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Reading SoundsClosed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture$
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Sean Zdenek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226312644

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226312811.001.0001

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Reading and Writing Captions

Reading and Writing Captions

(p.33) Two Reading and Writing Captions
Reading Sounds

Sean Zdenek

University of Chicago Press

This chapter sets out to provide an anatomy of a sound description by describing the common types of non-speech information (NSI) in closed captioning, accounting for the grammatical forms used in captioning, and distinguishing between discrete and sustained sounds. Four sci-fi action movies serve as a case study to explore the prevalence of each type of NSI: District 9, Inception, Man of Steel, and Oblivion. Next, an analysis of major captioning style guides suggests how style guides focus on micro-level issues of text presentation and avoid higher level issues that seem crucial to a full account of how captions make meaning: how readers interpret the text, how context and purpose shape the production and reception of captions, and the differences between reading and listening. Finally, this chapter reports on data collected from two studies with the writers and readers of captions: Interviews with professional closed captioners and surveys with regular viewers of closed-captioned programming.

Keywords:   style guides, non-speech information, science fiction, interviews, surveys

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