Online TV show closed captions seem to sit at a curious intersection between mid-English proficiency watchers (me), no-audio environments, and the hearing impaired. The first two.. or maybe just the first category doesn’t really need audio cues like “music is playing now”, but since the segment is small enough to lump all three together, we are here.

And that opens us to the seemingly little regulated field of closed captions for the hearing impaired. I have not seen enough shows to tell if this is a pattern over time, a studio-level policy variance or just preferences of individual caption makers, (I think it’s the latter) but some do put extra thought into how the captions could convey the full watching experience. This screenshot is one such example. [solemn string music] – with proper background knowledge, this is as close as it gets within the caption production budget. I think it shows some of the caption makers care about the viewing experience for the hearing impaired. And that’s a good thing.