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Welcome to the Steno Wizard's Realtime Journey!

Remember when life was simple and all you had to do was make a selection on what your steno really meant? Those days are long gone.

Reporters must get themselves into top realtime form to compete in today's job market. This is my contribution toward ALL of us reaching the realtime goal.

My Steno Wizardry concept is based on the idea that writing realtime actually doesn't require magic -- just hard work, determination, and a little bit of FUN imagination.

My hope is my sharing of the ideas I've incorporated into my realtime journey will assist you in yours.

Monday, October 24, 2016

More methods to resolve proper names

How about a sure way to resolve some proper names and a few of their more common spelling variations?   There are a few suggestions to help build perfect translation for names you may not have in your steno database yet.  

SW writes the Y- as KWR.  Here's a new ending the starts off with the KWR:

KWR-PB for suffix -yn

Megyn MEG/KWR-PB      

-PB for -en or -an

Megan MEG/-PB
Robin ROB/-PB

HR*ERBG for suffix -ley

Hadley HAD/HR*ERBG --- or H (the stroke for had) H/HR*ERBG
Westley WEFT/HR*ERBG (yes, I know, but this is legit)

TPH*ERBG for suffix -ney


Another possibly mind-blowing concept is using -RBG for the -Y.


Spelling may just help after all:

Tre TRE*
Trae TRA*E

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Proper Name Briefs

Realtime and captioning is full of proper names.   Steno Wizard is sharing some proper name briefs that have become more of a necessity to keep up in the steno realtime world.   Perhaps you'll like them or they'll spark an idea or two.   There's a previous post from a few years back with some suggestions, and hopefully SW won't repeat too many.   Unfortunately, names can also be spelled a few different ways, but these are the ones that SW uses for the common ones.

Christopher KREUFR
Jeffrey JAEFR
Geoffrey GAEFR
Jeff JEF
Geoff GEF
Jessica JAEFK
Stephanie STA*EFPB
Brittany BRAE*NT
Tiffany TA*EFN
John JO*N
Jon J*UN
Victoria V*EURKT
Alexander STKAERND
Alexandria STKA*ERND
Kimberly KBERL
Ashley AERBL
Elizabeth L*EUBZ
Elisabeth L*EUBS
Maria MRA*
Mario MRO*
Samantha SMANGT
Debbie DAEB
Madison MADZ
Margaret MARGT
Preston PR*ETS
Ramos RAO*MS
Stamos STAO*MS
Morales MO*RLS
Daniel DANL
Danielle DA*NL
Zacharia STKA*ERK

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Court Reporting & Captioning Week

It's been a fantastic week to celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week.  I've been so excited to see how much this celebration of our skills has grown.   What a great idea!   I've loved seeing all the posts on social media and television.  Proud to be a steno writer!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Steno Wizard's latest foray into hyphenation

Steno Wizard spied this in a captioning group, and it is so awesome!  My writing is a work in progress, so I love trying out new ideas.  I'm sharing with you just in case you want to try it out too.

For a few years now, I've been writing TO* for -to-   which is a nice, quick way to put hyphens in for a myriad of words.   To share one example, bride-to-be.   Looks pretty when it translates with the hyphens in the appropriate places.    Other examples can be found in an earlier posting. expand on this concept...

-on-  OINZ
-by- BO*EUZ
-for- FOIZ
-of- YOIFZ
-and- AINZ
-in- Y*INZ

They're all probably defined with both the asterisk and without in my personal dictionary. 

Next, this is another idea I've been implementing lately. 

-related R*ELTD
-type TAO*EUP
-like HRAO*EUK
-free TPRAO*E
-prone  PRO*EN

Friday, November 27, 2015

Southern California Briefs!

This newbie captioner has been busy the last few months captioning news in the Southern California area -- first San Diego and then Los Angeles.  To survive all those multisyllabic cities, area roads, etc., Steno Wizard petitioned a few seasoned captioners and some Southern California reporter friends, and I am happily sharing with all of you!

Los Angeles HRAPBGS
Hollywood HO*EULD
Beverly Hills B*EFRLZ
San Bernardino SB*ERN
Santa Clair SKLAIR
Sacramento SKRAEMT
San Fernando SF*ERN
Santa Barbara SBARB
San Francisco SFRAN
San Francisco International Airport SFA*EURPT
Santa Monica SM*ON
San Luis Obispo SLAOUS and/or SBEUS
Santa Clarita SKLAOERT
Santa Maria SMRA*
San Mateo SMA*ET
San Rafael SFRAEL
Santa Ana SNA*
Ontario AO*NT
Anaheim NAO*EUM
Pomona PO*EM
Oxnard SNA*RD
Fontana FAO*NT
Alhambra HA*URM
Hawthorne HA*URGT
Loma Linda LO*EMD
Tarzana TA*RZ
Wilshire WO*EURB
Wilshire Boulevard WO*EURBLD
Sherman Oaks SHO*EKZ
Mulholland M*ULD
El Segundo *ELGD
Simi Valley SMA*EFL
Compton KO*FRPT
Arcardia A*RKD
Alessandro SA*UNDR
Monrovia MO*EFRN
Sepulveda SP*UFLD
La Cienega LA*EFG

Escondido SKAOND
Chula Vista KHAOUFT

Sunday, August 9, 2015

New words added to the Steno Wizard dictionary!

Appalachia,  Appalachian brief PLA*EUGS
waft, wafts, wafting, wafted
bolster, bolstered, bolsters
oust, ousted, ousts

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

In the news today

Today's news...


Today's briefs...

derail TKRAEUL
derailed TKRAEULD
derails TKRAEULZ
derailment TKRAEUPLT

Philadelphia TPEUFL
New York City TPHOERBGS (changed from theory brief due to "no," problem)
Washington WA*UG
Washington, D.C. WA*UGDZ

rescue REFBG
toppling TOP/-LG
-mile-per-hour PH*EURP (defined to attach to the number prior)
mangled PHAPBG/LD

passenger PAENG
passengers PAENGZ

Friday, May 8, 2015

Here's a few new words

Some words that I had to finger spell a portion of to get perfect translation while on the air and are now added to my personal dictionary.

lampoon, lampooning, lampoons, lampooned

Polarization.  I don't understand why I can't seem to write it consistently, but I'm working on it!

En route.  I would have thought I'd had it in there already, but NOOOOO!

I've now added as a result the following words just in case since I'm also familiar with them --
en banc
en bloc
en masse
en garde


Onward and upward!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A simple captioning brief idea

An experienced captioner shared with me her method for writing a show's name with the appropriate quotation marks.   For each show's dictionary, she defines the stroke SHO*E.  For example, "Today in New York" is SHO*E and is input into that station's dictionary, WNBC.  "Newsline" is SHO*E for the NHK broadcasts.  "AMHQ" is SHO*E for The Weather Channel.

A simple solution that works.  You definitely need to make sure your appropriate dictionaries are loaded and in the proper order so you have no on-air disaster...

I also write WEB/WEB for a station's website and define it into that show's particular dictionary. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


While on the air, one of the news anchors sneezed -- a first for me.  Of course, no one said "Bless you" -- why would they?  Those words are in my dictionary.  Ha! 

Gesundheit!  It has now been added with about 7 different ways I may write it when I can't figure out the true spelling.  GA-ZUND-HYT, GE-SUN-HYT, GE-ZUND-HYT, etc.   I hope I don't find a new way when it comes up again on the air!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Briefs added to the repertoire in the past year!

While watching the Kentucky Derby, thought I'd share some one-stroker briefs... 



championship KHOEUP

delivery TKHRAEFR

running R-G

winning W-G

spinning SP-G

Louisville HRAOUFL


AND an important entry for your captioning dictionary, HA*G - defined as #~ -- hashtag with a delete space.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

More dictionary building

Found on the left-hand side of the page is a list of Fortune 500 companies for inputting into the captioner's dictionary -

How about weather terms?  Check out this site: and other page on the site too:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Steno Wizard Captioning Studio

Here's a pic of the captioning studio in my home.  The office is as clean as it's ever been.  I was just getting started.  :-)

The desk has been more centrally located by the maps.   At the time I was waiting for the third phone line to be installed.

The maps were purchased at a local education store in the area. The purpose of the maps are for me to write location specific briefs directly on the maps with a black Sharpie pen.  I find it easier to locate a city, state, or country in this manner than a word list. 

The smaller U.S. map has each state's governor and two senators written inside the boundaries (if possible).  Governors are highlighted in yellow.  Senators are orange.  No significance as to the colors other than those were the two highlighters that were on hand.  Go to to find yours.  You can pick your preferred format, i.e., with state names or not, colors, etc.  You will have to adjust the size it prints --  for ease of use.  I've found that getting it on an 11X17 paper works well.  I've not figured out how to attach the file itself.  

The atomic clock is really fantastic for making sure you know precisely what time it is.  It is down to the second.  Handy for when you know you're switching off to another captioner and you want to count the seconds -- not confessing anything about that!  You can buy an atomic clock at any local store pretty much.  I bought mine at Sam's Club.  It is supposed to face a certain direction so that it can reset itself with Denver.  It's always worked and takes batteries.  I realize computers have fairly accurate times on them, but it's nice to walk to the entrance of the office and know how many more minutes before you go on air without actually walking over to the computer screen.

The huge paperclip-looking things were purchased on clearance from Office Max.  Probably less than $2 each.

Maybe you have some inspiration (SPOEURGS) to go shopping!

Captioning office before 3rd phone line installation
An atomic clock that always knows the correct time!
Up close of World Map with Brief Forms
My method to keep rosters in line of sight while captioning
Up close U.S. Map with Brief Forms

Yesterday's News

While captioning yesterday's news, both on the East Coast and the West, many stories were similar in nature and shared with the viewers.  Here's some briefs that were used with success!

debate TK-BT
constitutional STAOURBL
same-sex marriage SPHAEURPBLG
Supreme Court SPROURT
justice JUFS
justices JUFSZ
Roberts ROBTS
Baltimore PWHROR
Annapolis AEPS
violence SROEULS
violent SROEUPBT
violate SROEULT
violation SROEULGS
incident STPHEPBT
media PHAED
magnitude PHAGTD

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oh, those politicians!

Here's some great sites to help build a dictionary that's ready for American politics.

This is the link for the president's cabinet:, and one can explore for other info there.

Another fantastic site for past presidents and their first ladies is found at this link:  Think of how many school buildings are named after presidents and first ladies.

Next, you may need to have the U.S. Supreme Court Justices., and if you hunt around the site, you can find past justices to input into your dictionary.  The Supreme Court is sometimes referred to as SCOTUS (SKOE-TUS).

Need U.S. governors?  Try this site:

Don't forget those senators!

Some briefs:

lawmaker LAURK
lawmakers LAURKZ
governor GOFR
government GOFT
governance GOFRNS
constituent KWAENT
incumbent BAENT
Washington, D.C. WA*UGDZ
Pentagon P*G
White House WHOUS
congressional GRERBL
President of the United States PO*ETS - Think POTUS (poe-tus) -- common nickname for the president.   ** I've taken to writing it PRO*ETS lately, and so I have both entries in the dix.
First Lady of the United States FLO*ETS - you guessed it!  FLOTUS  (Floe-tus)!
politics PHREUBGZ
political PHREUL
politically PHR*EUL
politician PHREUGS
Republican R*P
Democrat TK*M
Democratic TK*MT
candidate K*D - I think of a candidate wearing a bow tie.  It works for me!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Proper names

Steno Wizard has been trying to add to the SW personal dictionary loads of Hispanic (HEUPS) surnames and first names.   That was one thing that has been lacking for realtime captioning perfection. Yeah, there's no such thing, but I'm a work in progress and am continually striving!

Here's a site that SW used for common U.S. names and interestingly enough it has lists of Hispanic names.

It's fairly easy to navigate to the other lists.

SW is going to investigate the Asian names particularly since NHK is a common work assignment.

Here's the link for most common female first names.  SW input these into the dictionary years ago, and the site is still active!

Most common male first names can be found at this link.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Recent additions to the repertoire!

Steno Wizard has been a little remiss (well...maybe more than a little) in blog entries since making the leap into captioning, so this early morning before going on the air, Steno Wizard decided to look into that always growing personal dictionary to share recent additions.  Perhaps you have them, perhaps not. 

Some weather additions include some regions of the country that were unbeknownst to this Midwesterner.   No briefs for the following at this point in time.  Perhaps if the term were being brought up on the air more than occasionally...

Delmarva -- comprised of the general area of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.  There's even a Delmarva electric company.  This captioner has seen it also written as Del-Mar-Va and is currently trying to determine if it's with or without or if it's merely up to whimsy (another word for the dictionary).

Texlahoma - Texas and Oklahoma.  Supposedly at one point in time there was a proposal to create a 49th state comprised of some of the counties in Texas and Oklahoma.

Arklatex - Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.

Arklatexhoma - Arkansas, Lousiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Shenandoah, Steno Wizard struggled with this word for a good solid day before a fellow coworker shared her brief from.  SH-D   -- of course, after getting the brief, the weather person didn't say it the next week on that station's broadcast.  Grrr!

Firenado!   Pretty interesting phenomenon (TPAOPB).  This was a term SW learned last year, and it is still in usage this year.  Maybe it's always been there?  No brief!   SW is thinking of maybe having a "nado" suffix.  Sometimes "sharknado" is popping up too.  Still pondering that...

Till next time!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Checking in!

Steno Wizard has been so busy with the captioning side of realtime!  Loads of work out there to be had from the comfort of your own home...just sayin'  

Steno Wizard is starting to feel more and more comfortable captioning television.  Last week, Steno Wizard got to caption -- get ready for it -- the State of the Union address.  Talk about a nerve-racking experience.  In my quest to not look a total fool, I spent 45 minutes prepping for a speech that was a little over an hour long!

How does one prep for the State of the Union?

You've got to make sure you have all those Congressional names in your dictionary just in case.  I had many from before the election, but I needed to update them with the newly elected people. 

I went to the and looked around in there for a bit.  Input the First Lady's guests names -- good thing because the President mentioned a few along the way.  Rebekah definitely had to be in there. 

Here's some briefs that were helpful--State of the Union STAOUPB
Michelle PHEURBL
Congress TKPWRES
Congressional TKPWRERBL

Now a word I wish I'd had in my dictionary that the President didn't say but the television reporters did say -- rotunda!   You can bet it's in there NOW. 

Anyway, Steno Wizard survived that particular journey.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

What a summer!

Steno Wizard has been busy with the captioning venture this summer. 

Captioning a shopping channel can be quite a challenge.  The hosts are selling, and this captioner is thinking...oh, I think I could use that!  Yikes! 

Here's some briefs for the challenge!

turquoise T*K  --- who knew?  Steno Wizard can't seem to hit the keys otherwise so this brief works!

Spectacular SPHRAR
Fabulous TPABLS
Holiday HOEULD
Fourth of July TPOURPBLG

It is very helpful to have fingerspelling mastered for this channel.   Lots of unique and catchy spellings to be aware of!

Steno Wizard has also been busy captioning CNN, and here's some wonderful briefs to share for that endeavor...

Israel S-L
Israeli S*L
warfare W-FR
missile PHEUFL
soldier SOERLD

NHK World is a Japanese channel and can be highly challenging due to this captioner's unfamiliarity with Asian terms.  Oooh, boy!  The clips are uploaded onto their website, so check it out and see how you do!

Typhoon TAOFPB
Japanese  J-PS
Chinese KH-Z
Indonesia SPWAERB
Korea KRAE

Lots of speaker IDs to be aware of too.

T-FRPBLGTS, >> Translator:
R-FRPBLGTS, >> Reporter:

Steno Wizard still has to really work on mastering those speaker ID changes for the translator and reporter.