How do you transcribe stuttering dialogue?
June 28, 2012 2:00 PM Subscribe
Poor understanding of grammar might cost me my job. Can anyone help an audio-typist fight back?
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
MeFi, you're my only hope.
I'm currently employed as an audio-typist/transcriber for verbal interviews, many of which are used in court. The majority of my colleagues have been with the company for 10+ years. I've been with my current employer for about a year. I'll be honest, it seems like a lot of the lifers have gotten lazy when it comes to accuracy. This is probably made worse by my employer not having an official guide for new typists. Basically you're just trained by one of the typists that's been around for a while, and sent on your way.
I'll get straight to the point. The entire office is atwitter with how, exactly, you're meant to accurately convey a particular type of dialogue. The people speaking on tape often stutter. The majority of my colleague's type a stutter like this: "wh wh wh what" or "s, s, s, s, stutter". Some of the more recent employees, myself included, have been typing them like this: "gr-, gr-, great". One girl I worked with described that she used the hyphen/dash to state that it was a deliberate partial word and not just a typo in the transcript. I agree and think it looks better. (Even though I don't really know the official 'rule' on writing stuttering dialogue.)
Some of the older typists have taken umbrage with how the newer starts are writing a stutter. As if this entire ordeal weren't lame enough, they've started to report every instance of a typist using this style to a manager. (We often do quality checking for each other.) At the heart of this are unresolved personal issues between certain colleagues, but all management seems to care about is that older, trusted employees are blowing the whistle, even though they don't seem to care to investigate what the whistle is being blown about. Management have decided to take disciplinary action against newer starts that have multiple complaints.
So, MeFi, if you've made it this far and haven't fallen asleep, can you tell me what the official rules are for typing stuttering dialogue? Any tips on how to actually bring up the official rule to management (and not get fired) are also appreciated. And if you know how to tame grumpy colleagues, that would be awesome to share as well.
BONUS: If anyone out there knows of some 'Universal Transcription Guideline/Manual/Rules' or something of that ilk, please send it my way.