Voice-to-text is ill-advised for ready-to-publish blogging

What follows is an attempt to see if I can write a blog post using voice-to-text technology.  Paragraph.

Okay, “paragraph” doesn’t work; one has to start a new paragraph manually.  Anyway, I wanted to try to write on my phone today, but my thumbs still have not fully recovered from whatever dsmage caused them trouble previously.  Therefore, I am going to see how well I can initially “type” this out simply by speaking into the voice to text and then fixing up the incongruities and failures to make paragraphs when I edit it.  Return.

“Return” doesn’t work as a command, either.  Can I say “period” without it making a period?  Apparently, if I continue to the end of a sentence and the word period is in the middle, it does correct things eventually.

Today it’s raining, so I am going to be walking to the bus stop, taking the bus to the train station, the train to Deerfield, and taking a walk from Deerfield train station to the office.

I’m really not sure how good a technique this is for writing a blog post. It may have more in common with a podcast or personal reflection or what I call audio blogs then my typical blog post.  I don’t know how well it will come across but I will be editing it, so we’ll see.

I have just manually inserted a paragraph break then restarted the audio portion of the input.  We will see how that goes.  I’m going to have to be inserting a lot of punctuation and spacing after the initial draft.  It may not be worth it in the long run.  But it’s an interesting experiment for Monday morning when there if they’re already thunderstorms. (That should read, when there are already thunderstorms”).

I’m going to take a brief break now, because I haven’t yet left the house.  I want to give myself plenty of time so that I’m not going to wait at the bus stop any more than necessary.  It’s raining out, which is another reason I decided I wanted to try to write this on my phone.  I figured the phone is less vulnerable to the depredations of stray rain than the laptop is.


Okay, I’m at the bus stop now.  I’m a little worried about how traffic noise is going to affect this, but at least there’s not that much traffic at this hour.  It’s 5:00 in the morning, now.

I’m not sure what to discuss, since I’m doing this in a different way than I usually do.  I just cleared my throat, and it didn’t pick that up; that’s mildly interesting.  But it also didn’t pick up the first time that I attempted to speak that sentence after the throat clearing.  I had to backtrack manually, and then restart the sentence I had intended to speak.

I suppose the system has a propensity to miss hear, and to put the wrong words down, such as writing the words “miss” and then “here” instead of writing miss here…miss here…as in, to hear badly!  I can’t seem to say that word* in a way that makes it clear to voice-to-text technology what word I’m trying to produce.  That’s a bit annoying.

It does seem that when a car is driving by while I’m speaking it interferes with the function’s accuracy.  I suppose using this technology might be useful to improve one’s enunciation, at least.  After all, it can be quite frustrating when you have to backtrack manually and correct a computer-based error that doesn’t make much sense, so you might get in the habit of speaking very clearly.

I don’t know how many words I’ve spoken in this blog post yet.  It doesn’t seem very interesting to me, but then, most of my blog posts don’t seems terribly interesting to me anyway.

I’m not very good at judging what will be interesting to other people.  Many of the things that many people find interesting are utterly dull to me, and apparently many of the things that I find interesting are opaque to others.  I guess this explains my lifelong fondness for the Edgar Allan Poe poem alone.

I’m going to have to edit that last sentence so make it clear that the word “Alone” is the title of the poem.  There seems to be no easy way to cue the computer vocally that I’m trying to put quotation marks in.  Open quote quote quote.  Close quote.  See what I mean?  This is frankly more frustrating than I expected it to be.

There was a big flash of lightning just now but only distant and late following thunder.  So it was quite a long way away.  That was a random, interjected, spoken-aloud thought, but this sentence is not; it has been typed in later.

This technology is still far too stupid to be practically useful on a regular basis.  The time and effort put into editing and correcting it are going to be larger than the time and effort I probably usually use to break the whole thing.  To write the whole thing, I said.  Start to finish.

Maybe I should just stick to writing when I want to write, and if I wish to do audio, simply do an audio blog.  Right now there might be some trouble with that because of traffic noise, but that at least can either be edited out or recognized as background sounds, and I can resay something if it was scrambled up by a car.  That would just be part of the process.  It could even add color to an audio blog.

Anyway, life is frustrating.  For instance, the first thing the computer put in when I started “life is” was to end it with the word “good”, which sounds nothing like the word “frustrating”!  Then it kept writing “frustrated”.  I finally had to finish the sentence manually.

Enough of this nonsense.  This is an idea whose time has not yet come, or never was or will be.  Maybe speech is speech, and writing is writing, and never the tween shall meet.  Twain.

The voice-to-text can’t seem to recognize the word “Twain” except as a proper noun with a capital t as in Mark Twain.  But that name was a pseudonym based on an expression (supposedly) from navigating on the Mississippi River, and referred to a measured depth of two fathoms.  So when someone called out “mark twain” they meant the river at that point was two fathoms deep (12 feet).  It’s not quite full fathom five, as thy father lies‒I guess that might be “mark quint”.  Anyway, this is stupid.  But then again pretty much everything I do is stupid.  So what else is new?

I think I’m going to do a brief audio blog just to follow up on this. I may post it or leave it for my ears only.  Have a good day.

Voice stuffaltered


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