|A BRIEF AND INCOMPLETE LIST OF THE
ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF SHORTHAND AS OPPOSED TO RECORDING DEVICES
Factor versus Mechanics
writer knows when he is failing to get something down.
recording device fails (whether due to dead batteries, mechanical
problems, jammed tape, no tape/out of tape, speaker not loud enough), the
dictator may not be aware of the problem until long after the dictation
writer can easily transcribe the fifth letter first, then the second one,
took me longer to find the fifth letter than it would have to take
all the dictation AND transcribe it.
did you say?
writer can stop the dictation if something isn't heard.
||I had one
dictator who ate cookies when he dictated to the machine.
No, I could not understand him half the time.
that make sense?
writer can supply synonyms or say when something doesn't make sense.
simply records. If something
doesn't make sense, it will be found during transcription--frequently when
the dictator isn't readily available.
||It was not
uncommon for the dictator, upon read back, to make changes, sometimes
||Changes can be
dictated but must then be found in the transcript and adjusted. This
process is extremely time consuming.
writers can use their skill when taking phone messages, when attending
meetings, etc. Such notes do
not always require transcription.
a tape recorder at the meeting, minutes must be done in longhand which may
or may not work well. Phone messages and similar personal-use
situations are out of the question.
that part of the notes?
||If the phone
rings or another interruption occurs, the shorthand writer can ask whether
||I've had many
a tape where I had to wade through a phone conversation--sometimes rather
personal!-- for the dictation to continue because the machine wasn't
turned off. I've had to
listen to long pauses where papers where shuffled or thinking occurred.
I also had the opposite where the dictator turned the machine on
and off after each phrase--and the machine failed to get the first word(s)
each time it was flicked on.
can be accidentally erased or recorded over before they are transcribed.
of the Office
writer can't take dictation while away from the office.
idea or perfect wording for the correspondence can be captured at 4 a.m.,
in the car on the trip home, and other times when a shorthand writer isn't
writer must be present to take the dictation and can't be doing other
things at the same time.
dictator talks into the machine, the shorthand writer can be doing other
may be too fast for the shorthand writer, requiring a request to slow down
(which may break the train of thought of the dictator).
keeps up, no matter how fast. Some
transcription units permit the slowing down of the tape so it can be
better heard for transcription purposes.
||If not used,
shorthand speed deteriorates.
to put in fresh batteries and the machine is ready to roll.
shorthand writer is out sick, chances are no one else can transcribe the
notes from yesterday's emergency.
can take the tape and easily transcribe if required.
shorthand writer has written an outline or two (or more) which can't be
always words which can't be clearly heard on the tape.