A device used to record voice memos for later playback. More or less the verbal equivalent of a notepad.

These devices range from portable handheld devices with small audio casettes (much like those you sometimes see reporters or writers using in movies) to desktop models used to record lengthy letters and documents for later typing - eg: "Jane, take a letter".

The higher end models have refinements such as voice activation and electronic storage removing the need for tapes, along with other bells and whistles to make talking to yourself just that bit more fun.

Which reminds me of a joke I heard the other day.

Tim: "Hey Steve, can I use your dictaphone?"
Steve: "No, use your finger like everyone else!"

Dictaphone (note the capital 'D') is a company which produces dictation equipment, who have, over the years, become so successful that their name is now synonymous, in more people's minds, with the name of their product.

Dictaphone and DVI (now part of Philips Electronics) are the major players in the equipment end of medical transcriptionist. DVI has a system commonly in use now whereby the dictator records his message on an Ipaq handheld, when then uploads it to a DVI dictation station.

MedQuist has now moved on to the next stage of technology beyond this, whereby the dictation is uploaded and then sent to the transcriptionist via the internet.

Dic"ta*phone (?), n. [Dictate + -phone, as in telephone.]

A form of phonographic recorder and reproducer adapted for use in dictation, as in business.


© Webster 1913

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