There is no hard line drawn between editorialization and documentation. The job of the transcriptionist is not to interpret audio, but rather to translate it. Avoid editorialization when it is in the form of interpretation (“exasperated sigh”), but use editorializations as translations when appropriate to convey extra meaning (“long sigh”). The guiding principle for things that might count as editorializations is to aim for a faithful representation of the audio.
Use punctuation such as exclamation points to convey emotion when appropriate.
- So I sat in that class, week in and week out (beginning to laugh) and I understood absolutely nothing!
Use italics to emphasize words if they are emphasized by the speaker. Avoid emphasizing words unless clear emphasis is placed on them in the audio.
- So there’s a dialogue, there’s an interaction between you and the material—in my case, sculpture and glass—and you learn to be, if you like, obedient to the truth of that material, of that concept that you’re trying to articulate in this material.
Use parentheses to indicate significant tonal shifts in narration. If it is non-standard/atypical, flag it for special review.
- #00:18:14-8# Jennifer Floether I think so, yes (smiling).** There is a passion there, often unrequited because I’m not a professional teacher, in any sense, I mean I only work in the church —
#00:18:24-5# Kerry Magruder Mm-hm.
#00:18:24-5# Jennifer Floether — in, you know, a non-stipendiary capacity and my, um, I have very little power or influence.
Include non-verbal communication cues in parentheses if they contribute to the understanding of the conversation.
- Um (exhales).
Use semicolons to separate multiple parenthetical indications. Do not hesitate to differentiate between subtleties in communication cues if they contribute to the understanding of the conversation.
- I do. Well, I’m hesitant to say yes because we have to remember that Bob Walker is terribly clever. (Laughs; laughing) Isn’t it, his intellect is huge, he can do this.
Include non-verbal communication cues in the places where they happen in the audio as much as it is possible, but prioritize readability first. Placing parentheticals in the nearest place that audio cues occur is sufficient for the sake of preserving transcript readability.
- #00:46:52-5# Jennifer Floether And I was all at sea and I didn’t know who was good and who was bad and so I said “well you know, some people say some theologians are no good and others are good, and I don’t know, I’m reading this chap called Emil Brunner.” “Oh you’ll be alright with him!” he said. (Laughs)
#00:47:09-9# Kerry Magruder (Laughs).
#00:47:10-8# Jennifer Floether (Continuing laughter) And he laughed! He thought this was terribly funny, that somebody should ask him such a daft question. But he was very gracious.