• saraygray

Racontesse Musings… Channelling the Terminator

Pollyanna[1] on the outside, the Terminator on the inside. There's no room for self-pity.

If it wasn't for voice-activation software or devices, I wouldn't be able to do anything independently. It's a miracle of technology! I can read books via Kindle on my laptop, I can send and receive emails and write my stories. I'm alive! The drawback is that it is exhausting. Navigating various columns in social media takes patience – I have to tell the software to do everything that would usually be done so easily by hand. The software often doesn't understand what I'm saying and I have to go back over everything I write.


A simple response on Facebook or Twitter can take 10 minutes.

I write the sentence. Some of the words are wrong – I go over it to correct and the entire sentence is deleted. I start again, once again a single word might be wrong, so I attempt to change it. The cursor appears in wrong place and I have to tell it to reposition and then attempt to change the word. Again, the wrong word. Each letter has to be deleted one by one. It misunderstands and again deletes half the sentence. I add a full stop, but it only hears stop and adds the actual word 'stop'. At last, after much rewriting and many mistakes the sentence is complete. To post I have to say 'press key return '. Simple you might think? No, of course not. After it shows up as 'rescue replete ' or 'keep key concern ', finally it works.

Frustrating is only the tip of the iceberg. If I don't engage directly on Facebook, please don't take it personally.

Here for your entertainment is an example of naked voice-activated text:

“why can it understand people and I don't want it. To . It a complete mess and takes patient press PS I do and time to get it right and now I'm trying to demonstrate how rubbish is, it doing everything right. That just typical of this bloody software, trying to warn me of her first.

Do you see what I mean. Now?”

I hate complaining. I'm comfortable with my Pollyanna persona when dealing with the outside world – it doesn't help to feel sorry for myself or dwell on the negatives. Last week, the hot weather just knocked me out and I couldn't maintain Pollyanna mode. I had to admit defeat and just rest. But it doesn't last long and I'm soon back channelling my inner Terminator…

I can't be bargained with. I can't be reasoned with. I don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear! And I absolutely will not stop, ever, until I am dead!

Sarah Gray

29 June 2020

[1] Through the literary character, “Pollyanna" has become a byword for someone who has an unfailingly optimistic outlook; a subconscious bias towards the positive/excessively cheerful.

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