Stylebooks and handbooks for secretaries, journalists, editors, printers, proofreaders, and creative writers abound; but court reporters and scopists, who are responsible for reproducing the English language without the liberty of changing or rearranging words for correctness and clarity, are often left wondering if there is a preferred way to punctuate ambiguous, clumsy, incongruous, and often incorrect English.
This guide presents the fundamental rules for punctuating acceptable syntax and then goes a step further and presents verbatim English as found in courtroom transcripts and modifies the rules to accommodate this English. The grammar section and glossary offer a look at the way we name and define the elements in a sentence so that we can better understand standard word usage, spelling, and punctuation.
It is not intended that this guide will be the last word in punctuating transcripts, for as long as the English language lives, the possibilities for change and variety will be infinite. It is intended, however, that this guide, with its rules, reviews, exercises, and examples, will be another aid to both the new and the experienced court reporter and scopist in their attempts to reproduce the court records accurately and logically.
Lillian I. Morson
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