What Is the Purpose of a Stenographer?

December 23, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’ve ever followed a court case closely, or know somebody that’s involved in a court-type setting or career, you may have heard of the term "Stenographer." They are often referenced in court-related situations. 

But what is a stenographer, by definition? And what is a court stenographer? Both are quite important jobs and are often related to the legal field. Let’s discuss the differences between a stenographer and a court stenographer. 

A stenographer is somebody whose job is to take notes in shorthand form. They quickly type whatever a person who is speaking is saying in a very quick, abbreviated way. This is to keep an accurate record of dictation related to business meetings, courtroom proceedings, and other types of situations where an accurate record is needed regarding what was being said. 

A stenographer has the training and equipment to take notes in a very fast-paced way. Before the advent of modern stenography machines, stenography was done by taking notes in shorthand, either by pencil or pen. As technology and advanced techniques became more common, the use of shorthand has been reduced greatly.

A court stenographer takes note of everything that is said in a courtroom setting. This may include words spoken by a plaintiff, defendant, judge, or lawyers. It’s of the utmost importance for an accurate record to be made of all things mentioned in this setting. They are also able to create close captions for the hearing impaired, as they are trained to make notes quickly enough to keep up with the people speaking. This allows the hearing impaired to keep up with the testimony and other involved in a courtroom setting. 

Stenographers are trained to type into stenography machines via the shorthand method. With normal writing or typing, you are generally required to type every letter and character that is spoken during a courtroom session. However, with a stenography machine, sounds are able to be combined by producing what is known as "chords," effectively allowing three letters to be typed with a single stroke of the stenography machine.

This allows court stenographers to accurately keep up with not only the person speaking but even with numerous people attempting to speak at once. If they were required to type every letter or character, it would be far more difficult to keep up with more than one person talking at once. 

Stenographers are an important part of courtroom proceedings, besides being necessary for business and other professional settings. Learning to type shorthand and utilizing shorthand typing equipment can place a stenographer in high demand in the workforce. 

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