WASHINGTON — One of America’s best-run companies, it is said, is Google, which uses the powerful telemetry of the masses — the feedback from a super-aware hive mentality — to self-correct its product to near perfection. And so I was merely trying to be helpful when I pointed out a year ago here that “Google Voice,” the translation software for phone and computer, needed a little work.
Google Voice listens to your voice mail, transcribes it and sends it to you as email. What I’d discovered was that it was imperfect. Urgent messages I sent to my editor, Tom the Butcher, came in too garbled to understand. (Example: “Tom, I’ve locked myself in the linen closet, and I’m afraid I might asphyxiate” became “Tom, I lost my cellphone in the linen closet, and I’m afraid I might add 58.”)
Having thus officially alerted Google to its problem, I waited for its vaunted self-correction system to kick in. A year passed. Tom recently turned back on his Google Voice function to get this message from me: “Ellis Senior Associate Pastor from the ocean.” The voice message I had left: “I’ll explain the fallacy of your sociopathy notion.”
Sigh. Here are my new urgent messages to Tom and their translations:
“I have cut the brake cable in your Prius because I want to have your wife all to myself. It was wrong, and I regret it. Don’t get in that car.”
“Cut the briefcase came on your previous, so I wanna ask you wife all to myself with long and I regret hello just crazy. We was that call.”
“Tom, in case the cops inquire, I was with you on Friday night from 8 p.m. to 11, so no way could I have been on a panty-stealing binge at area laundromats. We were, uh, playing Parcheesi.”
“Tom, Yanachek the cops inquire. I work with you on Friday night from 8 AM to 11 from the way it could’ve been on the anti-feeling pitiful laundromat. We were route playing Patrice.”
“I’ve learned exclusively that the POTUS is an evil cyborg made by Google. I have to get this message out before ... Omigod, they’re here for me! I’m a goner!”
“I’ve learned exclusively that the politics and people sign for made by Google, I have to get this message out before home. I’ve got to hear from a McDonough.”
“I was wrong when I said it was OK to feed your dog, Sally, a pound of M&Ms, Milk Duds and Ho Hos. It turns out the chocolate’ll kill her, so don’t do it.”
“I was wrong when I said was OK if you get those Sally account of them and you the whole quote. It turns out the trouble to your. I don’t do it.”
“Tom, I’m in a tattoo parlor about to get a belly tat. Either Honest Abe Lincoln or Sarah Palin, naked. If I don’t hear from you I’m going with Sarah.”
“Tom on the tattoo Pollard out to get a good weekend. Either. On. If they want to know if you’re feeling make it. Yes, if I don’t hear from you. I’m gonna say.”
Anyway, Google, I mostly like your company and hope that this time you will hop to it and make the needed corrections to your system overall.
Or, as your vaunted Google Voice might translate: I mostly lick your corpulence and hope that this time you will opt to hit and cake denuded colo-rectal tires Istanbul.
Gene Weingarten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Chat with him online on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at noon Eastern at www.washingtonpost.com .