As an example,

'Hi, it's John. (glitch) are you? Listen, I'm having a party (glitch) week and would like you to come over.'

I would like to know in what ways (I'm sure there are more than one) these 'glitches' may be punctuated according to British standards.

  • 5
    There are no "punctuation standards" other than the use of square brackets. Normally you'd encounter " ... John [inaudible phrase] ... Listen, I'm ... " or some other explanatory note inside the square brackets. That's in a transcript.
    – TimR
    Apr 13, 2018 at 11:20
  • 1
    There's no one standard, like Tromano says. Different organizations have different ways of doing things. For example, air traffic communications are often transcribed using asterisks for inaudible parts; see aviation-safety.net/investigation/cvr/transcripts/cvr_ea401.php for an example.
    – stangdon
    Apr 13, 2018 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


While there's no standard, there are several conventions I have seen.

For formal transcription, as noted in the comments, you'll often see brackets (or asterisks used as brackets) with a descriptor.

"John [mumbled] party next [static] week. I told [repetitive clicking] she could [line cut]."

For fiction and other informal writing, often the writer will describe the type of problem and then use some symbol to denote where it occurs or use an onomatopoeia for flavor.

Ex: The line was terrible, I could barely hear over the static. "John @&*% party *** week. I told … she could KWERSHHHHHHHH" and then the line cut out.

I've mixed several styles above, you should pick one and stick with it. You can also use the transcript method in fiction as well, if appropriate to the genre.

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