Siri Has Me Saying COMMA

siri-0315The other day, I was on the phone leaving a voicemail for someone and I literally said “comma” and “period” in the same sentence — out loud.

So, let’s back up. For those of you out of the “Siri-loop” let me bring you in. Siri is Apple’s voice-recognition and dictation software. It is simply awesome.

You want to send a text, an email or write a blog? Why type it on your laptop when you can dictate it to Siri and have her/it convert your voiced words into typed text? Yes, it really works. Nope, it’s not 100 percent accurate, but it’s about 95-97 percent accurate — for me at least.

I only have to go back and fix people’s names (but, only the ones not in my contacts on my phone — it recognizes the ones that are; even the ones with weird spellings), I have to fix company names about 50 percent of the time and I have to sometimes add spaces where Siri forgot to insert them. Oh, and the Sara in my office always come out with an “h” – apparently a pet-peeve of hers.

So, when you dictate to Siri, you dictate it all. For example, let’s say I wanted to write: “Today, I am going to a movie at 3:30pm.” Then I would have to state aloud (to Siri): “Today comma I am going to a movie at three thirty pm period.” Siri would insert a comma where I said comma, a period where I said period and she (I call her a she as she has a woman’s voice) would convert my three thirty pm to the 3:30 pm we all expect to see times listed.

So, back to my voicemail story.

I was leaving someone a voicemail and I literally said “comma” and “period” without even thinking twice. I didn’t notice that I did it. It wasn’t until I hung up the phone when a co-worker looked at me and said, “Do you know that you just said, out loud, comma and period?”

No I didn’t.

Siri, and other mobile phone dictation apps could become the new Bluetooth headset. You know that guy who always wears a Bluetooth headset to everything — even his kid’s plays at school. He used to appear as though he was talking to himself while pacing outside — something that, in the 1980’s would quality you for a mental hospital – or, he’d come upon you talking and for a few seconds it was a weird encounter as you’d think he was talking to you but started in the middle of a conversation you were never having?

siri-gary-0315Siri has the potential to become this. I find myself dictating to my phone wherever I am, and without regard to what’s going on around me. I don’t seem to think what people think about a grown man talking into a 5″ flat, touch screened brick. I must look weird, however. Here’s the scenario: I pull my phone out of my pocket to send an email or a text and, of course, I feel the need to speak just a tad louder and more slowly than normal — as if ordering from a foreign language menu in a foreign country — and then I automatically hold the speaker end of the phone at a 90-degree angle to my mouth. Yes, it’s that weird. But, that’s not the end of it. I seem to become more and more comfortable Siri’ing anywhere I am. Driving. Walking. While at my desk at work. In the bathroom — this one even bothers me to write, but I think I might still do it anyway.

Certainly, the people around me must be taken-back by the whole experience. It must look weird for a 40-something guy to be talking out loud to a piece of electronics?

So, I have a solution — and I need your help.

It’s simple. If we all start using Siri (or Microsoft’s version of it called Cortana and Android’s so-called Google Now), then you’re all going to start talking to your phones like me. Thus, I won’t stand out anymore.