Which of these apparati could actually be built, proven to operate effectively, and be available for retail in the next five to ten years? Are there any already existing devices that perform similarly to what I’ve imagined?
A. A computer keyboard outfitted with the hardware and software necessary to turn written words into music. Notes, octaves, chord progressions are programmable. Default instrument would be the piano with options to select major chords, minor chords, or both, and to adjust tempo. Versions 2, 3, 3.14, and 411 would have options for guitar, violin, accordion, saxophone, and harp. Initially, the keyboard would require a person to type the words; after a couple rounds of advancements, it would allow a person to import text.
I wonder what the book of Genesis would sound like as music “translated” from English words vs. from Greek. What would the Constitution sound like? Imagine the musical-literary possibilities! A person could compose music through written language…without knowing how to read and write musical notes (yes, I know that not all musicians and songwriters know how to read/transcribe music).
B. A plug-in for an e-reader such that a person can modify the grammar of a text to fit his own standards or to emulate another authorial voice. Don’t like split infinitives? No problem, go to Menu–>Text–>Modify–>Grammar–>Unsplit Infinitives and no more “to boldly go” or “to stoutly dare,” instead, you’ll be graced with “to go boldly” and “to dare stoutly.”
Do you think you’d like this chapter more if it were in first person (as is the rest of the book)? No problem, go to Menu–>Text–>Modify–>Narrator Voice–First Person. Wonder if this Candace Bushnell conversation would sound better a la Jane Austen? No problem, go to Menu–>Text–>Modify–>Narrative Style–>Jane Austen (or Mark Twain, HP Lovecraft, Ralph Waldo Emerson, generic Beat poet, or George Halas if you prefer).
Not a fan of adverbs? Worry not, go to Menu–>Text–>Modify–>Grammar–>Parts of Speech–>Adverbs–>Eliminate (or decrease by 25%).
C. A non-turn signal on the roof of an automobile that a driver would flick on to let other motorists know, “I am going straight when the light turns green; I am not going to turn right or left, so stop honking and getting so close to my car that I can see the pores on your nose in my side-view mirror.”
D. A plug-in/app/other device that would enable a person to mute, beep out, or word-swap whatever word a person wishes not to hear. A typographical version of it exists for online discussion boards so that curse words can be automatically replaced with neutral words of the administrators’ choice. Could researchers and developers not apply it to the aural realm outside television programming? For example, if Sven hates the word “lactate,” he could go to this device, punch in to the relevant fields “replace ‘lactate/lactates/lactated/lactating’ with ‘granule,’” and the like. Or, “replace ‘hefty’ with ‘le fromage” so that if someone were to say within earshot, “I cannot believe my Aunt Maggie is still lactating after all that hefty feeding session from last weekend,” Sven would hear, “I cannot believe my Aunt Maggie is still granule after all that le fromage feeding session from last weekend.”
Oh! And just for schnaaps and giggles, Sven could “replace one/wrong, me, you, money, leave, been, feeling, and filling” with “wong, ming, yoo, monkey, lee, bean, filling, and feeling.”