Use of the “Unintelligible” Parenthetical


Use of the “Unintelligible” Parenthetical

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By CA Court Reporters Board

When is it appropriate to use the parentheticals “speaking indistinctly” or “unintelligible” in a transcript?

Here is what the CA Court Reporters Board has to say:

Q: My question is if it would be okay to use “(speaking indistinctly)” blurbs instead of “(unintelligible)” blurbs in the transcript of a person who I struggled really, really hard to understand. I’m all over the record asking the witness to repeat himself. My proofreader’s comment is she likes it “if it is allowed,” so I thought I’d ask you what you think.

A: No, neither of these blurbs is acceptable. The Professional Standards of Practice cited above require you to interrupt each time to make the record or to advise the attorneys that you are unable to give them an accurate transcript of the proceedings. Therefore, a court reporter making the record cannot use any such notations or blurbs in the transcript that would take the place of words spoken. The blurbs you may be referring to are only used when transcribing an audio proceeding where, obviously, a court reporter was not present.

Excerpted from Spring 2020 Court Reporters Board Newsletter, page 10.

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