November 1 2019

Hands Like Bach’s

BachIt is often repeated lore in the court reporting world that pianists make great court reporting students. Something about the required finger dexterity and mental exercise that comes from playing the piano is said to be translated over to the stenography machine. For this reason alone, one might conclude that musical maestro Johann Sebastian Bach would have made a great court reporter. However, Bach was also gifted with another characteristic, an anatomical anomaly, that could have made him an expert machine stenographer.

According to the September 2019 edition of National Geographic, Bach had formidable hand size.

The article entitled, “The Musical Greatness of Bach’s Hands” states that Bach’s hand size/reach was “nearly 8 1/2 inches from wrist to fingertips- and it’s reach, as much as 10 1/4 inches from thumb to last finger with the hand open wide…Using those measurements…Bach could play a position bridging 12 white keys.”

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October 10 2018

Is There Really Such A Thing As Muscle Memory?

Why We Sleep
In our quest for steno perfection, we spend countless hours practicing. After all, “practice makes permanent.” It’s been oft said that multiple hours of practice creates “muscle memory”; making our writing automatic.

While reading the book, “Why We Sleep: Unlocking The Power Of Sleep And Dreams” By: Matthew Walker, I came across the following interesting passage that explains why the term “muscle memory” is a misnomer:

“The term ‘muscle memory’ is a misnomer. Muscles themselves have no such memory: a muscle that is not connected to a brain cannot perform any skilled actions, nor does a muscle store skilled routines. Muscle memory is, in fact brain memory. Training and strengthening muscles can help you better execute a skilled memory routine. But the routine itself- the memory program- resides firmly and exclusively within the brain.”

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April 18 2018

Is Gradualness The Secret To Speedbuilding?

I Love Steno Logo (Cropped)“Weight-lifters start with weights they can lift and gradually increase the weights over a period of time. Good fight managers start a new boxer off with easy opponents and gradually pit him against more experienced fighters. We can apply the same general principles in almost any field of endeavor. The principle is merely to start with an ‘opponent’ over which you can succeed, and gradually take on more and more difficult tasks.

Pavlov, on his death-bed, was asked to give one last bit of advice to his students on how to succeed. His answer was, ‘Passion and gradualness.’

Even in those areas where we have already developed a high degree of skill, it sometimes helps to ‘drop back,’ lower our sights a bit, and practice with a feeling of ease. This is especially true when one reaches a ‘sticking point’ in progress, where effort for additional progress is unavailing. Continually straining to go beyond the ‘sticking point’ is likely to develop undesirable ‘feeling habits’ of strain, difficulty, effort. Under such conditions weight-lifters reduce the amount of weight on the bar, and practice ‘easy lifting’ for awhile. A boxer, who shows signs of going stale, is pitted against a number of easier opponents. Albert Tangora, for many years the World Champion Speed Typist, used to practice ‘typing slow’- at half normal speed- whenever he reached a plateau, where further increase in speed seemed impossible.” -From, “Psycho-Cybernetics” By: Maxwell Maltz

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April 13 2018

Mastering Steno & The Success Mechanism

I Love Stenography Logo (Cropped)The following quote is apropos to learning steno:

“The success mechanism within you can work in the same way to produce ‘creative doing’ as it does to produce ‘creative ideas.’ Skill in any performance, whether it be in sports, in playing the piano, in conversation, or in selling merchandise, consists not in painfully and consciously thinking out each action as it is performed, but in relaxing, and letting the job do itself through you. Creative performance is spontaneous and ‘natural’ as opposed to self-conscious and studied. The most skilled pianist in the world could never play a simple composition if he tried to consciously think out just which finger should strike which key- while he was playing. He has given conscious thought to this matter previously- while learning, and has practiced until his actions become automatic and habit-like. He was able to become a skilled performer only when he reached the point where he could cease conscious effort and turn the matter of playing over to the unconscious habit mechanism which is a part of the success mechanism.” -From, “Psycho-Cybernetics” By: Maxwell Maltz

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November 3 2017

The Dictaphone vs. The Stenographer

I Love Stenography Logo (Cropped)In Napoleon Hill’s, “The Law of Success,” he recounts a tale of a salesman attempting to sell him a Dictaphone machine while simultaneously demonstrating that a stenographer is a better option. While the stenographer in Mr. Hill’s story is a shorthand writer, I think the story is apropos to machine writers as well. The story is as follows:

“Once I went into one of the offices of the Dictaphone Company to look at a Dictaphone (dictating machine). The salesman in charge presented a logical argument as to the machine’s merits, while the stenographer at his side was transcribing letters from a shorthand notebook. His arguments in favor of a dictating machine, as compared with the old method of dictating to a stenographer, did not impress me, because his actions were not in harmony with his words.” -From, “The Law of Success” By: Napoleon Hill

[SIDEBAR: The stenographer has been winning since way back.]

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September 25 2017

Case CATalyst: Pausing And Resuming Audio

I Love Stenography Logo (Cropped)To pause audio recording via your steno machine when writing realtime, write the following steno strokes: /PAUS/PAUS. This is defined as {Pause Audio}. Resumption of recording audio does not automatically begin when you start writing on your machine if you have paused the recording by writing /PAUS/PAUS.

If you have paused audio recording via writing the aforementioned strokes, you must write, /SAOUPL/SAOUPL to resume audio recording. These strokes must be defined as {Resume Audio}, in order to be effective.

You can also choose a realtime setting that will automatically pause audio recording after a certain, set amount of time has passed without you writing a stroke on your machine. If your audio recording is paused via this setting, recording will automatically resume once you begin to write on your machine again.

To activate this setting, do the following once you have opened your Translate Dialog Box: Click on Options. Click on the Realtime Tab. Select Auto Pause (In the Audio section of the Realtime Tab).

Next to the Auto Pause option, there is an “After” setting that allows you to set the amount of time you can go without writing on your machine before the recording of audio is paused. This setting allows you to enter between 0 and 999 seconds.

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