Hi, all,
I've been reporting since 1993, and I was wondering if anyone has ever "changed" their writing theory? I'm sure we've all "modified" our writing styles, to some extent, to suit our needs, but I'm curious if anyone has actually switched over to a totally different type of theory. (Like we have time to learn something totally new, right?)

I had heard of the Phoenix theory a while back, and I must admit it piqued my interest enough to make me consider at least researching it further. And then someone else mentioned the Philadelphia theory... Hmmm.... Just curious... I'm always trying to further improve my writing.

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I've definitely done quite a bit - KWAOIBT - of theory modification over the years, but I have stuck with my original theory for over 30 years now. Thank goodness I was taught long vowels and NOT to come back for inflected endings!

I get so much good theory and brief info from depoman.com. I really recommend you check out that site. Are you planning on getting your CRR soon? That's a great motivator to clean up - and shorten - your writing.
Hi, Jenny,

I like your brief KWAOIBT!!!!! I will definitely check out depoman.com.

Miracle of miracles, I finally became a CRR in 2006. Of course, I thought the next step was to then become a merit writer; so I put the speedbuilding CD's on and WHOA..... I think all I got were the first three words :-( That's why I questioned my theory, because it seemed/seems that it was an impossible feat to write that fast.

I definitely won't give up my goal of becoming a merit writer. I just know it will take KWAOIBT of practice and more "tweaking" of my writing style, as one other reporter put it. As I'm currently bogged down with appeals, I don't have time to sit down and seriously practice, but I know I can check out different sites,as you've suggested, and keep "tweaking" -- my writing, that is.

Thanks again.
I've used the same basic theory for the past 20+ years, but in the past year, I've tweaked it dramatically. I'd made some changes over the years, but now I'm incorporating a lot of Stenomaster ideas. And lots and lots of tips from depoman and CRF.

I'm not sure abandoning a theory is a good idea, but incorporating ideas from other theories that work with the way you write and think works.

I'm writing shorter and shorter all the time. Any theory that has you coming back for inflected endings or ending diphthongs or, heaven forbid, silent letters shouldn't be considered, IMO.
Hi, Brenda,

Thanks for your reply.
Any theory that has you coming back for inflected endings or ending diphthongs or, heaven forbid, silent letters shouldn't be considered, IMO>>

Yup, that's me. That's how I learned, and I KNOW there's a better way!!!!!

So do you just implement techniques from different theories, depending on how well it "sticks" with you? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not familiar with Stenomaster. I think I'll research that as well, though. I do get fantasticl briefs here and there from other reporters, but I think writing faster requires more than just briefs.

Thanks again! I love this forum...
Faster writing does require . . . well, faster writing! :) But if you're able to catch up with a nice multiword phrase after a technical, multistroke word, it's really handy!

You have your CRR? That's great! Jenny's KWAOIBT and things like that are the lifesaver phrases, I think. Stenomaster is put out by Mark K. and his philosophy is that we are shorthand writers. Kind of a no-brainer when you think of it, isn't it?

I don't have his book, but I've picked up a lot of the ideas from Depoman and different forums and people -- like Tami. Someday, I'll get the book and see what else I can incorporate. The first one that I started doing I just love, and was very easy for me. Adding * for -ly ending when final L is already being used.

but if the L is part of the root word:

That one slipped into my writing style almost before I knew it. Saved strokes everywhere. After that, I started adding other concepts. Warning though. It's like a drug! The more you do, the more you'll need! ;)

You don't want me commenting on the "P" word (BOM/-B/-G bombing), but . . .

if you made it all the way to your CRR, of course you don't want to scrap your theory. My advice is to start including your inflected endings with the initial stroke. Just take a minute and think how many extra strokes you're putting out there -- unnecessarily, in my opinion -- with just your inflected endings. Wide keys are such a huge advantage, too.

I also believe in changing theory concepts and learning brief families, not just adding a new brief here and there. For me phrasing has made life so much easier. I've always phrased, but since I started incorporating the Stenomaster theory into my own, I feel like work isn't even work any more. My hands are at a snail pace, and I love it. (So does the old body. :)

It's obvious you write clean and your hand speed is there. Now if you just shorten your writing style, you'll be passing that merit before you know it.

Mark Kislingbury's new company name is now Magnumsteno.com. He has a brand new book out. He just sent a signed copy to my son last week. It's about 525 pages and pretty remarkable. I can't wait to buy my own. I'm hoping he'll be selling them at the NCRA convention in Anaheim in July.

Good luck!

Hi, Tami!

Thanks for your response. I've had positive feedback about stenomaster; so I really want to research that further. I do have Mark K.'s book, "My System --The Road to Realtime Excellence," which was helpful, but I think I need something more indepth. I'll check out Magnumsteno.com. Today I tried to utilize the -L for LY, and I LIKED it!!!! We'll see what tomorrow brings...
Thanks again.
I started with the same book, Josie. It got the wheels turning for me.

Anything you can get your hands on from Ed Varallo is awesome, too.
I learned Phoenix from the ground up and I have three words for you: run, run, run.

Phoenix is a nightmare in every way. I am now crippled at 180 because of this theory and am currently having to take it to the chop shop to shorten it so that I can have a hope of taking it up over 200. And my hands are fast -- just so you know -- I can type on a QWERTY keyboard at 135 wpm, so it's not my hand speed, it's the theory!!!

Run, do not walk, away from this theory. I regret the day I learned it, I regret the two years I have spent trying to cope with it, and I regret the very hard work I have ahead of me to get my RPR with this foundation.

Even some of the briefs are hilarious: "you were" is KWRO*URP -- actually one letter LONGER than the original phrase. Hysterical. The word "onto" is written AUPB/P-P/TAO.
And for my money, the most damaging thing the theory does is the textbooks NEVER refer to TK- as D, or -PB as N -- everything is written out long-hand with every steno key represented. So your brain is constantly doing the "oh, TK is D" translation instead of just seeing TK- and thinking "D" For instance. The word "drive" in any Phoenix theory text would be written TKRAOEUFB and never just DRIV like most sane theories.

Anecdotally: I do not know a single person who has ever graduated from court reporting school at speed without massively altering Phoenix theory. If any of you know such a person, I want to talk to them!
Ditto to everything you've said. I'm getting out of the business after practicing on a temp license for two years because I'm not willing to do what it would take to revamp my theory and pass my state certification. If I had only known... And no, no one that I went to school w/ that learned this theory has passed the certification without going to voice or totally, and I mean TOTALLY revamping their theory:(
I just read your feelings about the Phoenix theory. I learned on the merit theory about 15 years ago and I wasn't able to finish school because of certain issues. Now I want to get back into court reporting, I'm not sure what to do. Stick to my old theory that I was good at or learn the phoenix theory. The school that I will attend teaches only this theory. All the new computerized CAT, ect. is completely new to me. If I stay with the theory I'm used to, how will it affect it when transfers to the computer.
Therese L
I couldn't agree more - I'm just in my first speed class and I've already determined that Phoenix "ain't gonna get me there" and am already "massively altering" my theory - I have Mark's books and it's like learning two theories simultaneously - that said - what I figure out on my own sticks and I don't have to worry about it.

If I had known then what I know now.....I would have looked for another theory....


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