both went to bed at the same time calmer mount hacking caring for their bedroom and sales I didn’t understand then came from them.”
So, now you think that English is not my first language or that I am writing a sordid novel about a new fetish where people mount and type on top of each other in bed, but I’m not. The word ‘calmer’ that keeps coming up is actually the word ‘comma’ as in I am asking the software to put punctuation in the paragraph for me. Later I tried using the actual word ‘calmer’ and it typed it as ‘karma’. It quickly became apparent that it would take more time correcting the mistakes in my work transcribed by the voice-rec software than it would to type the stuff on my lovely Alphasmart Neo, or, as the voice-rec software calls it “my Neill”.
And now, as another test, the beginning of the Ode to Newfoundland:
“The old do to move the man’s
when Sunday is crowned iced pine clad hills”
Makes you teary-eyed and patriotic, doesn’t it? And it leaves me wondering just what the old do to move the man’s. And the man’s what? The possibilities are endless.
Sigh. Ah well, it’s back to pounding on the keyboard for me. Just me and my good friend, Neill.