Yay! It’s Not Just Me!

Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a big fan of using closed-captioning whenever it is available while watching TV.

I thought at first that perhaps it was simply a sign that my hearing was not as good as it used to be. But over time, I came to like it since I could pick up subtleties in the dialogue that I would have otherwise missed, even if my hearing was perfect.

Well as it turns out, it looks like I am not alone.

The Wall Street Journal had a story in today’s paper by John Jurgensen on this very topic. The story appeared in the AHED section, my favorite part of the newspaper.

These paragraphs from the story capture my thoughts exactly:

  • Some of the people most committed to captioning don’t need it at all. They are viewers who hear just fine but prefer to read along with everything they watch, including TV shows and movies in their own language, as a hack to better understand what is happening on screen.
  • Actors who mumble, whisper or talk over each other? Programs with wildly fluctuating sound levels? Knotty dialect from the old-time British gangsters of “Peaky Blinders”? The lyrics to a song underscoring a dramatic scene? Captioning helps you capture it all, adherents say.

And sometimes, the closed-captioning subtitles are just fun to read, especially when they try to capture emotions.

The Most Accurate Way to... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

This Can't Be Right is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

For When the Intensity I... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

Closed-Caption Bullying is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

Like a Real Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

This Is Called a Snart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

Stupid Baby, Serves Him Right is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 61 Hilarious Closed Caption FAILs

Funny Caption Example 4

Maybe after seeing these, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got closed-captioning turned on…

*images from Rev and Ranker

*top image from Buzzfeed

Stay safe, and thank you to all the helpers out there…

42 thoughts on “Yay! It’s Not Just Me!

  1. Unlike you, I actually rely on closed-captioning, being near-deaf, and I don’t even try to watch shows where there is no captioning. My daughter, however, hears perfectly and since she has gotten so used to always having captioning on for me, she now says she doesn’t like to watch a show that isn’t captioned, for some of the reasons you gave. I loved those screenshots!!!

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    1. I’m guessing with movies and TV shows, the captioning is fairly accurate. But for live shows, like the news and sports, it seems like there’s a greater chance of an error. What a difference it must make for people with hearing difficulties!

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      1. You are quite right! Sometimes the captioning is so bad that I either sit and laugh through the whole show, or give up in disgust. In fact, my daughter, her best friend and I almost got kicked out of a hotel one night over some really bad captioning … we were laughing so hard that the people in the next room called the front desk and complained!

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    1. 🙂 I remember watching a Scottish film a couple of years ago, and we had to turn it off after a few minutes because we could not understand what they were saying! And they were speaking English, allegedly…

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  2. I’m finding it essential to understanding pretty much anything. I though it was my TV at first and then my hearing. Maybe it’s a bit of both. But the captions are becoming essential tools to understand dialogue on the small screen. .

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  3. If you enjoy reading a good story, they have these things now called books! The captions last as long as you need them and they are always exactly perfect, but the picture quality is a real issue. 😁📖

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  4. i’m right there with you, jim! i even wrote a post once about how i was watching a subtitled foreign film, clearly not in my native language, and was trying to turn up the volume at times. i like having both, too –

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  5. Over the years, I’ve become a huge, Peaky Blinders fan and that series is almost impossible to watch ( and understand) without subtitles. That’s the only time I turn them on.

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  6. I am used to reading subtitles, most specially from watching foreign animation. However, with films in English, reading can make things much more understandable.

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  7. I started watching things with subtitles and now I literally can’t stop! It’s one of those things you can’t go back on because now if I don’t have captions on I get really uncomfortable.

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