Said you were Carrillo on Kurdish

My laptop keyboard has been acting up. The “m” key doesn’t register and the left touchpad click is ignored. I decided to pulled out my headphones, execute an old copy of Dragon, and dictate the next scene in “Slow Metabolism.”

I’ve used the Dragon software off-and-on. It touts a 98+% accuracy rate, but I’ve never reached that.

I dictated: I laughed but without humor. So your work with grow on Earth while mine shrinks in space.

Dragon translated: I left but with a out humor. Said you were Carrillo on Kurdish while mine shrinks space.

A number of mistakes, like the Dragon miscues shown above, hearing left for laughed and So your work as Said you were as well as missing prepositions as shrinks in space to shrinks space, got me wondering about failures in communication.

Figure 1. THE CAT. The middle letter in each word has the identical shape, but in the first word it's an H. In the second word it is an A

Figure 1. The middle letter in each word has the identical shape

Perhaps you are familiar with the difficult and automatic use we make of content to interpret messages, as Figure 1 THE CAT reveals. The H and the A have the identical shape yet we, without effort, read them as the letter that fits the context—the other letters of the word.

Dragon reminds me that the same type of interpretation takes place in the audio realm.

Other people might not hear the words I intended. If the words said aren’t heard accurately, what chance does meaning have of crossing the interpersonal barrier?

This is yet another argument for using careful articulation in pronouncing the words to explain oneself.

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