Saturday, 12 October 2013

Wonton vs Wanton, My Kindle Can Read

I've known for a while that my Kindle can read to me and only tried it out the weekend when I was laid up with the flu. I decided to listen to one of my own books, Deadly Expectations.  In the first chapter, Anna goes out for Chinese food with her father and they have wonton soup.

Unfortunately my kindle isn't familiar with the cuisine and pronounced it as defined at

It started out with "he pushed his flat bottom spoon around the fat wantons and singled out a piece of pork" but then my kindle went on to say "my mouth held a whole wanton."

Yeah, I wrote wonton and the kindle said wanton. I thought how amusing it could be if the mistake were the other way around such as describing a "wonton woman" or a "wonton disregard for the other pedestrians."

Later, my kindle described "The rain soaked front of his grey t-shirt clings so the muscles running down his ABS are easily seen."

Um, I meant abs, not antilock brakes.

All the running to my husband with the headphones hollering "you've got to hear this" aside, text to speech has its drawbacks which I'll take as editing opportunities.

  1. A a listener isn't always sure if a sentence is dialogue or narration when they can't see the quotation marks or there is no clear indication of who is speaking.
  2. Commas are true pauses so unnecessary ones are annoying. A comma in a sentence is treated like a period by the kindle.
  3. An opportunity for giggling during steamy scenes. Not much I can do about that I'm afraid. A robotic voice isn't conducive to a romantic mood.
I plan to listen to all my books on the kindle if not for my own amusement then to improve future kindle audio versions. It's an interesting experience hearing another read your work and an eye-opening example of how different people can experience a story in completely different ways.

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