Monday, December 04, 2006

Subtitled for the Lazy

I've been watching more television than usual lately (well, more than just the Simpsons), and I've noticed something weird on CNN. Maybe this isn't new, but I don't remember them ever subtitling so many English speakers before. Every time they have on a documentary in which we hear a non-native speaker speaking English they use subtitles. I also noticed this in An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore documentary about the horrors of global warming and the glory of Al Gore. When Al was talking to two Chinese industrialists, both of whom were speaking very clear English, they were subtitled. It was actually sort of annoying because they were both so easy to understand. Granted, they had accents, but by that point, we'd been listening to Al Gore's accent for over an hour!

I mean, it doesn't exactly offend me because there are some people whose English really is hard to understand. But, doing it for everyone who has an accent annoys me because it's just another step in accomodating the lazy minds out there who can't be asked to pay attention to other people when they are speaking. "What? Listen to an accent? That's too hard for me! When's lunch? I'm tired!" These are the people who can't be bothered to put down their cell phone when they're in the line at the grocery store. It's really not so hard to listen closely while other people are speaking, even though it means making the slightest bit of effort. When did people become so incredibly lazy, so unwilling to think at an adult level, or behave as adults? And why do we have to accomodate the militantly stupid?

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