Modern Irritation #19

One of my biggest irritations this year – besides drivers who don’t utilize turn signals, of course, and people who reach the cash register totally unprepared to pay (as though they’d never had to pay before!), lying politicians, and slow Internet connections – are captions on television shows and movies that do not match what’s actually being said. Some seem to go through a lag of several seconds, as though censors must review the captions before they can be put up. A few memorable times, the captions weren’t even for the episode being watched.

Have you had any of this happen to you? We happen to watch a lot of foreign shows, where we’re not familiar with the language, languages like Irish, Welsh, Australian, Canadian, and American Southern. Captions are needed to understand the words. Even then, the captions don’t always help. “He was bottled,” someone said on a show the other night. I heard it, and saw it on the captions. I didn’t understand what it meant. Or another, where a woman in Australia said she’d been “done over.” They also talked about websites spruiking as part of a scam.

When captions go awry, distract me. Yes, I agree, I am easily distracted. That’s not the point. Please bear with me. I start watching the misaligned captions, to see what’s being said, and then wait for it to the characters to deliver the words, and I lose the plot. I know. It’s a small matter to be peeved about – surely I should be more peeved by the abomination that we call modern television or the abomination of the current state of government in America – but this is a first world household.

We have first world problems.


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