RE: Words in context

Sorry, Gregg, didn't answer your second question:
Second question was/is

Did you have any trouble figuring out what they really meant?


Looks like you did - but was it hard?



I didn't really have any trouble figuring out these examples. But:


1. I knew it was a "test" that specifically involved this sort of
problem, so I was already listening with that in mind.

2. These were isolated sentences in a low-stakes situation, not content
that was buried in an otherwise-intelligible document.

3. I have an advanced degree in literature, i.e., I used to specialize
and take pleasure in working with highly ambiguous text (one of the most
influential works in 20th-century literary criticism is called _Seven
Types of Ambiguity_!!)


On the other hand, the examples you sent are pretty typical of the stuff
that people using screen readers have to work with.




"Good design is accessible design." 
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524




	From: Gregg Vanderheiden [] 
	Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 5:49 pm
	To: John M Slatin;
	Subject: RE: Words in context



	Second question was/is

	Did you have any trouble figuring out what they really meant?


	Looks like you did - but was it hard?


	(even sighted readers have to read them with double backs to
figure them out.)

	I figure its harder to do auditorily but don't know how much. 




	 -- ------------------------------ 
	Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
	Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
	Director - Trace R & D Center 
	University of Wisconsin-Madison 
	The Player for my DSS sound file is at




[] On Behalf Of John M Slatin
		Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 5:05 PM
		To: Gregg Vanderheiden;
		Subject: RE: Words in context

		Responses below.



		"Good design is accessible design."

		Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
		Accessibility Institute
		University of Texas at Austin 
		FAC 248C 
		1 University Station G9600 
		Austin, TX 78712 
		ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
		Web <>
<> /research/accessibility 

			-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Gregg Vanderheiden
			Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 4:27 PM
			Subject: Words in context

			 With all of these the words can be determined
from context.  I only noticed on that might be able to be read two ways
though one way is pretty clearly meant. 


			John,  (and you other screen reader users)

			-          how many of these did you screen
reader get right?

			-          Were any of them that you couldn't
figure out?


			Can you read these right the first time?
			  1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
			[jms] Right. 
			 2) The farm was used to produce produce.
			[jms] the two instances of "produce" were
pronounced differently but not quite right in either case!  In the first
instance, it was pronounced as if it were the noun and in the second
instance it was pronounced as if it were the verb.  But it wasn't hard
to figure out-- at least they were different.
			 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse
more refuse.
			[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as if
they meant "garbage" 
			  4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
			[jms] Right. 
			  5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
			[jms] Right. 
			  6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert
in the desert.
			[jms] Right! 
			  7) Since there is no time like the present, he
thought it was time to present the present.
			[jms] Right. 
			  8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass
			[jms]  Wrong: both pronounced the same, as if
both referred to music.
			  9) When shot at, the dove dove into the
			[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as the
past tense of "to dive" 
			  10) I did not object to the object.
			[jms] Right 
			  11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
			[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as if
they meant "not valid" 
			  12) There was a row among the oarsmen about
how to row.
			[jms] Wrong-- both pronounced as something one
does in a small boat.
			  13) They were too close to the door to close
			[jms] Right.

			  14) The buck does funny things when the does
are present.
			[jms] RIght.

			  15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a
sewer line.
			[jms] Wrong. Both pronounced as if they referred
to "one who sews" 
			  16) To help with planting, the farmer taught
his sow to sow.
			[jms] Wrong: pronounced as if the lady pig were
planting seed. 
			  17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
			[jms] Right.

			  18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I
shed a tear.
			[jms] Wrong: the painting seems to be weeping

			  19) I had to subject the subject to a series
of tests.
			[jms] Right.

			  20) How can I intimate this to my most
intimate friend?
			[jms] Right

			  Let's face it - English is a crazy language. 

			There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in
hamburger; neither apple nor pine in  pineapple. 

			English muffins weren't invented in England or
French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which
aren't sweet, are meat. 

			We take English for granted. But if we explore
its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are
square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
			 And why is it that writers write but fingers
don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? 

			If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the
plural of booth, beeth? 

			One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? 

			One index, 2 indices? 

			Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends
but not one amend? 

			If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid
of all but one of them, what do you call it?
			If teachers taught, why didn't preachers

			If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a
humanitarian eat? 

			Sometimes I think all the English speakers
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. 

			In what language do people recite at a play and
speak at a recital? 

			Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? 

			Have noses that run and feet that smell?
			 How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the
same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? 

			You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a
language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you
fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by
going on.
			English was invented by people, not computers,
and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is
not a race at all. 

			That is why, when the stars are out, they are
visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
			PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"
			You lovers of the English language might enjoy
this . . 
			There is a two-letter word that perhaps
			has more meanings than any other two-letter
word, and that is "UP." 
			It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the
sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do
we wake UP? 

			At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? 

			Why do we speak UP and why are the officials UP
for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? 
			We call UP our friends. And we use it to
brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and
clean UP the kitchen. 

			We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the
old car. 

			At other times the little word has real special

			People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets,
work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

			To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP
is special. 
			And this UP is confusing: 

			A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped

			We open UP a store in the morning but we close
it UP at night.
			We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! 

			To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP,
look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes
UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. 

			If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a
list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time,
but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. 

			When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding

			When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

			When it rains, it wets the earth and often
messes things UP. 
			When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.
			One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for
now my time is UP, so............ Time to shut UP.....! 


Received on Monday, 27 February 2006 15:56:44 UTC