Tuesday

TV’s Closed Caption Typists

You can tell when they get behind and start to panic
these strange characters appear - little squares, dots or spaces
question marks
TV’s Closed Caption Typists don’t apologize
TV’s Closed Caption Typist is not afraid to make a typing error
“Just spell what you hear,” they were instructed during training

I only use the ‘CC’ command on my remote when
I am playing music or just trying to be quiet out in the TV room

TV’s Closed Caption Typist must compete with the scrolling
news stories newscasters run at the same time they talk
I am taking in approximately four streams of information
five, if there are subtitles necessary
subtitle writers look down on monolingual TV Closed Caption Typists

TV’s Closed Caption Typist might have been a court reporter at one time
or just your average data entry person with bigger dreams
TV’s Closed Caption Typist has to do alpha and numeric
I would probably last approximately fifteen minutes
as a TV Closed Caption Typist
maybe TV’s Closed Caption Typist once tried to decide:
become a TV Closed Caption Typist
or read to the blind on an auxiliary NPR frequency

TV’s Closed Caption Typist will miss typing a phrase
to take a sip of coffee
sometimes the machine that the TV’s Closed Caption Typist
uses gets jammed, and it just leaves a weird splash of characters
on the screen all the way through the commercial break

sometimes TV’s Closed Caption Typist will type what is said in commercials
sometimes they do not - they spare us
I wonder how they decide.

2 comments:

r's musings said...

Interesting post, Bobby. I don't watch TV a lot, but when I see those captions running across the screen, I always try to guess what the next word or phrase will be...

Billy said...

good post for real. i always thought that captioning was done my some computer. thnx for the enlightenment.