_Homicide_ captioning atrocity update

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Joe Clark

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Mar 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/30/96
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From a post to my Media Access list:

<quoth>
To: Axxess
From: joec...@hookup.net (Joe Clark)
Subject: _Homicide_ captioning atrocity update

Regular readers should not assume that NCI's infuriatingly slipshod
captioning of NBC's _Homicide: Life on the Street_ has been all tidied up
because I haven't been complaining about it much. (My last posting [to the
list] on the topic noted that blatant errors were merely less frequent
lately, not eliminated.)

But NCI is back to its old trix. Last Friday's episode showed that there
do indeed exist entirely NEW! ways for NCI to make captioning mistakes. It
boggles the mind that NCI is still captioning this program. We'll just see
about that; more news as it develops.

€ THE GUYS MAKING A CONFESSION requires an apostrophe. It is not optional
in that context.

€ Script: "Is this how you two work things out?"
Caption: IS THIS HOW YOU TWO WORK THESE THINGS OUT?

There *are* circumstances where one can legitimately add words in
captioning, but this is not one of them.

€ Script: "Do you have any evidence at all?"
Caption: DO HAVE ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL?

Since "you<space>" takes up four characters, and since each frame of video
can hold zero, one, or two characters, it is possible that that section of
tape was missing *exactly* the right frames to eliminate "you<space>." But
I wouldn't bet my NCI presidency on it.

€ Script: "Pour me another shot."
Caption: GIVE ME ANOTHER SHOT.

€ I REALLY STARTING TO HATE HER.

Same schmeer with the frame-dropping. Equally unlikely.

€ WHERE IS IT, CARVER. requires a question mark. Doesn't it.

€ Script: "Check upstairs."
Caption: TAKE IT UPSTAIRS.

There was nothing to "take" upstairs. They were searching for a knife,
which they eventually found... upstairs. Aren't you people even *watching*
the show you're captioning?

€ Very serious error here: Lt. Giardello-- portrayed by a Jewish
African-American-Canadian actor, Yaphet Kotto-- is of Italian origin in
the show. In response to a stagnant murder investigation, he says
"Meanwhile, I'm getting agitta" and "I want to get rid of this agitta."
The last words in those sentences were both captioned as ULCER.

My Italian informant tells me:

>Ulcer in Italian is "ulcera," pronounced "ul-che-ra" with the accent on "ul."
>"Agitta" is from the verb to agitate or shake up, and has no double-entendre as
>far as I and hubby know. The only other word we could think of that sounds
>similar is ax, or "accetta," with the accent on "cet." That also has no other
>meaning[...].

So: NCI translated the word "agitta." Rather, they mistranslated it. That
amounts to a compound error. Captioning is not subtitling (it is not even
similar to subtitling, as I have gone to some lengths to establish
elsewhere): We are not allowed to translate. Now, there *are*
circumstances where non-vocal communications need to be given an explicit
linguistic form: I have at least two DVS movies in which a character's
silent mouthing of the words "Follow me" or "Gotta go" is quite properly
narrated as "she mouths the words 'Follow me,'" and in a _Simpsons_
Hallowe'en episode a dinosaur is said to have been (\grunting "I don't
know"\) (something which *is* possible, if deaf people are wondering).

This, however, is not a case like those. If G(ee) sez "agitta," caption
"agitta," not ULCER, no matter what a hopelessly errant undereducated
caption "editor" may think.

I acknowledge in advance any replies that these errors are inconsequential
and that the respondents aren't all upset about them. Some of us have
higher standards.
</quoth>

--

Joe Clark
joec...@hookup.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bug

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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I always find Mr. Clark's rants on this subject fascinating...

joec...@hookup.net (Joe Clark) wrote:

>From a post to my Media Access list:

>€ THE GUYS MAKING A CONFESSION requires an apostrophe. It is not optional
>in that context.

Yeah, this kind of illiteracy is annoying in this context.

>€ Script: "Is this how you two work things out?"
>Caption: IS THIS HOW YOU TWO WORK THESE THINGS OUT?
>There *are* circumstances where one can legitimately add words in
>captioning, but this is not one of them.

Hmmm... this seems like a "b.f.d." example. Joe, if you're reading
from a script, I wonder if an actor might have added a word like that?
Happens all the time.... Perhaps the transcriber did note the line
accurately.



>€ Script: "Do you have any evidence at all?"
>Caption: DO HAVE ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL?

>Since "you<space>" takes up four characters, and since each frame of video
>can hold zero, one, or two characters, it is possible that that section of
>tape was missing *exactly* the right frames to eliminate "you<space>." But
>I wouldn't bet my NCI presidency on it.

This is interesting. So I'm guessing that each frame of video has
one or two video lines in the vertical interval devoted to the
transmission of some ascii data? A dropout (which is the absence of a
small bit of magnetic material) on the tape right on the spot devoted
to closed-caption information would cause just this kind of thing. But
of course it'd be more like a dropout to cause the line to read DO YOU
HAVE ANDENCE AT ALL?


>€ WHERE IS IT, CARVER. requires a question mark. Doesn't it.

Yup. So does "Doesn't it?"
<Bug ducks and runs for it.>

Henry Walter Nunes

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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Bug (B...@cris.com) wrote:

: I always find Mr. Clark's rants on this subject fascinating...

I have become hooked on CC recently, and over the past couple of
weeks, I can safely say that H:LOTS has by far the worst captioning.
The "ulcer" mistake in RFA is embarrasing. The fact that they don't
tell you who is talking off screen (with the use of a "TIM:" or
"FRANK:") is just terrible.

BTW: of all the CC I've seen recently, L&O is the best. H:LOTS, far
and away, the worst.


hwn.


Joe Clark

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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In article <4jq62c$d...@tribune.concentric.net>, B...@cris.com (Bug) wrote:

> I always find Mr. Clark's rants on this subject fascinating...

They aren't rants.

> >€ Script: "Is this how you two work things out?"
> >Caption: IS THIS HOW YOU TWO WORK THESE THINGS OUT?
> >There *are* circumstances where one can legitimately add words in
> >captioning, but this is not one of them.
>
> Hmmm... this seems like a "b.f.d." example. Joe, if you're reading
> from a script, I wonder if an actor might have added a word like that?
> Happens all the time.... Perhaps the transcriber did note the line
> accurately.

The actors said "Is this how you two work things out?" The captions said
IS THIS HOW YOU TWO WORK THESE THINGS OUT? That's a mistake.

> This is interesting. So I'm guessing that each frame of video has
> one or two video lines in the vertical interval devoted to the
> transmission of some ascii data? A dropout (which is the absence of a
> small bit of magnetic material) on the tape right on the spot devoted
> to closed-caption information would cause just this kind of thing. But
> of course it'd be more like a dropout to cause the line to read DO YOU
> HAVE ANDENCE AT ALL?

Captions are transmitted on Line 21 of the vertical blanking interval.
Each frame holds two characters, though not every character is visible
(placement and typographic codes, inter alia). Drop a frame and you lose
two characters, usually visible. Drop two frames and you lose four. But
the odds of dropping two consecutive frames that just happen to contain
the characters "you<space>" are small. Hence I suspect a dumb-ass error.

> >€ WHERE IS IT, CARVER. requires a question mark. Doesn't it.
>
> Yup. So does "Doesn't it?"
> <Bug ducks and runs for it.>

It was a joke.

Peter Ryan

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
to
In article <4jq62c$d...@tribune.concentric.net>, B...@cris.com says...

>
>
> I always find Mr. Clark's rants on this subject fascinating...
>

I tend to find it pointless....as a deaf viewer I'd prefer the Mr Clarks of
this world to concentrate on having captions on MORE shows as opposed to
dotting the i's and crossing the t's on every show.... HLOS is not bad compared
to many shows I watch.... CBC (Canada) news is the worst (IMHO) as they oftem
end up showing Bosnia while the close captions are discussing Bob Dole in New
York....

I suppose his sort of monitoring is of value to someone ...just not to
me...perhaps thats my mistake?

~P


Pax33

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Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
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Hearing you rant about captioning put's a smile on my face. Now this
minor glitch has become an atrocity. AN ATROCITY???

DACAHAU WAS AN ATROCITY

THE OJ VERDICT WAS AN ATROCITY

OKLAHOMA CITY WAS AN ATROCITY


Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf?? Re-read it.

Pa...@aol.com
_______________________________________________________________________
What were the first words uttered by the FBI agent who knocked on Theodore
J.
Kaczynski's door?
"Tim, we need to talk..."
_______________________________________________________________________

J J Greene <http>

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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pcr...@GVMHS.COM (Peter Ryan) writes:

>~P

Perhaps your mistake was posting an essentially negative review of someone
whose concern is similar to yours but lacking your special insight. Such
posts do nothing but make everyone on the net grumpy.

As evidence of my hypothesis, I offer the above two sentences :)

Not that close captioning has anything to do with my life (currently --
*crosses fingers against bad luck*), but I think it's just as important that
it be well done as well as widely done. Why demand mediocrity in all areas
instead of excellence on only one?

OBHLOTS (gesundheit): I was watching the episode with the female emergency
room doctor who may or may not have willfully murdered a criminal by
improperly caring for him and noticed a neat exchange:

Bayliss is going on about the specialness of working in the emergency room,
the glory of helping and caring for people, and Pembleton says: "If you want
glory, work in ER." Not "in the ER" -- perhaps a little nudge to their
Thursday nite neighbors?


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