The Difference Between Writing And Talking

This is not a brothel...

I am not sure the picture corresponds with this post, but I really like it. Something about it captured my attention and so I have shared it with you.

Have you ever thought about the differences between talking writing? Instead of typing this post I’m dictating it into the WordPress editor, care of Dragon NaturallySpeaking software.

I hadn’t intended to purchase speech software, but it came as part of the package with my new laptop and so I decided it was worth learning how to use it.

Learning How To Use It

I can’t say that I’m an expert or even close to one, I think this is the third time that I used the software. But since I have it there is no reason not to use it and so here I am trying to learn on-the-fly.

It seems relatively easy to use and I’m confident that in time I will gain a measure of expertise. However there is a distinct difference in the rhythm of my writing that comes from composing out loud and not just typing.

There has to be something in the brain, in the way that we are wired that handles speech and text differently.

In some ways I find this cumbersome and I don’t want to continue because I so much slower this way, but if you don’t practice you don’t improve.

And since I have a pinched nerve in my neck I can see some benefits that will come from dictating as opposed to typing.

Multiple uses

In concept I can see several other uses for this software, but time will tell whether any of those are benefit to me.

I suspect some of it comes from whether I become more proficient at using the software.

Otherwise this will just become software that came with the computer and offers limited value. However I’m optimistic that we will find a way to avoid that particular hurdle.

Do you have any experience with dictation software?

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  1. Tim Bonner June 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I’ve not had any experience of dictation software before Josh.

    I think I’d struggle with it for the same reason that you mention; I’d find it cumbersome.

    Still, if I could find something for my iPhone that would do something like that it might be useful.

    • Josh June 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Tim,

      I think that the challenges I am dealing with now how more to do with my not having a complete understanding of how to use it than anything else. As I become more proficient it looks like it will offer more benefits.

  2. Jens P. Berget June 21, 2013 at 3:31 am

    I have no experience with dictation software. But, I find it very interesting. So, how automated it is? Do you speak and record, and then, what happens?

    • Josh June 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Jens,

      There are tools within the software to help “train” it to recognize your speech patterns and word usage. It is set up so that you can use multiple languages so I think you could set up a couple different profiles so that you could speak in English or Norwegian.

      Basically you talk into a microphone and it transcribes your words. A couple of clicks later they show up on the page.

  3. Lori Gosselin June 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Hi Josh,
    I don’t have any software like this but I would imagine the outcome would be different. Even as you dictate, you are likely editing in your head as you have experience in doing pod casts, don’t you? Without that, I think your result would be different. Somehow it did miss a word in the second paragraph unless you did say, “Have you ever thought about the differences between talking writing?”
    I edit my stuff WAY too much to dictate it and be happy with the result! 😮 But I bet it would be a great tool to develop oneself as a public speaker.

    • Josh June 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Lori,

      I rarely use outlines and haven’t ever used a script for any podcast or video so everything I do is on the fly. I have been doing some of this long enough that it is not terribly hard for me to do that, but there is definitely a different rhythm than when I write.

      You might enjoy it as it does force you to really think about what you are doing.

  4. Julie Barrett June 20, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Yes I bought Dragon for my son so he could do his essay assignments more quickly, not letting the dysgraphia get in the way. My husband also uses it on his smartphone – it’s a free Android app and it’s great for no-hands appointment setting, texting, etc.

    It depends on how clearly you enunciate, and so my son prefers to type or handwrite, but if you are 8 and have a 5 paragraph essay, it helps. It learns your speech cadence over time, which reduces errors and frustration. It’s also funny when it picks up on background noise and you can hear what everyone else is saying…that can be frustrating when you are 8 🙂

    • Josh June 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Julie,

      It sounds like you have found some great applications for it and have figured out ways to make it work. I can see how background noise and activity might be hard to deal with at 44 and at 8. 😉

  5. vanita June 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    i did buy the dragon express app for the mac to pull together an ebook a while back. it didn’t go so badly, it was a bit annoying trying to get the hang of it, but i was able to push out a short ebook in half the time. i haven’t used the app since. it seems to have issues with Caribbean accents and wants to make my English proper which i’d prefer it not be. i think when typing, i can sound more like…me. 😀 bad grammar, slightly foul language and all.

    • Josh June 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Vanita,

      I have mixed feelings about it. It came with my computer so I didn’t spend anything “extra” to get it. I think if I spend some time working with it I can get to a point where I can really increase my productivity. It sounds like it wasn’t a terrible experience for you, getting an ebook out in half the time is pretty good.

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