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Glen D. Warner
Registered Diplomate Ranter

Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 1295
Location: Lynnwood, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Nuked Posts From the Old Board Reply with quote

Hi, everybody.

In following a Google link to an old post on Depoman, I found that the content of the old board is now gone ... including all the advice everyone gave in the Student Boot Camp section.

Fortunately, I copied most of the posts ... and so, here they are for your reading pleasure! Enjoy ....

Lotsa Folks wrote:

It is nice to meet you, Kyla. We have some things in common. I went to school in California at Bryan Colllege, worked there as a California CSR for 40 years and am the father of 24-year-old twins.

In today's world, I think you are making pretty good progress through school. I am not a Case Cat user, but we have some very good reporters here who are. To name just a few offhand, there are Mike Miller aka Depoman, Hap, Candice Bradshaw, Rhonda. I am pretty sure Rhonda uses Case Cat. She might use Eclipse. I forget.
The three names before Rhonda are very experienced users and could and would answer any questions you have about that software.

Well, let's talk about Q and A and four-voice for a moment. It takes a little bit of getting used to. It is actually easier than literary and charge because there is generally a break between the voices, at least at the slower speeds. In testing, it is usually given at a faster speed.

The trick to multiple voices is you have to have a consistent plan in your head on how to handle them. There are several methods. the method I personally use is as follows: My Q is the upper and lower four keys of the initial bank. My A is the upper and lower four keys of the final bank. THE COURT or THE ARBITRATOR or THE CHAIRPERSON is both the Q and the A struck at the same time. Plaintiff's Counsel or the prosecutor in a criminal case is identified by STPHAO. The defense attorney is identified by EUFPLT. If there are additional attorneys, use the lower banks with the vowels. I have a system to identify 25 different people if need be. We will not even discuss that at this time.

There are people that advocate striking the first syllable of the last name twice. I do not advocate that. When things get really moving and bouncing around, the arbitrary system is much more efficient. No matter what system you use, it is advisable to make a chart with names and the places in which they are sitting for past recollection purposes.

In formatting THE WITNESS as opposed to A, I write A FRPBLGTS.

THE WITNESS is used when the witness is addressing anybody not asking a question and immediately after colloquy before the questioning attorney asks a direct question. Colloquy is dialogue between or among counsel or counsel and the court.

Immediately after colloquy when the next question is asked you will need to format the question as BY MR. ATTORNEY: (paragraph) Q. The way I do that is I hit the Q with the AO or EU or AE or OU. That identifies the by paragraph. It is helpful to format as much as possible from the writer before the editing process. I understand Case Cat will automatically recognize the BY paragraphs and THE WITNESS. My software doesn't do that so I have those strokes that do it for me.

I have given you a chunk of stuff to think about. I am going to give you just a little more. When writing Q and A, what also makes it a little easier are the repetItive words and phrases that come up over and over. There are some repetitive words and phrases that you can write
at the same time you stroke the Q or the A. The most high frequency are yes; no; yes, sir; no, sir:


There are many more Q & A starters but those are the ones to learn first.

There are many phrases that come up over and over. To bring up your speed, you absolutely have to be aware of them and use them.

Pick out a common word phrase from your Sten Ed book each day and incorporate it into your writing. If it doesn't come quickly, make some tapes and use it. These are some things that will help you move along in multiple voice.

Always a lot of readback. readback helps you imprint these outlines in your brain. It also allows you to see your mistrokes. take mistrokes and words that slow you down and write them down. Put them on tape in different sentences and practice them.

One of the problem areas for most reporters is numbers and letter-by-letter spellings or proper names with initials. In my other post I mentioned Karla's numbers tape and spelling tape. Trust me, if you take 15 minutes to practice that every day, it will become very beneficial.

As your need arises, you may contact me on this board. I am hoping some of my colleagues also will take an interest and add to anything I might have given you or neglected to give you.



I had mentioned CB Speedbuilders. I want you to google CB speedbuilders to get to their website. They sell tapes I and II of Karla's
finger drills and tapes I and II of Karla's number drills. I was confused on the letter-by-letter spelling tape. I must have seen that somewhere else. This company is owned and operated by Chuck Boyer and Karla Wollin Boyer. There are some reporters who are so fast and so phenominally accurate that they have a special standing among us. This husband and wife are two of those people. They have an at-home- study program to develop speed. I am not really suggesting you change
schooling. I am only suggesting you buy the aforementioned tapes and diligently work on them for one-half hour every day. The price they charge is very fair for the benefit you will derive. They also sell speed tapes. Eventually you might want to buy some of those.

You want to do two things when you practice. You want a 10-word per minute stretch above your comfortable speed where you are sitting on the edge of your chair really pushing and taking the take apart and smoothing it out so you can write it. A good way to do that is to use a variable-speed tape player so you can slow down and speed up the take.
I happen to have a device called a transcriber that holds a Cassette. I can slow it down or speed it up with a speed control, and in additiion it has a foot pedal so I can rewind and fast forward with my foot. And the second thing you want to accomplish when you practice is you want to slow it down so you get used to writing perfect notes. You want speed and accuracy.

Lastly, I want you to ignore people who aren't court reporters. Every tip
we give you here will be tried and true. It is not anecdotal. It is coming from people who have gotten through school, passed requisite tests, and most importantly have been practicing court reporters. I started teaching court reporting a while back and quit because I could not deal with the misinformation I had to listen to from people who didn't know what they were talking about. I refuse to go through that again.



CB SpeedBuilders:


Scroll down for the tapes; $15 each.


Q: Are those taped you mentioned aimed toward specific speeds, or can anyone use them? I'm STUCK at 200. Whatever I'm doing isn't working and I'm not sure where to go from here.

A: Yes, they would be beneficial. The numbers tape is very beneficial.

Let me ask you, have you worked on the RPR tapes from NCRA? If you haven't, order a couple of those from NCRA. It will give you 180 literary, 200 charge, and 225 Q & A. In addition, get yourself a 240 tape and work on that. If you have the variable-speed tape player, that is a great way to practice. If you give yourself a concentrated 45 minutes on the NCRA tapes, smoothing them out until you can get the entire tape and read it back without hesitation, you are going to be absolutely amazed at what your speed is going to do. It takes a committment. You can't be inconsistent. It is every day. A good time is first thing in the morning. Try to end on a good note when you practice. It is a mental thing. Don't be discouraged. Break those takes down. If you are three stroking high-frequency words, look for some briefs. Think about phrasing: can you say, can you see, can you describe, right-hand side, left-hand side, . Stuff like that. Good luck to you. It took some people longer than others, but the ones that hung in there and didn't give up made it. Remember that. If you are proactive and do what I am telling you, you will be passing the RPR.



Anybody make arrangements to get the tapes I suggested?

I am going to assume that you have because if you haven't, then I have been spinning my wheels and wasting my time. Being of the mindset that you want to make some headway, I am going to give you a couple tips. The one I gave you yesterday about writing yes; yes, sir; no; and no, sir in one stroke with the answer bar, that is a big help. I hope you will immediately start working on that one. As I indicated previously, there are several others. That is a speed- producing technique.

Here is one for today: I am aware that the dash (--) is written by many
writers as OE/OE. It is a mistake to write a dash using two strokes. It is very high frequency in our type of work. I write TKAEURB. I have seen other writers use TK-RB. Either way, as long as there is no conflict
with anything else you write and you are using one stroke, is fine. To do the OE/OE your thumbs are going down, up, down, up. If you want to insert a pair of dashes your thumbs are going down, up, down, up, then you are writing words and then your closing dash is causing your thumbs to go down, up, down, up. Look how tedious it is just to explain it. Trust me. Make your dash one stroke.

Here is another thing I do, which I learned in school before you guys were born:

12-R = one or two
23 R = two or three
34 R = three or four
45 R = four or five
56 = five or six
R67 = six or seven
R78 = seven or eight
R89 = eight or nine

Any time you can change a high-frequency word from two strokes to one stroke, that is a wonderful thing.
when you can change a three-stroke situation to one stroke, that my friends is a mahia.

No more tips until you guys order those tapes.
You want a drill sergeant to make you do what you need to do?



Yes, sir, Drill Sargeant, Sir. My instructor assures me my RPR tapes have been ordered (the cost is worked into my tuition, so I've actually already paid for them).

way to go.

I want you to work on the first RPR tape, first side for a week. I want you to break the takes down so you can write them a minute at a time.
You will then string those minutes together for sustained writing.
Your goal Q & A speed at this point is 225. With organization and consistent hard work you will get there. You don't peak out at 200, struggling student. I know you don't. I want you to pick out the passages that are freezing you up. If there are high-frequency words involved, I want you to look in your manual for a brief. If there is not a brief, figure out the most economic way to two stroke the word or ask us what we use for that word. Anything that doesn't conflict with your system is fair game. I would rather you practice for 15 minutes of beneficial practice than have you mindlessly bang on the machine for an hour. Try to end at a good point where you have worked up a section that you can write flawlessly. I want you to review your notes and fix whatever you shadow or mistroke. We always want speed and accuracy. I want you to think about phrasings as you write. Try to take advantage of every phrasing opportunity. I report back to me on Tuesday. It is a good idea to have your machine set up at home so it is easily available for practice.

Forget the extention book for now. If you want to get a great book,
get Ed Varallo's Realtime Writer Manual. It has some great stuff in it.



Some of us choose not to order from CB Speedbuilders, and there are alternatives.

I agree with Cathryn. It doesn't matter where you get the finger drills or the number drills. If Hap and Cathryn will let you have what they created for free, hey, such a deal. I want you to make arrangements to get them as soon as possible and start working on them.

On punctuation, like anything else, if you are not doing it, I want you to
attempt to ease into it. I want you to ALWAYS put your periods in. Once that becomes automatic, I want you to put your commas in. On your trailer speed, I want you to put your periods and commas in. After that we will work on auto punctuation and commas with quotes and periods with ending quotes and even putting in an elipsis when they are trailing off instead of being interrupted. I would also think dashes would be an absolute must to put in. How are you going to know when there is interruption and broken sentence structure without them?

Now this one is for everybody: In your StenEd books when you look under the D words, for example, you are going to find all the D word phrasings: Did you have, Did you go, Did you see, et cetera. I want you to start at the beginning of the book with phrases. Every phrase in the book is high frequency. I want you to put ten phrases a week that you presently don't use on tape in sentences and practice those phrased sentences as part of your home practice. I want them to become an automatic part of your system. type them out each week on an index card and carry the card with you to school so you will be
alerted to pick out those phrasings.

Now you are going to hear a lot of suggestions for phrases and briefs from us. I don't want you to use them if they conflict with anything you
presently write that is in your dictionary. The trick is to only add our stuff if there is no conflict. Eventually, I want you to be able to use a
StenEd canned dictionary. That can only happen if you stay true to
the StenEd system.

Good luck.

If you have specific questions, don't hesitate to ask us.



I knew a guy who was a lawyer, but the 1930s was a bad time and this guy couldn't make a living. He bought a steno machine and a theory book and taught himself to become a court reporter. He did it within a year. I met him right after I finished school. He was half of the daily copy team that did the Manson trial. Anyway, one of the other things he
did was he was a cellist. His hands did not move at all. It was all fingers. It takes a lot of finger strength to write like that. My hands would be totally cramped up within 20 minutes. It is the ultimate tia chi
of the hands. If you understand tai chi, you would know what I mean;
centered, light, still.
I know another reporter who was a prodigy in school. He finished in
nine months. He was too young to go to work in depositions or the state courts, so he worked in federal court at the time. This guy was one of the fastest reporters I ever met. He worked for a judge who talked so fast that his mouth couldn't keep up with his mind. His words would come out in a blur. The guy was like a legal genius. He did the major stuff, like busing cases, et cetera. The reporter who had to work for this guy before my friend had a nervous breakdown. Anyway, getting back to hand position. This friend of mine was a banger. So the long and the short of it is you can do it either way.

I am glad you are taking the time to work on the fingerdrills. You are going to find you will become more comfortable when you write. You will be able to do things like write PLTS instead of PLT/S.

A couple tips: Have wide keys put on your machine. The reason is
You will be able to stroke the asterisk much easier with a wide asterisk key; you will be able to write words that end in S that are plural, HOUSZ, if you have a wide final S key; you will never have to come back for a D on past tense words ending in T if you have a wide final T
key put on, BUPBLGTD.

Here is one last tip: "Document" is a high-frequency word. If you do
business litigation reporting, you are going to hear document hundreds of times. Don't write document (TKOBG/UPLT). Write document (TKOUPLT) And with your trained fingers from your fingerdrills put the plural on that word in one stroke (TKOUPLTS). Again, three strokes down to one stroke is a mahia.



work on that phrasing. When you are writing one stroke, stringing three and four words together, you are going to blast through those speeds.

Second tip for today:

Most reporters write WHRORPB -whether or not
You are compressing three outlines into one stroke. It makes sense.
If you write whether or not WHRAO, look what you can do:
WHRAOEUPL - whether or not I am
WHRAOUFL - whether or not you feel
wHAOEUF - whether or not I have
STWHRAOURBLTS - state whether or not you are able to say

Credit for the WHRAO is given to Dennis Steiner.



focus and hard work. Go through the phrasing in your book and start incorporating them.

Here are some one strokers.
Excuse me. - SKA*OUM
All right. - HR*-RT
I see. EU*Z
Let's see. - HRA*ETZ
Okay. - O* BG
Thank you. - THA*U



Include the word of in the first stroke of the word whenever you can:

KRAOEUFPL - crime of
SKOEFP - scope of
TAOEUFP - type of
Apply the principle to months:
SKWRUFL - July of
SKWRUFPB - June of
most of - PHOEF
because of - PWAUF
most of them - MOEFPH

Things to work on: phrasing, numbers, letter by letter spelling and finger spelling.

I guess we can give you tips on briefs and theory, but are there questions that you guys have that you need answered?



I got a private message from a student inquiring about punctuation.

I will tell her and anybody else who is interested that in order to be successful at punctuation, you have to know the rules. You can't go by sound. One of the better books written, written specifically for court reporters, is Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters, written by Lillian I. Morson. The book can be purchased at the NCRA bookstore.
You can call them at 1-800-272-6272.

I think of myself as a craftsman. I have these tools in my box called
periods, commas, colons, quotes, semicolons, et cetera. To craft my product, I have to know how to use these different tools. I do a lot of reading, keep an open mind, learn from others, attend seminars, collect information on things I think might be helpful.

Good luck



Finger spelling is actually an advanced realtime technique.
If a word is not in your dictionary, there is a way of spelling the word out
on your steno keyboard, using your upper and lower case alphabets that push the letters together, and the word will appear on your screen. I think it is important to practice that and the stitched alphabet. Numbers and spellings are the slowest part of my game.



Anyone have any options for a practice schedule??

You need to prioritize the elements you wish to practice. If your fingers are going all over the place, you need finger drills. 20 min.

Brief/phrase practice requires just a few at a time put on tape in different sentences. Work on about five a week until they are automatic. Then move on to the next five. Always accuracy and speed. 20 min.

practice tape that contains Literary, charge, and Q & A. - one hour
Break that tape down until you can write one minute segments cleanly, adding minutes until you can write the entire take cleanly. Pull out the words that are slowing you up and look for a brief or the most efficient way of writing the word: (disagreement - STKPWAOEPLT, cigarette - STKPWRET, settlement - STHRPLT, Christmas - KRPLS.

Always make the time you spend count. Make the most out of your practice: No televisions, cell phones, or other distractions. Set up your machine at home so it will always be ready.



Okay. This is important so listen up. If you are not writing the word and SKP, I want you to change it to SKP. Many of my fellow court reporter friends learned it in some other fashion and tell me it is to difficult to change, but since you student reporters are just starting out, you make the effort to change it. There is more phrasing with the word "and" than any other word. If you write and APBD, yeah, it looks like and, but there is not one other word you can phrase that with. If you write SKP
you can write: SKP-U, SKP- I, SKP-E, SKPAEU, SKPUPD - And you said,
SKPEUBG, SKPURP, and you were. Okay. I'm going to stop, but there are like 60 or 70 of them. Here is another principle that a lot of reporters use. Many of us were taught to come back for the -y with an
EU. Like the word actually - TWAL/EU. Better way: TWAEL.
Army - AERPL
You, of course, cannoit do that with all words ending in -y. Sometimes you will have to take that second stroke, but there are also many where you can add that E in the first stroke for the -y.

In incorporating this stuff, do just a little at a time. If you try for too much, it is going to knock your speed back instead of moving ahead. When you have mastered the few that you have worked into your system, move on. Print these things out and put them in a folder.



I am going to list some of the common ones and maybe some of my you other court recorders will fill in some more names.

REUFPD - Richard
ROBT - Robert
RA*FL - Ralph
PA*T - Pat
PW*OB - Bob
PHA*t - Matt
PHA*ER- Mary
PHAER - matter
PHRA*OE - Marie
PHRA*E - Maria
T-PLS - Thomas
RA*EU - Ray
RAEUPLD - Raymond
TK-PBS - Dennis
TKWARD - Edward
SKWROEF - Joseph
WHRPL - William
FRAPBG - Frank

One sweet brief: ascertain - SAERN
And this one can only be gotten here from Depoman. It took many
years of trial and error to figure this one out. It only took me about
25 years but I did it. PHR-R - mirror.
And you Phoenix people can still write that as PHEUR/R/OR
And if you want to take it to the next level, write interior -SPWR-R and
exterior - STR-R.



Let's get back to work.

When practicing at your slow, perfect notes speed, periodically allow yourself to trail and crash through to get back on top of the speaker.

I know when I went to school, they told us once we passed our 175 we should start sitting in court. I know that these days they want you to do so many hours of sitting in. I loved sitting in. I just did it on my own. By the time I was ready to go to work, I had piccked enough brains to go right to work in court. You are aways from doing that, but when you are ready make sure you start sitting in. It isx a good idea to siti in with many different reporters. We all operate a little differently.



The exercise is really about crashing through. Trailing is really automatic. With practice you will retain more and more. The whole speed thing is taking common words and phrases and sounds and making them automatic. It is kind of an amazing thing. Your fingers are just on autopilot. On uncommon words like res ipsa loquitur, asumming you have never heard that word before, the frist time you write it, you are going to write it its longest way so you can immediately read it back. It is those common words, phrases, and sounds that allow you to do that because you are crashing through, catching up, by auto
writing. In your school world: You are taking a test and you get hit with a word that stops you cold. Instead of hearing that voice in your head saying, "Oh, shirt," you immediately jump on your practiced crashing through.

Now, I am a bit hesitant to hand this technique out to a lower-speed student, but I think you can handle it. Proper names come up,
Mr. Gradillias, for example. In my system I would write out Mr. Gradillias, and every time the name came up thereafter, I would write
PHR*G. If it is a doctor, I would write DR*G. If it is Ms. , write M*G, if it is a Mrs., stroke M*G twice. If they are talking about Topanga Canyon Boulevard, you can stroke T*B. For res ipsa loquitur, you would write R*R or R*EUPS. Once you start practicing that, that will become automatic, too. Had a judge that said, "In my humble opinion." This guy said that at least 50 times a day. That became TPH*P.

I have seen a lot of people say they are asterisk challenged. Everybody is initially. With practice, you won't be. It is too valuable not to take the time to become proficient with it.




I understand you being hesitant on giving the MR*G (Mr. Greg) advice (wonderful advice, BOIT) out to a student, but I've used it for many years -- loving it as a working reporter -- but just wanted to add that Clay has used something similar quite effectively. His school will dictate out of the same case for a couple days, and he'll quickly get the repeating Proper names down to a stroke. I think it's a great skill for a student to have. When the CSR starts repeating the same word for the third time, it's nice to be able to hit a brief on the fly and keep on truckin'.

I had a prelim Friday where they were talking about a bar called the "Bikini Beach Club."

Well, "Bikini" was a bear for me as it was, so as soon as somebody took a breath, I entered B*B for "Bikini Beach" and B*K for "Bikini Beach Club."

Saved my -- need Andrea's help on the spelling since I've blown it the few times I've tried -- arse big time.

Sad case. Gotta share it because it was pretty interesting. Made our local news.

A local sheriff's deputy, married with small children, "hooks" up with a bikini-wearing bartender at B*C. Both 30-ish. They actually were earlier at a motel getting slammed on cranberry juice K*B and vodka. Go to the bar as patrons. Leave. She's driving and he's groping her and she ends up putting his side of the car into a tree. He's dead. She breaks a leg. She's up for second-degree murder. (Pretty wife was in court Friday.)

I looked at the gory pics. Usually I'm pretty good about not looking, but had a weak moment. Sad.

AND . . .

I didn't see the recent "rant" complaining about students, but I saw a similar complaint in the student section and/or forum theory section in the past and didn't respond, but I just want to go on record stating I have never felt unappreciated by any student -- ever!

I think that has a lot to do with I don't expect a thing in return. I don't give out help or advice with a price on it. If I get the impression they thought it was worthless advice, that's okay. They're subject to other influences in life, like out-of-touch teachers, etc. We're all different, and that's what makes life exciting.

I don't think we should ever forget how difficult it is being a student. A lot of them juggle school, work, family, growing up . . .

To the students that bless these boards, I love you all and wish you MUCH success!

Now I guess I should go find that rant and see exactly what I missed.




Sorry to be a bit disjointed about the order or things, but let me add this to what I have previously told you: It is important to develop a good readback voice. It should be strong, confident, and clear. The person furthest way from you in the room should have no problem hearing you.

Another thing you need to do is learn to mark your notes. Some reporters do that by tearing the edge of their paper. Some reporters bend the paper inward at the fold. I use my electronic marker on my machine. It is useful for separating the examinations in trial, marking quotes that you might want to check before you leave, proper names that you need spellings of.

Always be as comfortable as possible when you write. If your machine is not adjusted properly, that will have an effect on your performance.

Always attempt to get a seat in your live class close to the speaker.
Never sit next to somebody who is distracting or inappropriate.

That leads me to tell you a little about Roger. I was 20 went I started school. Roger was in his forties. Roger was kind of an interesting guy.

He wore jeans and a muscleman shirt every day and carried a lunchbox
like a construction worker. He looked exactly like a construction worker.

He was a self-educated, militant guy who could speak four different languages fluently, always was reading. He was in World War II when he was about 17.

Interesting guy, Roger. Roger had a problem. We might call it emotional. When Roger was in class and he would drop, he would get very angry with himself and start acting out. He would start talking to himself: "I told you, you dirty no good son of a /PW*EUFP, that the next time you did that I was going to punish you." Then he would start punching himself in the face. It took a little getting used to, but even so Roger was not a guy you wanted to sit next to. One day I noticed a magazine where Roger was on the cover. He wasn't wearing much clothes and he had a dog collar around his neck and was on a leash.

When I saw that, it all clicked. Boy, I'll tell you, living in L.A. was something else.



Objections sometimes come out very fast. I am going to give you guys all my objection phrases and briefs. Perhaps some of the other guys will add to them.

speculate - SPHRAEUT
speculation - SPHRAEUGS
conjecture - K-JT
assumption - SUMPLGS
for identification - TPOEUD
I will object - EU*B
I object - EU-B
sustain - STAEN (D,S,G)
foundation - TPOUPBGS
no foundation - TPHOUNGS
vague and ambguous - SRAEUBS
ambiguous- TKPWAOUS
ambiguity - TKPWAOUT
assumes facts not in evidence - SUFS
assuming facts not in evidence - SUFGS
assumes a fact not in evidence - SAUFS
assumed a fact not in evidence -SAUFD
speaks for itself - SPAETS
leading and suggestive L*UG
circumstantial evidence - SKEFD
same objection - SAOBGS
hearsay - HAERZ
you may answer - UPLS
you can answer - UBGS
nonresponsive - TPH-R
to answer - TAOPBS
not to answer -TPHAOPBS
may answer -PHAEPBS
instruct the witness - STREUPBS
I offer- EUFR
I offer in evidence - EUFRPBD
in evidence TPHEFD
move to - PHAOFT
move to strike - PHAOFTS
strike out - STROUT
strike the answer - STRANS
irrelevant - EUR
immaterial - EU*PL
for the purpose of - TPORP
for all purposes - TPAUPS
calls for a conclusion - KAULS/K-BG
calling for a conclousion - KAULG/K-BG
self-serving - S-FG
self-serving declaration - S-FGD
declaration - TKHRAEUGS
to the effect -TOEFBGT
so marked - SPHARBGD
motion granted - PHOG
motion denied - PHOD
to the form -TOEFM
to the form of the question - TOEFM/KWE
to the form of that question - TOEFM/THA/KWE
as to form -STOEFM
instruct the witness - SWIT
not to answerr - TPHOPBS
instruct him not to answer STRIM/NONS
instruct her not to answer - STRER/NONS
direct him not to answer - TKRIPL/NONS
direct her not to answer - TKRER/NONS
I am going to oobject - EUPL/TKPWOEB
not calculated to lead to - KLAITD/KLAITD
discoverable evidence - TKFRBLD
admisssible evidence - MIBLD
don't answer - DAONS
and I object - SKPEUB
inconsistent - TPHEUBGT
inconsistency - TPHEUBGTS
I object to the form - BORM
attorney-client privilege - TORP
attorney client - TKHRAOEUPBT
work product - WRUKT
may I approach - MAEUFP

Please print these out. They may not be too relevant for you guys writing the lower speeds, but as you advance, they will become more relevant. Once you are out working, they will make your life easier.
I have collected these over the years and made a few of these up.
Hang onto them and maybe someday you will pass them on.

Oh, one more thing I want you guys to use and that is affect and effect.
I want you to learn all the grammatical rules on using them. A-FBGT and



A few off the top of my head, somewhat related ... some of these Greg put up, but use your own judgment. A lot of different ways to write stuff. Use what works for YOU.

SPEFL = document speaks for itself
SPEFLZ = documents speak for themselves
-BLTS = below the standard of care
TPABLTS = fall below the standard of care
TPEBLTS = fell below the standard of care
KAULGS = calls for a conclusion
TKPWED = go ahead
TKPWER = go ahead and answer
TPHOT/KAL/KAL = not calcuated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence (although I really haven't heard this one in a long time... very infrequent these days imo)
ABG = attorney-client (can also be 'arterial blood gas' in a medmal dep)
W-P = work product



Okay, struggling student. I guess you're it. Your attitude seems a bit negative. You want to get there within this upcoming semester? Well, roll up your sleves because you've got work to do.

I know you've been slacking. I want you to get back on those finger exercises again. I want you to be working on the RPR tape. Did you ever get it? You work on that RPR tape. That is going to get you to a 225 Q & A.

I am going to give you some briefs that I want you to incorporate into your system as long as they do not conflict with outlines that you presently use. Before I do that, however, I want to review briefing on the fly. Remember what I told you about proper names: Mr. Sphinterowkowsi = PHR*S
Juan Jose Del Coronado = SKWR*BG
*This technique is used when the names are used in a repetitive manner. It is not just a proper name. It could be a repetitive multistroke word. I want you to start incorporating this principle. The asterisk will become your friend. It will be friendlier with a wide asterisk key.

Okay. Here are some briefs.

PEUF = positive
TPHEUF = negative
PROEUF = prospective
PERBGT = perspective
POER = posterior
SBAOR = anterior
(add the final "L" for ly)



I decided to post this today even though we are starting on Monday. It's just a matter of my having the time today to do this.

SRE*S - invest
vest - VE*FT
SREFT - investment
SREGS - investigation
SRERGT - investigator
SREGT - investigate
SREUF - investigative
SREGD - investigated
SRERGT - investigating

TPOEPBK - phone call
THRAUL - telephone call
TPUPL - telephone number
STPOEN - cell phone

K-RBS - conscious
SK-RBS - subconsious
TPH-GS - unconscious
KORB -conscientious
(add the "L" in on the same stroke for "ly."

elgible - ELG
elgibility - ELGT
ineligible - TPHELG
ineligibility - TPHELGT

I want you to put these on tape, making up sentences. I want you to incorporate these briefs, assuming they don't create conflicts for you.

Here are some things I want you to be clear about:

When you use a blurb that a recess was taken at 12:00, it is not 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m. It is 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight.

When they talk about a street named Broadway, it is usually just Broadway, not Avenue, Street, or Boulevard.

When you are setting off a parenthetical in a transcript with a comma, unless it is at the very begining or end of the sentence, look to set it off with a pair of commas.


These are two confusing words, but if you follow the logic below, it should clear it up for you:

Affect as a noun is used principally by psychologists and doctors, meaning mood, emotion, feeling. It will be most often heard in the testimony of experts. Laughter at a funeral is an inappropriate affect.

Most often affect is used as a verb that means to influence something that alreaady exists, to assume, to pretend

Effect as a noun means result

Effect as a verb means to bring about something that did not previously exist.

If you learn the above rules for affect and effect, they will never be a problem for you (AFBGT, EFBGT - Phrase the word "the" into them).

Lastly, I want to recommend that, if you don't already have one, get the Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters by Lillian I. Morson. You can get it directly from Ms. Morson at Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters, 208 Long Swamp Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533. Lillian Morson is a nationally known reporting teacher and author of this book for court reporters. Gregorio says you need to have one.

This is Gregorio's lesson to you for the entire week. What that means is you practice your figner exercises, you practice streaching your speed, you practice your trailing speed with the focus on writing perfect notes,
you keep track of words and phrases that are making you hesitate and drop and work them into your system by finding the most economic way of writing them by brief or by compressing your way of writing it. I want you to incorporate the briefs I have given you. I want you to be totally familiar with the rules on effect and affect and learn to write them in one stroke. Now, affect and effect are good examples of compressing the steno into the word. I would not call that really a brief. Another one would be inferencce. Instead of writing it EUPB/TPER/EPBS, with just a little thought behind it, we come up with TPH-FRPBS. Same thing with
the word iron. I think for years I wrote I/ROPB. One day I was practicing and discoverd AOEURPB.

Make the most out of your practice: Accuracy, consistency, and speed.

I am available for any questions you have.



How did it go this week for you guys? Did you do some structured practicing? Did you work my briefs into your system?. Are your fingers a little more steady about where they are going and not flopping around after practicing the finger drills? Anybody writing 180 or 200 Q and A should be working on RPR tapes. Once you are able to get comfortable with that, it's time to get uncomfortable again and get some 240 tapes.

Okay. Here are a few more briefs and some phrases from Dennis Steiner -- well, before I do that, let me make sure you are shortening up
your writing. I probably gave this to you before, but I think it is so important I am going to mention it again just to make sure you are doing it. This is the "of" principle: whenever possible write "'of" with the root word. Here are a couple high-frequency things that I want you to incorporate: front of -TPROF
side of - SAOEUF
let's stretch that out now to front of the - TPOFT
side of the - SAOEUFT

cost of - KOFS
scope of - SKOEFP
type of - TAOEUFP
most of - PHOEF
because of - PWAUF
most of them - PHOEFPL
kind of - KAOEUF
out of - OUF
sort of - SOFRB
part of - PAFRB
frb = RV ending
May of
June of
July of
September of
February of
January of
August of
October of

We gain a couple advantages by doing stuff like this: Speed and saving our hands. Do you realize how many strokes you are going to save by thowing that "F" in wherever you can?

we are going to use another principle to add the final R to the
root wod for er/or endings

ad infinitum.

Again, these are things I learned a long time ago from a great reporter from Nevada, Dennis Steiner. If this is repetitious and you guys have incorporated this into your writing, I apologize for the duplication. If this is duplication but you have not taken the time to incorporate it, shame on you.

I remember in my criminal court days the prosecuter would usually have one of the cops on the stand and would say, "Did you have occasion." That came up a lot. Usually they were building probable cause (PRAUS). It always annoyed me because they could absolutely have occasion, but did they in fact. Anyway, Dennis strikes again: TKUFGS - DID YOU HAVE OCCASION.

If you guys work on these concepts, if I don't do one other thing for you,
I will have given you this gift.

I want you to continue making the most out of your practice. If your head is not really into it, skip it that day. I never want you to half-heartedly practice. If you aren't enthusiastic about it, you really are not going to get much out of it. Keep stretching. There will be more principles, briefs and phrases next week for you.



Okay, students, fall in. Have you been practicing with purpose?


Okay. Jumping jacks. Begin.

Have you been practicing with purpose? Okay. If you haven't, you better give your souls to God. I am not your mommy or your daddy. I can't push your little puny fingers. I don't want to hear any excuses.
I want 125 percent.

Okay. I have some pretty cool stuff for you today.

First off, I want to make sure you guys are writing your contractions in
one stoke.

I'll - AOEUL
(I write aisle - AEUL)
they're - THAOER
she'll - SHAOEL
we've - WAOEF
we're - WAOER
he'll - HAOEL
(heel - HA*OEL)
heal - HAEL
you're - AOUR
I've been - AOEUFB

I once ran into a student who was writing around 120, and she didn't think it was important to differentiate between contractions and the spelled out word. After talking to her, I started getting the hives.

Here is a grouping of words that play into each other:

Physical - SKAL
physical examination - SKALGS
therapy - THAOERP
therapist - THAOERPT
physical therapist - TPAEURPT
Physical therapy TPAEURP
(fair preponderence - TPA*EURP)
chiropractor - KAOEURP
chiropractic - KAOEURPT
Dr. - TKR
doctor - TKORBGT
dentist -TK*EPBT
medical records - PH-RDS
hospital - HOPT
emergency room - PH-RPL

high school - HAOL
law school - HRAOL
medical school - PHAOL
grammar school - TKPWAOL
grade school - TKPWRAOL
college - KHREPBLG
clinic - KHR*EUPBG
university - UFRT
education - SKWRAEUGS
educational background - EBD
prescribe - PRAOEUB
prescription - PREUPGS
perform - PORPL
rehabilitate - RABLT
rehabilitation - RABLGS

Lastly I am going to give you the K-ing principle. This is another principle to shorten up your writing. This is again from Dennis Steiner.
ANY word ending in k-ing, leave off the K.

talk - TAUG
walking - WAUG
working - WORG
maKing - MAEUG
trucking - TRUG
stocking - STOG
backing - PWAG (bag - PWA*G)
packing - PAG

Pretend to hear it with a cockney accent

I have given you the er/or principle, the "of" principle,
the K-ing principle, G for ing on the initial stroke whenever possible.

These, again, are things that I learned from Dennis Steiner that I am passing on to you. I keep reiterating this because in my opinion Dennise Steiner is a great contributor to the art of Stenographic shorthand. I want him to get the credit, and I want you to remember his name.

I have given you quite a bit (KWEUBT) to think about and to integrate
into your writing. If you need time to TPH-RGT this stuff, let me know.




Glad you are positive and seeing improvement. Because this is a mental process, a positive frame of mind is essential.

As I told Jennifer, a little at a time. Work on rch or nch until you are comfortable with it. Concentrate on certain words until they are automatic and then it will spread. You can work the MP words in at the same time. On the itl type words, a good one to start with is little.
In fact you can write LGTS as a brief for little, and then you can phrase "little." a little, the little. And because it is high frequency: little bit - HRBT,
a little bit - HRAEUBT. The next one is "title." once you have those two, it will spread to the other words. The mp, use "jump" as your starter word. Remember, not everything at once.




Sometimes instructions can be difficult. Was it criminal or civil? Maybe we will work on some of the terminology that might be helpful. If you can remember, list some of the stuff that might have tripped you up.

Contractions absolutely have to be written in one stroke because they are high frequency words. To start using the k-ing, pick a particular
word, such as working, and use the principle on that particular word.
It will start to become automatic on that word and spread to the other words. You can't do everything at once. A little at a time and you will get there. I have given you a lot to think about. I want you to work hard and stay with me because there is more coming up.

Are my other students around? How is it going? Have you been practcing with purpose? Has it been paying off? Let me hear from you.



Glad you are positive and seeing improvement. Because this is a mental process, a positive frame of mind is essential.

As I told Jennifer, a little at a time. Work on rch or nch until you are comfortable with it. Concentrate on certain words until they are automatic and then it will spread. You can work the MP words in at the same time. On the itl type words, a good one to start with is little.
In fact you can write LGTS as a brief for little, and then you can phrase "little." a little, the little. And because it is high frequency: little bit - HRBT,
a little bit - HRAEUBT. The next one is "title." once you have those two, it will spread to the other words. The mp, use "jump" as your starter word. Remember, not everything at once.


Hi, guys. I'm Greg Adelson. Some of my friends call me Gregorio. I have read the mentor thread, and I have some of my own thoughts on this. First of all, most students do have to be passionate about finishing school and becoming licensed. If you don't have that in you,
you probably will not do it. There are some students, not many, who advance with very little effort. The average person
to make it has to really focus on school.

I think one thing that holds people back is splitting the focus on speed and realtime. I think they should learn realtime techniques and a good realtime theory with a short system. Emphasis on short system. The focus should be climbing in speed and getting out asap.
NCRA gives certain schools their accreditation, and that involves the NCRA focus of every student leaving school has to write realtime. Well, I don't know who decided that, but that's a crock. I would be totally amazed if the
new reporters coming out were walking right into depositions and hooking up attorneys. Realtime is a skill that is worked on constantly with dictionary, with macros. I mean, come on.

We over at Depoman had a student post that she has been assigned a mentor, but the mentor is too busy. Some of us said that we would be her mentor. Because I am semi-retired and things are pretty slow, I give them some weekly lessons along with the participation of some of the fabulous reporters over their.

My focus is on speed. I told them if what I give them conflicts with a one-stroker that they use, to disregard mine. I have been telling them how to approach practicing, that is, to always have a purpose in mind, that their goal is always
speed, accuracy, and being consistent.

As far as the RPR, I think they made it too easy when they allowed you to pass a section at a time. The test doesn't have the same meaning to me.

Back to the students. We have about five of them. Each one has reported some progress. They all have great attitudes. The couple that are gearing up for the RPR have been told to get the RPR tapes and a 240 Q&A tape.

I have been a reporter now for over 40 years. I have court and depo experience. I give them briefs that are
categorical. This week I gave them briefs on medical people and things in a
p.i. case. I gave them some congressional briefs that I could remember. I usually throw in something that may be confusing to a student like affect and effect.

The deal is I want a total effort on their part or I'll go back to playing my clarinet and riding my motorcycle instead.

Greg Adelson, RPR
40 years as a California CSR, Nevada CCR.

The last year living and working in South Florida.


I have to tell you that I haven't used congressional briefs since I went to reporting school, but let's see what I can remember.

senate - STPHAT
senator - STPHOR
Congress - KOPBG
congressional KOPBLG
Legislature - HRAEUFPT
legislation - HRAEUGS
Mr. President - PHR-PT
Mr. Chairman - PHR-FP
Mr. Speaker - PHR-ER
conferee - KAOEFR
budget - PWPLBGT
Congressman - K-PL
When the name comes up like Senator Kennedy, write it the first time,
and when it comes up again, write S*BG. Same thing for Congressman
Baker, K*B.
For Congresswoman, use KPH
(use the same system for the women)
constituent - SWENT
secretary - SKRAER
secretary of - SKRAEFR
argue - ARG
argument - ARGT
State of - STAEUFT
defense - TKWEPBS
(Make sure you know all your state abbreviations so they can be written in one stroke. If any of you write them in more than one stroke, let me know.)
governor - TKPWOF
Attorney General - TOERPBG
good morning - TKPWORPBG
constitution - KAOGS
constitutional - KAOLGS
constitutional amendment - KAOMT
constitutional right - KAORT
colleague - KHRAOEG

And now I will yield my remaining time to my colleagues on either side of the aisle to contribute any further congressional terminology that I
in my past recollection unrecorded have forgotten to list. Back when I learned cogressional, people were referred to then mostly in the masculine gender. A good contribution would be some feminine terminology: Madam Chairperson, et cetera.
Also if the students have terminology they want to contribute, please make your contribution so we can put together a database on congressional.

Again, I invite my colleagues to contribute. Let's see how good your memory is.



Jenn, can I offer you some JC briefs that helped me TR*E (tremendously)?

KRIT(S) = credibility of the witness(es)
BLIT(S) = believability of the witness(es)
GRITS = greater number of witnesses
NITS = number of witnesses
LITS = larger number of witnesses
SMAUTS = smaller number of witnesses
(I know it doesn't go with the pattern, but SMITS is "submits" for me. The fact that it deviates from the pattern is what helps me remember it.)

FAIRP = fair preponderance
FAIRPD = fair preponderance of the evidence
FAIRKD = fair preponderance of the credible evidence
BOD = believe or disbelieve
WOB - worthy of belief
WOBD = worthy of belief or disbelief
NEFD = in evidence
NAOFD = into evidence
SNEFD = received in evidence
SNAOFD = received into evidence
FRAUFD = from the evidence (again, the pattern thing. FREFD is "forensic evidence for me)
FUFND = if you find (I can't belief I wrote that out forever)

I hope these help you a little.


"first of all (TPRAUL), are you guys using time phrases? These are very important high-frequency phrases:

at that time - TAT
at this time - TEUT
at the time - TET
at any time - TPBT
at no time - TOT
at which time - TWEUT
When the word "particular" is introduced into the above time phrases, just slip a final P into your outline when possible.
from time to time - TPREUPLT
at all times - TAULTS
at the same time -TAEUPLT

These guys will become important. They are all three words written in one stroke. One is four words. They are an absolute must.

Here is something kind of cool. Maybe you already have a way of doing this. For did in phrases on the final side, use TD, which will require probably wide keys or use of the Philly shift, where you move your hand over to the right. Wide keys, as I told you before, are something you should have on your machine, anyway.

I did - EU-TD
you did - U-TD
we did - WE-TD
they did - THE-TD
et cetera

In addition to the final-side did phrases, you can use that TD for words ending in D and then past tensed:

banded - PWAPBTD
handed - HAPBTD
candid - KAPBTD
rounded - ROUPBTD

et cetera

As you can see, that can save you a lot of strokes. Work that into your system.


You should take five of these a week. they should be on steno paper taped to the top of your machine so you are looking at them each day of the week. When you have incorporated them, then you move on to the next five. You can just print out what I am giving you. You can't do it all at once and I know that. The briefs I am giving you have a logic to them. You should be able to integrate them without too much trouble.

have you already been using the time phrases? As I said, those are important.

Our friend Tami is at the convention entering the speed contest. That is a mind-blowing test. The Q and A is at 280 words a minute. They have to have special dictators because it is hard to even talk that fast. She will be back in a couple weeks and helping me with moving you guys ahead.

I like your congressional phrases. They are said with frequency and they make sense, they have logic. Good going.

As you know, we cannot brief or phrase everything. sometimes you just have to stroke it out, using your theory as quickly as you can, and then start banging out those briefs and phrases to catch up.

How are the rest of you guys doing? Do you want me to slow down and let you guys catch up before posting new stuff on Saturday?

Give me some input.



I'm going to give you an A for effort. You are doing a great job. Keep it up and it will pay off big time.

Okay. Here are the electric family of words

electric - TR
electricity TR-T
electrician - TREUGS
electrically - TREBG
electrify - TR-F
electrocute - TROEBGT
electrontic - TROPBG
electronically - TROEPBG

I write interest - EUPBT
interests, interested, interesting are just added to the initial stroke.
Again -- very important -- if you have a comfortable conflict-free way of writing these words in one stroke, stay with what you have.

i would like to hear from the rest of the students. I want to know how you are doing. I don't want you to lose the momentum we have been trying to build.


I have a feeling that most of you guys are using the asterisk, but just to be sure, I am going quickly cover the uses of this versatile tool. Some of my colleagues say they are asterisk challenged. As I said in one of my other posts, it is no harder than learning a new guitar chord.
Okay. let's get to it. What I personally use the asterisk for are the following situations: I use it for the -PBG in words like bang and bank.
for words ending in nk, you use the asterisk = BA*PBG (bank)
words ending in th: rot, Roth
for proper nouns as opposed to common nouns: Green vs. green
for curing conflicts, sue vs. Sue. I use the conflict on Sue
some more first names where the asterisk is needed:
Bob, Phil, Brown, Matt, Rob, Fine, Jim, et cetera
I use the asterisk to brief on the fly multi-stroke names or technical words: George Zimmerman - TKPW*Z
Mr. Zimmerman - PHR*Z
Dr. Zimmerman - DR*Z
Kalamazoo, Michigan - K*PL
Another use is automatic punctuation: If the word "well," for instance is
used parenthetically, you put an asterisk in it and define it in your dictionary with a comma after it. Another example would be "in other words", "if you know," "if you recall," ", too," ",though,"
", of course," ", if any," et cetera

curing word boundary problems: Bigfoot/big foot (use asterisk on Big to
cap it and delete the space after it

The following are from Mark Kislingbury's book:

I was - EU FS (FS is used as was in right-hand phrasing)
was I - *EUFS

there was - THR-FS
was there - THR*FS
it was - T-FS
was it - T*FS
he was - EFS
was he - EFS
you were - U-RP (-RP is were in righ-hand phrases)
were you - *URP

There is also a delete space by writing TKHRA*OET, A delete space point delete space = P*OEUPBT

SKP* = &

and there are others, but I am going to stop there. Those are basically
my reasons for using the asterisk
there is also a use of the asterisk dealing with numbers and acronyms. I am going to cut it off here.

This is why it is so important to use the asterisk. This is a smattering within the examples, of course. The realtime reporter have have much, much more. On the -th use of the asterisk, I use it on all -th words whether there is a conflict or not. It takes the thought out of the process.

If you guys want more for next week, please let me know. If I have forgotten any other usage with the asterisk, please let me know. Don't be shy.



Another use of the astrisk is when you want hypens included, for example, three-year-
old boy, my outline is going to be THRA*OELD boy.
This and what I previously posted exhausts my use of the hyphen. I can't imagine not using it. We have people who do a lot of realtime on this site who probably have other reasons for using it.

An important finger exercise I want you to work on is TKPH, TKB. I want you to get comfortable with those patterns so you can write words like demarcation, demented, debris in one stroke. It saves you the stroke of writing
DAOE. Another one I want you to get used to is writing PLTS. I don't want you to have to come back on the plural stroke as a separate stroke with PLT. You just turn the little finger just a bit to get that "s." We are going to make virtuosos out of you. As clumsy as these fingeringss feel now to some of you, with some practice they will become natural and pay off. So let me pump you


Students, how are you doing? Do you have any questions or comments about the asterisk? Are you up with me? Are you ready for more?
I need your help so I can help you. Do you have any questions at all
about speed building, the field in general? Now is your chance.

There is one thing I want to mention to you before I forget -- actually a couple things. One is reading back. Reading back aids in building speed. Aside from seeing your mistakes, it imprints that steno in your brain. When I started out we didn't use computers. We dictated our notes into what the called a Stenorette with all the speaker identification and punctuation. You had to be a terrific reader or you just didn't make any money. With practice, you are seeing ahead, scoping out the punctuation. It is actually an art form. There are still a few of us around that dictated in the sixties and seventies. In the eighties is when I began using a computer to do transcription. Anyway,
that will help boost your speed. Another thing we had an uncanny ability to do was find the needle in the haystack. The jury may have wanted just a specific portion read, and it never took me more than 10 minutes to find exactly what they wanted. Anyway, readback is important.

The next thing I want to mention to you is shadow writing. We all kind of do it. There was even a TV mistery where the killer was a court reporter, and they showed the guy walking along shadow writing with his hands down by his side. Who ever was the technical advisor did a great job. Don't have time to practice? Of course you do. When you are watching TV, shadow write. It is not as good as being on the machine, but there is the process of mind and fingers going on. I went to school with a lady who broke her arm. The head teacher at my school, a reporter and teacher kind of famous in reporting circles, told her to go to each class, including the tape classes. and close her eyes and shadow write. I'll be damned if she didn't pass her 200 within a week after getting her cast off.

Anyway, let me hear from you guys. I've got a lot more for you.


What the attorneys do is they take them to copy services that can take them apart and then revelo-bind them. There are some tricks you can use for that special guy that says something like, "Why would I need to buy a copy from you when I have the original that I can copy." I remember there was one female attorney who had a way of saying that that Gregorio had to hold his hand back from slapping her. What you do for that special someone is you use Super Glue on the spine of the transcript. It turns the spine solid. The pages are fused together. You super glue the velo-strip to the plastic. When they try to take the
booklet apart, they tear the booklet up. It becomes quite obvious someone has tampered with the transcript. Hey, there has to be some payback. It's like, "Take that you cheap insurance company lawyer adam henry."

I also used to use a special footer for that special someone: This transcript is an original, not a certified copy. And the the piece de resistance was when I signed the original, I used a special pen I bought at a reporter convention. When you tried to copy the signature, it wouldn't copy.

Gregorio, out of his good fellowship, has now disclosed all his nasty tricks of revenge and humiliation for that special someone.



Remember I told you to stick in the word "of" whenever you can:
scope of = SKOEFP
back of = PWAFBG
crime of - KRAOEUFPL
side of - SAOEUFD

Now let's add the "the."

scope of the = SKOEFPT
back of the = PWA*FBGT
(I need the asterisk on that one to break a conflict because
PWAFBGT in my world is basket. On some words I use the final "F" as an "S.")

crime of the - KRAOEUFPLT
side of the - SAOEUFT
front of the - TPROFT

And lastly some right-hand phrasing:

for the word "were" in right-hand phrases I use the outline RP

"was" in right-hand phrasing is -FS
(same as above)

"that" in right-hand pharsing is -P
in that - TPH-P

"this" in right-hand pharsing is PBLG
in this - TPH-PBLG

"did" in right-hand phrasing is -TD

"thought" in right-hand phrasing is -FT

Just a little more:

-RL - recall
-R - remember
-RK - recollect
-RZ - recognize

-T = tell
-TS = tell us

If you recall
if you remember
can you remember
et cetera

Yeah, I know it looks weird. Get used to it.

This type of stuff is where the speed lies. You have to hear these phrases as one unit.


Get busy. There is more coming at you.



Yes, this post is about you GDW. It has been at least a year since your school fell out. I told you then and I will tell you again that you would be a very good court reporter. I can foresee good things for you. I know you have a family and you can't totally devote yourself like some of us had the luxury of doing, but I know many, many people in your position who pursued it and made it. Commitment and hard work, GDW. You have already let a year go by. Roll up your sleeves and let's get going.



These are some briefs that I like. I invite you to pick what you like or
print them out and use others at a later time.

anterior - SPWAOR
anteriorly - SPWAORL
posterior - POER
posteriorly - POERL
cartilage - KARLG
ligament - LIGT
ligamentous - LIGTS
ligamentss LIGT/Z
degenerate - TKFPT
degenerative - TK*FPT
degeneration - TKFPGS
District Court - TKR-KT
federal - TPERL
Supreme Court -SPRAOEKT
Superior Court - SPRRKT
Circuit Court - S-RKT

here are direction briefs that I want you to learn and be very clear on.
If you do a case involving property rights, you will have to be fast and accurate on these. They may not come up during your speed tests, but
they have a very important application. I had a client that specialized in
title work on property and surveying work was always a part of the case.

north - NORT
south - SO*UT
east AO*ES
west W*ES

northeast - N*OE
southeast - S*OE
northwest - NORT/W*ES
southwest - SW*ES

northern - NORN
southern - SORN
eastern - AOERN
western - WERN
northeastern - NOERN
southeastern - SOERN
northwestern - NORT/WERN
southwestern - SWERN

northerly - NORL
southerly SORL
easterly - AOERL
westerly - WERL

northeasterly - NOERL
southeasterly - SOERL
northwesterly - NORT/WERD
southwesterly - SWERL

northward - NOERD
southward -
"For a Good (steno) Time ...."
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Glen D. Warner
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Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 1295
Location: Lynnwood, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject: Nuked Posts, Part II Reply with quote

More stuff ...

Lotsa Folks wrote:

Having the big picture, and it is a picture that can shift. When I was teaching myself to be a reporter, the constant question for me was: what is the next thing I need to do to become a successful reporter. It's a very big picture, and an important part of success is keeping your eye on all of it. That's why personal organization is mandatory and should IMO become a major project the moment you head down the CR path.

Here are some of the elements necessary for success. I hope others will add more.

-- Knowing that sometimes we really have to change in order to get what we want, whether it's passing the test or the job or whatever else.

-- Accepting that as a steno writer, if you aren't improving in speed and accuracy, you're falling behind.

-- Knowledge of the code for court reporters in your venue.

-- Excellent English skills.

-- Able to keep track of financial records and monies coming in and out. It is CRUCIAL to keep an eye on this if you want to make a consistent profit.

-- Knowledge of current events and a forever-continuing education. Many people in law are very intelligent, and they expect the person taking the record to be, as well.

-- COMPUTER LITERACY. This falls by the wayside far too frequently. Getting a foundation and keeping up your learning about this essential professional tool is the only way to go. Any investment of time you make in this area will come back many times over. For example, when I had a serious computer issue, I was able to jury-rig an old WinBook of Ted's so that I could make it to an afternoon depo. Whew! That saved me and the agency that gave me that depo some dents in money and reputation. It may not sound like a big achievement, but it's a fact that many reporters are not even able to do something that minimal involving computers. I had a conversation a few weeks ago with another reporter who is presently having some big-time professional problems. She was telling me how mean the software support people were to her. But in the course of her narrative, it emerged that she did not even know extremely basic info about computing. It may have been that the support people were impatient with her and expressed it more directly than they should have, but I do not think they were unreasonable to expect more knowledge from a reporter than she demonstrated to me.

-- Interpersonal skills. Look for good examples in real life and online. Browse bookstores and libraries for books on communication skills; this stuff can be learned.

-- Critical thinking skills. Just because you see it on the Internet or a reporter says doesn't mean it's a good idea, and that's just one example of the logic and discernment required for success in any area.

-- An exercise program. And you are fully justified IMO in squealing, "WHAT?" at that one, but it's true. This profession is quite a challenge to the body. You'll do best if you feel well, and you will avoid ending your career prematurely if you take care of your health with special attention to circulation and the musculoskeletal system. Ergo, an exercise program.

-- Transcript production. This is the one area where I fell very flat in my self-designed, at-home, turn-Cathryn-into-a-CR program. Before you go too far past theory, you should be producing practice transcripts. Yes, agencies and venues differ in their formats. But if you understand the basics of what goes into a transcript and how you get it there using your CR software, you are doing yourself a huge favor, and your first months as a court reporter will be far less difficult than they could be.

I just know I've left some components out. Pundits?

Cathryn Bauer, RPR. CA CSR


Can't stress enough Cathryn's mention of computer literacy, especially as attorneys are getting younger and are already computer/internet savvy -- well, most of them, anyhow. I can't tell you how many times I walk into a depo that's supposed to be a realtime depo and the atty is SO surprised that I get him hooked up on the first try, usually within five minutes. Most of them are always telling me that they're always running into reporters that just can't get them hooked up.

My guess is that a lot of reporters simply DON'T WANT to do realtime and they just fall back on the old "I can't get it to work; let's just go ahead with the depo" excuse. But then a lot of reporters simply don't want to take the time to study the Control Panel, let alone System Devices, to learn how to troubleshoot a connection.

The other thing to keep in mind if you want to maximize your time and money in this game is to seriously think about carrying around an extra laptop -- or two. I don't bring my extra two computers to some jobs 'cause I know that they're not going to want realtime, but on more complex cases with expensive attys, I ALWAYS bring my extra carrying case that has my two extra ThinkPads. I fire at least one of them up as I'm setting up my gear, and more often than not, I'll ask the atty if he/she wants LiveNote -- they might be an out-of-towner in their firm's San Diego office taking the depo and I'll hear -- A LOT -- "Oh, I didn't bring my laptop with me" -- to which I respond: "Oh, no problem, Counsel. Here. I have an extra one ready to go." Can't tell you folks how many times over those extra laptops have paid for themselves already by my getting extra feed(s) I wouldn't have gotten were it not for having the extra computers ready to go.

Keep it in mind, people.


Lisa M. wrote: I always want to ask a doctor who is abusing me with speed how many surgeries he performs in an hour. Let's say the answer is one. Then I want to ask him how precise he thinks he could be if he had to perform four surgeries in the same time frame. The same is true for reporters.

I like that Lisa. Definitely filing that way for next time and I WILL use that on a doctor -- or anyone.

I definitely agree that students should be writing WAYYY more than 200-225 upon graduation. But the schools and/or students would never go for something like that. Then NO ONE would ever exit school. But that's the interesting thing about this profession: There ain't no fakin' nothin': Either you've got it or you don't, and there's nowhere to run and hide.

I haven't practiced in 20 years. Does the thought of writing after a two- or three-week vacation/hiatus scare the bejeesus out of me? You bet. But the last thing I want to do after a vacation is sit down with the machine and practice. Ya wing it. Takes about an hour or two to get your "sea legs" again -- maybe even a day or two in some cases -- after our Jamaica trip comes to mind. It's a function of how much relaxation was enjoyed.

The point I'm trying to make is that once you have a good level of experience at this, you can pretty much get back into it pretty quickly, but the need to practice in my opinion comes from the lack of speed from the beginning. If you're not writing a SOLID 200/225QA after school, then it's definitely going to be a struggle. These young attys are FAST. I've said it before. Every working reporter knows it. What you lack in speed, sure, you can make it up in experience as time goes on. I can't agree with the statement that providing good realtime is unrealistic; it's the fact that most kids getting out of school simply aren't fast enough to begin with. I can keep up with just about everyone I come in contact with AND keep it under .5 untran AND edit on the fly, etc.

This is what students need to strive for. Is this the Student Boot Camp section? I can't even tell. This SHOULD be in the student section. Your base speed comes from studying in school and then honed out in the field. There are too many distractions in my opinion when working out in the real world to make time for practicing.

Hopefully students are reading ALL the sections here.

I rambled. I do agree, though, that the JCR commentary could have been a bit less condescending.




I made up this system and found it works well.

J-RM - objection, form
JORM - objection to form
JOERM - objection to the form
B-RM - object, form
BORM - object to form
BOERM - object to the form
-LG - leading (I now write willing WILG)
J-LG - objection, leading
JOLG - objection to leading
JOELG - objection to the leading
B-LG - object, leading
BOLG - object to leading
BOELG - object to the leading (add an asterisk for bowling)
JOIF - objection, nonresponsive
BOIF - object, nonresponsive
SP-F - responsive
SAOKS - same objection

I'm still working on others.


Jan's Practice Regimen ....


I, too, have lolly-dagged around so much. I allow life to get in the way of my practice time. I'm trying to get serious here -- to be ready for the RPR in Nov.
I've been at this for a long time: four years now. Now, I do believe it would take me at least three years because there's so much more to learn than writing. When I was younger, I never took school seriously; and I'm making up for it now.

I had stopped my practice with Fast Track for a long while. Ever since I put it back into my practice routine, I see a big difference in my writing.

My current practice day consists of:

15 - 20 minutes Fast-Track
Names & Numbers dictation
Q&A dictation (3)
Lit or Jury Charge (2)
One dictation on read back
Multivoice dictation (trying to learn to get accustomed to change of speakers)

I need to finish this! I've come too far now. I don't want to settle for low-paying job or become dependent on a man (I'm single). It's nice to hear inspirational stories, and I hope one day here soon I can share my success.

Sounds like you have disipline. That's what you need!

Let's keep practicing!



Sharing a Plan (from courtreportingstudents, 18JUL08)

This was a plan I made when I was a full time student and not working:

I made this last year when I was struggling big time. I am at my parents house looking at all my court reporting stuff in my court reporting folder on the computer and came across this.

I thought to share this with you all. I think one would need about six hours to do this list.


Finger drills
Number drills
Fast track (add two a day)
Hesitation list (40 a day)
Brief practice (40 a day)
Q&A briefs/phrases


****I will at least try to do one for control(at the speed I passed) and another at a push speed (+10 of what I need to graduate) and another for the speed I need to pass.



Take a take straight through -- don't stop writing.

**** Clearly mark where each take begins and ends.

Read back from paper out loud and on screen.

Make notes on paper in regards to:

Words that should have been phrased
Briefs I should have used
Words that I had a hard time reading back

****Write notes all over the paper tape if need be.

Update dictionary.

Read the notes you wrote on the paper tape.

Take the same exact take for the second time. Stop the
dictation when you encounter any hesitation and all phrases and words that you use a brief for, and words I would like to use a brief for.

Read the notes from the second take. Again create notes as
you did the first time where need be. Look up briefs and create a table for hesitation words, phrases, and briefs used in the take.

Update dictionary.

Read notes on paper in regards to the second take. Study the list made. Practice to a metronome. The beats per minute should be at the speed you are trying to pass (for me now 100).

Do not quit.

Scramble the list to avoid memorization if need be. After no more than 20 minutes, take the same dictation again
for the third time. This will be the last time.

Read the paper tape and makes notes.

Now read each take and all the notes that were taken.

Identify weak areas, and congratulate yourself on improvements.

Take the same take again once tomorrow. Have a simple read back, take notes if necessary. Take the same take once each day until it is 97% accurate.

Don't give up.

Hope it helps. It helped me when I used it for a month--- then I started working full time-- and really had no time.


Mj2 wrote:

Now, when you were practicing to the 260 were you flying everywhere at first? If so, how long would you say it was before you started feeling like you were getting into a rythm with the 260's, if you remember?

Oh, yeah, pure s#!t at first...nothing but slop, slop, slop. I don't remember the exact time it took me to feel good with it, but I only had two weeks I think (or maybe it was even a week now that I think about it?) from the time I implemented this practice technique until the cert test.

SMAFT, I remember now, I had five days -- got home from a Mark K convention on a Sunday evening and had to leave Friday night for the cert test. Plus I was sick as a dog that week -- almost went to the MERM in an asthma fit the night before the test.

Anyway, took that whole week off work and practiced my arse off. I remember thinking at first that this was never going to happen, I'm writing nothing but slop, but the more I did it, it really worked.

To clarify, when I say "something for everything" I'm not talking about just slapping your fingers down and hitting STWHA*UFGSZ for "elephant." Get something that's relevant to the word: EL or FANT. Just slapping down your fingers does you no good.

As your ears get used to the sound, as you brain becomes more able to process it, as your fingers learn to move faster, then those multiple syllables begin to fall into place.

Now, if your testimony is more in the 200 range and you can pass them now and again, I think practicing at 240 is a good goal. Once you're passing 200s solidly, then up the practicing to 250-260 to get you over the 225 hump.

Another thing I did during this time frame: Listen to nothing but talk radio. Whether you agree with him or not, Rush Limbaugh talks faster than the hills. Listen and write in your head. If you take a break and watch TV, write in your head.

Good luck!

Andrea Murphy


Ditto Andrea's advice.

I passed the RPR finally (on try #7) because the few weeks before the test I listened to only RMR tapes. I passed the Missouri CCR on the first try because I was preparing for the RMR (which took place two weeks later) and therefore was listening to insane speeds, like 300.

I got the RMR (didn't get it that time...my wonderful group of friends planned our Mexico mission trip to take place BETWEEN those two tests Mad ) on Try #3 when I ONLY practiced to those crazy speeds. And I don't write the warmup.

(Note: To have dictation at 300+ I've recorded my dictation into my CAT software, which can speed up audio, so I can have whatever speed I want.)

It's rough, and it's frustrating, and no, you DON'T read back and analyze your errors, but soon you don't suck as much, and then you write clearly for a bit longer, and eventually I got to where I was like, "Did I remember to speed up that take?" And lo and behold, I did!

And Mark K's stuff WORKS. (For me. Others' mileage may vary.)

-Kathryn A. Thomas, RMR, CSR-IL, CCR-MO
Freelancing in St. Louis and Illinois Metro East St. Louis


Starting a Business:

Again I agree with Lisa.

Maybe in a while spend your PROFITS on something like a calendaring system, but as a startup you have LOTS of "needs" that must to purchased before you purchase any "wants."

Do you have the following items:
Copy machine
Binder (everybody in So Cal Velobinds their tripts)
File cabinets
Few cases of paper
Tabs if you're going to tab transcripts
Covers, backs and plastic fronts
Mailing boxes/padded bags (can't use regular envelopes b/c your tripts will be crushed)
Accounting software like QuickBooks, etc.
Printing software like E-Transcript or pdf-it
A GOOD and FAST desktop with LOTS of storage
A GREAT internet connection
A business line or two (maybe three, one for your fax)
A system to send/receive faxes (to receive you can use E-Fax so you can receive faxes in your e-mail while you're at jobs)
An aircard or other device so you can check e-mail on your laptop while at jobs?
Money set aside so you can pay an overflow reporter within 30 days so that they will work for you again?
An account set up with FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc., to deliver regular tripts? (Be forewarned re dealing with USPS. Anything over a certain weight and you HAVE to stand in that long line and personally hand it to the clerk. No dumping it in a bin. If you dump it in a bin, it will be returned to you.)
An account set up with a delivery service to deliver expedites?
Relationships with overflow reporters to call, even at the last minute?
A book of all overflow reporters that you keep at your side almost every minute, so that you can call them even when you're on the freeway going to a job?
A relationship with a "scheduling" firm (Like Louie in Los Angeles or the gal in Torrance) so if you can't cover one of your jobs, that you can pay him/her to cover it for you?
Have you ordered your business cards, covers, rolodex cards, and printed up some blank business cards for your overflow reporters?
A GOOD shredder
A color copy machine for color exhibits
A stock of all print cartridges and toner for every printer and copy machine you own? You'll always run out when you're doing an expedite, Judy's law.
Have you gone online and bought your domain name yet? If not, do you know who you're going to use?
Have you gotten your dba?
Are you going to incorporate?
Have you gotten your business license?
How about your business bank account? Business checks and deposit receipts and deposit stamp for the back of your checks to be deposited?
Are you going to offer tripts on CD? Then you need a supply of CD/DVDs.
How are you going to label your CD/DVDs? I have a Casio CD printer that works fairly well. I'm happy with it. Pens are tacky and labels are a no-no.
How are you going to deliver your CD/DVDs? Plastic sleeves with sticky backs? Plastic cases?
How about conference rooms? Do you have a list of conferece rooms already in your book that doesn't leave your side so when your client calls and says (and they will), "Can you set up a depo for me by the airport? In Palm Springs? In San Clemente b/c the witness is coming from San Diego and we don't want to cross Camp Pendleton?
"Original" and "Certified Copy" stamps?
Are you going to be using an answering service? Have your phones transferred to your cell when you're "on the road"?

The list is endless.

Yeah, Lisa, that brings up another point: Being able to perform less-than-routine maintenance on your copy machine if it goes down... during an expedite (remember, Judy's law). Do you know how to unjamb the stickies of jambs? Change the rollers? Mine has a container that the extra toner gets dumped into, beind the copier. First time that happended and I got an error code and HAD to call the copy machine repair man out (took over 24 hours, always does), and he showed me that stupid container that now I have to dump every two weeks. And you always need an extra drum on hand, because the tech never has one in his truck and you need it NOW!!!!! You can't have lines going across every stinkin' page.... and this is an EXPEDITE!!!

I know how to troubleshoot almost everything with my copy machine. It's just one of those things you learn.

And that stapler that we NEEDED when we bought our machines? I've had mine removed because ~when~ I did have employees, they ALWAYS jambed the stapler and then the copy machine was down until the copy machine repair man could get there... within 24 hours. I think they did it on purpose, actually, so they didn't have to copy any longer.

--Judy Runes


I'm with DP on this - practice slow, slow, slow so you can right perfect steno. You need a foundation.

I'm a professional musician - have been for 30 years - and slow practice is vital to success.

The "click" you speak of is the magic of automatic response. Automatic responses can be developed through repetitive, accurate, practice, to be sure, but you can actually practice how to respond automatically, as an isolated exercise, as well. Here's how:

Take a word - one that uses all regions of the keyboard. It doesn't matter which word. A one-stroker.

Sit in front of your steno machine, ready to write, but allow your arms to dangle at your sides. Just be.

Think the word - don't say the word in your head, just think it.

Ponder the quality of the initial sound, then the vowel sound, then the final sound. Be very right-brained, here.

I can't promise you how long it will take, but eventually you arms will levitate themselves to the keyboard and write the word. Very Zen!!!

If you allow yourself to practice this with a couple of different words, you will open yourself up to a more right-brained way of hearing speech. You will write more relaxed, with better coordination, because you are teaching your body to respond to sound.

When you hear the quality of the phonics, you will stop repeating words in your head, which can really hinder speed and relaxtion.

I learned this technique as a musician and use it with my students - it works.

I remember crying the first time I heard 60 words a minute. All I could do was start to approach the steno machine like I did my instrument, and was delighted to see that the same principles apply. I'm knocking off my 160s now and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hope some of this helps - just wanted to give you another arrow in your quiver!!




"For a Good (steno) Time ...."

Last edited by Glen D. Warner on Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Glen D. Warner
Registered Diplomate Ranter

Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 1295
Location: Lynnwood, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:24 am    Post subject: More Nuked Posts, Pt III Reply with quote

Here's some from DP that all students should read (note that some may not be from the old Depoman forum ... but they all ended up in the same file anyway):

DP wrote:

What are you doing "instead of" practicing ? ?

If it's a priority, it will get done. :-)

Lots of working single moms of two kids practice their way to the other side of the RPR :-) So you are in good company and it's completely do'able :-)

If you are at work, you can't really practice.

If you are tending to kids, you can't really practice.

So what usually works best is at home when the kids are asleep. Most working single moms are pretty tired at night, so that leaves, not at work, not when the kids are awake, and not at night. :-)

So set your alarm clock and do your steno practice before the kids get up, before you go to work. This way, no matter what else your day holds for you, you Already Did your steno practice.

Lots of working single working moms pass the RPR this way. You can do it too :-)

If you absolutely cannot get up earlier, cannot practice whlie at work, and cannot practice because of mom duties, then that is probably just your reality and maybe you just can't be practicing steno this season and that's just the way it is.

I've always worked what The Early Shift - - the pre-dawn hours. I'll be up early if you want some accountability. :-)

~~ DP ~~

If you are been practicing as best you could in your own set of personal circumstances, you probably are right where you should be.

I imagine you are practicing:

-- speedbuilding separately from

-- practicing for accuracy

-- doing finger dexterity drills

-- writing a lot of different types of material from print

If so, you are probably right at the speed you should be, considering your circumstances.

And yes, it's an individual thing. And progression of mastery in speed levels is not necessarily a straight linear progression, so we can't really predict where you will be later in time and when you will pass your RPR, etc. Most folks make progress in fits and starts, not necessarily 10 wpm every so many weeks on regular intervals . :-)

Practice wisely, what you can, when you can, and you should be right where you should be in the months to follow too. :-)

~~ DP ~~

know that trailing is good to do as you can improve the accuracy as well as speed. Therefore, how long should one trail while in school?

What does "trail" mean? Attend the dictation class you already passed, or does it mean trail the speaker? I always trailed a class, went to goal class, and then push class, so there were three dictation classes I attended. If you mean Trail the Speaker, I always write better trailing by more than a few words. Maybe my brain is slow and needs those several (instead of few) words to process.

Should one start using briefs going all the way through school or should we write the way that we learned in theory?

Oh, I always briefs, phrased, and scrunched . .. everything I could. . . and more as I made them up or heard about them from someone else. I'm sure if you brief, phrase, and scrunch your writing into fewer strokes from the beginning, it's the same as "theory" because it's learning to write with those outlines from the start. I"ve heard people say you should brief, phrase, or scrunch . .because maybe you won't remember them, but if you can't remember them it's not an issue and you are just going to write it out anyway, so I never did understand exactly why that was good advice. :-)

~~ DP ~~

Each student definitely needs to work with their particular strengths and weaknesses.

This is always the main point in practice.

Some pick up briefs and phrases with no problem (obviously you are in that category!)

What?? Huh?!! Well, that might be insulting actually, but I suppose it was supposed to be a compliment *grin I practiced purposefully, expending a lot of time, thought, and effort in order to pick up those briefs and phrases "with no problem" :-) I wouldn't mind some credit now and then for my efforts, but it rarely comes. People who work hard tend to be told they "have talent" instead. :-) In fact, I had taped a quote I cut from somewhere and taped it onto my steno machine. It reads "Sure I was lucky, but if you think and plan and then work like crazy, it's amazing how lucky you'll become" That is "how" the I picked up those briefs and phrases with "no problem" by making sure it wasn't "a problem" :-) Many times the efforts of those who who think and plan and work like crazy are dismissed rather than acknowledged. Everything in learning to write steno with accuracy and speed is "a problem." The idea is to recognize those 'problems' and eliminate them. :-)

but others do have problems with briefs and phrases and opt not to use an overabundance of them.

And they shouldn't, I agree, if they do not practice them and assimilate them into their writing. Which is kind of a moot point really. If they can't remember them, they are not going to stroke them and then they are going to go back to some previous outline.

I think we would all agree that if they work for you, use them!

I guess my point is, they (briefs, phrases) don't Work For Me . . .. I work for them. :-) And if you work for them (practice, assimilate into writing without hesitation) then the briefs/phrasing will then, after that, work For You.

And if you find briefs and phrases tough to assimiliate at the beginning of your speedbuilding, don't totally discount them...come back and try some again as you move up in speed and gain greater comfort with writing.

Listening to slower tapes or attending "slower" dictation classes is a great way to practice your briefs and phrases, because you can trail the speaker long enough to put those scrunched strokes in "with hesitation" and still catch up to the speaker. I did this and it was a very effective efficient use of time. Eventually those briefs/phrases/scrunched strokes because automatic and then you can start adding other scrunched strokes in as you go. If you do that from the early beginning speed classes by the time you are 10 speed classes ahead, your writing with the briefs and phrases will be automatic.

But none of writing, not even basic theory strokes will ever "work for you" . . . .until you have first "worked for it." :-)

If someone can't remember the briefs "fast enough" during dictation, the speed class is too fast for those outlines. If someone can't write it out fast enough during dictation, the class is just too fast for him. We can all slow down to somewhere where we can in fact write those briefs or write it out. So just because someone can't remember the briefs fast enough doesn't necessarily mean to drop the briefs, but rather to reduce the speed of dictation. Same thing if you are not briefing and can't remember steno strokes . . .slow down the dictation speed. until you can get it, and the gradually build up again . :-)

Lack of proper practice doesn't mean briefs and phrases in and of themselves are not a good idea. Having unrealistics expectations about writing beyond your skill level doesn't mean one should avoid using briefs and phrases. :-)

And it's never too late to add them. Just this week I used for the first time STAURT = Is that your signature . . .. now that would have come in handy years ago :-)

~~ DP ~~

saw my practice as two different things. Speed and accuracy.

If you are hitting the keys but writing sloppy outlines, then to me I would work on accuracy. Print work and reading back helped accuracy for me. Also just being determined to write Only Accurate Outlines instead of hitting the keys hoping I was getting helped with accuracy too.

If I were dropping, I would work on speed.

I think writing and reading back (and repeating, repeating repeating) helps both speed and accuracy.

I wrote from printed material a lot, so I got used to writing unfamiliar words, words not in dictation at school. I may not hear the same words on a speed test, but you know, the finger motion of moving from one stroke to the other were bound to kind of repeat itself in similar syllables in words actually on the speed tests at school.

Take some printed material and prop it up on a typing stand (book holder, etc.,) Write the first line of the text. Then read your steno paper. Then write the first two lines of the text. Then read your steno paper. Did you hesitate on anything on the first two lines? yes? Great! Fantasic! That's what you want. You want to find that you have Hesitation. You don't want to practice what you already can do without hesitation. We want to find hesitations and eliminate them. (well, I did anyway) So then I would write those two lines again, read back,; repeat repeat repeat until I could write them without hesitation. Then I would write the first 3 lines of text. And I just wrote margin to margin, no matter if it was in the middle of a sentence. That doesn't matter. :-) And just repeat, readback; repeat; readback; repeat. . . until I could write those 3 lines without hesitation. And repeat that process adding another line when I was due . .. until my practice time allotted to print-work that day was over. I found that by the time I got way down the page, my fingers were pretty solid on the sentences I'd been writing all those times in towards the top of the page. And it's very satisfying way to practice, because I could sense my hesitation at first, and then at the end, I could see my fingers wrote without hesitation and I knew that I "made progress" that session. Good for morale. :-)

Practice from print-work helped my fingers not to hesitate when hearing unfamiliar material or writing an unfamiliar finger change (unfamiliar from what I was used to hearing in school or on speed tapes) And reducing hesitation equals speed. Reading back the steno from the paper so often helped the accuracy. I suspect it imprinted those steno outlines in my brain too, but I have no research to back that up. It just seemed to be really effective to me.

It would seem that I was not "practicing that much" because I spent so much time reading. . .but it worked for me.


~~ DP ~~

Anyone have a solution to help control the jitters before taking a test?

I just wrote a reply in another topic about this.

My solution was to make the test seem really s-l-o-w.

We can all write the Slow Stuff, right? Because it's easy, perhaps your jitters will mellow out.

If you are writing for 90s tests, make sure you can routinely pass a lot of 100 and 110 speed tapes at home.

Your 90s test will then seem s-l-o-w at school .

I suspect your test jitters will relax when your tests seem Easy (slow).
It worked for me :-)

~~ DP ~~

After reading the article, "Would It Have Been Easier to Have Become a Brain Surgeon?" in JCR, I was wondering how long is too long for going to school? When do you throw in the towel on becoming a court reporter?

Well, that's going to be a personal decision. It can take a really long time if your practice is not super efficient. If your speedbuilding methods are really efficient it can take a lot shorter. It can help to be hungry *wink. Single moms tend to have a highest rate of getting out of school on the shortest side of average school length :-)

How financially do you keep going to school, when does financial aid quit allowing you to get loans for school?

Well, I for one quit school . . . and just practiced and studied at home. Jumped back in when I was ready to test out of the academics and when I could write 200 two-voice at home.

I felt the our school's "curriculum" was really inefficient for the moeny . 3 classes of dictation per day. Didn't give any tips for efficient effective practice. I made the most progress when not in school, practicing at home, and when in school, only going to 1 class and doing my own practice during the other two classes instead of attending class. I also did independent study for a lot of the 'academic' classes and then just "took the final" and therefore tested out of the academics earning credt once I got back enrolled. That way I avoided tuition, worked a job for income, and practiced during non-job hours. Instead of tuition payments, I bought practice tapes from whatever sources were available back then, including NCRA, and bought study books both dictation-type and academics. As for financial aid . .there are legal parameters for that and I don't know what they are .As for your case, maybe there are ways your practice time and efforts could be changed to make it more efficient, effective, and help you get through those speeds more quickly. What do your Steno days look like now? What do you write, how do you write, do you have classes, what practice do you do outside of school hours, etc. :-)

~~ DP ~~

I always went for accuracy over speed.

And did lots of finger technique drills.

By the subject line I thought this would be a question of whether to 'drop' during dictation or to trail the speaker. I always trailed the speaker and never dropped until I was so far gone I couldn't remember what was said, and then I'd pick up again.

So my tests were always no drops except for several word passages in a row.

But I specifically practiced in such a way that my accuracy was tops, so even on my speed tests, I had a very long dropped passages, and still passed because everything else was there and accurate.

Practicing slower WITH accuracy is what helped me. That and finger drills (Heller) because I scrunched a lot of words and briefs into single strokes which required accurate finger gymnastics, if you will. :-)

~~ DP ~~

Maybe a paradigm shift ? :-)

Really the ONLY test that counts is that 225 at the end of the line. So that's the ONLY test that one 'needs to' be nervous about, or that one should "want to" pass, etc. Our school had a four voice 200, and I felt the only way to pass that very hard test was to be able to write 2-voice at 225 and pass those speed tests, which would make the 4-voice 200 seems slow and easy. (my plan worked)

The REAL GOAL is accuracy and speed.

First comes accuracy, with accuracy comes speed.

Finger drills helped the fingers not hesitate switching from one position to the other and made the fingers hit the correct keys and only the correct keys. Practice writing from printed material until there were no hesitation helps muscle memory and reduces hesitation. So the REAL goal is accuracy without hesitation .. which results in speed. And yes, exposure to lots of different material, repeated practiced until get'able without hesitaton, another goal. Those things are the True Goal. Passing your speed tests will happen "on accident" when you are focusing on Skill/Speed Development rather than focusing on "passing a test."

So if I knew I was practicing in an effective, efficient manner, diligently putting my time in . . . . then there was nothing to get nervous about on the test :-) I'm not taking your nerves lightly either. The Test Pass's will come when your Skill Development surpasses that goal speed. In order to pass a speed test, it has to seem "slow" enough to get accurately. If you are writing 200s, you can pass your 130 test no problem. If you are writing 130 speed tapes accurately, the 90s speed test at school is going to seem slow. So think of Speed/Skill development as a linear slope up to passing that 225, you will make continual progress and as your speed/skill surpasses your goal test speed . . . . you will naturally begin passing your speed tests.

So the goal is NOT your speed test. (that's the paradigm shift) The Real Goal is those 240's tapes. Just keep doing your practice in an effective and efficient manner . . . and I think you nerves will mellow out because your "practice" becomes the goal, not "that speed test."

Remember too, you will test as you practice. If you aren't consistently passing your practice tapes at home, then you aren't going certainly aren't going to pass your Speed Tests at school either, even if you are not nervous at school. If you really can in fact pass your practice speed tapes at home and you just plain get super nervous anyway, then give yourself credit for that. If that's your reality, so be it. :-) But don't expect to pass your 130s Speed Test at school until you can pass all your 140s speed tapes at home. That gives you that margin for nerves. And just keep in mind you want to be writing and passing your 240 tapes at home later if you are going to get nervous when you write for your 225 RPR test.

I always kept in mind, the easiest way to pass a Speed Test is for the speed test to seem s-l-o-w. We can all write the Slow Stuff, right? :-) The only way to make the Speed Tests seem s-l-o-w is to be able to write faster already. And then we don't have to wonder if we are going to pass our Speed Test that day. When we are passing our 140s practice tapes daily at home no problem, then we know that one day soon we should be passing our 130s Tests in the classroom.

What speed are you testing at now?

~~ DP ~~

I'm in the process of doing this too. It makes life (job) so much easier when "everything" sounded "so slow" :-) And with all that speed under my belt, I could play around more with Realtime with all my spare time on the job and make my realtime more accurate. So I am just going to do my Practice Sessions as I did in school that got me to 250 way back then :-)

1 -- Write accurately only and do not sacrifice accuracy for speed. Ever. And read back from steno.

2 -- (for audiotape/dictation work) Hang on and trail the speaker until I just can't remember anymore and then just jump back in where the speaker is now and pick it up from there. This is rather than drop some short amount "just to get what they say next." So I would trail from memory and then drop huge chunks and just dive back in when I don't know what keys to hit next because I can't remember what they said way back then. (I passed many, many a speed test this way. Drops in segments of several to flat out many words, but everything else was crisp clear accurate strokes and thus made the transcript)

3 -- Use my Sanyo -- what is it? 8088 ? -- the audiotape transcriber, with tapes from where I can get them. NCRA. Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville had great (difficult) dication tapes. I don't use CD and computer (I was pre- that technological advance *wink) And I use the technique above, and then backup to 'before' where I messed up, and repeat, repeat, repeat those finger combinations, strokes, until I can 'get it' without having to rewind . . . and then just keep on going through in the tape.

4 -- And maybe this should be #1. Use Heller finger technique drills, reading from steno checking for accuracy, shadows, mistrokes, etc. I credit the finger technique drills for eliminating hesitations (which is the definition of speed really).

5 -- Write from random text (trade magazines for industries we don't even hear in expert testimony, older novels, etc.) for stroking-phonetically rather than briefing or phrasing, because I brief and phrase "everything" *wink (Have I mentioned I hate hitting the keys? *wink) The unfamiliar and random text in trade magazines or novels from the turn of the century (odd vocab, atypical syntax, etc.) are great new patterns for fingers. . . . . . and read back from steno.

That's really all I did in school . . . and out of school actually. I dropped out of steno school in the 4th month and just practiced at home until I could write 200s, then I went back in and re-enrolled. So I know it was a method that worked for me.

So that's how I practiced in school, and I did a lot of that. And always focusing on Hitting Only Accurate Outlines even at the expense dropping and also not-dropping but rather trailing the speaker for dear life so to speak and only dropping when I got so far behind I couldn't even remember what was said.

The benefit of only hitting Only Accurate Outlines is obvious. The Trailing for dear life comes in handy because many times I don't end up having to drop at all . . . . I just may need to remind myself to . . breathe . . once I've caught up . . or in a depo, when the other folks decide to take a breath themselves.

My RPR expired years (and years and years ) ago. I am thinking of re-testing and going for RMR myself. :-)

~~ DP ~~

It's a little paper booklet, almost could be considered a Pamplet. It's small and only 30 pages. It's basically landscape about fifteen 8 x11 paper stapled in the middle.

"Stenotype Finger Technique"

By S. Sanford Heller

Course in Finger Power

Copyright 1939, 1946, 1969

It's probably about five bucks (unless I'm showing my age) and should be available at most Court Reporting Schools.

The first exercises are:







So if you see that on page 8, you know you have the same booklet. :-)

~~ DP ~~

I've got three 225's left to pass it's IMPOSSIBLE!! Any tips!?!?!?!

Sure. :-)


1-- Write from random print material. Read Back your tape (paper)
Words that you don't usually hear in depo or court.
LIke some random trade magazines from the library from some obscure industry or trade. Don't brief this stuff. Stroke it out.

What I found this did was introduce new finger dexterity that I wasn't used to hearing over and over in court/depo type school and tape dictation.

It isn't the "outlines" we can't write after two years, it's the "finger switching" from one stroke to the next stroke that we need to keep dexterity.

I did a pyramid type of practice.

Write the first line across (even if it is a partial sentence) read back your tape (paper)

Any shadows? mistrokes? hesitations? Be honest (!) if so, re-write just the first line and read back. mistrokes, shadows? hesitations? Write Slower until you can get it in a rhythm and no hesitation and no mistrokes.

Repeat just the first line (which will be at most just several words) until you got no hesitation ... then
write the 1st and 2nd lines (lines across the page, not sentences)

Any hesitations? If so, Good! that's what we want. To find those hesitations and eliminate them (which equals speed) repeat lines 1 and 2 until you "got" it in a rhythm without hestitation.
Then write lines 1 2 and 3 read back your tape (!)
and so on and so forth

after a while you will have written line 1 fifty times and you have great muscle memory for that
line 2 probably got written 45 times, line 3 probably got written 40 times
and so one.
So we build finger dexterity and muscle memory for finger "switching" for stroke to stroke this way. Very Effective !

Sure, your speed tests probably will never say Those Exact Words, but they will say words that have Similar Finger Switching strokes that there on the test you will "not" hesitate and that's what passes tests. Y

2-- along with #1 above, . . .finger technique exercises. I used Heller's but Anita Paul seems to have a similar type book. I'd use both

3--Audiotape speed building practice.

I held the mindset that I"d never pass my 80s tests until I could write several 90s takes at home with accuracy and skill.

You wont' pass a 130 test until you are "passing" your 140s takes ( and lots of them) at home audiotapes.

So the way to pass your 225s is to be able to write your 240s at home.

When you can write multiple 240s takes at home . . that's when you will be passing your 225 tests in school. :-)

I used a Sanyo 8080 Transcriber machine to practice my speedbuilding.
It has a foot pedal for play and backup-repeat.

If I didn't get the dictation, i would lift/depress that pedal twice so it would back up (quite) a bit before where I had my hesitation or drop. I would do that until I could iron out those finger changes, until I could get the take . . . and then I'd keep on going . ..and just repeated that for my practice session on and along throught he dictation tape take.

Another thing that helped is from my 80s class, I focused on only hitting Good Outlines.
Don't hit the keys and hope you got it, or hope you can read it back later.
Only Hit Proper Steno Outlines. Take the time to set your fingers up accurately and Then hit the keys.

If you start tolerating mistrokes because you can read through them, especially early in school . . .that's just going to snowball and you're going to spend more time in the highest speeds when we all want to just be done with school :-)

And remember, if you can't pass your speed tests at school, it's because you don't have the skill. It's not a test that was bad, or that the speaker stumbled on her words.
When we got it, we got it :-) whether they stutter or not, whether a siren goes by outside or not, etc.

Proper practice is very important.

Give yourself a break and don't expect to pass your speed tests at school until you are passing your speedbuilding tapes at home at ten wpm faster than your school goal speed.

When the dictaton is slow, it's easy. We can all write the slow stuff !
(for a 120 student 80 is slow; for a 225 student, 180 is slow, etc.)

We can all write the Slow Stuff.

When your goal speed (225) is slow . . you'll be able to pass those tests no problem.

So my advice is build your skill to writing the RMR stuff, 240s speedbuilding tapes at home.

That's when you will pass your speed tests at school.

(and a gentle reminder again about your finger dexterity steno exercises )


~~ DP ~~

I also read with interest DP's advice about pyramid practice. I've tried that the last couple of days and see some benefit, but not much as far as speed goes.

It will take more than a couple days. :-)
And it depends on what you wrote in pyramid practice and what they say on the speed tests. Eventually the two converge and you won't hesitate on your speed tests.

It's the finger switching that is helped, muscle memory and all that, and it really is a valuable exercise :-)

~~ DP ~~

I'm a big fan of finger drills.
If your fingers are out of practice, do 4 different 5-minute sessions of finger drills. What are you using for finger exercises ?
Only hit good outlines. Take time to configure your fingers before you actually hit the keys.
Do five sets of the exercise (for example ILT/IGT)
Read back every series of 5.
Did you shadow? mistroke? If so, those five don't count
do 5 more; read back those five? are they perfect?
Don't tolerate any shadows or mistrokes.
If not perfect, do 5 more, as slowly and un-rhythmically as necessary but hit the perfrectly clean steno.
when those 5 set are prefect on readback, go for and achieve a 2nd set of 5 perfect.

Also, it's not just the steno that's hard to hit . .it's the switching between strokes.
So I would practice my finger drills in rhythms. First just to get the finger gymnastics as slow and as out of rhythhm . .whatever it takes to get the fingers to move that way.
Then I would do syncopation and then reverse it.
if the dril is
ILT/IGT, for example
I'd do ILT/IGT quickly, then pause then position my fingers back on the ILT and hover for have second but not actually stroke it, and then I put press it, stroke ILT/IGT again in fast succesion. And I'd repeat that. Again, for the two sets of five persect outlines.

I'm also a big fan of pyramid practice from printed material.

Oh, and literary and non Q/A and non-JC practice

Sure they say different stuff in QA and JC but I found if I could write a bunch of really hard Lit at 140 that the QA-160 and JC-150 was actually rather easier.

And besides, I heard a lot of QA and JC in the dictation classes already anyway.

I used a transcriber machine (with backup pedal) to practice my tapes.

Also for your pyramid practice from printed material, write a lot of random stuff (technical stuff or weird trade journals from the library, etc.) And don't brief that stuff. Stroke it out.

~~ DP ~~

I would say the opposite

Scrunch and brief that stuff. Don't write it all out.
Very Happy
If you aren't stroking the briefs without hesitation, then drill and practice the briefs, don't throw them away

I would use the briefs and scrunches in the trail class (below goal speed) and not-hesitate )write-it-out if I had to) in the push class (above goal speed). The cycle of this as you move through the speeds is eventually the briefs and scrunching become just like "more theory"

I think what holds folks back from passing speed tests is hesitation, and fingerdrills and pyramid practice from print material help a lot with that ....

So does using a transcriber (with rewind foot pedal) for practincng your
steno audiotapes.

My then fellow students also tended to tolerate sloppy (wrong/bad) steno outlines, and just write slop and hope they can read it in the typing room.

I suggest writing only clean outlines, and hanging on and trailing the speaker instead of dropping. At least some of the time a scrunch, brief, or compfortable series of steno strokes is said next and you can catch up and not have to really drop. You test how you practice so . .. . remember practice doesn't make perfect . . .Perfect Practice makes Perfect.

Anyway, I was a huge fan of scrunch and brief. If you aren't comfortable with them, practice and drill them more . . .don't toss 'em

~~ DP ~~

What you want to get to is where your hands are slapping keys the instant you hear the words spoken.

Wow, I would say the opposite.

Trail the speaker. Wait for them to say 3 or 4 words and then start writing and always stay at least a few words behind the speaker at all times.
That how I did it
That's still how I do it.


Interesting topics here!

~~ DP ~~

I never can remember anyone's name....ever.. (I'm awful!) . .and if they show up tomorrow wearing different colored ties and shirts . . .I barely recognize them *wink

So I write what chair is talking.
I posted at the other forums, but this is what I do and why

I write what chair is talking.

I do mostly depo work and sit on the short end of the table with speakers on left and right of me.

SKWRAO - closest to me on the left (machine keys closest to me)

STPHAO - second person on the left from me (keys one bank away)

STPH-EU - third person on the left from me. I just change vowel side, since he's "farther" Smile

EURBGS - closest chair to me on the right side

EUFPLT - second away from me on the right side

AO- FPLT - third from the right from me (change vowels since he's "farther")

Both left and right letter banks no vowels/no number bar - person on the Center on the short end of the table opposite from me.

If we really have a full house, I use the

1234-AO - for the 4th person from me on the Left (vowels and number bar, both meaning "even farther")

EU- 6789 - for the 4th person from me on the righ ((vowels and number bar, both meaning "even farther")

So I use my "bank" of keys for the side of me that the person is sitting, and play around with my "vowels" to indicate farther away . . and number bar if they are "even farther" away, I suppose is a way to think of it.

Very Happy

And I E-define these in the transcript.
And if folks switch seats to be closer to the witness when asking questions, I just open a new file quickly and easily and stroke the two that switched and write a note to myself who they should be E-Defined as in that file.

~~ DP ~~

but I do have a lot of mistroked words.

What you need to do (in my opinion) is practice for Accuracy.

Practice pyramid style from printed material and read back your tape often, after every pyramid re-start. Circle your mistrokes with a red pen as you are reading. Practice whatever you mistroked, putting that stroke in the middle of a phrase or sentence so that your fingers develop agility to hit the outline correctly From different keyboard/fingering positions and also going To different keyboard/fingering positions from that stroke.

Practice slowly and accurately.

Finger Drills (Heller's and Anita Paul's) - read back your tape.

~~ DP ~~

Do I practice briefs? Do I practice Speed? Do I practice hardcopy?

Yes :-)

And finger drills (Heller's, Anita Paul's)

What speed of practice tapes were you solidly and frequently passing at home before you sat for the State Test ? ?

My secret is make the State Test slow. We can all write the slow stuff, right? So be sure you as routinely passing 240s at home in order to get that 200 4-voice.

~~ DP ~~

but I can't get into qualifiers until I pass my 180 and 190 4VC tests

Right. :-) And I understand that. And in order to pass a few 225s to get out of school, you'll need to be writing at least close to solid 240s to be able to pass those 225s easily too. My thinking is that your true measure of your skill is your nonSchool at-home practice. If you can pass a bunch of 240 takes at home, you are going to be incidentally passing your last 225s at school, simply because your skill at-home is getting near-solid 240 takes.

And this concept trickles down.

School tests aren't the real indicator of what our skill level is. At-home practice is. And four voice is more difficult. So if you are passing 200s and lots of them ( or several at least) at home, then those 180 4-V should be becoming in reach for you in class right around the same time. Passing 210s at home and several of them (several takes), means you should be passing your 190 4-V tests at school right around the same time. And so on and so forth. You want to be solid on qualifiers and for the State boards of course, so you want to be writing (I mean I would) solid 225s and several of them at home to get your 200 4-V qualifier and the State board test too. And for the RPR to pass whatever they happen to throw at you at your NCRA test site on test day, you want to be writing more than 225 and closer to RMR speeds (or near that) so that whatever you happen to hear on your RPR 225 . . .it's going to be get'able for you, even if it's still hard, just because it's "so slow."

That's how I always viewed it, and view it now in my practice, and it seems to be a safe estimate of when I will be passing school tests. It helps reduce the frustration factor too because you/I just might pass a school test just before I'm coming up on the 20 wpm faster competency level in my at-home practice. So it can be a boost emotionally that way too.

So when I hear, I'm not passing my X wpm tests, I'm stuck at X wpm, the first thing I would consider for myself and to mention to others too, is Am I (are you) writing pretty solidly and getting a lot of different X+20 wpm takes at home? Still working on X speed or X+10 speed? Then it's too soon to be wondering why I'm not passing X wpm tests at school. I will only worry and wonder why I'm not passing X wpm school tests if I am writing and getting and "pass"ing at home several X+20 wpm takes.

My thinking was always, if the School Test is slow, I can write it at school, and pass the test. So I kept in mind that my at-home non-school Skill level is the only thing that mattered. If I were writing 190s at home, several different takes, and getting it all . . then it's time that I should be passing my 170 tests at school . . .and I would be, if I didn't pass all my 170s yet.

For 4-V, that was harder for me. Maybe not for you, maybe not for other people, but for me, 4-V was really hard. What can I say *wink I wasn't that good at it (!) So I went up again 20 wpm and in my own mind thought that a 180 4-V was like a 200 2-V for me. Can I pass any 200 2-voice they throw at me at schoo? in my practice tapes? If not, then it's makes sense I'm not passing my 180 4-V because to me they are the same skill level.

So my question to you (and you don't have to answer, but this is my thinking) is what speed tapes are you doing at home that you can pass several of at that speed? And then I'd adjust my expectations of what School Tests I should be passing depending on what answer I'd give myself (or hear from others.)

~~ DP ~~

Andrea Murphy wrote:
When I did it, I used the theory of "something for everything." I'd get something for every single word they said, even if it was only the first syllable of the word.

And I did the opposite.
Only stroke good outlines, don't write slop, don't drop.

And it worked well.

My method was 'We can all write the slow stuff"
So my writing was always super clean, and I just didn't expect to pass anything that wasn't 20 wpm slower that what I was consistently writing clean and 'getting' at home.

I think writing clean and not dropping is much more important that just writing bad outlines (including partial words).

So my notes were always crisp and clear and my drops were always in a row, not here and there.

Very Happy

ETA: Remember, we test as we write. So if we test poorly, it is because we are writing poorly. If we have wrong or bad steno on the test, it's because we write wrong or bad steno in general. We test as we write. How would you like to write on the test? Practice like that.
~~ DP ~~

I think it helps to be hungry. :-) Single parents tend to do well in CR school progress.

But like anything else, it won't come to you. You have to systematically make progress toward your goal, practice wisely and regularly.

My advice would be to remember that only one test counts. That's your licencing test. So whether you are passing your school tests or not, that doesn't matter. It's a progression from Point A to Point B, from registration to your RPR or CSR. And I'd keep in mind that you Test as you Write. So if you are making mistakes on tests, you are making those mistakes all the time :-) And that can point you toward how to practice more effectively and efficiently, which can speed you along nicely toward your end goal.

If you are practicing appropriately, systematically, effectively, efficiently . . .then your rate of progress will be just right where it should be, and whether you are passing tests or not this month . . .that's okay, because your Skill Development will be right where it should be.

It's okay to drop out too though. Maybe you won't like it and can't see yourself doing it for 30+ years. I think a lot of people quit CR school because it's frankly not what they want to do . ..write code on a little machine all day long. :-) We've all taken a class or course that we thought we'd like (biology, psychology, English) only to find out, hmmm, not exactly what we want to do after all :-) It's the same with court reporting. It's just more obvious with CR because everyone is there for the one purpose.

And you've gotta want it. :-) This is true with anything. If you don't really want it, it's not going to happen. :-) I don't think you have to like it too much to stick with it though. I happen to think it's kind of a Silly Little job. You show up, greet people, and then don't talk all day, and you write down syllables. Lots of syllables. Kinda silly to me *wink But it's a tool for income for me and for a schedule I prefer, so . . . hey . . I continue to do it. So I don't know that I'm so fond of depo reporting, but it's a tool for me, a way to get what I want, so I continue to do it. Other people love it. :-)

~~ DP ~~

reporter I sit in with said, "I see your writing. What you do get is perfect.

This is how I wrote in school and what I suggest. "Always hit good steno outlines." I would say what you need next is speed. What builds speed? Eliminating hesitations. So first you need to find hestiations, and then eliminate them. So I would suggest you start writing unfamiliar material. Go to the library and check out or buy from the used bookshop some old trade magazines in industries you know nothing about. Write that stuff. It sounds as if your fingers know well the patterns they know. They can switch from this position to that position on the steno keys for combinations you already tend to write. That's exactly what you want. Now it's time to find some fingering positions to swtich from and switch to that aren't the same ole positions and swtichings. :-)

I would:

1-- practice pyramid style from Odd print material (non CR stuff). Write the top line acoss the page (column) of any ole article from a trade journal in an industry you know Nothing about. Don't make up briefs. Write it out. Read back your paper tape. Did you hit accurate steno? . If not, write just the top line across. Again. It's not even a complete sentence. Doesn't matter :-) Just write that first line across until you no long have as much hesitation. Then read back your stenotape. Then, write the 1st and 2nd lines of the article. Read back your steno tape. Was it accurate? Tolerate no errors. No shadows, no mistrokes. Remember, we are looking for things you are Bad at :-) Mistakes are good for this purpose. They give us a focus. :-) So don't be surprised or discouraged about errors here. The goal is to find them! Anyway, same idea. Write two lines across and read your stenotape. If it's accurate, then go back and write the first 3 lines across the column of that article. Readback your stenotape. If you are pretty good at it, go back to the top and write the first 4 lines across the top.

What this will do is after a while you will be writing 20 lines, but line 1 you will have written over 20 times, line 2 you will have written over 19 times and so on and so forth. So you should begin to notice that you are eliminating hesitation on the top few lines by now and can write more in a rhythm those top lines. That's the goal. That means you have eliminated hesitations.

My feeling was when I wouldn't "get it" when sitting in or on a speed test or dictation at school . . .it was because of "hesitation" meaning my fingers wouldn't switch positions well (swtich to and switch from) whatever combinations were needed for those particular words, sounds, phrases, etc. So I was looking for stuff I didn't usually hear so I could find hesitations and eliminate them. Oh sure, speed tests and school and sitting in on jobs they usually said Nothing that was the same as some Industrial Chemist articles I had been pyramid practicing on . . . but the same word parts, phonetic sound-parts, and the same fingering of switching from and switching to positions on the steno keyboard do come up . . . . and it was then that I would pass that dictation that everyone else hesitated on and couldn't get (those 'hard tests' that no one in the school ever passes). . . .because of the muscle memory stored up in my fingers from repeatedly writing from that that wacky Industrial Chemist journal.


I would encourage you to keep your writing clean. It's much easier to practice to build speed, then the practice to build speed and also practice to retrain your fingers to proper steno outlines :-) Why give up whatcha already have :-)

I would definitely also add finger technique exercises, which is also a key for me to eliminating hesitation. There are the Heller exercises in the files here under some other name (not Heller), and Anita Paul sells a finger technique drill booklet also of great value.

And the reporter was true. Your licensing test will be The Easist Job You Ever Take, being at a steady speed, clearly spoken in an orderly fashion.

Excess speed is your friend. Eliminating hesitations = speed.

Keep up the good work!

~~ DP ~~
good advice - write clean and drop when you have to

My suggestion also, and how I got through school too.

And my thinking was the only test that counted was the RPR/State test. And in order for that to be easy and a guarantee pass for me, I had to have a lot of reserve speed. So the real goal is near RMR speed. That's it. One Goal. Near RMR speed.

So the speed tests at school didn't matter. If I were writing about 250 wpm (240-JC 200-Lit) then I'd be able to write and pass whatever they said at the State test and RPR. And if I were writing QA250 JC230 and Lit190, then I could also pass any speed test the school dictated at 60, 90, 120, 160, 180, 200, 225, and so on. So the school tests weren't even an issue. I could pass or will have passed them by default by the time I am writing QA50 JC230 Lit190. Right? School tests, inconsequential. :-)

So the only thing that mattered to me and that I used as a true gauge of my writing is . . . my out-of-class practicing, whether this was done at home, or sitting in the library at school, or whatever. And I practiced finger technique drills (Heller, Anita Paul, etc.) And from audiotape with a slowdown/repeat feature, and from CR practice print material, and also nonCR technical print material).

I remember how I write is how I test. If I am writing clean and well in practice, that's how I test. If I am dropping words, hitting bad steno in tests, that is how I am writing at home. So I would readback my steno notes a lot too to make sure my steno remained clean and accurate.

Oh, and I gave myself a buffer of a good 20 wpm. Until I was passing, say 120 wpm takes at home really getting it and passing it, and passing several of them and well, I wouldn't expect to be passing any school 100 tests. So if I were still learning 120s at home, I wouldn't expect to be passing any 100s tests at school. If I were writing several 130s at home, getting it all with clean steno, I still wouldn't expect to be passing any 100s tests at school. And if I were still "working on" several 120s takes at home . . .I still wouldn't expect myself to pass any 100s tests at school. Not until I could get and write well several 120s takes at home, would I begin to wonder whether I will start passing speed tests at school.

This really takes all the stress off :-) I learned early on that Speed is Our Friend. :-) If I kept accurate and clean with my steno . ..Speed is My Friend. I would have some hang time, think time, delay not to drop and to hit accurate steno on speed tests if the speed tests were well below my level.


~~ DP ~~

As far as writing steno is concerned, the only way I know how to approach learning CR is like practicing and playing my instrument. . . . . . In order to be good at it, your playing must be accurate and automatic ......and I will practice hours and hours to get things under control and flowing. Maybe that's the determination piece........

I think the music lessons background has more to do with Study Skills than anything else. Piano students practice, learn, review, drill, retain, maintain scales, arpeggio, finger dexterity exercises. Piano students know they have to review the old stuff periodically to maintain that skill, to keep that skill "available" at any given notice.

I think music students "know how to practice" and realize that practicing different things different ways gives the player different skills and skill parts and that all these skill parts and skills blend together, work together for overall effect (playing a piece, getting steno takes)

Most of our music teachers told us more than once that Practice Does Not Make Perfect, but rather Perfect Practice makes Perfect. Most music students know and have owned the wasted time of learning something incorrectly only to have to re-learn to do whatever it is in the correct manner. For those who don't want to waste time . .. we practice and learn properly from the start knowing that if we don't learn it right the first time, we are just going to have to spend XX minutes again training the muscle memory out of our fingers and then retraining the fingers to do what it was we wanted them to do in the first place.

I've found that it has more to do with Study Skills. Understanding what kind of practice methods are necessary. For example, when sharing with a fellow student that I daily do some Heller finger technique exercises, she replied, Oh, I already did that book. :-) She did it, worked the exercises, and shelved the book for months or years. To me not very effective. Now, I'm not sure whether she was kind of lying to herself, living in denial about practicing, etc., but it occurred to me there may be a subset of students in my school who didn't understand the concept of study skills, practice skills, different methods of practice produce different skills, etc.

And remember too there is no free lunch. Many former piano students we are "blessed with dexterity and nimbleness" didn't get blessed until after hour a day on the piano, week after week, month after month, year after year. I don't think that is being blessed with anything. I think it's skill earned by a process of lots of effort, a lot of elbow grease :-) It's amazing how much steno "talent" one has when one practices effectively, efficiently for hours a day, weeks and months on end. *wink

I'd call that skill, not talent. Skill can be gained. It's usually not a freebie :-)

~~ DP ~~

What is your favorite practice material?

Depends on what I'm practicing "for" . . what is the desired goal.

Accuracy - pyramid practice print work, unfamiliar industry trade reports, etc.

Speed - the SIJ tapes are good, any other tapes, with my Sanyo 8080 (repeatedly backup and re-attempt, slow-down and reattempt, etc.)

Phonetic Syllable writing to counteract all my non-phonetic briefs and phrasing -- write from print, write long .

Reducing hesitation -- any method works, aim to write rhythmically, repeatedly backup and re-write until hesitations diminish

I did like the SIJ tapes. I did SIJ tapes for a portion or my pre-200s speed building (in addition to all the other practicing I was doing)


~~ DP ~~

Re: speedbuilding
Posted by: "DP" depopost@yahoo.com depopost
Date: Tue Sep 2, 2008 7:29 am ((PDT))

I do something similar.

But I also do finger drills (Heller, AP) and practice from print, and also I have a long list of new briefs/phrases that I run through also to get them 'automatic'

What I do with tapes is divide the take into 75 second portions. My tapeplayer (Sanyo 8080) has a number counter on it. It also has speed up/slow down setting

I practice number counter 0-15 15-30 30-45 45-60 separately.

First, I try 0-15 stop/rewinding until I can get through it to the 15 mark
then I rewind it to 0 and slow down the tape to "minus 1" speed, and do the same. Stop/backup just trying to get eventually to the 15 mark.

Then I put it back at "zero/regular" speed, and do the stop/rewind/repeat until I can muddle my way to the 15 mark.

And then I slow it down to "minus 1" speed, and do the same thing.

If the Minus-1 speed gets easy, then I may give it a go at Plus-1 speed with not stop/rewind/retry . .just "give it a go" for the minute, then go back to zero-regular speed .. . and do my stop/rewind/retry method.

If the take is just too hard, I move on to the 15-30 counter segment when I can "get" the minus-1 speed straight through. If I can get it though, I go for the zero-regular speed.

I'm going for accuracy here and learning new briefs/phrases on the 75 second segments.

If I can only get it at minus-1 speed, I just do that through the segements to the endpoint . . . and I will revist this tape in a week or two and will have improved by then and basically do the same thing.

Sannyo 8080 http://www..martelelectronics.com/standardtran.htm

~~ DP ~~

, when I listen to my 60wpm.. I can't keep up

No, it doesn't just "click." :-) You have to Click it. And you can. I would suggest practicing much more slowly than 60 if 60 is fast. We can all write The Slow Stuff. Right? So get back down to Slow Enough that you can write it. Printed material might be a good start. Practice the same phrase or sentence over and over slowly until you slow it down enough that you don't have any hesitation anymore but rather smooth rhythm from stroke to stroke. Pyramid practice from printed material would be a good idea.

And by the way, it never ends. You will write any 60 you can get your hands on , and 90 will sound fast. One day you will be able to write any 90 and 120 will sound fast. One day you can write any 200 and 220 will sound fast. It never ends. One day you can write any RPR tape and then the RMR will sound fast. Then you will pass your RMR and the doctor depos will sound fast (because they are rambling on at 300, and they do !) But in depos, sometimes someone will breathe and you can catch up. *wink.

But no, I don't think Steno ever "clicks." I say we have to be the ones to "Click" it. The goal is to be able to write the Slow Stuff. Slow it down until you get it. We can all write "the slow stuff." It's just that our perception of "slow" changes over time.

And my CC was posting in the 300s frequently today. Doc was saying this, that, and the other at 300s. Why I could remember zero of my cardiac briefs is beyond me! (oh, not it's not, it's because they were talking at 300!) *grin. I don't know that 300 ever sounds slow (just a little disclaimer) but anyway.

The point is we can all write the Slow Stuff. Be careful not to over-practice. And hit only good steno. :-)

~~ DP ~~

"For a Good (steno) Time ...."
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