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I'm running 10.8.5 and installed some of the newer text-to-speech voices, including "Samantha" (aka Siri), "Tom", and "Jill". They work fine, except for the word "seq":

say -v Jill seq

produces the spoken words: "the following".

say -v Samantha "consider seq question"

produces the spoken words: "consider the following question".

I tried the above test on each of the voices I have installed, and only "Samantha", "Tom", and "Jill" exhibit this behavior.

I haven't found any other words that produce wrong output, but there may be more.

  • I can't find Jill on 10.9.3... – Max Ried May 16 '14 at 19:37
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These voices come from Nuance. If you try their Vocalizer Demo you can hear that "seq" is replaced by "the following" there as well.

This appears to be similar to Nuance's recognition of "homographic abbreviations", where Nuance will attempt to convert an abbreviation into the full word.

I have noticed that there are other words that are interpreted

  • e.g. "for example"
  • sat. "Saturday"
  • mar. "March"
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Obviously, what’s spoken is not what you expected to be spoken. I’m not sure I would call it “wrong”, though. “seq” is a fairly obscure dictionary entry in the first place, and “the following” is one possible expansion of this abbreviation (although I think “and the following” would be better), e.g. in literature references:

Knuth, Art of Computer Programming Vol 1, pp 329 seq.

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