Weather Forecast


Voice texting inconsistencies

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts

opinion Wadena, 56482

Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Sometimes my smart phone is not so smart after all!  I want to zero in on the voice activation part of it. But first, one thing about me is I am far from perfect, but try to be the best person that I can be and to be respectful to others.  Every so often, a swear word will come out of my mouth.  Usually, this will happen when nobody else is around.  It could be something as silly as spilling the garbage, or if I drop the previous days coffee grounds on the floor as I am hurrying to make the current days coffee early in the morning when nobody else is up! 


One time, during a four-day stretch during the holidays, the coffee ground spill happened three out of four days, and I was really upset with myself and felt like a real klutz.   I realized I simply had to take a deep breath and slow down!  Not that I am keeping a tally, but I honestly do pray more than I swear. Back to my smart phone, which I love!  Except sometimes for the voice activation-texting part.  I have had some very embarrassing moments when what came out of my mouth was not what was picked up on voice automation. 

I have come to realize that it is a good idea to proof everything before I hit send.  This bothers me - I think back to an old Peter Sellers movie called Being There where another character in the movie, who is very wealthy and played by Melvyn Douglas, is on his death bed.  Douglas is talking into a voice activated Sony microphone with a monitor in full view giving out his will.   Here it is, a man on his death bed in that 1979 movie is speaking in the microphone and every word is communicated correctly on the monitor.  Fast forward in warp speed to 2013 and I am texting my daughter Laura, who attends the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I voice text the following to Laura - "Looks like your Golden Gophers won another football game!  This is all I wanted to voice text and it was a simple sentence!   I spoke clearly, directly into the microphone, made a conscious effort to enunciate and speak very slowly in a tone family and friends have referred to as my “robotic voice!”  So, let’s go back to what my daughter would have received had I not proofed this particular voice text  - instead of what I texted above, that text before proofing reads - "Looks alike you golden golfers one nudder football game!" 

The last time I remember gophers being mistaken for golfers, or vice versa, was in the 1980 movie, Caddyshack.   In that movie, Carl, played by Bill Murray, had a boss (who had a thick, somewhat Scottish/Irish accent) told Carl to kill all the gophers, but it came across to Carl that his boss said golfers!   

However, with all the problems I have had voice texting, the two things on my voice activated smart phone you can always count on being correct are punctuation and swearing.  As you can see earlier in this article, the voice text to my daughter - the end of the sentence is always correct when you say explanation point - it was correct with an “!” - no problems there! 

Also, when you swear, the 2013 voice activated machine certainly knows what a swear word is, but does not spell the swear word out.  Rather it will hear the first letter of any swear word followed by ***!  Then, if you hit send, be prepared to answer what you actually sent and why you said it to the person who receives the message. 

One other thing is that as the holidays draw near, I will not try to multi-task and be voicetexting on my smart phone while I do the garbage or make coffee at the same time.  The asterisks may not keep up with my rant and I certainly do not want an FCC violation.  That rant could be similar to the ex-Viking coach’s, Jerry Burns’, rant on television back in 1989 when the bleeps could not keep up with his him as he defended his offensive coordinator’s, Bob Schnelker’s, play calling.