Closed captioning glitch

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 3 18:16:12 UTC 2012

On Jan 3, 2012, at 12:21 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Seen in a closed caption on a WCVB Boston (channel 5) news broadcast
> last night, as the location of a news event:
> The announcer had said "Woburn."
> Presumably from "w/o burn", but I am unable to figure out how "w/o"
> could have been seen, or how "without" could have been heard.  The
> only explanation I can hypothesize is that the captioning person (or
> thing) typed "WOBURN" and a spell-checking thing (exorcist?)
> corrected that to WITHOUTBURN (without an internal space).
> Any other hypotheses?
> Joel
Well, since "Worcester" is pronounced [wIst@] or [wUst@], the captioner must have figured [wub at n] is really a "corruption" of Withoutburn, no doubt named for the major local industry, suntan lotion manufacture.


The American Dialect Society -

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