Closed Caption Censorship

 I’ve been watching television shows with closed caption functions that make whispers audible and allow me to follow programs with no sound. On one television, the caption comes a little before the speech; on the other television, the caption is sometimes in sync with the lips, sometimes afterwards, sometimes skips sentences, frequently misspells or provides a guess word. I don’t believe a person is doing this, but I can’t understand how an electronic program could be.  The most interesting, funny, and somewhat alarming captions reveal a politically correct censorship–inappropriate sequences of letters are removed even when they’re a necessary part of a larger, innocuous word.  “Suspicious,” for example, is spelled like so: suxxxxious. I have always loved the English language (most languages, actually), the mystery and music of them, and the power, of course. Now the caption is a separate language within the one I know. I feel a subliminal instruction along with deconstruction. I’m so interested and amused that I follow the caption more closely than the show.


About rmkinder

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