Friday, May 15, 2015
More Adventures in Dictation
When using the ListNote app and Google's voice recognition capabilities, you do have to pronounce commonly used punctuation marks: period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, and colon, for example. In most cases, you simply say the word and you get the punctuation mark you want. The spoken commands "new line" or "new paragraph" will insert the equivalent of a line break or paragraph break into your document. However, for some unknown reason, the command "quotation mark" works less than 50% of the time. Sometimes, particularly near the beginning of a document, when you say "quotation mark," you will get the desired punctuation, but more often you will get the words "quotation mark" fully spelled out. I have no idea why this might be. Obviously, this poses a problem if you are writing fiction and using dialogue between characters. It's possible that the developers of this app imagined that it would be used mostly for nonfiction expository writing, such as business and professional purposes, so indicating, creating, or reproducing dialogue would not be an issue. I can only hope that future versions of the software will correct the problem. Another thing that puzzles me about the app is the seeming inability to automatically capitalize the first word after a period. Sometimes, if you pause for several seconds between the end of one sentence and the beginning of another, the software will capitalize the first word of the new sentence, but not always. Capitalization for the first word of a sentence is a basic rule of English grammar, and I don't understand why that rule isn't written into the software somewhere. Back to the drawing board, software developers!