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The Dictation feature on iPad (3rd generation) insists that Clare is spelled Claire, and I have been unable to find a way to correct this, other than manually placing the cursor, which is fiddly and rather defeats the point.

I have looked online for tips, and have not found any useful information so far. There is this Apple page iPad (3rd generation): Using Dictation, that has a very short "Dictation tips" section, but it currently only covers selection of different languages.

Is there any way to have control over the vocabulary, or spelling, of the Dictation feature?

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The iPhone has this (and I assume that the iPad would as well), but have you tried setting up an keyboard shortcut that changes it to how you want it? I'm guessing this won't work, but it's worth a try. Settings > General > Keyboard > Add shortcut (or "Shortcuts"). –  bassplayer7 Mar 16 '12 at 20:25
    
@bassplayer7 Nice idea, and in testing it if I just said Clare, it still typed Claire, so the Dictation is not aware of keyboard Shortcuts. (I did test the shortcut via typing, to confirm I'd set it up right). Interestingly, if I said my full name, in some sentences (beginning 'This is...'), it got the full spelling right. But in many other sentences it was still wrong. –  Clare Macrae Mar 16 '12 at 21:49
    
I forgot about the dictation part of your question. Unfortunately, there is very little control that one has over dictation. I may convert this to an answer. –  bassplayer7 Mar 16 '12 at 22:00

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I found the answer from iMore's How to turn on and use Siri-like Dictation on your new iPad:

If Dictation gets confused about any of the words you speak, it will underline them in blue on the screen. If the word is incorrect, tap it to get a popup menu with alternatives. Tap an alternative to switch to it. You can also simply edit voice dictation text like any other text.

Sure enough, single-tapping on Claire gives me an option to change the text to Clare, and of course it works other ambiguous words.

A particularly useful example is when you mean Buy, and the dictation types By, with a blue underline. Tapping on that gives the two alternatives Buy and Bye.

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