Interruptions – Interjections – Overlapping – Unintelligible Speech

Indicate background noise interruptions using parentheses when they occur in the audio.

  • I think you could say that what I encountered in Robert Walker’s teaching, which of course he attributes to his uncle Tom’s teaching, has turned my life inside out, upside down, and brought me to a place where I can look back over the second half of my adult life and say, “Ah (telephone rings) at last, meaning and purpose and light and joy and structure,” um, which I would never ever have been able to discover or create for myself.


Use [overlapping] in dialogue to clarify sequence. It is unnecessary to include [overlapping] in every instance in which it occurs when it does not help clarify sequence.

Indicate non-verbal interruptions using parentheses when they occur in the audio. The location of punctuation marks may be used to help represent the location of an interruption.

  • And that’s when I realized why Bob had been drawing a bucket on the blackboard (laughs).
  • And I, (Kerry laughs) I just walked out again because I thought “Oh I’ve wandered into a physics class!” (Both laugh.)
  • And I’ve often ended up having to preach a sermon I didn’t want to preach because having read what T. F. had to say about this particular aspect couldn’t be denied, although it was going to be jolly difficult (laughs) to preach, today, to this congregation, in this place.
  • I found teaching very difficult (laughs) and I still do, I wasn’t, I don’t think a very successful art teacher because, um, I think my focus was on the art.

Use em-dashes with a change in narration to indicate speakers interrupting each other.

  • #00:30:56-8# Jennifer Floether: Can you repeat the question? Is there any aspect of his character —

    #00:31:01-8# Kerry Magruder: Yes.

    #00:31:02-8# Jennifer Floether: — which I had not perceived?

    #00:31:05-4# Kerry Magruder: Or would have not perceived, or which you do perceive but that someone who is not able to know him in person might miss from just the book alone.

Sometimes recording speakers (verbatim) interrupting each other is helpful for understanding the flow of conversation. In the examples below, Jennifer’s quick answers reflects when she actually answered the questions.

  • #00:38:11-7# Kerry Magruder: (laughs) So Bob is a minister to —

    #00:38:15-5# Jennifer Floether: Yes.

    #00:38:15-6# Kerry Magruder: — students.

    #00:38:16-6# Jennifer Floether: He is a minister to not just students but to many people, some of whom don’t come to the study service, but with whom he remains in contact.
  • #00:39:54-6# Kerry Magruder: The Torrance family has always been missions minded —

    #00:39:58-6# Jennifer Floether: Yes.

    #00:39:58-7# Kerry Magruder: — haven’t they?

    #00:40:00-0# Jennifer Floether: Funny though that the mission now happens this way — we’re not going to them, they’re coming to us! (laughs)

    #00:40:08-2# Kerry Magruder: So then it’s mediated through community?

    #00:40:10-5# Jennifer Floether: Yes indeed it is.

Sometimes recording speakers (verbatim) interrupting each other creates burdensome reading and does not add to the understanding — or faithfulness — of the written representation of speech. The example below is recorded verbatim, but in the actual draft it has been changed to make reading easier.

  • Is that, is that an accurate —

    #00:07:29-6# Jennifer Floether: Yes —

    #00:07:29-7# Kerry Magruder: — description?

    #00:07:30-4# Jennifer Floether: — that describes exactly what happened to me.

    #00:07:32-6# Kerry Magruder: Mm-hm.

Crutch words or feedback sounds are often used in dialogue to encourage further talking, or to voice agreement. Record these words when they add to the dynamic of the conversation, or if you wish to break up long paragraphs and sentences.

  • #00:20:16-4# Jennifer Floether: I wish I could say yes, I’m afraid I can’t.

    #00:20:19-8# Kerry Magruder: Mm-hm.

    #00:20:22-3# Jennifer Floether: I can’t say that I’ve noticed an, Torrance theology, directly having an impact on the people I’m in contact with. It’s too abstract. It’s too academic.
  • Art is, uh, one of those discourses, which is, finds it difficult to define its — if you like — its judgments.

    #00:14:22-7# Kerry Magruder: Yes.

    #00:14:23-3# Jennifer Floether: Or justify the judgments that we make, nevertheless, art is concerned with good and bad, and true and untrue.
  • And although it’s been a struggle, and there have been times when I was tempted to become, if you like, a “professional Christian,” (both laugh) um, training for the readership, exploring ordination, becoming very much more involved in church than I was in my work and in everyday life, I’m now beginning to see how vital it is that those of us who have been touched by Torrance’s thinking and touched by the gospel, stay where we are, stay in our congregations, but stay in the world —

    #00:10:56-3# Kerry Magruder: Mm-hmm.

    #00:10:56-4# Jennifer Floether: — and, um, try to seek ways, and I think — I’m hoping — this will be the next phase of what happens with Torrance’s legacy, seek ways of bringing this to people who are not professional theologians, professional clergy, people who have no formal theological education.

Sometimes, interruptions come in the form of overlapping dialogue. Use brackets to indicate that speech overlaps.

  • #00:21:22-5# Kerry Magruder: So this translation, you would say, is the chief challenge that we face —

    #00:21:29-6# Jennifer Floether: [overlapping] It’s my chief challenge —

    #00:21:30-3# Kerry Magruder: [overlapping] — or —

    #00:21:31-0# Jennifer Floether: [overlapping]— yes —

    #00:21:32-0# Kerry Magruder: — or a full appreciation of this tradition?
  • #00:22:59-2# Kerry Magruder: So his younger brother, David, um, considered an academic career and chose a pastoral ministry —

    #00:23:08-6# Jennifer Floether: Mm-hm.

    #00:23:08-9# Kerry Magruder: — felt calling to the ministry instead. And, uh, has David been a help or  

    #00:23:17-3# Jennifer Floether: [overlapping] Yes, oh yes.

    #00:23:17-6# Kerry Magruder: [overlapping] an interest to you in this journey?

Unintelligible spots in the recording can sometimes be resolved by playing the audio on a different speed. If you can make an educated guess, type the closest possible approximation of what you hear, and flag the questionable portion for review.

If you cannot make a guess as to what was said, use brackets to indicate unintelligible audio.

  • #00:26:26-2# Jennifer Floether: Yes, absolutely.

    #00:26:26-2# Kerry Magruder: [overlapping; unintelligible]

    #00:26:27-7# Jennifer Floether: I think it is our calling to keep on learning, to keep constantly allowing ourselves to be reformed and reshaped by the impact of the word.
  • #00:27:29-4# Kerry Magruder: You published a review of David Torrance’s memoirs —

    #00:27:34-8# Jennifer Floether: (inhales) Yes. Yes, yes!

    #00:27:35-2# Kerry Magruder: [overlapping] in [unintelligible]

Some audio may not be unintelligible, but still difficult or impossible for the transcriptionist to understand without more knowledge. Indicate this in the recording in any format, and flag it for review in a consistent way.

    • #00:26:19-8# Kerry Magruder: In ministry participation in (??)** retreats in the study service —