I believe one of the biggest injustices being taught by many CR schools today is that you have to come back with a second stroke for your -ing, -ed, -s, and -es endings. The schools are teaching their students that in order to write good realtime, that's what you have to do.

Well, I believe many of the best realtime writers in the nation will attest to the fact that that is just not true.

The school closest to my residence was nice enough to let me sit in on a lower speed class one night a while back. The students' hands were going slow enough that it was very easy for me to tell what they were writing. I about died when I saw them coming back for a -Z for the plural after a word ending with -T, like "cats."

I wanted to stand up and scream, "HELLO?? You have an -S right underneath that -T!!!"

But . . . I kept my cool, hoping I would be welcomed back if I ever made another visit. :)

(Wide keys factor into this discussion, but I'll leave that for later.)

If you are coming back for these endings, I suggest you try to convert over to include them with the initial stroke as soon as possible. (Yes, sometimes it's not possible to include an inflected ending in the initial stroke, but more often than not it is.) Start slow. Maybe take one ending at a time. Conquer it. Move on.

Pretty soon you'll be looking for more options. That's when you can incorporate a "tucked -G" for -ing, like "shooting" is SHAOGT. For those of you that say I can't do that because my -GT is my -th, perhaps you can throw the asterisk in with that -G, so you will never have a problem with "path" and "patting." (PAGT and PA*GT)

Then move on to the next writing principle that gives you the most bang in your endeavor to write shorter. Our bodies beg for us to write shorter. If you don't hear them begging now, I can pretty much guarantee they'll be begging not too far in the distant future.

After you start incorporating a few of these principles, pretty soon you will see a big difference in your hand speed. Guess what comes with slower hands?? More accuracy. Less shadowing. More speed.

It kind of reminds me of the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady always beats out fast and reckless.

May the slowest hands win!!


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O.k., o.k., you've convinced me LOL!! For those of you who want background on this discussion, visit the Stenomaster thread on Depoman.com. Tami, you are a woman of convictions, I'll say that.

So, if I want to start tucking my -g, how would I define that in my CC v. 8 dictionary?

SHAOT = shoot
SHAOGT = shooting
etc etc etc

with regard = WRAR
with regard to = WRART
with regard to the = WRA*RT

etc etc etc

all separate entries.

size of PD is totally irrelevant so keep adding to your PD like there's no tomorrow. I have about 380,000 right now.

I'm always doing dictionary maintenance, deleting stuff, but each job I scope results in many many entries in update.
Yes, Tracie, one at a time.

Marge is a super woman. Don't let the 380 intimidate you, but dictionary maintenance is a daily chore. Well, for some of us we actually consider it fun. :)

As long as "convictions" doesn't have the word "felony" in front of it, it's all good!
I thought that might be the answer:) On the contrary, I LOVE adding to my dictionary. Now, if I only spent as much time on that as I do on these darn forums LOL.
They're a curse, I tell ya!
thank you, Tracie!

Just a bit of useless but interesting info, I keep a file in Word called PD size and here's some info:
5-22-99 136,614
5-21-00 160,531
(24,000 IN ONE YEAR)
5-21-03 236,155
5-24-04 267,183
6-13-06 336,203

so, yes, one entry at a time. Not to mention all the crap we find that we clean out of there!
OMG, I think we are twins separated at birth! Keeping a log like that is so me. I'm starting one today. This is a sickness, a real sickness.
haha maybe a little anal but it can be a life-saver. I've had a few PD crises in Catalyst with a corrupt PD and I could SWEAR that a lot of entries were stripped out of PD and my little "PD size" doc, which takes about 5 seconds to add an entry to, is realllllly helpful. plus look at how interesting is it to see the progression!
I believe I understand what you are talking about when you say PD but that signifies something else for me: Phonetic Dictionary(in Eclipse how you tell the system to process certain key combinations in ALL instances unless otherwise defined).
I have heard the term database, but prefer the term translation dictionary to the list of specific stenostroke combinations for ~English translation/formatted text translation.
I have always wanted to put every word in Merriam-Webster in my translation dictionary...
I was pleased when I attended NCRA's last convention, Anaheim, CA, '08 where I met with Deanna Baker again, an experienced captioner. I had developed doubts about my organization -- I insisted on categorizing as much as possible -- and was pleased to hear this advice being offered: keep your misstrokes separate, have specific dictionary files(unique to the category of vocabulary). I have passionately explored the development of my translation organization. Often times I have ideas on how to arrange the entries and their development takes longer than expected, but I am hopeful. I realize how much time the organization has saved me -- only sometimes I neglect this value when I discover my blunders...oops didn't get that in...I thought I just made that entry, et cetera.

Anyway, what does PD mean for you?
PD=personal dictionary in CC
In Case, when you create a new file, click on "Options" in the lower left corner of the Translate box that pops up. Now, in the Input tab, check the box next to "Suffix Drag". This will 'let' you do these endings w/out putting them ALL in your dictionary. You 'may' have to do a conflict define if any conflict. I use them and only have a few conflicts. :)
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but the first time I ever heard of reporters coming back for an ending was in 2005 when I attended the Anita Paul Realtime Workshop in San Jose. That's just one indication of how isolated I've been. When I went to school at the Oakland College of Court Reporting in 1975, I learned everything they told us - no questions asked. Fortunately, we were taught briefs right from the start along with inflected and tucked endings. I sure wish I knew the name of my theory, but I have no clue. All I know is the teacher thought it would be compatible with computer-aided translation, which was just coming on the scene. We also were taught long and short vowels.

Practicing from perfect paper tape notes was drilled into us, and I took that to heart. Sounding out words and stroking them phonetically with no hesitations was emphasized. More briefs could always be learned later - after we passed our CSR. My confidence was built by writing the same sentence while looking at the paper tape, and writing faster and faster. When I would practice like that on a complete lesson, and then, as the teacher would speak faster and faster and I could keep up with him with ease, I knew I could write fast. We were greatly encouraged to go beyond the CSR and RPR speeds. This technique enabled me to take and pass my CSR and Certificate of Merit in the same month, two years and two months after I started school.

Like Tami, I feel that coming back for an ending with a separate stroke is unnecessary, and I'm thankful my school did not teach it. I believe that once a reporter has a nice reserve of speed and knows how to write phonetically - even if the computer isn't translating it perfectly at first - then it's time to continue to learn new briefs and strive to write even shorter.



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