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oooo baby i like how you say holloway road

oooo baby i like how you say "holloway road"

Got a ride to work today in a removal van that I hired to transport all but ten or so of my books that remained at my house to my office at the university. (Long story short: my wife’s office in our house has become, through the magic of paint, a nursery. Half of our bedroom, through the magic of desk moving, has become her new office. The bookshelf in our bedroom that held my books now holds her books. I have no office at home; I have no bookshelf at home. Thus the removal men….)

Halfway there, I started thinking about the fact that GPS units have female voices. They may have both male and female voices, you may be able to choose, but I’ve never heard one with a male voice. This is interesting.

But what is more interesting is what I noticed just after I had this first thought. The removal men who were driving me in incessantly referred to the GPS unit, despite it’s very obviously female voice, as a He not a She. Aye mate, he says that we should turn right at Holloway Road and then make the second left onto Parkhurst Road. I woulda thought he’d send us through Highbury Corner, but he must be thinking, yeah thasit, that you can’t turn right off of Camden Road onto….

I guess the obvious explanation is that, you know, gnomically, men are better with directions than women, therefore, if anthropomorphised, the GPS is male in the minds of my removal guys, even despite the gendering of it’s speech. But one wonders, since perhaps the path of least resistance would be just to call it it, whether at the back of their minds there’s a tiny fictional equation being done, a dim scene half-imagined, in which there’s a little man with a map in the box, a man who knows just where to go, who figures it all out and then whispers it, turn by turn to his little female assistant to deliver verbally with her silkily halting almost real voice….

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 9, 2009 at 9:26 am

Posted in uncanny, Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. My dad worked on fighter jets, and he told me they always made the voice that says, “Danger! Pull up!” and all those sorts of warnings inside the cockpit female, as it was more calming to the pilot in an emergency.

    They had one woman who did all their recording, she lived in Texas.


    March 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    • That’s a good story. Funny, too: you’d think they’d want “pull up” or “Danger” to be, you know, at least mildly alarming!


      March 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

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