Can I Write Out All My Numbers?

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The answer is yes. However, you have to be more careful than someone using the number bar.

The pros of writing them out is that when you’re writing at rapid rates (RMR, for instance), you’ll be able to figure out what you tried to write even if you’re off a key. This is the reason I got used to writing out in school. However, school does not mimic real life. In real life, you generally have ample time, and even if you flub one number, you can listen to the audio.

The reason why people use the number bar is because it is incredibly more efficient than writing out your numbers. You can get 000, %, and many more things WITH your number strokes, which is something a lot harder to do when you write out.

If you do write out and you write realtime, you will need to be careful. These are the scenarios.

1. Two DUIs will look like 2DUIs if you do not FORCE a space in between. So will, let’s look at document number two DCK3 will be number 2DCK3. It’s very hard to catch these things in your mind at first as a new reporter, but in captioning, you can see what you write instantaneously, so it’s easier not to let such an error out even if you forget.

2. Let’s read through January first. It will translate to January 1st, even if the attorney means first IF you do not force a space.

3. The first of May will translate just like that unless you FORCE ordinal {#O} or set up a macro with “the ___ of MONTH.” You can set up a similar macro with time. When they say ___ in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, other trigger words. More on that in another post.

4. You have to be careful how you write numbers if you want them to translate perfectly. Here are common examples:

This is what you hear:
three hundred and four
This is what you write:
three hundred four
If written right: 304

This is what you hear:
four hundred thirty six thousand
This is what you write:
four thirty six thousand
If written right: 436,000

This is what you hear:
three dollars ninety-two cents
This is what you write:
three dollars ninety-two
If written right: $3.92

This is what you hear:
Gas is at three ninety-two
This is what you write:
Gas is at three P-NT ninety-two
If written right: 3.92

This is what you hear:
Score is 4 to 3. Eagles lead.
This is what you write:
Score is 4-3. Eagles lead.

This is what you hear:
a hundred and three
This is what you write:
one hundred three
If written right: 103

This is what you hear:
Boeing triple 7
This is what you write:
Boeing seven seven seven
If written right: 777

It takes a little practice, but you basically ALWAYS leave out “and” in numbers when you hear it. If you follow those above examples, you should almost never have problems with numbers.

5. A document the exact length of a Social Security number or phone number will translate in those formats. Make sure to write DL-T or some other key in between one of the numbers if you sense that it is about that length. Or you can turn off the Social Security/phone translate and make your own macro for SSN and phone numbers.

6. Of course, keep in mind that when dealing with numbers, you often deal with colon, hyphen, percent, decimal, digit macro, date macro, time macro, and ordinal macro. See the punctuation post for more details on how to input the punctuation in correctly.

Practice numbers with the common punctuation:
3 o’clock THRAOE/KLOK
1st -FRS/O*RD
two-story TWO/H*FN/STOER

Make sure you define 1-12 with KLOK as 1 o’clock, so on.
WUN/KLOK will be 1 o’clock

SSN, phone number, and height macros I will discuss in another blog post.

To get number conversion to work perfectly, define these exactly as follows:
HUN hundred
THOU thousand
MIL million

1-10 should be defined written out as one, two, three all the way to ten.
11-19 should be defined in digits as 11, 13, 14, all the way to 19.
20, 30, 40, to 90 should be written out as twenty, thirty, so on.

BUCKS and GRAND should be defined as the words.
So if they say ten bucks, it should NOT come out $10.
If they say ten grand, it should NOT come out 10,000.

SSN, phone number, and height macros I will discuss in another blog post.

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