Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 09:54:45 -0500
From: Mark Mandel
Subject: kleenex, sheetrock, and dragon systems

Here at Dragon Systems we make speech recognition software that
enables people to control their personal computers and input text
by voice, as I'm inputting this text entirely by voice. Although
our continuous speech large vocabulary dictation program,
NaturallySpeaking, has only been on the market something like a
year, our discrete speech program, DragonDictate, hit the market
in 1990, and since then we have become well known among those who
have difficulty using a keyboard and those who deal with them
professionally. But I have often noticed that people unfamiliar
with the industry confuse the names of our products and of our

The next stage has arrived: we're becoming genericized. A co-
worker of mine just sent around the following email:

According to my hand doctor (I was visiting for treatment for
another broken finger - three down, seven to go) the term "dragon
systems", often misspelled, is becoming a generic term for speech
recognition systems. He sees a lot of RSI [repetitive stress
injury] patients, and corresponds with many doctors treating RSI
patients. He is seeing and hearing a lot of sentences like:

This patient needs a dragon systems.


My HR office wants to get me a dragon systems.

Unfortunately, "dragon systems" to often shows up spelled
"dragging systems" or "drag on systems" or some such variation. I
am hard-pressed to understand what is going through the mind of
someone writing

This patient needs a dragging systems.

but the doc claims he is seeing things like this.

In theory these could be speakos (see my previous post), but our
products all recognize their own names, and ours, better than
that! Maybe these doctors are using a competing product. We take
care to recognize their names, but maybe they don't return the
favor. ;-)\

-- Mark

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 796-0267
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :

This document was created by voice with Dragon Systems'