Pontificating About Proofreading

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Producing an accurate verbatim transcript or taking a traditional steno speed test is a three-pronged effort. First, it's the machine portion (fast fingers); second is your familiarity with your CAT software & editing speed/skill; and third, the most often overlooked part, proofreading.

Proofreading, while being sometimes terribly boring, accounts for an important part of transcript production and/or passing a speed test where you're allowed to edit.

When I was taking my 225s in school, I began proofing from paper prior to turning in my tests when I had time during the allowed 1 hour and 15 minutes. I think that had a large part to do with getting my tests passed when I knew I had the required speed. Every potential error you find before your instructor/grader does could make the difference between a pass and a fail.

I was sad but not surprised to hear that with the new RTC online upload/grading method being implemented for NCRA testing, not many people brought in their printers so they could proof from hard copy. I know it's a total pain to schlep your printer in, but it's so worth it to proofread from paper!

/rant

On a personal, semi-unrelated note, proofreading's also the reason, at the time of publication of this post, I had a hard time reading for pleasure. Case in point: I read The Time Traveler's Wife, which is a great story about love that stands the test of time and tribulations, but I couldn't stop thinking how it could be better punctuated! It just goes to show that everybody does things a little differently when it comes to the written word. I've since gotten back into reading for pleasure again, though, which feels really good.