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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I wonder could you please explain "practicing from perfect paper tape notes." I am not sure what you mean by that.



Here's how I practiced from perfect paper tape notes. I would take my lesson book which had page-long transcripts, essentially. I don't have them any more. I'm thinking there was literary and jury charge and Q and A. I'd put it next to me on a desk, then I'd stroke out perfectly one or two sentences. I'd rip the paper off, put it where I could see it easily, and while looking only at my actual strokes on the paper, keep writing those same strokes, going faster and faster. Once I was really fast and smooth, I'd move on to the next sentence or two.

If you try it, please start a new discussion and let me know if it helps you with your accuracy, speed, and readback. Jenny

I tried this today and loved it! Thanks for the tip.

Thanks for your input, Jenny. It's really nice to have confirmation from such a great writer.

I learned theory in '78 and was taught to include inflected endings whenever possible. I wasn't taught to tuck them back then, so you were one step -- or two or three -- ahead of me, but I am so thankful to have been taught that concept from the get-go. I also feel being taught wide keys AND long and short vowels were huge concepts back then. I know the vowel issue is no longer in question, but I know you know it really was back then.

Guess you could say it's my pet peeve, those darn inflected endings being taught in a second stroke. Seems like things went south when the movement went to writing everything out in order to write good realtime. "Briefs" and "phrases" became dirty words. What a disservice to our students.

Coincidentally, a CR who was a former student of the school I had referred to called me the day after I posted this thread. I told her about the coincidence, shared my disgust on how they were taught to come back for all their endings, even for the -Z for the plural after striking a -T, and she confirmed that's still how she writes.

The good news is she was calling me because she had sat in with me when she was a student and I had drilled it into her that there was a better way, and she was calling to ask me what Stenomaster product she should start with.

Her reasoning for calling me was she wanted to write faster. I've always said I know you can gain enough speed to pass the CSR writing everything out, but your top speed is pretty close to being tapped out if you keep writing "longhand," let alone the wear and tear on your body.

I think this became a heated subject to me when another student sat in with me in the late 90's. She was a student from the same school. She even wrote "is that right" and "is that correct" out. She had no briefs. She wrote frantically. I told her she needed to start incorporating briefs, and she looked at me like I had just told her to commit a crime.

She passed the CA CSR the very first time, but . . . never worked one day. Still to this day! I have bumped into her at the grocery store a couple of times, and I see her husband who is a police officer for the city I live in. He so wants her to work, and she is obviously scared to death.

Her speed is topped out, and she knows it. So sad to me.

Happy writing short!
I read on another forum about a firm owner who looked at a newbie's notes to see why she was having such difficulty. This was probably mid to late '90s, I guess. She said that the newbie had written

O! M! G!
or as they say in Italy: OY!!!!
We are taught to come back only if you can't get the ending in the first stroke, but tucking and the * are something I'm learning from y'all. My theory teaches long and short vowels--I really can't fathom writing w/o that. We also are learning briefs, and I'm coming up with my own all the time.

But here's my big question that's been bugging me since I started: Why aren't we all taught the same theory? It would seem to me if we had a standard basic theory to start from, it would make allot more sense.

The almighty buck perhaps???
Well, there is always that!
I think, too, that some theories click with some people and others don't. UFL, usually students aren't in any position to pick and choose a theory; they have to go with what's being taught in their area. However, there is NO excuse for coming back with every ending and not tucking where you can and NO excuse for not using the * key. There's nothing about any of that that is not realtime friendly.
You should really check out the advanced features of the CAT you use.

Dictionary entries are not needed when you "tuck" something into the previous stroke if you've defined properly.

Currently I use the -G for ing as many people indicated but I also use others, such as -R as in SHAORT. SHAOT is defined a shoot. SHAORT will translate as shooter without the outline being defined in the dictionary for me. Other quickies include: TRAEURL for trailer, TPAOEURT for fighter.

And if you properly define your suffixes you only need the singular root word to apply all the endings that you define, including plural, past tense, you name it. Example: TRAEURLS = trailers.

I do love it when technoly make the job way easier.

Well, Mr. G. Allen Sonntag, it's an honor!

Since you ARE one of the best RT writers in the country AND, if I'm not mistaken, I believe I own a theory book co-authored by you, I am interested in your thoughts on the theories of today teaching students to come back with a second stroke for all inflected endings.

I'd appreciate it.


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