Proofreading for Perfection: Why It Matters in Court Reporting

It’s no secret in the legal industry, details matter. As court reporters, we care about getting the details right – and that starts with exceptional listening; yet, it’s secured by proofreading our work. Why does proofreading matter? Here are a few reasons why in the field of court reporting proofing your work is important:

1. Commas, periods and exclamation points can really change a sentence.
Punctuation helps develop context to what you are talking about. When explaining the importance of punctuation, you’ve probably heard the following popular example: “Let’s eat Grandma!” and “Let’s eat, Grandma!” These are two very different sentiments; yet, the only difference between the two is an addition of a comma. This just shows how important using the proper punctuation in any situation – including court reporting – can be.

As a court reporter, one has to be diligent in catching those nuances that come with reporting. If you have a court reporter who proofreads their work, they’re more likely to catch those tiny – yet important – mistakes.

2. Words can sound the same but have very different meanings.
Do you ever use the wrong their/there/they’re when typing? How about the correct buy/by/bye? The list of homophones can go on and on. For court reporters, writing the wrong version of a word doesn’t happen out of error; instead, it’s typically done to increase their writing speed. If there’s a faster way to write a word, a court reporter will typically use that version to save on time and then go back and proofread their work to switch out any homophone changes. Doing so helps court reporters keep a fast writing speed of 225+ words per minute.

3. Did I hear you correctly?
Whether it’s mumbling, talking too fast or having a heavy accent, it can sometimes be difficult to catch the exact term being referenced in a deposition. For example, a person might have said “innocent,” but all that was heard was “cent.” When a court reporter proofreads, they can review the context of the entire sentence, see that it was just a misheard word and adjust accordingly.

It’s safe to say that proofreading is absolutely necessary in the world of court reporting. At Elite Court Reporting, providing quality, accurate transcripts is extremely important to us. That’s why our court reporters have an average of 15 years of experience, they proofread all of their work before sending it off to our team, and the transcript gets proofread again by our production staff before it gets sent out. To learn more about our reporters, click here.

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