With Closed Captioning, Words Can Get in the Way

Closed captioning may be a boon for people with hearing issues, as well as for folks who are trying to watch TV in noisy kitchens, workshops and so on -- but the process by which the spoken word is translated into text is far from an exact science. As evidence, check out some recent closed-captioning gaffes that were sent to us by a regular Westword reader:

Spoken version: "'s not only futile..." CC version: "it's not only few tile..."

Spoken version: "...Hillary Clinton tactics..." CC version: "...Hillary Clinton tact aches..."

Spoken version: "...Korean war came to a stalemate..." CC version: "...Korean war came to a stale meat..."

Spoken version: "...a centrist position..." CC version: "...a scent tryst position..."

A "scent tryst position"? That's one smelly affair. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts