- Paperback: 908 pages
- Publisher: White-Boucke Publishing; 4 edition (January 30, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1888580348
- ISBN-13: 978-1888580341
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brief Encounters: A Dictionary for Court Reporting 4th Edition
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Brief Encounters is a collection of machine shorthand abbreviations that should be excellent for realtime writing because, as Laurie Boucke says in the preface, "none of the entries conflict with each other."
Let me tell you about a dictionary of shorthand abbreviations that may save the day for you, or at least make writing some words and phrases a bit easier. Brief Encounters has more than 20,000 words and over 6,500 phrases in the book, all listed in alphabetical order. Phrases are in bold italics, and verbs are listed with the principal part first, followed by an indented list of the verb's forms. Most of the entries have one-stroke sten. outlines; some of them I found downright clever.
At the back are a few pages with "extras": shorthand abbreviations for characters such as parentheses, the dollar symbol, opening and closing quotation marks, to name a few; speaker-identification shortcuts; questions shortcuts and answer shortcuts... -- Lynn Brooks, Journal of Court Reporting, Nov 1995 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book does have many, many good briefs and confirms quite a few I’m already in the habit of using. It is well-regarded and recommended often, so obviously it’s been a big help to others. And I realize it’s not specific to one theory, and some of the fingering I use and am comfortable with (and briefs I made up) won’t work for everyone.
However, looking through the briefing principles covered in the intro, a few are just bizarre.
Some that I find awkward and unfamiliar: SPWR- as V “interrupted” by B (vagabond); SPWR- also begins “cerebral” and “subrogation”.
PYOUS or KPWROUS can be “pious”, with the Y “interrupted” by P.
TKPWAR as “debar”; SYIZ (SKWRIZ) as “sissy”.
Granted, these are just explanations of techniques to help you use the book; there’s no “you should”. But for heaven’s sake, those are not common words.
I’m not crazy about reversing initial consonant sounds, but I do it for “cons-” words (consult, consume, conserve, consistent) and write those in one stroke.
I don’t like to “tuck” the R, although I do it on a few common words (number, either, under). Final “-er” is very quick and easy. I won’t tuck a final G, especially *GT; -GT is hard enough. I also don’t like SD- (STK-) for dis-, des-, and “did she” phrases. To me, SD- is either an alternate Z, or SD- such as in “accident” or “incident”.
Some of the dozens of briefs I found in the book and have adopted:
AUMT automatic / PAERT party / JAIS adjacent / JIT legitimate /
DRIK district / PLIL political / STREM extreme / STREL extremely /
SPOR support / TAOUD attitude / GRAUGS graduation /
HIRZ his or her / SMER summer / MIM minimum /
PORLD Portland / STRENG strength / GAOENG good evening /
SPERT expert / SHAOF shouldn’t have / AO*EUMS I’m sorry /
TWO*RT trustworthy / KPOLT cosmopolitan / BAUNT abundant /
BAUNS abundance / KMIMT commitment / SPERMT experiment /
PAERN pattern / TAENZ attendance, and the “attend” family /
I admit having a bias toward briefs where the letters are in the same order as in the word. They work better in my mind, although hundreds (thousands?) are “turned around”. I’ve also noticed that “AE” outlines tend to be sound-alikes or briefs, in StenEd anyway. Yes, I analyze this way too much.
HOPGS for hospitalization and AEBT for antibiotic make sense. These do not, in my opinion:
MOIFL meaningfully / SFAIK confiscate / STROFT ostracize /
SYAOEURN shinier / THOIT identity theft / SN- K sinking /
POELT polarize / K- FLD custodial / NAOULGS unconstitutional /
SWENS constituency / DRAEP decapitate /
FRORTD off the record / TAERN terminal cancer /
TLIJ tragically / OIRG uglier / HUP uh-huh / ROFT erotic /
SNOPT hypnotist / SDA*F indefinite / SNAURL installer /
DAUD audition / ROIF realize / RUBLGS instructional /
YUK UCLA (!!) / Y -T do not (typo?) /
TKPWHR represents NY and New York in a few cases. Nope, sorry; that’s GL-.
And some very awkward right-hand fingering: -NTDZ, -RMGT,
-FRBLS, -VRKTD, -RMGZ, -VBLT, -PTSZ, -VGTD, -RJT (those make my fingers hurt even while away from my machine) I don’t mean to pick on the author, as I doubt that all of these were her idea.
On the plus side: The book is ambitious and there are no conflicts within it. Included are plenty of phrases, especially starting with “and” (SKP-) and “is” (56 and 47 pages’ worth, respectively), “what I” and “what he”. There’s no DPR-, one of the harder left-hand consonant combinations to do fast (I often get GR). (“depression” is D-PGS) It is missing -BT for “_went” phrases, but that tip might be newer than this edition. I like it as much as -PT for “_want” phrases. And even though briefs by definition are one-strokers, there’s no need to make every single word one stroke. If you already have a good brief for a 5-syllable word, great, but 2 or 3 strokes for a long word doesn’t mess up your rhythm. (It’s also not what’s keeping me at 120; it’s too much retaining and hesitating, but that’s another story.) Shortening your outlines and maintaining your dictionary count for a lot.
For online sources, I like Briefpedia and StenoLife’s “The Brief Machine”. For books, I like Stephen Shastay’s Top 1,000 Briefs and Top 1,000 Words, and StenEd’s Realtime Dictionary of Briefs & Phrases. Other theories have their own reference guides, and I’ve heard good things about Ed Varallo’s books.
One thing to note is that it is not conflict-free. For instance, public is PUB, which is already a word, but how often does that come up? You can always modify your dictionary or add an asterisk in other cases. Don't be hesitant about the price. You will be saving loads of money by being in school a lot less.