ASL Lessons | Bookstore | Library | ASL University Main ►

Stenotype / Stenography:

Dr. Bill Vicars



Regarding the 25:53 mark of the YouTube video titled: "American Sign Language (ASL) Lesson 13 (Katelyn) (1080p)" at the channel, a student named Synamon comments to ask:
Hi Dr. Bill what is the sign at 25:53 referencing? The skill to type fast? Thank you!

Hello! By asking your question you have earned a history micro-lesson.
You have taken note of an awesome old sign for a device called a stenotype. Google "stenotype" and check out some of the pics.

These days when one of us Deaf attends college and requests a notetaker from the Office for Students with Disabilities they typically send someone with a laptop and skill in typing fast.

In the "old days" when we asked for a notetaker they used to hand us this messy blue "carbon" paper for us to hand to a classmate to place under their notes page while writing their own notes. Then when they got done they would hand you back the carbon paper and the paper under that which now had a blue "copy" of the classmate's notes.

However, sometimes the approach was to send a stenographer with a stenotype to take notes. Courtroom stenographers would "moonlight" (work a second job) as college notetakers for Deaf students. Thus for many years the sign for "typing on a stenotype" was also commonly used to refer to a type of "notetaker" or "notetaking."

Many younger Deaf probably don't even recognize that "stenography" sign any more because classroom notetakers tend to use laptops.

If you would like to see a real-life stenotype just commit a crime serious enough to get yourself hauled into a courtroom and you may be lucky and that courtroom might still be using a stenographer!

Um...wait... maybe just stick to Googling the images.




*  Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy
DONATE  (Thanks!)

Another way to help is to buy something from Dr. Bill's "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)  

*  Also check out Dr. Bill's channel:

You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University  
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars