Some text-to-speech voices read the section symbol as "paragraph" instead of "section"

Number:rdar://32449535 Date Originated:2017 May 29
Status:Open Resolved:
Product:macOS + SDK (Accessibility) Product Version:10.12.5 (16F73)
Classification: Reproducible:Always

Some United States English text-to-speech voices incorrectly read aloud the section symbol § (U+00A7) as "paragraph" when they should say "section" instead.

United States English voices that exhibit this issue include Alex, Bruce, Fred, Junior, Agnes, Kathy, Princess, Vicki, and Victoria.

United States English voices that CORRECTLY speak § (U+00A7) as "section" include Tom, Ava, Samantha, and Susan.



1. Set the system voice to Alex or another aforementioned voice exhibiting the issue.
   (System Preferences → Accessibility → Speech)
2. Open TextEdit.
3. In a new document window, have the text "The section symbol is §. For example, § 3.4 means section 3.4."
4. Speak the text. (From the menu bar, choose Edit → Speech → Start Speaking.)



The § symbol should be read aloud as "section".



The § symbol is incorrectly read aloud as "paragraph".



The only exception I know of where the section symbol (§) might be read aloud as "paragraph" instead of "section" is that in Brazil the sign is apparently used in laws and other norms to represent paragraphs inside articles. But the voices mentioned are not Brazilian nor Brazil English text-to-speech voices; these are United States English text-to-speech voices.

The paragraph symbol is ¶ (U+00B6), which is the pilcrow. Some of the U.S. English voices speak it as "pilcrow sign" (which seems perfectly acceptable) and some do not speak it at all (which is perhaps questionable, but that is a separate matter).



System Preferences → Language & Region:
• Preferred language: English (U.S.)
• Region: United States

System Preferences → Accessibility → Speech:
• System voice: Alex


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