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Re: Speak errors (was Re: audio)

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  • Subject: [mg130625] Re: Speak errors (was Re: audio)
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 23:09:18 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <17744967.14121.1366277874273.JavaMail.root@m06> <klajqo$3as$> <> <op.wv5oc5x5mfvbsd@lous-imac.local>

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

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 
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)?

How about
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

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

This works. But especially for Canadians. :)


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