Orthodox Crossing: Voices.

We all hear voices, don’t we, and that’s just inevitable given the amount of us that are around and how we all rely on one another to go down the shops or operate a sack barrow. There are other examples and they pretty much all come with other people and their voices. Some are loud, like the family that I am from, and some are quiet like your internal voice is when it isn’t judging other road users.

Quite excitingly, I have been interacting with another voice a lot recently too. It’s mine own and this one is coming from the outside. To complicate matters further, I am having to transcribe it, which means using my internal voice to write it while it is playing, which is how I get things done.

It has been a long week of doing this, but I am pretty confident I still know which one is my actual voice. But the trouble is that the one I have to listen to is the one from my speakers, and that’s of old recordings of conversations between me and a friend of mine who used to look after hedgehogs. So there was his voice as well, but I already knew him, so knew when to ignore his sound.

I want to ignore my own voice as well by the time of doing this. Tired of hearing it. You know how your actual voice sounds different when you hear it played back? Mine doesn’t any more, so I can actually hear myself saying my own words properly as I say them, which is actually properly awful.

I am having to do this because of a new writing venture which requires content, and because technology which you assume will be brilliant turns out to be as good as the free download was worth. I needed something that could auto-transcribe my recordings and thus quickly create low-tier online content with minimal fuss. Winner, winner…

But no. I (my wife, Anna) downloaded a transcription service and we (her) ran a recording through and printed off the evidence. I (me) took it away with a scurry of excitement to my study and scurried back up about one minute later.

‘It can’t hear Essex properly,’ I said to Anna. She turned around in her swivel chair. Not like a Bond villain, but still somehow suspect.

‘How not properly? She asked. ‘Like when you go into a shop in Yorkshire?’ she asked.


‘And your friend?’

‘He mumbles, doesn’t he.’

‘Oh dear. What are we going to do?’

‘It’s shaping up to be a wet week. I reckon between other stuff I can just transcribe loads of it by hand in that time.’

‘That sounds like something you wouldn’t get carried away with.’

‘Unless you want to do it?’

The chair swivelled.

So that was it, and I can now learn you some lessons from the frontline of hearing your voice too much.

Firstly, it doesn’t sound that good for a reason; so you don’t get carried away with using it. I imagine myself sounding Elf-like but to your ears I actually amplify southern estuary. Praise to God.

Secondly, I don’t really enjoy being turned into my own machine and made to type. I’ve got good at it, mind. And Anna doesn’t get to escape either, because proofreading is one of both her chores and charms. Winner, winner…

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
    keep watch over the door of my lips!
Psalm 141:3

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