Humanizing nameless speakers
Accessible Rhetoric Speaker IDs can humanize nameless characters...
Fri, Feb 24 2012
“That whole thing’s your name?” Captioning names in The...
Accessible Rhetoric On the importance of verbatim captioning, especially when names are involved.
Fri, Jan 13 2012
“Subtitles I like to ride on”: When medium awareness...
Accessible Rhetoric A number of examples of fictional characters breaking through the fourth wall...
Fri, Jan 06 2012
Accessible Rhetoric Recurring sounds on TV shows allow us to explore questions of consistency and accuracy in closed captioning.
Fri, Nov 04 2011
Closed captioners don’t caption sounds.
Accessible Rhetoric Closed captioners don't caption sounds. They caption shows.
Fri, Oct 28 2011
Busy signal or engaged tone? Captions, language variety,...
Accessible Rhetoric On the need to consider differences among varieties of English when captioning non-speech sounds...
Fri, Sep 16 2011
Accessible Rhetoric In some well-defined situations, silence must be captioned.
Thu, Aug 04 2011
Genre-defining sounds, even when they lie to us
Accessible Rhetoric Even when music is intended to deceive, it needs to be captioned if it's instrumental to the genre.
Thu, Jul 14 2011
In a manner of speaking
Accessible Rhetoric When a character's accent is meaningful or when a scene or line of dialogue hinges on how a character speaks, manner of speaking needs to be indicated in the caption track.
Mon, Jul 04 2011
Logocentrism: The tendency to privilege speech over...
Accessible Rhetoric Does logocentric thinking shape closed captioning practices?
Sat, Jul 02 2011
Captioning the faintest sounds and sounds in a repetitive...
Accessible Rhetoric Does every repetitive sound need to be captioned? What visual cues are sufficient to indicate a repeating sound in the absence of a caption?
Sun, May 01 2011
Captioned puns and wordplay
Accessible Rhetoric In the case of captioned wordplay, the difference between writing and speaking, text and sound, is obvious.
Fri, Apr 15 2011
Captioned irony: How captions manipulate narrative time and...
Accessible Rhetoric Inspired by the notion of dramatic irony, I offer a definition of "captioned irony."
Wed, Mar 16 2011
Iambic pentameter captions?
Accessible Rhetoric Should poems and other quoted material be captioned as they were originally written?
Sun, Feb 27 2011
[Groan] or Ahh? Series awareness and alternative captions
Accessible Rhetoric Should a running gag be captioned the same way each time it occurs?
Sat, Feb 26 2011
Sonic allusions and cultural literacy for captioners
Accessible Rhetoric How should cultural allusions be closed captioned?
Thu, Feb 10 2011
The running gag principle: Caption the series, not the...
Accessible Rhetoric What would closed captions be like if diehard fans were in charge of captioning their favorite shows?
Fri, Feb 04 2011
Captioning 101: When music lyrics trigger an explosion, you...
Accessible Rhetoric When music lyrics are instrumental to a film's plot, they need to be captioned. An example from Eagle Eye makes the case.
Sat, Jan 22 2011
Stylistic standards for closed captioning and data mining
Accessible Rhetoric When speaker IDs, musical lyrics, and sound descriptions have their own distinctive stylistic treatments, they can be extracted from closed caption files and studied as separate units of discourse. The only efficient way to study hundreds or thousands of sound descriptions at one time is to use a program to separate speech from non-speech.
Sun, Jan 02 2011
How many TV commercials are captioned?
Accessible Rhetoric Recently, I conducted an informal survey of two hours of TV in an effort to track which and how many ads were closed captioned. The final tally? Read on...
Sat, Nov 06 2010
The sloppiest captions ever
Accessible Rhetoric Having closed captions is always better than not having them at all. But sloppy captions -- that is, captions that are misspelled, ignore rules of capitalization, or are simply illegible in one way or another (low contrast, too small, all caps) -- show a lack of respect for viewers who use them. Sloppy captions imply that closed captions aren't really all that importa...
Sun, Apr 18 2010
Overcaptioning: On significant vs. superfluous sounds
Sat, Nov 21 2009
Caption watch: Hulu.com
Accessible Rhetoric At a time when so few content providers on the Internet are offering closed captioned content, Hulu.com seems to be leading the way. Hulu not only offers integrated support in their video interface for closed captions but also allows users to limit search results to closed captioned content. It's not easy to search for and [...]
Wed, Aug 19 2009
If only movie characters could read closed captions…
Accessible Rhetoric If movie characters could read closed captions along with us, they’d be more efficient at fighting crime and solving mysteries. The world would be safer — as long as we didn’t let the bad guys read the captions too. Consider a very simple example, one which exemplifies the time traveling rhetoric of closed captioning. By this I simply mean that we sometimes know what’...
Fri, Aug 14 2009
Captions tell the future
Accessible Rhetoric Closed caption users can, under the best conditions, stay a beat ahead of everyone else, laughing at a joke, for example, before the punchline is spoken, or nodding in agreement before the speaker has finished making a point. In this way, captions tell the future, even if it's only the tiniest glimpse. Consider a clip from Taken, a 2008 film starring Liam Neeson as a ...
Wed, Aug 12 2009
Some things you weren’t meant to hear
Accessible Rhetoric Consider the much-discussed whisper at the end of Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola's critically acclaimed and prized 2003 film about two Americans who develop a friendship during lonely stays at a Tokyo hotel. The whisper was clearly not meant to be public, not meant to be captioned. The final scene is shared, though not with us, in a private language (the untransla...
Wed, Aug 12 2009
Video: Captioning the cheese
Accessible Rhetoric Every feature-length movie distributed over the Internet needs to be closed captioned. That goes without saying. But there's a special category of movie -- the low-budget cheesy feature -- that may be inaccessible to all viewers if the movie's production values are not sufficiently high. I offer up as an example the movie Spill, a 1996 action flick starring former NFL...
Fri, Aug 07 2009
Accessible Rhetoric Closed captions, when done well, provide access to dialogue and other important sounds for those who need them, such as deaf and hard of hearing viewers. But captions have the potential to do much more -- and to do so for a wide range of viewers. I'm interested in documenting the ways, big and small, that captions can make visible those layers of meaning that may not ...
Fri, Aug 07 2009
Video: Captioning from beginning to end
Accessible Rhetoric Videos need to be closed captioned from the moment the first movie logo appears on the screen, particularly in cases where theme music or other important sounds are playing over logos for movie studios such as Warner Bros Pictures. Moreover, captions often need to do more than simply indicate that "[music plays]" or "[phone rings]." When background music, environmenta...
Sat, Jul 25 2009
Video: Captioning the 2009 Masters Golf Tournament
Sun, Apr 12 2009
Having a voice in Second Life
Accessible Rhetoric In “Virtually Accessible,” a short article published in the Spring 2009 issue of Access: The inclusive design journal, Diane Carr reports on protests that erupted in Second Life among deaf and hard-of-hearing users when in 2007 “Second Life’s developers added a feature enabling residents to speak verbally to each other using microphones.” What&...
Fri, Feb 20 2009
Captions on the side (literally)
Accessible Rhetoric I'd be interested in seeing the results of usability tests (if any) for NBC.com's video player, which has built-in support for closed captioning on full episodes. When activated by the user, the captions are displayed on the right side of the video player, off the display canvas itself, and scroll either up or down. The user [...]
Thu, Jul 10 2008
Accessible podcasting — A preview
Accessible Rhetoric I just finished an article-length webtext on accessible podcasting. The webtext 1) is a critique of the dominant approach to podcasting, an approach that assumes (mistakenly) that every producer and subscriber can hear, see, and move well enough to manipulate a mouse, and 2) describes a set of solutions for making podcasts (both audio and [...]
Fri, Jul 04 2008
Support for video annotations on YouTube
Accessible Rhetoric YouTube recently added support for video annotations and in-video links. Three types of annotations are supported: speech bubbles, notes, and spotlights. As Bill Creswell rightly pointed out a couple days ago, YouTube's implementation is similar to what users can do with “bubbles” on BubblePly.com. One key difference is that YouTube's annotatio...
Wed, Jun 25 2008
Aggregating feeds to search for captioned web videos
Accessible Rhetoric On the subject of captioned programming on the Web, Closed Captioning Web suggests in a recent blog post that More major network channels are setting up video players on their sites..and the good news is, the players show captions! More and more captioned programming is now available through Fox.com (read the review at Disabled in the Digital Age) [...]
Wed, Jun 25 2008
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