We’re slowly being turned into Americans

October 28, 2011

That may be a bit of a dramatic title but for years our typed language has been Americanised due to the spell check defaulting to US English on every bit of software. I always do my best to set it as UK English, or failing that deal with the red lines under the words as I type. It’s happening to “Americanised” up there.

And now Siri. I haven’t used it, I haven’t got it (I was made to feel guilty by my wife when I suggested ending my phone contract early and upgrading) but I’ve read much about it. It seems things must be phrased in a very American way. So now our speech fill be forced to be American, too. And certainly more so as speech recognition becomes advanced and available on every device we own (a few years away but bound to happen).

It was reported in the Daily Mail (reported through TUAW, I wouldn’t ordinarily read the Daily Mail – it’s diabolical, a paper that often makes me feel sick and disgusted) that Scottish users of Siri were having trouble being understood. Well, that’s no surprise. Scottish is a form of English, but “form” is as far as it goes; Have you tried watching Rab C. Nesbit without subtitles?

This is no complaint at people’s accents but to be understood by our new technology based personal assistant overlords it’s likely we’ll be practicing our American accents on a frequent basis.