If you don’t watch movies or TV shows with the closed captioning or subtitles on, you are missing out.
Well, sort of. Let me explain.
Captions/subtitles aren’t just beneficial for the hearing impaired or hard of hearing. After all, foreign films without subtitles would be… well, a lot more foreign. (Also, the people who can read might find them handy.)
But I have discovered another use for captions and subtitles that will give movie fans back their lives. Sorry, not that they didn’t have lives before. But you know all that boring stuff in movies you don’t have the patience for? You can turn on the subtitles and scan through all that crap. And provided you can read the subtitles as you fast-forward, you can still get the gist of what’s going on without having to suffer through stuff like the opening credits, music video montages, and whole entire romantic comedies.
Subtitles are also a huge time-saver for scrolling through mediocre to crappy movies you’ve just lost interest in, but still want to see how it ends (or get your money’s worth out of the rental). And they are particularly helpful for non-Britains to comprehend what is being said in Britcoms (British sitcoms) even if you don’t understand the usage of their idioms.
And yet another use for captions/subtitles (and perhaps less self-serving) is being thoughtful enough to turn them on when your significant other is on the phone or trying to sleep. Or yells at you to “TURN THAT CRAP DOWN!” (or something to that effect).
It’s during those times when subtitles have taught me things… important things like a translation of just what the heck Fezzik was saying besides “Anybody wanna peanut?” in The Princess Bride, and how to spell Doctor Who-verse planet names like Raxacoricofallapatorius, as well as the proper spelling of vocal noises we humans make to express things for which there are no words. Or at least there weren’t words for them until they were transcribed for closed captioning.
Here are a few important ones to add to your lexicon:
From Doctor Who: “The Impossible Planet” (Episode 2.8):
This is how you spell the sound of exasperation expressed by air blown through the lips. Like horses do.
From Doctor Who: “Boom Town” (Episode 1.11):
This is how you spell the sound of a massive, Michael Bay-type planetary explosion.
From Archer: “A Going Concern” (Episode 2.12):
This is how you spell the sound of Archer vomiting.