The dangers of voice to text translation…

The construction crew was making a lot of progress on the new project and wanted to put up a sign to let the community know that the building on the corner of Elm and Travis would be an elementary school.  The foreman texted the superintendent and asked if that would be OK. The exchange went like this:

FOREMAN: We want to put up a sign on the property to make sure everybody knows what this building will be.  OK with you?

SUPERINTENDENT:  Great idea. Go for it!

FOREMAN: I can’t remember the name of the school. ????

Now here is where the problem occurred.  What the superintendent said was “De Zavala.” This referred to Mexican native and Texan patriot Lorenzo De Zavala. It would be the first school in the community named for a Latino, and people were excited about this recognition of the rich Hispanic heritage of the town. 

But...voice to text. 

So the board president was pretty surprised the next morning to drive by the construction site and see the sign: SITE OF: DAYS OF ALLAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

There were a handful of Muslims in the community who were surprised and thrilled. They arranged to have noonday prayer services at the site.  There was a much larger Hispanic community that was miffed, to say the least.  Another gringo double cross.  The ACLU cranked up a lawsuit, citing the school’s favoritism toward a particular religion as a First Amendment issue.

It all got straightened out pretty quick, but serves as a reminder of the risks of voice to text communication.  Be careful out there.