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  • Paul Davidson

The Disaster That Is Closed-Captioning

Either they can’t type fast enough, or there’s something extremely wrong with their hearing.

But as far as I’m concerned, the faceless and nameless Closed-Captioning typists are frequently causing me confusion and pain due to their frequent misspellings and mistakes. These are not just innocent little mistakes that make no difference. These are the differences between life and death…water and fire…earthquake and hurricane. Closed Captioning, my friends, is a disaster that is already happening.

Here’s some recent examples of how Closed Captioning can go extremely, deathly wrong:

News Reporter: President Bush ate snails and cornish game hen for dinner, while spending some time with his adorable wife and dogs on the ranch last weekend while on vacation.

Closed Captioning Version: President Bus hates nails and corny hens for awhile, lending lime to his adorable wife and dogs with ranch last weekend while on vacation.

The actual news reporter’s text is all fine and good, and I know deep down that even after reading the Closed Captioning version that our beloved President Bush obviously doesn’t hate nails (because nails are what keeps his White House standing still after all these years) and corny hens (because he loves a good joke that only a hen can tell) but when you get down to the fact that George W. is giving lime and ranch dressing to his wife and dogs, well… That’s where the disaster starts and the dinner stops.

If I had to be serious for a split second, I would tell you that just by sitting down and watching the Closed Captioning to any news report — you’ll find hundreds of mistakes in just five minutes. These people out there doing this job are obviously not holding their own weight. They often link together words to form other phrases that don’t have any reason to be there:

Real Words: the suspect was found guilty CC Words: the suspect Assfoud guilty

I’m exaggerating a tad, but had the above actually happened, I might be standing at the water cooler asking questions about this guy Assfoud and just what it was that he did to get himself tossed into the slammer not to mention the fact that he is sure going to have a tough time in those showers with a name like that.

I also wonder if the people typing their little bony fingers away day and night at the massive congolomerate of worker bees that is Closed Captioning, actually do all of this on purpose to just screw with the deaf people and the rest of us working out at gyms on the aerobic machines without earphones, for fun.

I mean, if it was me, I sure would.

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