Closed Captions

We watch television with closed captions. In part it is due to our impaired hearing, but there is also the benefit of being able to follow a program without the volume interfering in other activities. Lieve is quite used to it, in Europe almost everything is subtitled, due to the multiple languages in use. I have found it helpful in learning Flemish, watching films in Dutch with English subtitles, and in English with Dutch subtitles.

It works very well with films, television programs are hit and miss. Live television, such as the evening news, makes me cherish my hearing. Misspellings and flat out wrong words are common, and often distract us from the storyline, as we laugh about the failures of the writer of captions. “The Daily Show” with John Stewart would be incomprehensible to someone who was actually deaf, the dialogue is rooted in double entendre and puns,  missed words destroy a joke. sometime the captions fall behind the dialogue, and the writer will just skip segments to catch up.

Were we to depend on captions in the news, we would be even more confused than we already are about why a story is broadcast.

“More on the polar plunge” is about a weather story, I’m not sure what “Maureen the polar plunge” means, the meteorologist’s name is Cecily. “Trailers perpetrators” didn’t mean the police were trailing the perpetrator’s trailers. My favorite is “yxxzztqpp@zzx” which I think means the person writing captions has spilled their coffee on the keyboard.

As more of us reap the “benefits” of our proximity to amplifiers in our youth, closed captions will become more necessary than ever, I certainly hope they work out the glitches.

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One comment on “Closed Captions

  1. Check out my blog and the #subtitlefail! page for information on how live captioning is done which sometimes has errors as you have observed.

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