Spellings for slang and certain words and expressions pronounced in regional dialect are available in dictionaries or reference works. Words of informal language, such as yeah and yep, may be transcribed verbatim if they occur in the dictionary.

Words commonly pronounced together in spoken English — such as gonna going to, wanna want to, shoulda should have, coulda could have, woulda would have, sorta sort of, and kinda kind of — are in the unabridged dictionary, but we prefer to spell these out, which preserves search ability. Very few people pronounce every syllable and letter in every word they say, and we have to draw the line somewhere of how literal to be when transcribing; otherwise it's a slippery slope and frustration sets in.