Confessions of a Reformed Marching Band Geek

Dragon. Speak!

I originally heard about Dragon Naturally Speaking programs when I was in my doctoral program (did I mention I was a doctor? I am, but not the kind that can write prescriptions much to my father’s dismay and disappointment). A friend of mine had it to help with writing her dissertation. She said it really helped her as she could sit in a better position to work and not stress her wrists as much (believe me when I say you spend hours sitting and typing and submitting. Then waiting, crying, revising, retyping, and crying and resubmitting. Then repeat. Did I mention crying? There was a lot of crying. And throwing things. But I digress).

Anyway, I’ve thought about it off and on since I graduated (it really happens…eventually), but never really investigated it. I received a Cyber Monday deal in my in-box to get it for something crazy like 75% off so I thought I’d give it a try.

It finally came yesterday, but I was too busy with other stuff to do more than load it up. This morning I decided that my other work could wait while I tried it out. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Dragon Speak doesn’t know which their/there/they’re to use any more than the average person on facebook. I had to correct it every time.
2. My fingers are obviously smarter than my voice. When I switched back to typing I could suddenly find the words I wanted.
3. I apparently talk around things more than I thought. Dragon Speak was super kind to type every word I said. For example I was trying to recommend a medic alert bracelet to a friend for her elderly neighbor but couldn’t find the word I wanted. While I figured it out my typing looked something like this: “Have you looked into a medical alert bracelet? No that’s not what I want that’s the little bracelet that says you have seizures I want the I’ve fallen and I can’t get up one what is it called is it medic alert bracelet or necklace or is it something else oh crap it just typed all of this”. Yeah. Not. Really. Helping.
4. It seems I either mumble or unknowingly speak a foreign language. Every time I told it to add an exclamation point (!) it would type “excavation point”. Every. Single. Time.

Was it fun? Absolutely excavation point (dang it, now my fingers are doing it too)! Sound like we’ll have lots of adventures in writing ahead (if it ever figures out what I’m talking about)!

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