California Official Court Reporters Association

Realtime Tips : Writing Tips

by Irene Fontana, CSR, RPR, CMR. Santa Clara County Superior Court

  • Know what’s in your dictionary and regularly perform maintenance by removing outlines that are obsolete.
  • Remove all defined conflicts in your dictionary. This is an editing tool and is not helpful in real-time, unless your software has “artificial intelligence” and chooses the correct word.
  • Resolve conflicts in the following ways:
    • Actual spelling of the word
    • Delete a vowel
    • Add a vowel
    • Add an asterisk
    • Plurals – come back on the second stroke
    • Build words with prefix/root/suffix

  • Use techniques that are easily remembered and make changes in groups
    • e.g. PAT pat
    • PA*T path?
    • Use an asterisk for all “th” words

  • Do not resolve conflicts by globalling groups of words together. This seldom works and will cause more conflicts in your writing.
  • Always write hooked up to a computer and watch your writing. If you write an outline the “old way, ” immediately rewrite it the new way.
  • Do not work on more than one or two changes at a time.
  • Use a Post-it on your machine to reinforce the new outline you are learning.
  • As you write, visualize the text, putting in all hyphens, apostrophes, commas, periods, semicolons.
  • Enter error correctors for consistently misstroked outlines unless they can be another word.
  • Enter stacking errors unless they can be another word.
    • e.g. TOG ~ing to TOD ~ed to
  • Build your dictionary by entering commonly heard groups of words
    • Cities
    • States
    • Street names
    • Automobiles

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