Dumb Closed-Caption Errors

For those of you who use the closed captioning on television programming, what are some of the really stupid mistakes you’ve seen? Full points for mistakes from programs like dramas, where the captioning is fully prepared. Half-points for errors from live programs, which typically use voice recognition software.

To get things started, here’s one from a commercial I saw over the weekend. The caption was following the lyrics of the background song: “I wanna thank you…for lettin’ me…be mice elf…again.”


Actually, I think what you quote may be a good rendering. It appears to be referring to the 1970 hit song by Sly and Family Stone which was officially titled Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Scroll down half way to the listing of greatest hits, or better yet… listen! :slight_smile:


shakes head in amazement

Okay, what about this one…Sly and the Family again, from the Woodstock movie, which I saw in a theater in Japan. The Japanese subtitled the conversations in Japanese, but the lyrics in English. Where Sly was singing “I want to…I want to…I want to take you hiiiiigher…”, the Japanese subtitling read, “A motor…a motor…a motorcycle, Hooooonda.”

Nothing like product placement, I guess.


I saw one on Keith Olbermann a few years back, but kind of hard to describe outside of the politics forum. The word was supposed to be “dictatorship” (he was talking about a certain politican), but wound up being two words, one of which was a name. I had a good laugh at that one. :slight_smile:

Some programs, like EWTN’s Daily Mass, wind up having colorized closed captioning. :shrug:

We’re having a laugh at the ineptitude of close-caption providers, but we also ought to pass on kudos when they get something right, against all odds.

A couple days ago I tuned in Fox News just to kill a few minutes before leaving for work. They were talking to a wealthy businessman about the proposed tax on the wealthy that BHO wants to fund his health care proposed. Twice the businessman said that the tax proposals were a “jaheed” on the wealthy. Both times the captioning person (working live, mind you) got it right–jihad.


Actually a lot of those for live TV programs are court reporters doing the closed captioning simultaneously. I have several friends who do closed captioning. I myself am a court reporter in a courtroom. I particularly like to watch the closed captioning on live programing and see the errors that come up. If the sound were down, I would know what they’re saying because I can read the steno. I often wonder what other people think when they see that mish-mash of letters:D

diplomatic liaison

diplomatically ason

In addition this reminds me of some Headlines from Jay Leno. i am not attempting to hijack this thread, but

pulitzer prize


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