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What is a Stenotype, the Tool Stenographers Use

stenographyWe have all seen that person in the courtroom typing away superfast on something that “kinda looks like a typewriter”. They are typing away because they are taking down all of the information to create a record of the events in that courtroom. And while that is not a typewriter they are typing on, it is actually called a stenotype. It is also known as a shorthand machine, steno writer, or chorded keyboard. And what that stenotype is doing, is recording in shorthand.

Those who are registered to use a stenotype as a trained court reporter must write speeds of approximately 180, 200, and 225 words per minute at very high accuracy in the categories of literary, jury charge, and testimony. We here at CourtScribes have many stenographers that are experts at just that.


What is a Stenotype?

The stenotype machine was invented in 1906 by Ward Stone Ireland, an American stenographer and court reporter. The stenograph and stenotype machine are used in offices to some extent. But they are mostly used for court reporting. Both machines have keyboards of 22 keys, and because the operator uses all their fingers and both thumbs, any number of keys can be struck simultaneously. And they will need to be.

The operator controls the keys by touch and is thus able to watch the speaker. The fingers of the left hand control the keys that print consonants occurring before vowels. The thumbs control the vowels, and the fingers of the right hand control the consonants that follow the vowels. There are not separate keys for each letter of the English alphabet. Abbreviations are used for some of the most frequent words, giving the operator the ability to write two or three words in one stroke.

Pressing the multiple keys simultaneously spells out whole syllables, words, and phrases with a single hand motion. Because the keyboard does not contain all the letters of the English alphabet, letter combinations are substituted for the missing letters.

If you need court services that handle digital recording that require those stenography skills, then which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersburg, and Rockville.