It’s been a while since I mentioned poets and narrators on the blog, but Google has prompted me to return to this hobby horse of mine as it seems that the ad selector is just as likely as the novice reader to confuse the writer with the narrator of a poem.
I’ve been looking through some old emails and found one a friend sent me a while back with a poem in it for me to comment on. The poem contained the phrase “slipped disc”.
Reading the poem in my gmail account, I was amused to see the sponsored link above the message offer to take me to a site where I could learn to “beat back-pain.” Of course, neither the writer nor the reader was actually suffering from a slipped disc or any other back problems.
However brilliant Google is, and however much it sometimes seems to have some kind of intelligence, it doesn’t, of course, have the reasoning powers and criteria that a human reader has and it isn’t surprising that it makes mistakes like this. It is surprising that readers who consider themselves smart constantly assume that writers are only capable of writing autobiographically.
It can be funny when a computer system confuses the narrator and the writer. I’m not usually amused when a reader does it.