First of all, thank you for your help in advance.

I am listening this now and suddenly from the very start it looks like there is a bump ahead of me.

I think she, the narrator is saying ( from 0:00 )

We are going to take a look at paper this morning and the old-fashioned notebook. It looked like it was hitting the dial of the rotary phone but no books are actually back in bow.

Could someone tell me what the phrase "back in bow" means or is it just purely my mislistening?

And I have one more question.

Do you think this narrator is an african american woman? ( To me, she has some kind of "unique" tone ( with no racism, jut out of curiosity. ))

I am sorry and thank you in advance again.

  • To me it sounds like she is slurring (maybe with a slight lisp) over some words, making them hard to understand. I think you got the words that don't make sense in context; you just have to listen very carefully to find something meaningful. However for some phrases (like "in vogue"), you just have to know the usage pattern.
    – user3169
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:11
  • Great. Thank you for your advice. Since both answers are good, I'm afraid I upvoted yours and took Rathony's as an anwer - -.
    – user17814
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


We are going to take a look at paper this morning and the old-fashioned notebook. It looked like it was heading the way of the rotary phone, but notebooks are actually back in vogue.

The above is the exact transcription of the audio file. Vogue means:

popular acceptation or favor : popularity

and "notebooks are actually back in vogue" means notebooks are popular again even if it seemed that they could lose their popularity as the rotary phone did in the past.

A side note: A request for transcription is not on-topic. However, I think the idiom in the transcription is interesting and it is worth answering the question. Regarding the accent of the voice, I am not sure why you got the idea, but it doesn't sound like a typical African-American accent.

  • vogue. I am sorry I think since this is from NPR and could have found the text and should have seen it. But regarding the last question as user 3169 says, only because this is not so clear? ( is it? ) I may have thought she could be african american. Thank you so much with most thanks.
    – user17814
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:02
  • >A request for transcription is not on-topic. Okay. I will not do that again.Sorry.
    – user17814
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:05
  • 1
    I think the question would be OK if you point out the words that don't make sense, and what effort was possible to find the correct words. At that point, asking what a specific (as short as possible) phrase should be should be OK.
    – user3169
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:16
  • 2
    As an American living in a city with a large African-American population, I think that the narrator of this recording is almost certainly not AA, although as others point out, it's not always easy to tell. A little research shows that the narrator is Renee Montagne, who is not AA. She was born and raised on the West Coast of the USA, so the accent you are probably hearing is White, West Coast, and educated, but also with a very distinct "NPR radio announcer" voice. It's hard to describe, but if you listen to NPR regularly, you'll get it.
    – stangdon
    Apr 18, 2016 at 13:02
  • 1
    @KentaroTomono Maybe it is because NPR radio is broadcast all over the world and they might need a very neutral and standardized accent so that non-native speakers like us could understand it more easily. Indeed the accent is somewhat different from other news accents such as NBC, CBS and BBC, etc.
    – user24743
    Apr 18, 2016 at 14:08

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