Magnum Steno Fan Club

Let's all get together and learn to write shorter, cleaner, and faster the Mark Kislingbury way. "Write Short - Write Fast!"
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  • Mark Kislingbury

    Also, let me say that Clay has taken my theory and run with it - he's invented new, very clever things, and changed some things that he preferred to write other ways. This is a good thing - so I really respect Clay's opinions on briefs.

    One if his cool ideas is *RBG for ~your. I'm working on learning that. The idea is, the -RBG is a "mirror" of the Y- in the left hand. Hence, Y for "your." The asterisk avoids conflicts.
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Also, as I read Tami's posts, I see she's a faithful disciple of mine!! LOL She's learned very well! She's absolutely right about "no stroke too hard" - the key is, since a hard stroke is often a stroke for what USED TO BE 3 words, you now have more TIME to write the difficult stroke.
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Oops, I see that -FB is "what" on the right side (mirroring the WH- on the left). So SKP-FBT is "and what the", so not sure I should use -FBT. Have to think about that.
  • Tami

    A Proud Faithful Disciple, I might add!! :)
  • Tami

    I only wash my own feet, though!
  • Tami Brown

    To Tami from Tami B
    Maybe you should wash his hands! LOL
    Just starting out on this blog thing and I have a
    very busy courtroom so probably won't be able to contribute much. I love reading all of your discussions tho.
  • Tami

    I'm still washing my baby's hands -- he's seven -- so I'm not willing to do that either. :)

    Some day I'll never have to find somebody else's shoes, wash somebody else's face, feet, laundry, clean somebody else's mess . . .

    I actually think I'll be really lonely when that day comes. :)

    I just got back into a trial dept last Monday, Tami B., so we'll see if I can swing it. Sometimes I think I'm getting too old for one . . .

    BUT when you write really clean and efficient -- another hard sale for writing short and accurate -- it takes a fraction of the time it used to getting out a transcript -- especially back in the old Stenorette days ("Interrog!").

    Oh, the babies on here have no idea what I just said. HA!

    AND, Tami B.,

    Are you two stroking your speaker I.D.s?? (Q BY MR. SMITH:)
  • Alexis McCutchen


    I was just about to write you on what you do for speaker I.D.s. I have NEVER been clean when it comes to that. I'm all over the board, especially in popcorn colloquy. My last qualifier was a mess! And I am two stroking my speaker I.D.s. HELP!

    Also, how do you identify when there are five or more attorneys? I interned at a depo with eight attorneys and the reporter had business cards laid out on the table. It would be my luck that someone would bump the table, sneeze, or the attorneys would play musical chairs (probably just to piss me off) and then I would be up a creek without a paddle.
  • Tami

    Hi, Alexis!

    You keep hanging in there!! I know you're going to get one soon!!



    Of course I have their names job defined for trial, but I think that probably would work nicely for you in four-voice dictation.

    I actually write attorneys' names at work on busy calendars with 10, 20-plus attorneys. When you work in the same place every day, that's pretty feasible -- especially because it's nearly 100% criminal. We don't get the 20-attorney civil cases for one case. The most I ever do in trial is about five or six tops.

    SO . . . if I have more than one defense attorney in trial, I could change my letters with the EUFPLT, perhaps to the first letter of their first or last name.

    So . . . Q. BY MR. RODRIGUEZ could be R-EUFPLT

    I also get everyone's name down in a stroke for each trial. I'm not going to write out "Mr. Rodriguez" for an entire trial.

    It would be MR-R.

    My defendant for the trial is always MR-D
    The People (D.A.) is always MR-P

    The case I'm doing that just went to the jury 30 minutes ago, the victim's name was Mr. Baldwin, MR-B.

    Back to busy calendars . . .

    There's no way I'm writing . . .

    MR. RODRIGUEZ: Ricardo Rodriguez for the People.

    . . . all day long.

    For his speaker I.D. (busy calendar), he's ROG/ROG. That's for <>>MR. RODRIGUEZ:

    (my ROD is "restraining order." :)

    I hit it a third time for

    <>>MR. RODRIGUEZ: Ricardo Rodriguez for the People.

    I've found that 99% of the time attorneys state their appearances exactly the same. When Rodriguez says "on behalf of" instead of "for the," I'll write a fix-it stroke after his appearance, like FIX: BAOF (my brief for "on behalf of.")

    For my defense attorneys, the third stroke just sets up their name and states their name:

    <>>MS. SAMANIEGO: Veronica Samaniego

    and I continue from there.

    I added most of that in case Tami B. peeks in. :)
  • Tami

    Hey, I see we're up to 60 members.

    Just wanted to welcome the newcomers!!
  • Kelli Combs (admin)

    60?? no way!!
    I demand a recount!!
  • Tami

    62 now, Monti!
  • Erica Abbott

    Just ordered my book today. lol YAY
  • Alexis McCutchen

    Thanks Tami! These are great. Looking forward to my next depo/trial with multiple attorneys.

    PS Trevor is very close...67 errors. Would've been 56 if not for one word that was a plural (car lengths NOT car length), 11 times in transcript. The clock's ticking...
  • Erica Abbott

    Okay. I just have to say I think I could have about cried at Mark's speed mothod #4 video. It was so inspirational and really hit some of my sore spots. GO MARK:)
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Wow, thank you, Erica!!!
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Tami, that's a very good method you have for speakers in your court!
  • Tami

    Thanks, Mark. I'm glad you like it.


    Whatever is meant to be is meant to be, BUT I'm awishin' and ahopin' and aprayin' he nails one SOON!
  • Tami

    Oh, and, Mark, if you see this . . .

    Did you have to change anything up with your -FZ for "saw"?

    I noticed I'd have some problems with it today and was wondering if you did too and just made the -- I'm hoping -- minor adjustments.
  • Mike Rowell

    I wish Mark would post a video of himself writing on youtube. If I ever question the usefulness of putting in the effort with flash cards and whatnot to shorten writing, I just think of watching the guys hands as he's barely moving them and writing a clean, real-timed 280 at the seminar...the jerk! (Kidding!) I've seen my hands slow a little bit, but it would be good inspiration if he had a video up. Also, there's not just a whole too many stenography-related videos on youtube.
  • Kim Begg

    I've just ordered wide keys for my stenograph. Double-wide asterisk and extended DZ. Did I make a mistake? I thought the double-wide * would give me more options since I'm just starting out using it. How could it hurt using both index fingers on it? Also, is extended DZ better to use than the extended TS? I've just been watching Mark's instructional videos and I realize I could save a lot of strokes just by adding the D for ed and S for es and the * for y and ly -- and I'm certain that's just the begining!
  • Tim Floury

    Kim, I added the double-wide * and the DZ to my machine several years ago after 12 years reporting for the same reasons you have. The * wasn't really a problem after I got used to it, but the DZ was just horrible. I dragged it into every stroke I wrote. I decided to change it to the wide TS and that did the trick. No more dragging it in accidentally and still able to easily bridge the gap when I want to.

    I think that for students just learning, the wide DZ is a better choice, but for us vets, maybe not.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide or how it turns out.

  • Brenda Rogers

    The choice between wide DZ or TS keys is strictly personal. I prefer wide -TS; Tami prefers wide -DZ. My reasoning is because I need to really mean to hit it, and the wide -D I hit too easily. Tami must have dainty little fingers. ;)

    I have always wished I were ambidextrous on the * key. I think it would be far easier to use my left finger for the * while hitting the -F or -R key rather than *F or *R. Not sure that a wide key is necessary to do that though. Can't imagine you have made a mistake in getting the double-wide. You'll find interesting ways to use it, I'm sure! :)
  • Jenny Griffin, RMR CRR CCRR CRC

    I am doing well with my new Gemini Grand's double wide asterisks and wide DZ keys. I have always hit the asterisk with whichever index finger is easiest. I can't imagine only using my right one. I'm really liking the wide DZ. I should have done this years ago!
  • Brenda Rogers

    Oh, Jenny! My left index finger is as useful on the asterisk key as my left thumb is on the space bar!
  • LeAnne Law

    I use whichever finger is easiest also for the *. On my keyboard I also type the number 6 with my right or left finger. Never thought of hitting the space bar with the left thumb though! And I always have to get a keyboard with right and left Alt and Ctrl keys. I don't like being limited to one side.
  • Mark Kislingbury


    I don't remember seeing any problems with -FZ for "saw".
  • Mark Kislingbury

    About the asterisk question, my asterisk key goes only wide to the right. Only my right index finger hits the asterisk - that way, I never have to wonder or hesitate to think about which finger to use. Which finger should we use to hit -D or -Z? The right pinkie, you say; "we have no choice." So wide -TS or -DZ keys do the trick for that. So why do we "need" a choice for the asterisk? Of course, we're all different and should do what works best for us.
  • Mark Kislingbury

    What's the fastest way to get to the Magnum Steno Fan Club when I first got to csrnation? I have been searching the page to try to spot the link for the club. Is there an easy, quick way?
  • Jenny Griffin, RMR CRR CCRR CRC

    Mark, If you always go to your page first, on the left side are the groups you belong to. Just click on the picture. That's what I do. I'm getting lots of good info here!
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    Can you bookmark it? I haven't tried that yet, but seems like it would work.
  • Tami

    Thank you, BRENDA, for calling me "dainty."

    The truth is, though, I think I have amazon hands. I did learn with a wide -DZ right in theory, so maybe Tim has a point about the -TS being easier for a veteran. I know I've never had a problem with the wide -DZ and can't imagine life without it.

    I also only had the wide asterisk to the right, and I can't imagine that any other way either. I think, like Mark, having to worry about what hand hits the asterisk would throw a wrench into my writing.

    Great idea about the bookmark, JILL.

    MARK, I know the one problem I had with the right-side "saw" is I write "identifies" IFZ. There were two others I noticed the day I was trying it out, but of course I can't remember them for the life of me.


    I'm still trying to figure out why you hit the 6 with your left hand. I'm thinking your sipping coffee or something with your right hand when the 6 comes up?? :)
  • Tami

    Oh, and, MIKE, here's my slow-hand story for the week.

    I have to read back to a jury. Another Official was nice enough to cover my courtroom for the day. So I have to go into my courtroom to receive another request for readback, and I get to witness this reporter write.

    She's a really great reporter, provided RT to my judge, but I was so amazed how physical her job was. If I had her job, I would no longer be able to work.

    Oh, I guess I do have her job, but mine is so easy compared to hers. She looked completely frantic to me, her hands were FLYING on the keyboard, and I was totally in awe. If she learned to write short, I'm pretty sure she could bust out a 300 blindfolded. :)

    The only way I'm still plugging away every day is because I'm writing so short. No doubt it has given me a couple extra years -- maybe another decade -- and I am so extremely grateful for that.

    Thank you, MARK!
  • Brenda Rogers

    TAMI - identifies - OIFS (or Z). I learned the identify family with OI. That would solve that if you can make the switch.

    OIF - identify
    OIFZ - identifies
    OIFD - identified
    OIFBGS - identification
    OIT - identity
  • LeAnne Law

    Tami, I have no clue why I started typing 6 with both hands. Might have had something to do with having to type out city budget reports a zillion years ago. I got pretty darn fast with numbers on the typewriter.

    After reading your writing short story, I have to go practice my speed tapes now. Gives me incentive to keep at it.
  • LeAnne Law

    Mark, did you know if you click on "follow" at the end of this discussion (if you haven't already) that you will get e-mail alerts when someone posts to this group? When you get an e-mail, the link will take you right to this discussion. You have to "follow" each discussion topic you're interested in. Be warned though, some days your inbox can get pretty full.
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Tami, I write identity AOEUFT, identify AOEUF, identifies AOEUFZ, identified AOEUFD, identifying AOEUFD

    for the sake of "saw" you might want to change your identify? Or just remember to write "I saw" differently
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Thank you, LeAnne and Jenny, for the quick tips for getting here!
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Tami, thanks for the slow-hands story!! Very welcome!! It's sad how so many reporters have to STRUGGLE every day on their jobs :(
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Had to make a brief for "aggravate" today. You guys probably already have one: A*FT aggravate, then just add all the endings. A*FGS aggravation
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    I write it GRAG just in case anyone is interested in my weird brain.

    GRAGDZ for aggravating
  • Brenda Rogers

    Inside out.
    besides - SB-DZ
  • LeAnne Law

    B-DZ - beside
    B-FDZ - besides
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    Ah, Brenda, sorry! I deleted my last post because I decided it was more brief clubby than Magnum Steno-y....

    But I guess I would like to ask Mark if MS incorporates any "inside out" briefs or theories?

    My earlier post was that I write birth THRIB and birthday THRIBD....

  • Brenda Rogers

    B-FDZ board of directors :)
  • Mark Kislingbury

    Well, today I started my THIRD time to start trying to retrain myself to write a period P-P (instead of -FPLT) and comma W-B (instead of -RBGS). This is because I'm tired of the stacking issues I still encounter.

    So, during my job today, I took -FPLT and -RBGS out of my dictionary, so every time I wrote them was an untranslate.

    Each break I had a ton of untranslates that I had to fix. I made myself manually fix each one.

    I wanted to report that I made progress - by the end of the day, I was probably writing 2/3 to 3/4 of the periods and commas correctly, with the incorrectlies showing up when it got fast.

    I also want to report how my brain because very stressed out, "brain fried" as I like to call it, while trying to relearn to write those. Exhausting.

    Very interesting how, apparently, my steno brain has to rewire and get very stressed in so doing. Later in the job, after improving quite a bit, I RE-entered -FPLT and -RBGS into my dictionary, to take away the additional stress of having to fix all those mistakes before I fix others.

    So, let's see how tomorrow goes.

    I know quite a few reporters (as well as most in-house captioners at VITAC) have retrained themselves to write P-P (and W-B in some cases). I tell myself, if they can do it, so can I. But it's hard! Very hard. Commas and periods are probably more common than the word "and"!

    I'll keep you updated as to whether I finally conquer this, or give up. LOL (NEVER QUIT!!) I only had TWO stacks today of the period/comma kind! Due to changing.

    Some of you may know that I put P-P and W-B in my StenoMaster Theory book, once I realized it was superior.

    Clay of course has written them that way since the beginning. Right, Clay?
  • Mark Kislingbury


    Magnum Steno has TONS of backwards briefs. Here's just a smattering:

    of it T-F
    about it TPW-
    ~need to be PW-FRBT (-FRB is ~need)
    so that we STWHAOE
    milk PHREUBG
    silk SHR*EUBG
    bulk PWHRUBG
    Peterson PAOERPBTS (PAOET + -R + -S + -N)
    wagon WAOPBG (WAG + OPB)
    ~would be *BLD
    ~would have *FLD
    ~would have been *FBLD
    ~they have *FTD (-TD is "they" in phrases)
    ~they can -BGTD

    Your "birth" and "birthday" are highly clever! I commend you!!

    (in my theory, *T = ~th, so birth is simply PW*EURT, and brief for birthday is PW-RD.)
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    How good to know you share some of the same struggles. I have been successfully switched over to P-P for about five years or so, but the comma never really clicked with me. Reading what you have written is encouraging me to conquer it.

    It was funny after I first switched to P-P and I had it down pretty well, I went to a courtroom in Conroe where the reporter realtimes to judge and attorneys, and I was writing along a few pages, no stress at all, until I looked at my screen. It said stuff like, "I had to go preponderance my mom was waiting for me preponderance I didn't want her to be mad preponderance."

    I was so embarrassed. I was using an older dix that was stored on the county's system. D'oh!
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    Mark, another thing I have to conquer is using my wide asterisk key. That is why I look for things to work around having to use the final side F and/or R with the asterisk. I haven't completely written me off yet! :P
  • Jill S. Driscoll

    Ooh, love the "Peterson" one!