Social Security Numbers

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Glen Warner

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Aug 5, 2014, 11:24:46 PM8/5/14
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 I was participating in a discussion in a captioning group on Facebook about CAT software AI and numbers earlier today, and I got to thinking about a feature in digitalCAT which would convert a series of numbers into a properly formatted Social Security numbers, telephone numbers, and dollars with cents ($6.50).

I wrote an article for one of my then-fellow students on how to set digitalCAT up to do that; you can find it here:


I've been able to get by with money just by using what's already in Plover, combined with what's in my dictionary to take care of the smaller numbers, thankfully; for instance, to get that $6.50, I wrote the dollar sign, the 6, a decimal point (POEU-T), and 50, but in digitalCAT, I would just write 650, then the stroke for dollars and cents: STKHR*-F.

Would it be possible to add something like that to Plover?

Thanks!

--gdw

Mike Neale

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Aug 6, 2014, 5:00:19 AM8/6/14
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Hi Glen.

This has got "retrospective command" written all over it :)  I'll have a look into this for you.

Mike Neale

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Aug 6, 2014, 5:01:02 AM8/6/14
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Hi Glen.

This has got "retrospective command" written all over it :)  I'll have a look into this for you.

On Wednesday, 6 August 2014 04:24:46 UTC+1, Glen Warner wrote:

Glen Warner

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Aug 8, 2014, 8:36:58 AM8/8/14
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Thanks, Mike!

--gdw

Glen Warner

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Mar 4, 2015, 12:19:06 PM3/4/15
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Hi, Mike.

Any progress on this one?

--gdw

Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 21, 2015, 9:13:48 AM3/21/15
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I have philosophical objections to this kind of thing. 

1. SSN's should be redacted from transcripts anyway, they should *not* appear as plain text in the body of the file.
2. SSN's (and strings of numbers of numbers) are hard to validate -- in part because they were invented before checksums became as commonplace as they are today -- unlike credit card numbers.
3. In the absence of checksums in social security numbers, birthdays, etc., the next best thing is to transcribe exactly as dictated. If someone is failing to make it clear that they are giving you a price, or social security number, or birthday, or whatever, what else might they be screwing up?? It's not really our place, as transcribers/reporters to be making those kinds of assumptions. It's a slippery slope from this to correcting perceived "mistakes." For instance, when I transcribed insurance claims memos, I was ruthless around the beginning of the year when people got the year wrong. If it was January 3, 2013 and someone mistakenly dictated 2012 -- tough! I'd rather force the letter to be redone by the person dictating than to have it go out to a policyholder with, say, a claim amount off by an order of magnitude.
4. It's duplicative. There are lots of applications -- database software, spreadsheets, word processors, etc, that are quite capable of formatting strings and sequences of numbers. No need for this at the raw transcript level.

Glen Warner

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Mar 22, 2015, 2:08:31 AM3/22/15
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Interesting thoughts, Gabriel.

Unfortunately, when I'm sitting in class writing dictation from my instructor, I'm not going to have time to fire up another program to take care of a Social Security number or a telephone number. I have to be able to write it right there, and, ideally, have the hyphens appear where they're supposed to.

In a trial or a deposition situation, the court reporter is also going to have to write the Social Security number into the transcript -- but the CAT software will take care of redacting it before the transcript is released, if I recall correctly ... though I think that the complete transcript is kept on file with either the court reporter's agency or at the court reporter's office.

As for whether or not the deponent has provided the correct Social Security number, that's not something the reporter is concerned about. His or her job is to write what they hear. If the number is wrong, it's up to the attorney to ensure his or her client is providing the correct information.

The same would go for a transcriptionist -- it's not up to the transcriptionist to fix what the person they're writing said. Their job is to write what was said, period.

So yes, there is a need to be able to format things like Social Security numbers, phone numbers and the like.

--gdw

John Holleran

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Mar 22, 2015, 3:52:29 AM3/22/15
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Hi, Glen. You can accomplish some degree of retrospective formatting by using arrow keys and forward/back-word commands in the definition.
To add a dollar sign I use: {#Control_L(Left)}{^$}{#Control_L(Right)}
To add a dollar sign and a decimal point I use: {#Left}{#Left}{^.^}{#Control_L(Left)}${#Control_L(Right)}{#Control_L(Right)} SSN and phone number formatting should be easy to implement this way.

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 11:24:46 PM UTC-4, Glen Warner wrote:

Glen Warner

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Mar 22, 2015, 5:10:03 AM3/22/15
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Hi, John.

This sounds great -- but I'm on a Mac. Using the control-arrow keys just sends the cursor to the end or beginning of a sentence.

Great suggestion, though!

--gdw

Theodore Morin

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Mar 22, 2015, 1:04:20 PM3/22/15
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Glen, the Mac equivalent is the command key. Try that

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Glen Warner

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Mar 22, 2015, 3:58:23 PM3/22/15
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Hi, Ted.

The Command key does the same thing in a document on a Mac that the Control key does -- sends it to one end or the other of a sentence.

--gw 

Soren Bjornstad

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Mar 23, 2015, 10:02:35 AM3/23/15
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The Option key is what you want to move between words on a Mac (this one really does work!).

Glen Warner

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Mar 23, 2015, 1:37:40 PM3/23/15
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Hi, Soren,

Yes, the Option/Alt key does work ... but how do I make Plover recognize it?

--gdw

(*snip*)

Soren Bjornstad

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Mar 24, 2015, 9:09:53 AM3/24/15
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Does #Alt_L not work? I had assumed it would, but as I said I don't use Plover on a Mac.

Gabriel Holmes

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Mar 26, 2015, 2:30:30 AM3/26/15
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But my point is that if the transcriptionist or reporter isn't expected to correct a social security number, phone number or whatever, is correct --- then they also have no business guessing whether a string of numbers is a social security number, telephone number, zip code, etc. And a transcript should reflect that agnosticism. It should be entirely the responsibility of the person dictating to indicate clearly the format, including dashes where appropriate.

"Volunteering" to format these kinds of things creates unreasonable expectations.

Glen Warner

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May 1, 2021, 11:05:10 PMMay 1
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Somehow I managed to miss this one from a few years back ... so here goes.

In a deposition, the attorney would ask the witness a question, like so:

Q.  What is your Social Security number for the record?

 ... and the witness would say something along these lines:

A.  My Social Security number is 123-45-6789.

The court reporter would be expected to write down whatever the witness says, and not worry about whether or not what the witness said was correct.

So yes, the court reporter is expected to get those numbers correct, and that is not unreasonable.

Whether or not the transcript is made public with that Social Security number excised or not would be up to the judge in the case, I would imagine, or most likely the laws of the state.

In other words, *NOT* the court reporter. 

Nick DuMortier

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May 1, 2021, 11:13:57 PMMay 1
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There should be a policy only to verify the last 4 of the social security number like XXX-XX-9876 and strike the beginning 5 digits. That’s a pretty universal policy in the military; it works for a reason. Thoughts?


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christop...@gmail.com

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May 2, 2021, 10:30:45 AMMay 2
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In New York their are rules against filing documents with confidential personal information. It is the responsibility of the filer to redact. Usually the reporter filing the transcript is waived here. As a courtesy sometimes we’re asked to redact the number or even not take it down, but otherwise it goes in. Also, if, in the event, CPI ends up in a filed document, a court can order it redacted sua sponte. A deposition reporter should glance at the rules in their jurisdiction. 

I get the points about not interpreting, but we absolutely do and should. Our ability to understand context is what separates us from computers and enables us to serve people better. This is the same for someone that mispronounces a word in a way that it can still be acceptably understood. For example, I learned recently that in the northern cities Vowel Shift dialect “block” can sound like “black.” If a person says “she went down the black” and we understand it to be block due to the context, it is transcribed as “she went down the block.”  Though it was not a court reporter error, ignoring context is what caused the infamous lawyer dog decision, where a person asked for a “lawyer, dog.” And the court ruled he was not asking for a lawyer because he asked for a “lawyer dog.” 

On the ultimate question of whether something like that can be added to Plover, I would say yes, even though I myself don’t know the exact technical way to do it. I have used my RTF CaseCAT dictionary in Plover and very much of the formatting carries over. I don’t know specifically if the social security, dollar, telephones, and clock modes do. Paid-for softwares first had dictionary entries that would insert the formatting as you describe. Modern times, say the last ten years, they insert a lot of that stuff from context using specialized number conversion settings. Plover would almost certainly be able to replicate the dictionary entries, and that’s me assuming that it does not already. 

I think I agree with Glen. Maybe I should’ve just wrote that. 


Sent from my iPhone

On May 1, 2021, at 11:13 PM, Nick DuMortier <numo...@gmail.com> wrote:



Quaverly H. Rothenberg

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May 2, 2021, 11:31:31 AMMay 2
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Weighing in from the perspective of Massachusetts court proceedings:

Yes, it is helpful whenever you have a macro or brief that puts things in the right format.  Maybe you can have an ahk script running that will alter a block of numbers if you press a shortcut.  Or develop dictionary entries that help you more easily write symbols individually or combined with words/letters/numbers.

We do need to format things correctly within the constraints of what is spoken, and I don't expect speakers to dictate punctuation marks.  If I'm unsure how to format something while I'm writing, I will flag it with [phonetic] and then do some research and editing as soon as I get a chance.
  
We do need to flag errors with "[sic]" when we're sure of them.   If I'm unsure while I'm writing, I'll flag it with [phonetic] and then do some research and editing as soon as I get a chance.  If there's no error, I delete the flag; if there's an error, I change it to "[sic]"; if I can't verify it one way or the other, I keep it as "[phonetic]."

An example of adding formatting and flagging an error: 

Spoken as "one twenty-three fourteen A E"

Written as "123, 14A(c) [sic]"   

Research tells me the comma, parens, and letter cases are the proper formatting of the statute.  Context tells me the attorney was actually talking about subsection (e), not (c).

Finally, redactions: this varies by jurisdiction.  Here, it's the attorney's responsibility to redact at the clerk's office after the stenographer files the transcripts.  The stenographer's only obligation is to know whether a transcript is impounded, to stamp the cover page as such, and to file a notice with the clerk citing the governing authority (i.e. reason) for impoundment.



Quaverly H. Rothenberg

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May 2, 2021, 11:34:28 AMMay 2
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Whoops -- I added [sic] AND corrected what was spoken.  That's a no-no.  Here is the example I meant to give:


An example of adding formatting and flagging an error: 

Spoken as "one twenty-three fourteen A E"

Written as "123, 14A(e) [sic]"   

Research tells me the comma, parens, and letter cases are the proper formatting of the statute.  Context tells me the attorney was actually talking about subsection (c), not (e).
Quaverly H. Rothenberg, ACT
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