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  • LRB: 'In the US, court reporters have abandoned stenotype machines, whose keyboards use chord-like combinations to represent sounds, for a technique called voice writing. The "writer" – really a speaker – repeats testimony into a microphone nestled in a hand-held mask that prevents her voice from being heard in court; the recording is later transcribed, usually with speech-recognition software.The Stenomask dates back to the 1940s, when an American court reporter encased a microphone first in a cigar-box, then in a tomato tin, and finally in an old coffeepot, but it didn’t become a standard fixture until the advent of speech recognition programs. It’s also cheaper: machine stenography takes three years to learn, voice writing six months.'

    May 12, 2009