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Topic: Speak errors (was Re: audio)
Replies: 2   Last Post: Apr 26, 2013 11:08 PM

 Richard Fateman Posts: 286 Registered: 12/7/04
Re: Speak errors (was Re: audio)
Posted: Apr 26, 2013 11:08 PM

On 4/26/2013 9:06 AM, Louis Talman wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Apr 2013 02:25:16 -0600, Richard Fateman
> <fateman@cs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>

>> Mathematica
>> has an option to insert audible parentheses, but that is clumsy, and it
>> should not be necessary.

>
> When I was a graduate student many moons ago, I read research journal
> articles onto tape for a blind mathematician.
>
> I have to disagree that inserting audible parentheses isn't
> necessary. It may be clumsy, but most of audible mathematics is
> clumsy. There are, I think, few alternatives, short of using something
> akin to (reverse) Polish notation, for some folks.

Sorry I was not clear on this. _Mathematica's option is *clumsy*. _ I
agree that some grouping markers are necessary.
Example.

Let s = a*(b + c) + d
SpokenString[s] is

a times the quantity b plus c plus d
(which Mathematica 9 pronounces defectively as ahtimes ....,
and fails to group the b+c.)

SpokenString[s, IncludeParentheses -> True] is

a times open parenthesis b plus c close parenthesis plus d

which is, in my opinion, CLUMSY. Incidentally, the documentation is
buggy.
It directs you to type "IncludeParentheses"-> True, but the quote
marks are unnecessary.
Perhaps this is all the work of a summer intern.).

How then to group the expression if not to say o-pen pa-ren-thi-sis
(6 syllables) and close pa-ren-thi-sis (5 syllables)?

A times open b plus c close plus d or
A times quantity b plus c endquantity plus d
A times left b plus c right plus d

or (considerably more subtlely) as done by AsTer, see
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman/aster/sec-06.html

by changing the pitch higher within "the quantity" and dropping it at
the end.

Or consider what Mathematica does for Sin[x+y], including parentheses..
sine of open parenthesis x plus y close parenthesis
which is unambiguously spoken as sine of quantity x plus y, so clumsy..

There may also be a bug in

SpokenString[HoldForm[Sin[x] + y], IncludeParentheses -> True]

which says sine of x plus y.

Oh, it seems that if you want to pronounce the variable "a", you can do
so by substituting "eh".
This may scramble the ordering, so you need to do something like
HoldForm[eh*(b+c)+d].

This works. But especially for Canadians. :)