This is literally the best fucking news I’ve heard all day. As you know, I recently got my very first smart phone. And it has been nice. There are a number of things I can do on the phone that I just couldn’t before. And now I can browse the web with a reasonable amount of ease. But by far, the biggest change has been that I can use the Android Voice-to-Text feature, which allows me to speak my text messages. It’s very nice.
There was just one problem. You all know what a foul mouthed motherfucker I am. And the Voice-to-Text features censors my language. It isn’t bad if it is a simple “fuck,” because every can figure out what “f***” means. But what about “m***********”? Any ideas? If you do have an idea, it’s because I used the word earlier in his paragraph: motherfucker. But okay, I suppose that I could deal with that kind of thing. But recently, I said to my phone, “I know you don’t like to be sexualized.” It was in reference to a tweet a friend of mine had received that I figured she would not appreciate. And the phone spit back, “I know you don’t like to be s*********.” Since when is “sexualized” a naughty word?
This led me to the extreme measure of picking up a copy of Android Phones for Dummies. In general, I have found the Dummies series to be rather good and at a decent amount of depth. I was pleased the book did deal with the issue, “Uttering f*** words.” But other than saying that the phone does it, there was nothing. Well, there was this:
Well, I wasn’t fucking interested in which words I couldn’t say. I was interesting in stopping the fucking phone from saying things that I clearly wanted to say. After all, I could use “mom” curse words or say “stupid” instead of “fucking.” If I say “fucking” it is because I fucking what the fucking phone to fucking text it that fucking way! Also Dan Gookin didn’t explain to me that it wasn’t just naughty words that were off limits but the entire discussion of sex, apparently. This is a book that was published in 2012. So it’s pretty recent. Remember that.
So I threw the book aside and I turned to Google. I searched for, “stop voice input censoring android.” And the first thing that came up was an article from LifeHacker, Stop Android’s Voice-to-Text from Blocking Swear Words. That article was published in 2011, so clearly it was around for Mr Gookin to find, but I suspect that Mr Gookin is just fine with censoring. Computer books are usually written by people whose ethical complexity started and ended with learning not to cheat at four-square.
The procedure is laid out in the article, but it is trivial. Go to your base phone setup. Go to “Voice input and output.” Then go to “Voice regognition settings.” And there you will find “Block offensive words.” Touch it to turn the fucking thing off. And never go back!
The book Android Phones for Dummies seems pretty good overall. I don’t want to put down the book generally. But it amazes me that the author would take all that time to learn about the feature but not learn how to shut it off.