This blog is dedicated to my indespensible and yet never completely reliable voice recognition software. 

As anyone who has used voice recognition software understands, voice recognition software is an amazing piece of software technology… that you must watch very, very closely.

Watch closely?  Why??

Voice recognition software is kind of like a well-behaved dog that nonetheless cannot resist the temptation of scarfing down an entire stick of butter when no one is looking. 

Likewise, voice recognition software is far from that idealistic (and still futuristic) vision of being able to talk to your computer and having it fully and accurately comprehend.  So, like a generally good dog, this generally good software must not be left to its own devices.

Even with the very best of the best voice recognition software packages (presently Dragon NaturallySpeaking Pro), a screaming-fast computer, a top-of-the-line headset microphone, and an utterly silent environment, it is my experience that you still cannot simply close your eyes, lay back on the bed, and start speaking your thoughts to the computer.

Well, you can. But do not expect 100% accuracy.

With the best of the best equipment and the best of the best environment and lots of practice at learning how to speak in a manner that is conducive to voice recognition, you can get close to 100% accuracy. But still… not quite.

It’s worth noting that I am dictating this first blog with my voice software, and more noteworthy that it’s operating at 100% accuracy at the moment. But then, everything is ideal and — more importantly — I’ve only used words that it will surely comprehend.

But let’s mix that up a bit. For instance, the software often fails in accurately interpreting names. Let’s try out a few.


There you go. Instant failure. What I actually said was Tamara, not camera.  Tamara is the name of a former coworker. No matter how hard I tried to convince the computer that what I was actually saying was Tamara, it would always interpret it as camera.  Let’s try another:

Brad Baker

Oh, I got lucky that time. That’s the name of a former supervisor. When I worked for him, nearly every time I was using voice software to dictate, it interpreted his name as bread baker. And sometimes brat baker.  It’s not like getting your boss’ name right is important or anything, right?

So, since I find that the voice software seems to misinterpret my words in humorous or fascinating ways several times a week, I’ve created this blog to share some of the best of the worst translations it makes.


PS — if you use voice recognition software and have your own amusing anecdotes to share related to recognition errors, please feel free to share them.

More by Richard Moxley:

  • http://www.menofgray.com — a blog on screenwriting, directing, and the chronicling of the in-progress making of a feature film Flight of the Ibis
  • Starbucking — Observations on life and people from a Starbucks easy chair
  • WriteWorks Agency — A writing and editing services site, which includes articles on grammar, writing, and famous quotations.

Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011 Richard Moxley