Having been a court reporter in San Diego since 1981, I have seen changes in writing styles by court reporters who want to “save time” or write fewer strokes. One of the habits I have seen lately is court reporters leaving out punctuation. I assume the goal is to be able to write testimony faster if you don’t write in the punctuation. Leaving out commas, semicolons, and paragraphs is a dangerous habit to get into, because sooner or later a court reporter will need to pass a speed test, certification test, or write realtime.
One trick I use is to global punctuation into phrases. If you global , in fact, (including the commas) and hit the phrase in one stroke, voila, you are saving three strokes. FAICT can be the brief. A court reporter can do the same thing with (no space); is that correct or (no space); is that right?
One of the brilliant tricks is to write a brief for dashes A. Yes. Q. dashes. For instance,
Q. Were you at the house when –
Q. – the people came in?
I have a client that constantly says: Strike that. Let me start over again. I write SLAIG. (And that includes a new paragraph in the brief.)
I used to write everything out. I was wasting energy and time. I never left out punctuation, but I would get exhausted after writing 250+ pages (more exhausted than I do now anyway).
My advice to all court reporters, keep working on saving strokes and writing cleaner. You will have a much better life.