Transcript Style | Editor supplement | Sample Transcript | Rare Situations Supplement

Rare situations supplement


I know the speakers’ names, but two have the same name!

● If they have the same first name, label them with their first name and full last name every time. Like this: John Smith: and John Tracy: , all throughout the transcript.

● If you don’t know their last names but they have different roles, or if they have the same first name and the same last name as each other, label them with just their role and don’t use their names. Let CastingWords know that this is why you did not use their names. All the usual rules still apply, so if both people named John are interviewers, then they are still Interviewer 1: and Interviewer 2: .

● A speaker has both a title and an informal nickname, such as Dr. Ann Sanchez, who is called "Annie" by the interviewer. Use full name, with title, the first time. Use nickname (“Annie”) subsequently.

Speakers are spelling out words. Now what?

● If a speaker says a name or term and spells out any or all parts of the phrase, e.g., "My name is Jack Sprat, J-A-C-K, S-P-R-A-T, I eat no fat," type it just like that: My name is Jack Sprat, J-A-C-K, S-P-R-A-T, I eat no fat. However, “dubya dubya dubya dot R-A-L-E dot net”, becomes

● If the same term is being spelled out multiple times throughout a transcript, then handle each new instance independently if/when it doesn’t occur within the speaker’s next breath or two. In that case, go through these rules again at the start of each new instance, pretending that the speaker has not spelled the term out before that moment.

There are kids, or a classroom setting, in my audio.

• It can be hard to tell the gender of a child, unless someone refers to them as "my daughter" or something similar. So if all you know about them is that they are a child, do this: Child 1: . But please add gender labels if you can: *Female Child 1: *.

Student: is a valid role, which means it is preferred over "Child" for speaker labels when audios are set in classrooms or somewhere else where there are several students. As with the special rules for audiences (see the main Style Guide), add a gender adjective only if there is a single main speaker in the audio otherwise. If the audio already has two or more main speakers besides the students, label all students with a number. Do this: *Student 1: *.


Follow our standard style for numbers, and add these extra guidelines.

● Use numerals and symbols for any formula or equation. Do not spell out any numbers, no matter how small, and use only symbols for operators. Do this: *, not "times."

● Here are the symbols to use for operations:

○ "divided by" becomes / (also use / for fractions)

○ "times" becomes * (never "x")

○ "plus" becomes +

○ "minus" becomes -

○ "equals" becomes =

○ "To the power of" becomes *^ *(use Shift-6) but is complicated, so see the special section on handling exponents, below.

○ "Square root of" becomes , which is option-v on Mac. (Feel free to just copy it from here if you run Windows.)

● Lowercase all variables unless the speaker describes them as uppercase.

○ Some formulas may require both uppercase and lowercase letters as variables. For example, the area of a trapezoid is sometimes written as a A = (B + b)h/2.

○ Stick with the same case for each individual variable throughout the transcript. So if it’s A to start, it needs to be A everywhere else, and typing it as "a" will get you downgraded, especially if you also have another variable that is a at the same time.

○ Remember to go back and change a variable’s case throughout if you hear the speaker specify it later in the audio as the opposite one from what you had.

Exponent examples (for the to-the-power-of symbol, ^)

● "Five to the power of seven" becomes 5^7

● "3 squared" becomes 3^2

● "4 cubed" becomes 4^3

● "11 to the seventh" becomes 11^7

Technical language should, in general, follow the standards of the field, industry or study, whether it's mathematics, coding, medicine, chemistry, astronomy/physics/other sciences, electronics, engineering, etc.

Transcript Style | Editor supplement | Sample Transcript | Rare Situations Supplement