VoiceOver and certain words in iOS 13

iOS and iPadOS

So I updated to IOS last week and I have noticed that my phone will no longer say the word gun. It will say guns but if it's a singular gun it spells G U N. I am an avid hunter and shooter and follow a lot of firearms forums, pages, etc. and this gets really annoying. Is this happening to anyone else and if so is apple trying to sensor words? If words are being sensored, and I don't care what the word is or how people on either side feel about it politically, if any word is being sensored I am going to have a big problem with apple.



Submitted by Gar on Friday, November 8, 2019

What voice is this happening with? The word gun still sounds fine with Alex on 13.2.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 8, 2019

I understand the iOS 13.3 beta is addressing this type of problems.

Submitted by Blackadder on Friday, November 8, 2019

In 13.1 sometimes when you dictate Greek and English are in the same sentence. Very very annoying.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, November 8, 2019


I've just tried it on my phone and you are indeed correct. I originally thought perhaps the word was all in uppercase as I have noticed that, while using Samantha or Tom, they don't read words the same.

For example, we have a television channel in Canada named CTV, and instead of VO spelling out the acronym, it's trying to read it as a word, and in iOS 12, it would spell it out.

So I thought you may have had the word in uppercase, but I tried it in lowercase and, sure enough, VO is spelling out the word "gun" instead of reading it as a word.

I suspect that there may have been an update to the speech synthesizers that Apple uses for VoiceOver that may have changed how certain VoiceOver voices reads words.

I myself have sent an email to Apple Accessibility mentioning this, and they did say they would pass it along.

I suggest you do the same as this could just be an inadvertent cause from the update. I do not think that Apple would purposely censor words that VoiceOver would read aloud.

Although, in a recent episode of Jonathan Mosen's episode of his podcast, he did talk about how Siri is bleeping the word "Honky" when asking Siri to play a song with the words "Honky Tonk".

So these days, who knows.

Submitted by Ornella on Friday, November 8, 2019

Female serie american voice says the word alert and dictate in a weird way. Dictate sounds like dictite and I can't spell how she says the word alert but it sounds kind of weird.

Submitted by J.P. on Friday, November 8, 2019

I reported this in 13.2 beta. It persists in new beta as well. I specifically pointed to gun, as well as oct for October. The feedback corresponding to this is FB 7408949.
I know the issue happens with Siri American male and Samantha.

Submitted by Cowboy on Friday, November 8, 2019

Yes I am using Samantha. I actually sent a report to apple before I posted here I just wanted to know if anyone else was experiencing it.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 8, 2019

This is interesting. When I use in the past Alex and selected vorail, Alex spell the app and did not mention the word. No issues with other voices.

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, November 8, 2019

I'm seeing certain words sounding weird or getting spelled out too! And I use Ava enhanced. It can be a little annoying, like when I'm reading a news article, but now I'm kind of getting used to it. I'm not saying it's not annoying or that thats what people need to do is follow in my footsteps. I'm just saying, that compared 2 some other bugs that I & a lot of us have faced, I'd say this is 1 that can be tolerated at least for me until the next update. Again, not saying this isn't annoying or that we should just grin & bale it or anything like that. All I'm saying is:
a: it's happening 2 me
b: for now @ least, this bug is tolerable.
and c: I jhought it was just me too! And I'm on 13.2.2 4 Ipads. Glad to know that I'm not crazy! lol

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 8, 2019

In reply to by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯

Yes. However you paid for the iPhone over $1000 if you have the XS or if you have the 8 about $700 or more. If you purchase a car and something is not working, would you just say to yourself oh well. No. You will go to get the car fix by the people where you purchase it.

Submitted by BlackCat on Saturday, November 9, 2019

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

The word: "Now" is pronounced as: "No" using both, Tessa, Siri South-African English male and female voices. Just wondering is these annoying issues will all be fixed during future updates. The above mentioned pronounciation error exists since IOS 12.

Submitted by Dave on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

In reply to by Cowboy

Gun spelled out on mine too, so annoying !!!

Submitted by Bingo Little on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

There's been this sort of nonsense for a while in UK Siri female. If you type the word are or our, it's as though you typed nothing at all. I can live with it because luckily, she still reads it out when it occurs in blocks of text. Your issue sounds much more annoying though.

Submitted by J.P. on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

.Finding more words in 13.3. Like the word how in caps says HOW. Where do you get the pronunciation of W as V. iOS 13 sucks!!!

Submitted by Fireman306 on Thursday, March 5, 2020

In reply to by Gar

As of March 5th 2020 it still will only spell out the word instead of pronounce it as it should be. When using Gun in a singular meaning but in a plural adding the "s" it will say it. politicizing everything or catering to a certain base of people is what continues to be the reason it’s so screwed up today. Nevermind the entire rest of the world who doesn’t throw themselves in the floor every time their feelings are hurt

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