Tip: Not my mistake

One thing that the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech engine could do better is hyphenation. I don’t mind so much when I say something that should be hyphenated and it’s not. I can always say the NaturallySpeaking command “hyphenate that” or the UC command “1-10 Hyphenate” after the fact if the NaturallySpeaking engine leaves out the hyphenation. I can also specify hyphenation when I want it, e.g. “on hyphen the hyphen fly” will type “on-the-fly”.

If I have something that’s not hyphenated and should be, it’s either a mistake or something I accidentally left out.

But if NaturallySpeaking puts in hyphenation where I don’t want it, there are two problems. First, there’s not an easy way to remove hyphenation after the fact — I have to select the phrase, then say it again in two phrases so it won’t be hyphenated, which is 3 steps. Second, there’s no way to specify no hyphenation.

If NaturallySpeaking over-hyphenates and I don’t notice, it looks like I’m consciously adding hyphens where they shouldn’t be. There’s nothing more annoying than having another entity introduce mistakes into your work.

Because the minuses of over-hyphenation are larger than the minuses of not hyphenating enough, when I see a phrase hyphenated when it’s not supposed to be I remove the hyphenated version from Natspeak Vocabulary so it won’t happen again.

For instance, I removed “follow-up”, which I often put as a stand-alone tag in my todo list. It’s a clunky workaround, but it’ll have to do until speech engines get better at analyzing hyphenation.

To remove a vocabulary word say “NatSpeak Vocabulary”, say the or phrase you want to delete, “Under d c” to delete and close the window, and “Enter” to confirm the change.

I think Nuance could mitigate this problem with a pair of in-line commands: “no-hyphen that” would remove hyphenation in the last phrase and “no-hyphen” would specify that something not be hyphenated, parallel to the “no-caps” command. I’m adding this to the Nuance wish list.

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