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Court Reporting 101

Court Reporting: A Neuropsychologist's

Explanation Taken from Testimony in 2008

     Q.      Why do you say, "Our brains are a miracle that needs to be protected"?

     A.      If you use as an example the Court Reporter, who is writing my words, this is a miracle in progress, happening right before your eyes. Let me explain what it is he does:

              As I am speaking, the information comes in through the ear, into the temporal lobe, and logs itself into the language center. The Court Reporter must comprehend what I'm saying.

             Then it has to get rerouted to the prefrontal cortex, where it has to be able to hold the information because, as you see, I am continuously talking. It has to be analyzed, integrated, and synthesized. Then it has to go back to the cerebellum.

             After executing all this, the Court Reporter has to convert my words into court reporting code; in other words, it has to be converted into a different language.

             The Court Reporter is sitting there, and I'm probably talking too fast, but he or she is able to do this simultaneously, seamlessly. The brain's white matter allows him or her to reroute all of this information simultaneously without effort.

             No other animal on the planet can do this. That's why I believe court reporters will never be replaced, because no technology could replace the beauty of that brain and the miracle of that brain. We take our brains for granted. And that's why your brain should always be protected, and you should take care of it.

Ode to a Shorthand Writer by Decimus Magnus Ausonius, Noted Fourth Century Poet

Come, young and famous reporter, prepare the tablets on which you express with simple dots whole speeches as rapidly as others would trace one single word.

I dictate volumes, and my pronunciation is as rapid as hail; yet your ear misses nothing, and the pages are not filled.

Your hand, of which the movement is hardly perceptible, flies over the waxy surface; and, although my tongue runs over long phrases, you fix my ideas on your tablets long before they are worded.

I wish I could think as rapidly as you write. Tell me, then, since you precede my imagination‑‑tell me who has betrayed me? Who has revealed to you what I was meditating? How many thefts does your hand make in my soul? What is this new order of things? How is it that what my mouth had not yet expressed has already arrived at your ears?

No art, no precept can have given this talent, since no other hand has the celerity of yours; and you certainly owe to nature and the gods a gift which allows you to know what I am going to pronounce; and to think, as it were, with myself.

By Decimus Magnus Ausonius, noted Fourth Century poet.

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