Help! Ghost in the machine (The Word 365 Robot)

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Amusement Kurt Vonnegut on Stories

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Mar 1, 2020
I wonder if anyone can help me before I go crazy.

The default voice I have in Word (Office 365) is a robot that may be related to Marvin in Hitchhiker's Guide. His delivery of my stunning prose has all the soul and warmth of a rather miffed and diffident DALEK that's just had its plunger snapped off. Flat and lifeless, lending my work all the pizzazz and sparkle of a boiled egg.

I have endured this since getting my new laptop and last night tried (at least the 3rd or 4th time) for over an hour to purge this pesky pest from my system - but to no avail.

Here's my problem. I can see, audition and even select much more natural voices (6 or so of both sexes UK & US from a drop-down menu) but the flaming things can't be saved (i.e. made my Word's read aloud default voice). I have looked at no end of YouTube videos purporting to show me 'how to'.

Every time I think I have cracked it and reopen a document there's Marvin's second cousin three times removed on his mother's side killing it stone dead. :mad:

And infuriatingly when I "play" pieces by one or two fellow Litopians some play in a very acceptable US David who sounds like he actually understands what he's reading. Mind you some also have my fella (UK George I think he's called - blast him!) slaughtering their stuff too.

As an experiment I cut and pasted one of my own docs into a doc that has US David in residence. And Bingo! He does his thing for my words, instantaneously transferring them in surefire Pulitzer winners. But only within the document I have cut and pasted my piece to. When I go back to my document only? Nope, there's Georgie again.

What am I doing wrong?

To paraphrase King Henry II: "Will nothing rid me of this turbulent... useless robotic git?" :eek::eek::eek:
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Aah technology. No answers here, sorry. I read out my own stuff, badly. You're welcome to borrow my husband. He has a rather nice RP accent, though his West Midlands background surfaces occasionally to butcher the occasional word :p
Meh, can't help with the technology.

But I can also lend a voice, if you like? It's not the ideal fix to your situation, but if it might help...
That's very kind of you Kate and thanks for the offer, but I only use the feature occasionally, maybe when reviewing what I've written to see how it sounds. Perhaps at the end of a day or chapter or so on.

It's quite good for picking up missing words and punctuation mistakes, and with the right voice, gives an approximation of what the flow might be for a reader. In the grand scheme it's not a biggie but nevertheless infuriating that I can't fix it.

For example when I currently write the word 'sake' my Robot pronounces it "sa-kay" as in the Japanese rice wine. Not only that but his general inflections are all over the flippin' shop. If I could substitute him for US Dave then the facility, when used, won't make me want to take a sledgehammer to the laptop.

There's gotta be a fix out there, but in the meantime if pushed I can C&P what I want to hear into a doc which has Dave installed then it works.

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It sounds like you've done all the right things but there's a glitch, and alas, that's above my pay grade!
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Amusement Kurt Vonnegut on Stories