|The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge. Volume X. International Press, 1954.|
According to Court Reporter:
A standard stenotype machine has just 22 keys that are used to key out coded numbers, phrases, words, and sounds, which means that court reporters can ensure that all activity in the courtroom, down to a witness’s sobs, can be accurately memorialized. Although a key set of phrases, words, numbers, and sounds are used across the board, it is also common for stenographers to develop their own dictionaries for their work, which includes coded letter combinations that stand for common phrases.
Stenographers are generally capable of typing up to 300 words per minute (wpm) using a stenotype machine, thereby allowing them to accurately record even the most heated or fast-paced conversations.
Because the stenotype machine has just 22 keys, the stenographer often hits multiple keys at once. This process, which is called chording, may appear to be downright jumbled to an ordinary observer, but to the stenographer it makes perfect sense.
Traditional stenotype machines print the shorthand being produced by the court reporter onto a paper transcript. Although these machines are still used today, many of the more modern stenotype machines now use internal memory storage (usually in the form of flash drives), which allows the court reporter to run the recorded shorthand through a computer program, which then translates the shorthand and generates a transcript.