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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
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Voice Commands
Dvorak words may sound hard to pronounce, but studies show they actually put less stress on the vocal chords.
Title text: Dvorak words may sound hard to pronounce, but studies show they actually put less stress on the vocal chords.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page.

The Dvorak keyboard layout was designed to replace the QWERTY keyboard layout (the de facto standard keyboard layout, so named for the starting letters in the top row). The Dvorak layout was designed in the belief that it would significantly increase typing speeds over the QWERTY layout, and in fact some of the placement of letters in the QWERTY standard were deliberate to accommodate limitations of the original mechanical typewriters which could jam if two adjacent keys were pressed in quick succession[citation needed]. Even as those limitations went away and other arguably better layouts were proposed, QWERTY remained the standard due to widespread use.

Using Dvorak for speech to text, however, makes no sense whatsoever as there is no keyboard, real, virtual, or otherwise, involved in speaking. Even the virtual keyboard (usually QWERTY layout but often changeable) included in most phones and tablet devices is not used when speaking to the phone.

The sentence he tells his phone translates to "Okay Google send a text" - he says it as if he were typing the sentence on a Dvorak layout with the keyboard set to a QWERTY layout.

The title text is a reference to the fact that many users of DVORAK keyboards claim they may be hard to learn, but they are more movement efficient and put less stress on your fingers due to less movement. For example, see the link at http://www.dvzine.org/zine/10-11.html . This makes little sense in the scenario set up by the comic, as speaking gibberish using oddly placed vowels would be equally difficult, if not in fact harder, on the vocal cords.

The actual text translates to "OKAY GOOGLE SEND A TEXT".

Transcript

[Ponytail and Cueball are standing looking at each other. Cueball is holding a phone.]

Ponytail: Can you text it to me?

Cueball: Sure!

Cueball: SVAT USSUPD ;DLH A KDBK

Ponytail: ...What?

Phone: *BEEP*

[Caption under the panel:]

Setting my phone's speech recognition to Dvorak was a pain at first, but it's more efficient in the long run.


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