Dictated Voicemail Messages


I’ve recently taken to using the dictation app on my phone to capture ideas when 1) I’ve no paper to write on, 2) no pen to write with or, 3) where taking both hands off the wheel isn’t a bright idea (like, ever).

Other than Siri sometimes deciding I meant something other than what I said, I like it.  It works best if I review the transcript sooner rather than later, because if too much time passes I can’t even begin to guess what I was thinking.  Or I can, but Siri’s interpretation was way more entertaining than the original.

Like this text message Siri transcribed for me, en-route to a friend’s house:

“I’m on my way. I’m at the intersection of Highway 12 and fucking. So probably 15 minutes. I have soup. And cornbread. Celibate.”

Siri is exhibiting her Freudian slips. Or cognitive dissonance. She clearly doesn’t know what she wants.

But despite these little kerfuffles, I’ve embraced dictating; and, it turns out, astonishingly, some new habits are easy to learn. Despite all the propaganda about habit-learning to the contrary, I quickly learned to tell Siri “period” and “new paragraph” and “question mark” as I dictated, to ensure she properly punctuated things as she wrote stuff up. Because, yes, punctuation matters.

The thing is, my dictation device–my phone–is also, well, a phone. I call people. They don’t answer. I go into voicemail. I leave a message by recording my voice on their device, and when my friend gets that message, they listen to my voice speaking my message.

And, because I’ve so easily adapted to dictating, my voice messages now include not only the substance of my call, but a meta-message: instructions for periods and question marks and paragraphs.

Which will be very helpful comma should my friends decide they want to transcribe my voicemail period


Daily Post-Prompt: Astonish


13 thoughts on “Dictated Voicemail Messages

      1. Don’t you have to say “Send” before it actually sends? Which means you might be able to edit it? I’m not sure, since I don’t really use it. But that’s just another one of my conspiracy theories, which I will not freak you out with.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right. Some voicemail systems let you listen to what you said and then delete it and start over. But a lot of them don’t, and those are the ones that permanently capture my periods and commas and question mark instructions.

        As to conspiracy, I’m doing remarkably well with my own mind’s creations so no worries!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yeah, I have tried dictating some post ideas for my blog . . . but I have to look at them right away otherwise the genius (ha, ha, ha) I was “writing” gets lost in the phones lack of understanding.

    Siri’s text was hilarious. So a few months I didn’t realize that was what my husband was doing . . . verbal texting . . . and so his text would always confuse me. Now I just look at it and say, “Yeah, whatever . . . why bother? I have NO IDEA what you are trying to say.” And then I ask him, if I remember, when I actually TALK to him.

    So funny about your voicemail messages!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So spot on regarding the “lost genius” if we don’t edit immediately. I’m gonna keep thinking that “genius” part when my editing is delayed.

      Funny about your husband. I’ve had a few texts go rogue, but this one was one of the best.

      Glad it resonated! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Mystery Blogger Award – Walk the Goats

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