Horrible Closed Captioning on Television

Closed Captions
Posted by / January 29, 2014 / 1 Comments

Closed Captions

Image: Public Domain, Clker

Mom often has captioning turned on for the TV because of house noise or so she doesn’t wake people. I’ve gotten used to seeing them, but I really do have to wonder sometimes, and I feel bad for deaf people.

There are times when the captions don’t match what’s actually being said. It’s like the person typing the captions had a different script than the actors. Sometimes it’s just a word here or there that’s different, sometimes it’s whole sentences.

There are other times that it looks like everything is done in some sort of shorthand. The words are missing letters and such. Is there a deaf captioning shorthand? If not, I have no idea how people would know what’s being said. When an actor turns their back or there’s a lot of action, you can’t rely on lip reading.

I’ve also seen shows and movies where the captioning is just a garbled mess. TNT is really bad about that. I’ve looked at the captions while watching Law & Order and it was like reading Greek. It’s just a mess of letters and punctuation and I wonder if they just let a hamster run over a keyboard and called it captions.

Another problem that Encore is really bad for is having the captions come up too early and be on the screen too briefly. If I had to depend on those captions to understand a movie, I’d be sorely out of luck.

Why don’t these caption services do a better job? Deaf people like to watch TV too, and they should be able to understand what’s going on. Garbled letters or incorrect captions aren’t a good thing. If people are getting paid to do this work they really ought to do it right.

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One Comment


    One of my friends’ mom is deaf, and I’ve seen some of these horrible closed-captions before. It’s like WTF?

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