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Opera: the browser that talks

by Brian Brown (follow me on Twitter): April 21, 2008

Cat What? Huh? What did I say? I wrote what?

Yeah, that's what you'll think after you use Opera, the browser that talks (someone should trademark that phrase).

You don't write good
Lets say you're zooming along, typing 87 words per minute about cheesecake and BAM!!, you've got yourself a nifty blog post. Of course you don't notice that you wrote the word 'are' twice in one sentence, completely didn't type the words 'strawberry sauce' in another (although you thought them), and your grammar generally sounds like you just came off a legendary drinking binge.

Wait, there's hope. You click on the trusty Opera icon and the most ignored browser on the internet points out your ill-advised variations on the Shakespearean tongue. How? Glad you asked.

Opera's super-cool function
Highlight the text on any web page displayed in Opera. Right click on the text (Mac users do that Option+click thing), and choose 'Speak' from the menu. Opera will now blab about whatever text you've highlighted.

  • Unless you don't have speakers, or
  • Unless you don't have the volume turned up, or
  • Unless you can't hear anything like my brother who had his ear drum punctured from a rifle being shot next to his ear when he was a teenager (in all fairness, he was the one firing the rifle).

Blogtoolsweek Assuming you can hear Opera, it will sound like a computer trying to talk. More like a Stpehen Hawking type computer than a HAL 9000 type computer.

Why this is cool
Sit back and listen and hear all the stupid typing mistakes you make, like repeating words, misspelling words (even though the spellcheck doesn't catch it because you've typed a completely different word by accident), and missing words.

I've reread something several times and not noticed a typing (call it grammar if you want to) mistake over and over again. But listening to a post once uncovers nearly all of the post faux pas.

I recommend saving your post as a draft before publishing it and running it through Opera before posting it live on your blog. If you don't, the original post with the mistakes is generally the one that gets sent out on your RSS feed even if you correct the mistakes later.

[Photo: Singing Spring by tanakawho on Flickr, used with permission under Creative Commons Copyright.]

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