Even though upgrading from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 6 was annoying and felt like it should have been completely unnecessary at least there wasn’t that much difference. Or maybe that’s why it was annoying and felt like it should have been completely unnecessary. It was like the difference between McDonald’s fries and KFC’s potato wedges. Blindfolded I could tell them apart but only because of size and shape. They’re still just sliced potatoes deep fried in grease and I had to pay extra for the skins but that’s another story.
There have been a few nice surprises like the fact that Siri now has a whole spectrum of accents. Not that there was anything wrong with Siri’s old voice, just as there was nothing wrong with my old iPhone other than the fact that it was a couple of years old and I believe that tech companies pushing the belief that just because something is a couple of years old we should get rid of it is eventually going to bite them in the ass. Anyway Siri can now speak in languages from Turkish to Transnistrian and half a dozen English accents from the United States to New Zealand. So my phone now speaks to me in a British accent which is nice because now if I need directions or to dictate a text I don’t feel like I’m talking to a machine. I feel like I’m talking to a machine that sounds a little bit like Penelope Wilton.
It has been a little bit of an adjustment because Siri does seem to hear things a little differently now. For instance I went to create a reminder to call in refills of some of my prescriptions and said “Call in drugs”. And now I have a reminder that says “Colin Drugs” as opposed to Colin Baker or maybe Colin Hay, although he’s Australian. And sometimes I dictate texts and back when I got my first iPhone I discovered Siri spoke punctuation. I could tell Siri I wanted to send a message to my wife and say “I’m home period see you soon period” and it would spell out “I’m home. See you soon.” Then when I went to do this on my iPhone6 it spelled out “I’m home period see you soon period”. Yes, it spelled out the word “period”. Twice. What gives, Penelope? This was supposed to be an upgrade but this seemed retrograde.
Then I remembered Professor Thomas. She was an art professor I studied under in England. She was American but had married a British guy which I guess is why she peppered her speech with Britishisms. Her favorite was “full stop”. “This is Titian’s masterpiece full stop,” she’d say, or, “Expressionism was revolutionary full stop.” At first I thought it was just a weird thing she said but then I heard other British people say “full stop” and they meant the dot at the end of a sentence–what we in the U.S. call a period, although we also use “period” to mean completely different things. I’ve never gotten over the embarrassment of when I was in sixth grade and reading Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret and I was confused about what a “period” was so I asked a girl and instead of answering me she told her friends what I’d asked and they couldn’t stop giggling and I never did get a real answer until 10th grade biology. And it’s even more confusing when I think about how many women wish their periods would come to a full stop.
Anyway when dictating texts I remember to now say “I’m home full stop see you soon full stop” and this is what I get: