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Strange, dream-like ill-feeling at finding that Webster 1913 doesn't contain the word 'transcribe'. Stares at word. Is only one S wrong then? Nope. Can't find spelling mistake. Thinks, perhaps I'm too drunk to? Nodes anyway.

To write down in another form, to convert to a different code. In the literal sense, it is used in linguistics and epigraphy; by extension it is applied to genetics.

There is a subtle distinction between transcribe and transliterate, at least as I was taught. To transcribe a piece of text is to render it in symbols such that the text can be pronounced; to transliterate is to render it so that the symbols of the original text can be reconstructed by someone who knows the key. So for example the tetragrammaton YHWH in Hebrew is a transliteration, translating letter by letter what characters they use in Hebrew; whereas its transcription is Yahwe (sic), which is what the pronunciation is believed to be. But I don't know that everyone would agree with this distinction.

In biology, transcription is the process by which ribosomes move along the DNA string converting the bases C, G, A, and T into a congruent string of C, G, A, and U.


(13 September 2001) Found it. It was under Transscribe, mis-scanned. Have moved it here. Phew.

Tran*scribe" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Transcribed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Transcribing.] [L. transcribere, transcriptum; trans across, over + scribere to write. See Scribe.]

To write over again, or in the same words; to copy; as, to transcribe Livy or Tacitus; to transcribe a letter.

 

© Webster 1913.

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