Thursday, February 27, 2020

Steno Proverbs

On the Discord recently, Jladd (who has been compiling some fantastic steno Anki decks lately) proposed some proverbs, inspired by Go Proverbs and Programming Pearls.
Here was his list:

  • Treat steno as a hobby (try not to pin expectations on steno becoming a certain thing by a certain time)
  • Regardless of which theory you pick, you'll likely need to put in a fair amount of practice to become proficient
  • Don't go it alone! Plover has a rich community of creative tinkers, makers, and hobbyists (along with pros!) that can offer encouragement, guidance along the way.
  • Steno generally takes ~3 mo. to become comfortable with basics, 3-6 months to start gaining speed and ~2 years to really get comfortable. But it definitely varies from person to person.
  • Don't forget fingerspelling! Fingerspelling is your fallback, so be sure to practice this as well!
  • Dictionaries are flexible; tailor them to fit the way your brain works. Everyone has their own spin on steno theory.
  • When optimizing speed, it can be helpful to think about your average number of strokes per word.

Then Sooty (a self-taught stenographer who has been working professionally for quite some time now) chipped in with these:

  • Always add to your dictionary, at every opportunity
  • Brief on frequency, not difficulty
  • There's no point moving quickly if you don't move correctly
  • Practice with a metronome
  • Walk, don't sprint.
  • Find patterns in your dictionary, make new patterns
  • There is no such thing as "verbatim"

What do you think? Do these ring true to you? I really like this idea and would love to hear more from other people! Please feel free to submit them in the comments or on the Discord or Google Group.


Ted Morin said...

Prefixes and suffixes let you go beyond your dictionary.

Mirabai Knight said...

Good one!