Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Reason I Love My Kindle

I'm stuck in a seemingly non-ending cycle of grading papers and prepping for classes (with an occasional meeting thrown into the mix), which leaves me no time to work on my own writing.  One day I had the brainstorm that I could use the text-to-speech feature of my Kindle to read my book to me during the only time when I'm not doing something else - on the drive back and forth to work, or when I'm on the road to pick up the kids from school or to go to a football game.

I had already taken advantage of the ability to have Amazon convert my Word file so I could put the most recent draft of my manuscript on my Kindle (which is cool enough in and of itself).  Listening to it on text-to-speech is a good tool, since I'm noticing some phrases I use too frequently that I never picked up on while reading.  It also seems to be helping me think through some continuity problems I thought I might have.

There are some humorous moments, too. For instance, I noticed the robotic female voice referring to one character as what sounded like "Stupid."  I listened more closely and realized that was the closest approximation the computer could come up with for the character's real name - "Stewpot."  The funniest thing, though, is when the computer encounters a sentence that ends with the word "Pa."  Every time, it reads that as "Pennsylvania."  It makes for some pretty amusing passages, believe me!

1 comment:

Ephemera said...

I think I mentioned to you that I downloaded a screen reader the other day just to see how our website would "sound" so someone who was visually impaired. Your comment about "Stupid" and "Stewpot" came to mind when my screen reader read in it's very mechanical voice "Quest-ion-air." I laughed because the stupid thing couldn't pronounce the word "questionnaire" but boy did I feel stupid when I realized it was because I had misspelled the word! Gotta give those mechanical people some credit every once in a while!