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A teledactyl (pronounced TEHL-eh-DAK-til) is a specialized voice recognition system designed to produce ASCII text from human speech.  The teledactyl can be used in conjunction with telephone lines, allowing voice-operated directory assistance, voice-operated remote control, and dictation over the Internet.

We're not familiar with this term's origin, but Greek tele means "far off or distant" and daktylos, Greek for "finger," is the source of dactyl, a term used in English verse for a poetic meter consisting of one accented syllable followed by two weaker ones. Dactylography is the analysis of fingerprints for identification. Our guess is that the term's originators wanted to convey the idea of "writing at a distance by speaking over the telephone."

This was last updated in June 2010

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