Words that end in LK

I called her Ms. Klim.  She was a transfer student from another court reporting school.  Instead of doing two strokes for the word “milk,” she would stroke the outline backwards in one stroke.  Her outline of KLIM solved a small, but irritating, problem.  I have no idea where she got this outline.   I admire whoever came up with this unique solution.

I imagine that all reporters chafe at using two strokes for any one syllable word, such as “Gwen,” “golf,” and the aforementioned “milk.”

“Milk” doesn’t show up very much.  In fact, there are comparatively few words that end in LK in the English language.   A few of them are very popular; so we definitely need easy solutions for them.  Many of the others can be briefed the same way as the popular ones.  The few remaining words are unpopular and probably should be stroked out to avoid any ambiguity as to whether the speaker really used such an unpopular word.

Let’s break it down.

There are only three really popular words:  “walk,” “talk,” and “folk.”  Luckily, these words can be easily one-stroked with WAUK, TAUK, and FOEK.  If you use different strokes, that’s fine, but your strokes should be extremely easy.

Here is the entire list of one-syllable words that end in LK:  baulk, caulk, chalk, sculk, skulk, stalk, whelk, balk, bilk, bulk, calk, folk, holk, hulk, milk, silk, sulk, talk, walk, yelk, yolk.  Many of these words are variant spellings or are very unpopular words.

Many of the one-syllable words can be briefed by using the same patterns that are used to brief “walk,” “talk,” and “folk.”  Of the ones that are left,  I would like a brief form for “milk,” “silk,” “sulk,” and “bilk.”  If I can find an easy outline (easy to remember, easy to write), then I will adopt it.  If not, then I will use a Job Brief if such terms are popular in a particular job, and otherwise, I’ll use my two-stroke outlines for the occasional occurrence.

Remember Ms. Klim?  She could write all of these words with her backward pattern:  Milk KLIM; silk KLIS, sulk KLUS and bilk KLIB.  That pattern does not work for me.  It is easy to stroke, but it is not easy to remember.  She has her solution; I have mine.

All two-syllable words that end in LK are built off of the one-syllable words.  The only two-syllable word that is popular is “sidewalk.”  That word can be easily briefed by taking your “walk” outline and putting an S in front of it.  My outline is SWAUK.

Here is the list of two-syllable words: beanstalk, boardwalk, cornstalk, crosstalk, footstalk, leafstalk, rootstalk, sleepwalk, spacewalk, townsfolk, womenfolk, cakewalk, duckwalk, eyestalk, foremilk, kinsfolk, moonwalk, overmilk, overtalk, racewalk, ropewalk, shoptalk, sidewalk, townfolk, workfolk, menfolk, catwalk, jaywalk, kinfolk, outbulk, outsulk, outtalk, outwalk, skywalk, bytalk, uptalk.

Some of these words are very rare and may not be in a normal dictionary.  An eyestalk is the part of the stalk that contains the actual eye for certain sea critters.  Foremilk is the first milk taken.  A rootstalk is a type of plant.  A duckwalk is when you, well, walk like a duck.

Learn easy outlines for “walk,” “talk,” and “folk.”  Use similar outlines for some of the less popular words.  Learn a good basic pattern to write the rest when they occasionally show up.  Learn to use a job brief when they are popular in a particular case.

And then fuggedaboutit.

Brief Families: Words that End in “flict” or “flect”

There's Magic in your Fingers

There’s Magic in your Fingers

Words that end in “flict”:  Afflict, inflict, conflict.  That’s it.  Three words unless you want to count crap from illiterate plagiarists like Shakespeare or those mumbly guys from the ’60s.

Words that end in “flect”:  deflect, inflect, reflect, genuflect.  Four words.

All told there are only seven words in the family.  As small as that family is, it has rained its share of pain on steno students.

Two strokes can put you in the hole unless you are quick, and the second stroke isn’t an easy one.  If you are quick to stroke, you are apt to mis-stroke the rascal.

A good brief is easy to remember and easy to stroke.  Any hesitation, brain or fingers, costs time, and time is the only reason to brief things.

For the most part, use an initial consonant and a final FLT for each word.  That works for everything except “afflict,” “inflict,” and “inflect.”

If AFLT, IFLT, and EFLT are available to you, I would do them for “afflict,” “inflict” and “inflect.”  AFLT is available for me, but the other two are “felt” phrases.

No problem.  For “afflict,” there is still AEFLT, AIFLT, or any of the variations with an asterisk.  You could also simply use -FLT or F-FLT.

Variations for “inflict” and “inflect” include NFLT, NEFLT, N*FLT, N*EFLT, NIFLT, N*IFLT.

Here is the list with suggested outlines, but the true ones are up to you and what conflicts you may find in your personal dictionary.

Afflict  AEFLT

Inflict NIFLT

Conflict KFLT

Deflect DFLT

Inflect NEFLT

Reflect RFLT

Genuflect GFLT

There’s not a hard stroke in the lot.

Steve Shastay

Tripping the Steno Fantastic

Brief Families: Words that end in “spect”

Learn a good steno brief such as RPT for “respect,” and you have done well.  You have conquered a common two-stroker with a very easy brief.

But you only learned one word.A good dictionary is a friend indeed.

Learn a good family of briefs such as “words that end in ‘spect'” and you learn a good handful of very popular words with virtually the same amount of memorization.

If you know RPT is “respect,” then you should also know the outlines for “inspect,” “prospect,” “suspect,” and “disrespect.”  Those are the popular ones that can easily be briefed with an initial consonant or two and a final PT.

A bonus to families is that you may learn some of the less popular outlines that don’t deserve attention all by themselves.  So if you want, you could also come up with outlines for words like “circumspect,” “aspect,” and a couple more.

It’s a relatively small and very popular family.  Here are the only ten words that end in “spect” that you are likely to run across:

Respect, suspect, inspect, prospect — brief these very popular terms

Disrespect — brief it if you find DRPT or SDRPT to be easy strokes

Aspect, retrospect, introspect, circumspect, reinspect — brief them if you can find easy strokes and if they don’t take much time to memorize.

Don’t get fooled into thinking that you have to brief everything.  That’s foolish, and it can be quite hurtful.

The court reporting game requires that we learn to write efficiently and accurately.  If you can two-stroke something as quickly as you can brief it, then the brief isn’t giving you any speed benefit, plus it will be harder to read when you misstroke it.

You should know how to stroke all ten of these words with no trouble and you should have very quick outlines for most of them.  If that describes you, then you don’t need more work on words that end in “spect.”  There are plenty more brief families that you can work on.

Steve Shastay

Steno Rebel

What Steno Briefs Should you Learn Right Now?

As court-reporting students, you are faced with a constant flood of new outlines to learn.

Nobody knows all of them, and nobody can learn all of them right now.

And that begs the question, “What briefs should you learn right now?”

The answer is elegant and simple: learn the ones that give you the most trouble.  A word that shows up time after time after time is a better candidate to be briefed than one that appears sporadically.

Here’s an example:  Learning a brief for “record” is much more important than learning a brief for “reformation.”  “Record” is a very popularly used term.  Knowing “reformation” is nice, but it isn’t very popular and the stroke itself is probably a bit hard.  When you learn “record,” you are solving a problem that you face every day.  You can’t say that about “reformation.”

Am I saying that you should never learn a brief for “reformation”?  No, not at all.  You will probably learn it when you learn “reform,” but even “reform” is not as popular as “record.”  I would learn “reform” way down the steno avenue after I learned “record.”  As to “reformation,” I decided long ago that the brief was too hard.  I am much better off using two easy strokes, rather than one hard one.  If “reformation” was more popular, perhaps I would look for an easier brief.

What are the briefs that show up the most?  That’s fairly easy to figure out.  Review your dictations, and write down the problem words.  From that list, pick out a few of the really popular ones, and work on their outlines.

Review your drills.

Make a list of problem words.

Memorize the most popular words on your list.

I have much more detailed methods that we can talk about another day, but if you follow the simple plan that I just outlined, and you will have an effective method of memorizing briefs.

Barb DeWitt

Snake River (for the holidays), Washington

Briefs

Suppose you are doing great on a dictation.  You are writing clean.  You are only a few words behind and feeling comfortable.  You are doing wonderful.

Now suppose the dictator begins to say the phrase “ladies and gentlemen.”

You are caught up.  You haven’t heard the full phrase yet.  You can’t be sure that the phrase will be said.  What do you do?

Choice One is to stop stroking and hope that the phrase will be said.  If it is said, then you have lost nothing but your rhythm.  If it isn’t said, then you have put yourself in a deep hole for no good reason.

Choice Two is to do what you were taught from Day One and stroke the words that are in front of you at that moment.  If the phrase is said, then you have lost nothing by stroking out the words individually.  If the phrase isn’t said, then you have avoided a nasty trap.

Everybody in the stenographic world loves the “ladies and gentlemen” phrase.  It’s wonderful.   It’s an easy way to get credit for three words with one stroke.

“Ladies and gentlemen” is the poster boy for how to misuse phrases.  Everyone knows the phrase, but not everyone knows the briefs for the individual words.  When this phrase is dictated, especially in the beginning of a dictation, too many of us pause and wait to hear the phrase.  That’s bad news all around.

Here are two basic rules that everyone should follow:

1  Learn the briefs for the individual words before you learn the phrases.

2 Never pause or hesitate.  Either write the outline in front of you, or drop the word and write the next one.

Barb DeWitt

Kennewick, Washington