Sunday, October 19, 2014


That's me!

That's what I often look like as I watch films on our bedroom television set.

I am not sure what the actors are saying.

For instance, if leading characters are arguing -- it sounds climatic and I do hear a few words -- I find myself supplying appropriate dialogue, based on what I have gathered thus far about the story that's unfolding.

Quite often, more often than I like to admit, it bothers me -- sometimes characters whisper, or it's just bad 
pronunciation, or the actors get so deeply into what they're feeling, they don't pay attention to pronouncing words clearly -- they just let words run together.

I can't blame this on our TV set. News and commercials are clear. But it's seriously annoying. Quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet, I tell the television, "Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines."

The other day, in desperation, I fixed the settings on our television to display captions. The dialogue appeared in a white strip with each word easy to read. It's somewhat distracting from the story that's unfolding, but it helps.

Maybe it's just as well that I am missing dialogue -- the stuff I am not hearing is stuff I don't want to hear.

Hey, maybe, probably, the dialogue I am inventing improves the film!


I turned off captions.  Now, I simply murmur --


Carola said...

We turn on subtitles for a lot of the movies we watch, because we have trouble with pronunciation, or dialogue buried by loud music.

Linda Phillips said...

I've been going huh for years.....I have bad hearing and do have hearing aids that I have had forever and a day. I never use them. They whistle and pick up every ambient sound.

Sooooooooooooo, I miss a lot....The last 6 moths or so I began using closed cation as well. My eyes move very slowly, so it is only of minimal help.

Like you, I just try to figure out what they might be saying.

Yesssssssssssssssssss it is very frustrating!!!!!!! Huh!!!

Dustspeck said...

It's an old blues musician's trick. What others can't understand and articulate, they can't readily steal. If one; or two or more for that matter, want to interject something original, something that's uniquely theirs, it's a way of hiding it, an inside-inside joke; one just for themselves or their family or close friends, staff, er whoever. The creators, the writers, the directors of the show, can fire them afterwards for what they'll never know? Or, they might just be trying to cover up the fact that they forgot the lines? Hugo Mortensen is The King of the mumblers. Don't take my word for it though. He has my vote anyway. That's not to say I don't appreciate his many entertaining portrayals of a wide range of cool characters. Dustspeck