Clear audio recording is sometimes a wish! Take music. “The ants are my friends, and they’re blowin’ in the wind”, Bob Dylan assured us all in 1963. A few years later, in 1969, Credence Clearwater Revival advised their listeners that “There’s a bathroom on the right”.
In 1954, American writer Sylvia Wright wrote about how she had, as a girl, misheard the lyrics of a particular Scottish ballad. The phrase “…and laid him on the green” sounded like “…and Lady Mondegreen” to her ears. The term “Mondegreen” was born and is still in use today.
Mondegreens refer to mishearings or misinterpretations of spoken (or sung) phrases, which result in said phrases developing new meanings. The listener, who find himself unable to hear a phrase clearly, substitutes words that sound similar, in order to try and make sense of the words. The results are often hilarious.
As transcribers, Way With Words finds itself at a constant risk of exposure to Mondegreens! It is so important for clients to try to get a clear audio recording when they have anything significant to keep for use as text later. We are sometimes asked to transcribe audio files where the speech is difficult to hear. This can have a number of possible causes, such as speakers mumbling or talking over one another, static interference on recorded phone calls, and invasive background noises such as wind blowing, cutlery banging against crockery and water fountains!
So … the importance of clear recordings cannot be emphasized enough in order for us to be able to deliver top class transcripts to you. Let’s work together … and help us to avoid the curse of the dreaded Mondegreens!