Recording Important Court Room Information in a Flash

\r\nMost people are familiar with the concept of a court stenographer copying down what’s been said in real time. To the casual observer, the device operated by the stenographer looks similar to a modern laptop and may indeed be connected to modern computing equipment to function. However, closer examination reveals that your average court reporting machine is in fact very far in design and function from a regular keyboard. As opposed to an array of keys showing individual letters, a court reporting machine has very few keys, each one much larger than would be needed for individual keystrokes. Additionally, not all letters are represented. So how do these court reporting machines function?\r\n\r\nThe answer is that they use Stenotype, a standardized and mechanized shorthand first developed in the 19th century. The need to capture all conversations in a court or other public hearing had long since been refined by stenographers into an infinite array of shorthand techniques, but the advent of the mechanical typewriter offered improved clarity and the potential for real-time transcription in something approximating longhand. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that the speed at which most people talk exceeded the physics inherent in a typewriter as well as putting undue stress and wear on the stenographer’s fingers. And so Stenotype was developed, a means of incorporating both shorthand and the speed and accuracy of mechanical transcription.\r\n

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\r\nInstead of each word being represented by letters, words are instead broken down into phonetic sounds, which in turn can be typed as “chords” onto any Stenotype machine. While this process places a burden on the operator to memorize thousands of chords and reproduce them without a thought in quick, flawless motions, a properly trained stenographer can record information at a blistering pace. The elimination of most concerns of spelling helps reduce typos and mistranscriptions, and the conversion of each word into a series of quick hand movements reduces the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries. This is why a court stenographer can work for eight hours a day for years and not contract carpal tunnel syndrome.\r\n\r\nThe advent of computers has helped to improve the standard stenotype technology since old-fashioned shorthand and movements can now be rapidly translated into actual words. While the stenographer still needs to input the information into the computer using traditional methods, he or she can quickly determine if the shorthand correctly translates into the actual words by comparing them on a display screen, even going so far as to make changes on the fly. Computer Aided Transcription software, also known as “CAT,” enables more accurate, speedy and quickly accessible transcription than ever before. However, it has not had much of an influence on the price of court reporting machines. Indeed, prices have only gone up due to limited demand and strict expectations of quality, longevity, and an extremely low failure rate requiring high quality parts. This result is reflected by the fact that even old, well-used court reporting machines can cost hundreds of dollars with more modern and professional court reporting machines costing thousands.\r\n\r\n


Court Reporting Equipment

\r\nCurrently working in or considering a career in the court reporting or stenography industry? Check out the low rates on used professional Stenograph court reporting machines and student Stenograph machines from the industry leader Stenograph.\r\n\r\n


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