I glanced up from my laptop screen to look at one of the TV screens we keep on all the time in our External Affairs office to monitor news around the country. On the screen, the closed captioning underneath the image indicated that someone had said something “was deep-seeded” and I fought the urge to jump out of my chair and rush the TV set because it’s “deep-seated” not “deep-seeded.”
The only thing that stopped me was the fact that the TV is mounted 8 feet in the air on the wall. Lucky TV!
But it wasn’t really the TV’s fault, of course. It was whoever was transcribing the spoken words for the closed captioning. In fact, today’s occurrence is but the latest of many, many such malapropisms creeping into closed captioning. So many that I am wondering if transcribing for closed captioning is now being done by a computer that “hears” the speaker’s words and spells out the closest approximation it can come up with, instead of a person who would understand the subtleties of spoken language and type the correct words or phrase within its context.
It’s interesting that this happened today because, coincidentally, 3 years ago today I blogged about “20 Phrases You’ve Likely Misused” and in the article I was citing was the misused phrase, “deep-seeded” so it felt like deja vu.