While I don’t make any claims to having perfect grammar and punctuation, since I began working at Ai-Media 18 months ago, I've become progressively more nitpicky about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. But what has caused this?
In part, I attribute this transition to the highly meticulous captioners that are employed at Ai-Media. With fear of being shamed for incorrect grammar by one of our talented Word Nerds, I double-check all communications that may be seen by one of our captioners. Although, with my imperfection comes mistakes. Just recently I was assisting our Ai-Live Captioning Manager with sending an email to our captioners to remind them about filling in their session reports. I read over my email, and just as I hit send, I noticed it. Right there in the subject line, “Session Repot Reminder”. Oh, the shame! I would be forever known as the fool that doesn't notice the red squiggly line under misspelt words. Fortunately, our captioners were kind enough not to point out my error and I live to type another day.
This is not the only influencing factor in my transition from serial user of “alot” (see alot monster) to picking out slight errors in comma placement and experiencing severe irritation at the incorrect use of your/you’re or there/their/they’re. Although, I must digress, I probably notice other people’s mistakes more frequently than my own. Another contributor to my journey to being an imperfect grammar perfectionist would be the sheer volume of captions that I view on a daily basis, whether it be live captions for events and university sessions, closed captions on YouTube, or captions on television.
To put it nicely, captioning quality does vary from video to video. Without pointing any fingers, the inaccuracy of YouTube auto-captions (although props to Google for the awesome effort) and the standards often seen on DVDs and other media have made me overly critical of closed captioning standards. I've definitely gained some unrealistic expectations of the perfection to be achieved in closed captioning a video, and it probably doesn't help that I've become accustomed to the high standard achieved by our Ai-Media captioners. Because of this, anything else just feels like a cat wreaking havoc on a captioner’s keyboard.
As a hearing user of captions, in most instances, any mishap in captioning does not greatly hinder me, although these errors still get to me, as I can see how this would muddle the context of the speech for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. For this reason, perhaps my imperfect grammar perfectionism is for the greater good or perhaps I’m one of those annoying people who trolls Facebook, looking for a misplaced comma or incorrect there/their/they’re to obnoxiously comment on. We'll never know.
Written by Oliver Scotting, Sales & Marketing Executive