The Dragon and I are just beginning to become acquainted.
I resisted the idea of voice recognition software. My way of writing involves a fair amount of back-and-forth about word choice. I'm not as bad as Flaubert, who supposedly rolled on the floor, gnashing his teeth, searching for just the right word. However, I do like the sensation of trying out words, rather than composing entirely in one's mind and dictating the result. When I'm writing poetry, I actually have to do it longhand because it is such a slow process.
The Dragon for me is a byproduct of carpal tunnel surgery. Because my problems with carpal tunnel syndrome involved years of piano playing and typing, my surgeon suggested getting voice recognition software in order to reduce typing and therefore to reduce some repetitive motion. "Save your hands for the piano," he said.
Coincidentally, I am looking at a news article which says SAT reading and writing scores have dropped to a 40 year low this year. The College Board, which administers the test all college-bound students must take, estimates that only 43% of SAT takers in this year's freshman class were well prepared for studies at four-year colleges. Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, said when “when less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, (the preparation) system is failing.”
My Dragon is quick, accurate, can spell correctly. Even if it did make Mr. Caperton "Mr. Coppertone" before I corrected it..
Sometimes, playing a really good, responsive piano, I get the impression that I am dealing with a frisky animal which is anxious to please. My initial impressions of Dragon are the same. I think it is trying hard, even though I know that a team of clever engineers has tweaked it and tweaked it until it could pretty much type what the user spoke.
Imagine, however, if some of those students making such miserable scores on the SATs were able to compose their essays with a voice recognition program.They could give the impression of being literate when in fact they are not.
In such a hypothetical case, you might even call voice recognition software a an attractive nuisance.
As for me, I am willing for a while to try being a talker rather than a writer.