If court stenographers type so efficiently, why hasn’t that become a more standard way of typing?

532 views

If court stenographers type so efficiently, why hasn’t that become a more standard way of typing?

In: Other

[Court stenographers are using special machines, not ordinary typewriters, that rely on symbols as shorthand rather than entering full sentences.](http://www.diamondreporting.com/blog/court-reporters-use-stenograph-machine/) When they finish typing, the results still need to be transcribed into English (or whatever language).

It’s shorthand, they have special keyboards, and it takes more training than a standard keyboard.

While systems that take court transcription and give you English exist they’re really only good for transcribing speech and not so much for normal computer usage. A normal computer user will do things like enter passwords, use hotkeys like Control+C etc, type in URLs, and all sorts of stuff that involves special characters, modifier keys, and other non-language input.

It exists, kinda.

If your work is to write mostly same words over and over like I do, you are most likely to use a special tool to write it, sometimes even suggest what to write. I am a programmer and most development environments provide this, called autocomplete. Github recently developed an extension that can suggest complete code blocks.

Abbreviations, hmu if u wonder wtf it is.

Emojis. ☠️💩l

Keyboards designed for handicapped people.

Keyboards/layouts designed for specific languages like dvorak or colemak or Turkish F. I worked with a guy who used Turkish F. He was so frikkin fast, letters on the keyboard would get erased and we had to change keyboard every few months because mechanics couldn’t handle that much stress. In that job they had to fill their quota to receive a paycheck, after that was bonus. He always had double checks, claiming he would have asa many as four but did not want offend his friends.

It takes a while to become trained and proficient in the styles of short hand they use. A lot of it is counterintuitive and takes a lot of practice.

Basically, regular typing is something most people can learn and get used to pretty quickly. Steno, however, is much more of a “life’s work” thing. You can try it out and see why: [http://www.openstenoproject.org/demo/](http://www.openstenoproject.org/demo/)

The essence is that it’s based on “chorded typing” – where instead of pressing a single key for a single letter, you press multiple keys at once and type a whole word. But you don’t press _all_ the letters of the word; instead, you press a combination of letters that represent the word in shorthand – or for longer words it might require several combinations. Classically steno typewriters could only output the shorthand, so you’d get output of single letters in columns that the reporter would have to decode after the session; to actually see the words typed out as you go, you need a computer as well to perform the shorthand substitution.

And that’s the thing. For regular typing you can just learn to type each letter. For steno, you have to learn each _word_. So if you need to type “the inebriated underclassman exhaled”, you can’t just use the keys you already know; you have to know those chords ( T EUPB PWRAOEUT D UPBD *ER KHAS PHAPB KPAEUL ED, you’re welcome ). So yes, you can type that whole sentence in 10 keystrokes, but you have to practice like crazy to do it.

Off-topic, but… Today we have NLP and technologies to replace (almost) stenography: is NLP used?

Wow, I never thought I’d be so old as it say this but on the off chance you are young and have never heard of [Shorthand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shorthand), what a stenographer does on the machine is very similar to what someone taking shorthand does in writing. Everyone has their own foibles & quirks in shorthand and therefore there is no full standard from one person to the next. Look at the shorthand examples on the link and you’ll have a good understanding why a stenographer is also not something that can easily be standardized to drone-like efficiency.

In the “good old days”, nearly every female took shorthand in high school in the USA because that was so common a needed job skill. Through about the late 70’s you included that skill on your resume to impress potential employers.

But there is a more efficient way of typing that YOU can do with a few clicks to order the high-tech revised keyboard: [Datahand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DataHand)_ is a keyboard style that uses 5 fingers and your palm to enter keystrokes in binary rather than having a separate key for each letter and symbol. You hit up to 6 buttons at one time with that style entry system and barely move at all. They take a while to learn but once proficient, apparently one can type like lightning. I couldn’t find a current commercial offering but every couple of years , some tech company decides that it will be the wave of the future and sells a new version (at least for the last 40 years when I was paying attention). Someone is still selling them somewhere…

It‘s exchanging speed for complexity.
In most applications, speed is not a concern. If you‘re a writer, developer, etc. you‘ll spend much more time thinking about what to write than on writing itself. So the added writing speed does not give you any benefits as you have to transcribe later.
It only matters when you have to write down stuff other people say in realtime.

That is a great question! In my opinion stenotype devices are expensive and tend to be clunky. There are also not enough buttons to accommodate every letter of the alphabet on a stenotype (22 vs 104 on QWERTY). If a layman was to look at a stenographers personal chord library it would most likely look like a foreign language to them. A stenotype device does not have the functionalities required for basic human computer interaction which is what is most commonly used in today’s society. Stenotype devices were not originally designed to work with a personal computer, smartphone or even to run on electricity. However, to be fair this is also true of QWERTY keyboards.

Have you ever heard of CharaChorder? CharaChorder in contrast, is the only device which allows for seamless and instantaneous access to both ‘traditional’ QWERTY style input as well as virtually unlimited chord combinations (>17 Billion) dwarfing any other chorded entry device ever created. Instead of the 1 dimensional buttons that keyboards use, CharaChorder switches detect motion in 3 dimensions so users have access to over 300 unique inputs without their fingers breaking contact with the device. What is far more powerful however, is that users can type entire words in a single motion by pressing all the letters of a word simultaneously. CharaChorder’s internal processor arranges the letters on-screen in real time faster than the human eye can perceive.

http://www.CharaChorder.com