Friday, May 03, 2019

TV closed captioning bloopers

For several years now, due to my increasing loss of high-frequency sounds, I've been using subtitles for movies and TV. They're also called Closed Captions (CC).

It has been quite amusing at times reading CCs that are produced on the fly for live TV programs (no time to prepare the subtitles in advance). I can imagine it's quite a challenge for the people doing the captioning, both in keeping up with fast talkers, and in accuracy.

Every now and then in a program an error or two appears, such as:

  • "conscious vote"  [conscience]
  • "drug cartels operating with impurity"  [impunity]
  • "Chatswood maul"  [mall]
  • "tie raids"  [tirades]
  • "the daughter gave her father glands as she entered the witness stand"  [a glance]
  • "eternal combustion engines""  [internal]
  • "the sour"  [this hour]
  • "astro fizzicist"  [astrophysicist]
  • "the hurricane left these tropical islands Baron and round"  [barren and drowned]
  • Discussing the State of Victoria's Assisted Dying bill:
      "people must get signoff by a dog"  [doctor ]
  • "aero diet"  [erudite]
  • "dodging tacks"  [tax]
  • "three yuk kids"  [young]
  • "history is often told by the vicar"  [victor]
  • '21st entry"  [century]

and many more like that.

It's a laugh a day in the world of closed captioning!

The most recent one that I've noticed, from last night's ABC Australia late evening  News (Victoria, 02 April 2019) relates to the firing by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May of her Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

She blamed him for the scandal caused by high-level leaking of Britain's position towards Chinese telecommunications company Huawei's participation in 5G roll-out.

The spoken headline for this news bulletin was captioned as:
"Theresa May sucks her Defence Secretary over leaking claims"  [sacks]

I imagine that the captioning file will be amended by the ABC if and when they notice this blog post.