When witnesses make sound effects, what do you do?

Just trying to get some advice. I've been reporting for many years now, but I've always wondered what to do when witnesses make sound effects. You know, as an example, "Yeah. I was traveling down the road and the car just went right through the center divide" and then the witness made this crunching, banging noise! I'm thinking I should put some kind of blurb in parenthesis, i.e., (witness makes sound) or (unintelligible) or something to indiciate that he made a sound effect, you know? Any ideas would be appreciated!!

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Comment by Debbie Taggart on February 13, 2009 at 15:41
I usually put (indicating), considering that they are indicating a verbal sound, but I like (verbally indicating). I think I'll start using that. I think anything else falls under the category of interpretation. If there's no word for the sound, then we're interpreting what we think they're saying, not necessarily what was actually said.
Comment by Reid Bryce Robbins on February 12, 2009 at 19:17
I just put (indicating). I have done that for 30 years now, no complaints. I guess nobody really cares for me to make a description of the sounds. My speciaty was video medical depositions for years, so I guess if they really wanted something different, I would have heard about it, lol.
Comment by Holly on February 9, 2009 at 9:16
I would use: (indicating)
Comment by Rosalie DeLeonardis on February 9, 2009 at 9:05
I always just put (makes noise), but I'm going to start using Chris Renegar's parenthetical "descriptive sound." Much better than (makes noise).
Comment by Melissa Hill on February 7, 2009 at 17:40
Hey, thanks to everyone! There are some really great ideas out there. I especially like "descriptive sound" and "verbally indicating." All you guys are great. I love this web site! Thanks again.
Comment by Chris Renegar on February 7, 2009 at 17:25
Melissa, I can only speak for Texas, but in Texas the "approved" parenthetical is (descriptive sound).
Comment by Elena Chester on February 7, 2009 at 16:27
Melissa,

I always put in (makes sound) whenever they go crazy like that. In my opinion, it just shows to the reader that something unreproducible was uttered at the depo and explains any inconsistency in meaning that can result from not having actual words.
Comment by Kyung on February 7, 2009 at 15:17
I had a depo recently where the witness kept making the sound of a drill after I told him I could not put that sound down.

I just went with (verbally indicating). He was beginning to tick me off.
Comment by Stacy Tegner on February 7, 2009 at 11:36
Hey Melissa ~ great question. I also just had a witness who described something by saying "pshhhh" it was only once and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I have also wondered this for many years, and in the rare times it comes up, I forget to ask about it! I ended up putting the "pshhhh" in the transcript. It was video'ed so I figure they can hear it for themselves if they really need to =))

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