Notes on Stenotype

Two small points on How does a court reporter machine work?:

The Stenotype machine was designed as an improvement on shorthand in all contexts, such as business dictation.

Modified Stenotype machines are used for captioning live television.

I was going to start my own thread. But I guess I can just add my question to this one.

Why do the stenographers always look at the person talking? I once heard (I don’t have the cite, of course) that they are recording their emotions, and body (specifically facial) movements. Is this correct? And if it is, how does it relate to this article?

Yeah, but how does this relate to my question? Shorthand doesn’t convey facial expressions. Does it?

<slight highjack>Yeah, just one more note. I feel sorry for the deaf, sometimes. I am not deaf myself. But I sometimes put on the CC when I need no sound, or just for a lark, I suppose. And sometimes the live CC is almost comical (if it weren’t kind of sad too). My favorite one is when the stenographer is, I don’t know, drunk, ineffective, whatever. And random characters start popping up on the screen. Clearly they are usu. talking too fast for them, in any event. It has improved a little lately though, I’ve noticed.</slight highjack>

(Now, please go back to the topic of this thread:).)

I’ve never been at an active trial, but such recording would be both difficult and legally questionable. My guess would be that they’re using a bit of practical lip reading to improve their transcription.

Traditionally, closed captioning is jammed into the space between the frames, and is none too reliable. When it is utterly random, it’s usually plain old static. Digital television has reduced the problem.

Since my wife has an unreasonable objection to the TV blaring at the sound level I need to hear it clearly, we always watch it with the closed captioning on. The only defect I ever see is the occasional skipped line.

With pre-recorded programming, I suspect a proofreader is employed. It’s with live television, like sporting events and press conferences, that some real howlers turn up in the captioning.

That’s not always the case, though. I remember an animated kids’ movie many years ago in which the captions said that the people in a tiny village were afraid that the “damn” would burst and cause a flood.

About the only “emotion” I’ve ever seen noted in a court transcript is laughter. I think you’re correct about the lip reading.