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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: Voice Recognition Software
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


I have a weakness in my left hand; the last 3 fingers can be quite useless to me at times. When I try to type I can't feel the fingers pressing on the keys, so sometimes I accidentally hit the capital lock. I did not listen to my typing teacher years ago, but watched my fingers rather than the page. Finally I’ll look up and I see half the page is in capital letters, I groan and resist the desire to throw the computer out.

You may have noticed some typos, and likely will see more. I received a tablet with voice recognition software for Christmas. I can speak into the microphone and the words magically appear on the page. Unfortunately, the words that appear aren't always mine. My husband insists I have a slight accent and I don't speak clearly. Well, that got under my skin, so I decided to try an experiment to prove that I don't have an accent. I speak quite clearly.

Certainly it must be his ears, and not my mouth that has the problem. Any man married over 15 years, or even 15 days, should know that telling his wife that the problem is with her mouth can lead to nothing but trouble!

So I decided to let the voice activation do my writing for me. I am determined to not go back and fix my mistakes, well at least not too many of them. I will admit, somehow, a swear word had appeared. I know I did not swear. (I did just delete a paragraph when my dog was barking that made all kinds of weird words appear.) My mind wants to drift to thinking I found a way to communicate with animals, but unfortunately, my dog’s message is more garbled than mine. Maybe this experiment won't work after all...but I'm not a quitter so I'm going to keep on torturing you and this stupid computer.

I want to point out how important it is to listen to those who are trying to teach you. If I had only listened to my typing teacher Psalm 30 years ago when she yelled at me for watching my fingers, instead of the paper, I’d not be having the problem.

Hmm, that's interesting instead of some thirty, Psalm 30 showed up. Could it be a message from God? Of course, I had to look it up. And found this in Psalm 30:1-2: I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Maybe God is telling me to be kind to my husband. It’s something to think about.

Now back to my message, I think life is much like typing. My teacher tried diligently to make me look at the paper and not at my fingers. At the time, when computers were still a dream, I never expected to be doing much typing. I know that God had fun--no not fun--foreseen my future. That class was meant to help me. But at 17, I couldn't see past high school. Now, however,I wish I had learn to type the proper way.

I think the voice activation doohickey on this computer is another way God is trying to teach me a lesson. Even though the computer may make mistakes do to my accent, God hears my every word—spoken or thought—clearly.

If I keep my eyes on him, I don’t need to worry about stumbling and falling. Nor do I need to worry, that like the voice doohickey, that God will misunderstand me.

I never dreamed that computers could teach me such an important life lesson. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus. For when I allow them to drift downward, that is when mistakes smack Maine—not Maine, ME--in my face.

No matter how deep my accent is, I know that God understands me. It appears that this year, my husband's present is the gift that keeps gift giving. I’ll keep my chin up and my eyes on God. I am reassured by the knowledge that God “gets” me. That's huge for me as I've discovered that not everyone understands me. I’ll be careful; not only in what I say, but in how I say it—all while focusing on the Lord. God understands every word I utter, or even think. What a wonderful God we have!

AUTHOR's note: I did leave some typos and numerals, but corrected it for it will make sense--I hope

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This article has been read 565 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Alicia Renkema02/28/13
I loved every bit of this highly clever, original and humorous piece. It had me laughing, crying and nodding my head throughout because of all of the mistakes that I make that God always uses to His glory. Any "mistakes" in this piece certainly worked for you and for this week's entry. How wonderful that you talked about "your accent" through the voice recorder thing you use. I am so glad you have that. Pretty nifty. You are one of the most talented writers at the site and I always enjoy your entries. You know how to make the dialogue come alive as well as hitting such a personal chord with your reader because of your vulnerability. Thanks, and blessings to you!
Dannie Hawley 02/28/13
What a thoroughly delightful read! Cleverly crafted with a super message we all need. You've got to have a winner here; that's for sure. I've used those voice recognition things and much prefer the Job Access With Speech program instead. If I had a cold/congestion, the computer didn't let me enter anything because it didn't recognize my voice. If I was anything but neutral...overly excited with joy or a tad bit angry as I spoke, the computer didn't like it and wrote its own document of misunderstanding. Nope, those things are just not for me. Yours, certainly, did make a terrific story, though! Thanks for sharing.
Loren T. Lowery02/28/13
Delightful. We have a voice activation device in our car and sometimes when I very clearly state what I want - it (she - it is a femal's voice) will say: "Pardon?" To which I will repeat what I'd just said and again she will say: "Pardon?" So, after about the 5th try I'm thinking I thought the female species was supposed to be more intuitive. Regardless, I accept it and go about it the old fashion way - and do it manually.
C D Swanson 02/28/13
This was a sheer delight to read. Your honesty opened the story up to a completely different level, and it took me along for a touching and compelling read.

I loved this entire thing, and your God given talent is so obvious with all of your entries, each one rising to another level from the last.

This is a bonafide winner in my eyes. Fantastic job!

Thanks. And, may God Bless~
Cheryl Harrison03/01/13
Cute! I enjoyed every word, typos and all.

It reminds my of my too-smart phone that corrects spelling. One day I tried to text my daughter. She wanted permission to do something and I typed in "Ok", but the smart phone changed my word to "Oklahoma". Since then, we all use "Oklahoma" whenever we want to say "Okay"... hehe.

Loved it! Keep writing.
Danielle King 03/01/13
Doohickey, doohickey, doohickey, doo... Behave yourself you silly old moo! I've learned a new word and I love it. It's got a good 'icky' sound.

I love the rest of your piece too. It's original and funny and I hope it shoots to stardom. Great job!
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/01/13
Haha, this is great fun. My dad and boyfriend both use Dragon Naturally Speaking to do their typing, and we get lots of laughs out of the misunderstood words. Good lesson you pulled out of it, too.
lynn gipson 03/02/13
I am smiling right now, and wanting one of those voice activators because my right hand goes quirky too sometimes. But then I have an American southern accent that would probably wreak havoc as well Such as shuga for sugar and so forth.
This is a delightful read. Loved it. Didn't see any typos, but then again I am kinda blind, shuga. lol

Myrna Noyes03/02/13
Great sense of humor in this, but an even greater message!

I smiled several times reading it, but I think these lines gave me the biggest grin: "Certainly it must be his ears, and not my mouth that has the problem. Any man married over 15 years, or even 15 days, should know that telling his wife that the problem is with her mouth can lead to nothing but trouble!" :D

Your message, though, was the best part, as it applies to every one of us!
Judith Gayle Smith03/02/13
"Getting to know you, getting to know all about you, getting to like you" . . . LOTS! You are such a tenacious gal, grabbing the golden ring for humor and strength. My hubby has a "Dragon Speaking Naturally" - he has had it for millenia. It doesn't work for him - his voice is too soft, and when he yells the dragon and I skitter away. sigh.

Because He lives and loves . . .
Ellen Carr 03/03/13
This is a great take on the topic and also shows up the wonderful value of the technology that can type what it hears. I hope it gets much use! I imagine you need a sense of humor when it gets your words wrong - like voice recognition text messages which can be very different to what is actually said. Well done!
Loni Bowden-Horn 03/03/13
I thoroughly enjoyed the story from beginning to end.

Although I did listen to my teacher to watch the words instead of the key board, I struggle with the modern conveniences such as text messages.

I found myself laughing at the antics you used to prove your husband wrong.

Is it wonderful that God understands us even if we don't speak correctly.

I thought the typos were a clever way to illustrate your story.
Beth LaBuff 03/03/13
I was completely captivated as the story progressed. I love your creativity and your humor. Sometimes you just have to laugh as what the phone/computer voice recognition software assume. :) Thanks for sharing many smiles and laughs with your readers. :)
Bea Edwards 03/05/13
You and me are kindred spirits with the techno thing ...Voice recognition software-paalease. I speak an unintelligible language and found your piece totally relate-able and entertaining!
Noel Mitaxa 03/07/13
A creative take on the topic that lays your humanity and your humour wide open. A thoroughly enjoyable, absorbing read.