Research can take so much time. Not as much as it did in the olden days when we had to go to the library and search through the card catalogue and all. But it’s still consumes time. Which is why I so loved the idea of the speech recognition program Dragon Naturally Speaking. What a set up. Just speak your info into the mic and it types it all out for you. Such a deal! Fortunately, it’s constantly being improved. First time I used my early version, I excitedly finished a whole day’s work on a book of meditations before it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to read over some of the Dragon-typed pages. When I did, I was puzzled by all the references to Claude. Who was he? And how did he get into my manuscript?
That’s when I discovered the Dragon’s weakness. He and I both speak English, but in two different dialects. Whenever I said God, the Dragon heard Claude.
And it got worse. I wrote about my first published article, an interview with a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project in all the molded court over. (What I said was “Alamogordo.”) I wrote of the “rise of a consumer culture.” Dragon heard “rice has come to sue Mereck’s culture. It didn’t help that I was writing with international references. Included were Mao Zedong (a mouse died young), Benito Mussolini (they need more linguini) and Hirohito (Here are the details)
Sometime I could barely figure out what I had really said. For instance, Dragon vowed I had told him beavers built the church of Jesus Christ. Say what? It was “Believers” who built the church. And though there surely was some truth in Dragon’s statement that the Israelites had laundered in the wilderness for 40 years, the word I used was “wandered.” While it was pretty straightforward for me to say their journey must have seemed “unendurable,” Dragon was definitely wrong to change it to “an indoor pool.”
My first impulse is to state as my fourth truth: Never trust a dragon. But now that Dragon and I are more able to communicate:
TRUTH #4: Enjoy humor wherever you find it, and take time to laugh!
BTW, I have grown to love my Dragon. Even if I’m not in complete control. Or as Dragon says, not in flea control.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”