Saturday, August 16, 2008

Closed Craptioning

I’ll be honest.

I rarely pay attention to the closed captioning feature on any of my televisions. The CC feature was active while I was spending time with my Father after his surgery but the TV was too far away for me to be able to concentrate on the words.

Tonight, while at my nail salon, I had a direct view of one of the many plasmas mounted on the walls of the place all set to the closed captioning mode. I am thankful each day that I do not type for a living, for I would starve. One would think that the fine folks who transcribe would be more adept at what they do. One would be horribly wrong.

I was pretty amused and disconcerted with what I was reading:

Unanimity when describing the amount of moisture in the air.

Did you know that when two vehicles collide it is transcribed as a reek?

During the Olympic coverage they used the word bleating when describing one team being victorious over another.

I know, you think I am being too critical but these people are supposed to be performing a widely used service. Now wonder so many folks are confused. May I suggest a remedial transcribing course?

13 comments:

cruzinthegalaxie said...

Now wonder, or no wonder?

Ry said...

Ha! Sorry but that comment had me giggling.

I gotta agree with you though. Sometimes when reading the CC I think "Poor people who actually need to use this, they must be so confused."

My favorite part of captioning is sound effects.

sophie said...

The typing thing kicks my ass. Which is why I do not like the word verification--it now has 8 letters!

Yes, it must be very confusing to try to read those screens if you really need them--ant the timing sucks badly at times as well.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

CC can be a blessing and a bane, all in the same moment. It isn't bad when the show you're watching is pre-programmed, like CSI or Grey's Anatomy or Clifford the Big Red Dog. Then they've had time to actually key in the captioning properly. The worst shows are live programs like the cable news networks. My favorites are ones like:

And this eveing were receivin reports that the beakaway republic of Uzzbegizioamatistan...

One day, they'll incorporate voice recognition software with closed captioning technology and that should work out most of the kinks. Until then, I'm gonna need an atlas. I have no clue where Uzzbegizioamatistan is!

.olivia.LEIGH. said...

Hahaha, that's strange... CC is definitely a little off course sometimes.

Chas said...

For live events and things that don't have a script (e.g. live sporting events), a computer transcribes them. That's why sometimes words are spelled phonetically... the computer can't find them in its dictionary.
Shows with scripts, like CSI, Grey's Anatomy or newscasts get the closed captioning from the original scripts. That's why j.m. tewkesbury noticed that some shows are more accurate than others.

Wicked H said...

Cruzin: Exactly!!

Ry: Me too. Snort.

Sophie: Agreed. Word verification sucks donkey balls but a necessary evil.

Tewkesy: Personally I am glad the Olympics comes around every 4 years. I take that advantage to improve my geographical skills which are sorely lacking. Plus, I believe the globe has changed more than a few times since I originally learned where everything was.....

Wicked H said...

Chas: You and Tewksey are a wealth of knowledge. I am thankful!

qualcosa di bello said...

you must be kidding?!?! you do realize that i now must go & turn on this feature just to have some fun with it...

cube said...

I thought it was computerized. The whole voice thing on computers is still quite buggy. Give it time.

Sarah said...

I watch that shit for fun!

Drives my fiance crazy! He dosent understand that I am laughing at the horribleness of it..

Its like we put this system in place and that makes us feel good enough about it that we just gave up on the keeping up of the system..

Poor deaf people..

The Blonde Diaries said...

I get a kick out of watching the closed captioning as well. The other day though I really was wondering what was going on because the captionist or computer I guess was letting f-bombs drop left and right during the Olympics. I don't know what word they were looking for but I don't think that was it. lol

Daedalus said...

How sad that only one person, chas, told you that CC is done by computer software these days. The shows that have a lot of mistakes just have poor editing.

But really, how is this not common knowledge?