Jump to content


Photo

Shorthand


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 BearsPaw

BearsPaw

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 623 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 01:15

Does anyone use shorthand anymore? I found this website, and tried going through the first unit but found it rather confusing. Does anyone know any good online resources or comments in general on learning shorthand?

#2 HDoug

HDoug

    First Class Forever

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,710 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2008 - 01:54

I'd sure like to learn. It would certainly improve the note-taking process. Hmmm... wonder what it looks like in italic? I just got the image of shorthand in fraktur... That's an interesting concept! OK, I've gotta go clear up my head now...

Doug

#3 Zoe

Zoe

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 789 posts
  • Location:UDV (USA)

Posted 07 September 2008 - 02:23

Take a look at Pitman.

I believe it is easier to learn, and does look good in Italics. roflmho.gif thumbup.gif

Edited by Zoe, 07 September 2008 - 02:23.


#4 RayMan

RayMan

    Penathlete

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,288 posts
  • Location:Metropolitan Detroit
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2008 - 04:24

It's been a very long time since I've seen anyone use shorthand. The court reporters all use steno machines or face mask devices, assuming there is any court reporter at all now that court proceedings are increasingly being electronically recorded. Still, I'd like to learn shorthand for purposes of my own notetaking.
Regards,

Ray

#5 jmkeuning

jmkeuning

    Stick a fork in me.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,948 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 04:27

Someone posted an article here about a really old-school court reporter that still uses Gregg.
Fool: One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth.

#6 MikaLa

MikaLa

    I will maintain

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 224 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 09:11

I just began teaching myself. The Finnish Nevanlinna-system. It is fun!


Rom 7:15


#7 Litlady

Litlady

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Gold

  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 09:51

I learnt to write one of the Pitman variants in the 1970s. We were taught to write it using FPs because it was easier to get the difference between the light and heavy strokes at speed. Pitman even used to sell an FP specially for shorthand writing. I reached 110 wpm in ordinary and 120 wpm in another system called 'Teeline' in medical shorthand. I still use a mixture of both for note taking these days. It's generally easy to learn but time consuming as you need regular practice to reach any degree of proficiency. Good fun though. And yes, it's a dying art, not sure it's taught any more to budding journalists here in the UK. The BBC used to train all their journalists in shorthand writing.

#8 BearsPaw

BearsPaw

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 623 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 13:25

QUOTE (Zoe @ Sep 6 2008, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Take a look at Pitman.

I believe it is easier to learn, and does look good in Italics. roflmho.gif thumbup.gif


I was concerned that Pitman would be harder, since you have to be able to vary line thinkness. It seems like (1) that is hard to do / read quickly and (2) it's impossible without a fountain pen. Are these concerns unfounded?

#9 HedgeMage

HedgeMage

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 177 posts
  • Location:Indianapolis, IN

Posted 07 September 2008 - 14:00

QUOTE (BearsPaw @ Sep 6 2008, 08:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone use shorthand anymore? I found this website, and tried going through the first unit but found it rather confusing. Does anyone know any good online resources or comments in general on learning shorthand?


I still use shorthand quite frequently, though it's not a system I think I could teach anyone... mine is a sort of "programmer's shorthand" that you could probably only decipher if you were familiar with writing computer code (it is most heavily influenced by C++, in case you were curious). I drop vowels from words where clarity won't be impaired, substitute symbols like != or >> for words or phrases, and abbreviate anything that makes sense in my head.

--HedgeMage


#10 BearsPaw

BearsPaw

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 623 posts

Posted 07 September 2008 - 14:10

QUOTE (HedgeMage @ Sep 7 2008, 10:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I still use shorthand quite frequently, though it's not a system I think I could teach anyone... mine is a sort of "programmer's shorthand" that you could probably only decipher if you were familiar with writing computer code (it is most heavily influenced by C++, in case you were curious). I drop vowels from words where clarity won't be impaired, substitute symbols like != or >> for words or phrases, and abbreviate anything that makes sense in my head.

--HedgeMage


I am a computer science PhD student, so I have some experience with writing computer code. smile.gif

I've tried an ad-hoc form of shorthand (not based on C++, though), but since it was always in flux and based on what popped into my head while I was writing it, I would find notes a few months later and be unable to read them.

#11 DerMann

DerMann

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 319 posts

Posted 11 September 2008 - 17:27

QUOTE (BearsPaw @ Sep 6 2008, 08:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone use shorthand anymore? I found this website, and tried going through the first unit but found it rather confusing. Does anyone know any good online resources or comments in general on learning shorthand?

I've heard of Gregg shorthand, and read about it a bit after seeing a few nibs marked "GREGG."

Seeing it in use makes my head hurt crybaby.gif
Collection:
Waterman: 52V BCHR, 55 BCHR
Sheaffer: Peacock Blue Snorkel Sentinel, Black Snorkel Admiral, Persian Blue Touchdown Statesman
Parker: Silver 1946 Vacumatic, 1929 Lacquer red Duofold Senior, Burgundy "51" Special
Misc: Reform 1745, Hero 616, two pen holders and about 20 nibs.

#12 Nabster

Nabster

    Yes, the car is mine.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 206 posts

Posted 12 September 2008 - 15:38

I had a business/computer teacher in high school who had been in the computer industry for years. One class she gave us a lesson in shorthand, not one person in the class could read the little curvy lines on the board. Seems interesting, but in the event someone else would need to read the notes, I'll stick with a quick abbreviated handwriting.


#13 Atlas

Atlas

    Didn't Pass Quality Control

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 66 posts

Posted 13 September 2008 - 18:24

QUOTE (Nabster @ Sep 12 2008, 08:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Seems interesting, but in the event someone else would need to read the notes, I'll stick with a quick abbreviated handwriting.


Ah, good. Someone has thought of prudential considerations.

#14 HerosNSuch

HerosNSuch

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 639 posts

Posted 13 September 2008 - 19:02

QUOTE (RayMan @ Sep 7 2008, 12:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's been a very long time since I've seen anyone use shorthand. The court reporters all use steno machines or face mask devices, assuming there is any court reporter at all now that court proceedings are increasingly being electronically recorded. Still, I'd like to learn shorthand for purposes of my own notetaking.


My aunt teaches a class in short hand at a community college in her town. She still works as a court reporter. The recordings from the day, Tuesday in that county, are sent to her office, and she transcribes them all for the remainder of the week. In South Carolina, where she lives, there legally has to be a hard copy of all court room activity. So, at least in that state, there are still people who use shorthand on a daily basis.

Edited to add:Just called her to ask, She uses a stenotype machine to transcribe, but still had to learn Gregg and Pitman hands and requires her students to learn them as well.

Edited by HerosNSuch, 13 September 2008 - 19:08.

"If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith."
-Albert Einstein

Posted Image Posted Image


BP/Pencil set trade

#15 rattus31

rattus31

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 13 September 2008 - 19:13

QUOTE (HerosNSuch @ Sep 13 2008, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My aunt teaches a class in short hand at a community college in her town. She still works as a court reporter. The recordings from the day, Tuesday in that county, are sent to her office, and she transcribes them all for the remainder of the week. In South Carolina, where she lives, there legally has to be a hard copy of all court room activity. So, at least in that state, there are still people who use shorthand on a daily basis.

Edited to add:Just called her to ask, She uses a stenotype machine to transcribe, but still had to learn Gregg and Pitman hands and requires her students to learn them as well.


That sounds like a class I would fail...


#16 shoppy

shoppy

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 166 posts
  • Location:UK Sailsbury
  • Flag:

Posted 13 September 2008 - 20:57

It would make my life easier if I learnt it.
Best wishes.

#17 HerosNSuch

HerosNSuch

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 639 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:33

QUOTE (rattus31 @ Sep 13 2008, 03:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (HerosNSuch @ Sep 13 2008, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My aunt teaches a class in short hand at a community college in her town. She still works as a court reporter. The recordings from the day, Tuesday in that county, are sent to her office, and she transcribes them all for the remainder of the week. In South Carolina, where she lives, there legally has to be a hard copy of all court room activity. So, at least in that state, there are still people who use shorthand on a daily basis.

Edited to add:Just called her to ask, She uses a stenotype machine to transcribe, but still had to learn Gregg and Pitman hands and requires her students to learn them as well.


That sounds like a class I would fail...


A lot of people do the first time around. It seems extremely difficult to learn the alien looking scratch marks of ink.
"If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith."
-Albert Einstein

Posted Image Posted Image


BP/Pencil set trade

#18 RLTodd

RLTodd

    Thor's Legions

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,224 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:43

My position on this is that if you need to take dictation, and you can't use one of those little recorders, shorthand is the way to go.

If all you have to do is take notes, rarely need to record a verbatim sentence, Quickwriting or Speedwriting is the way to go. I have heard that people who wanted to put in a month or so of practice have gotten up to around 80 words a minute equivalent recorded as notes.


YMMV

#19 flaviano

flaviano

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 21 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:23

QUOTE (BearsPaw @ Sep 6 2008, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone use shorthand anymore? I found this website, and tried going through the first unit but found it rather confusing. Does anyone know any good online resources or comments in general on learning shorthand?


I've just joined the forum and I got interested in fountain pens because of Pitman shorthand which I am learning.

Generally speaking Pitman is considered harder to learn than Gregg shorthand. To the extent that anyone still uses the old shorthand systems, Pitman is used in the UK and Commonwealth states while mostly Gregg is used in the US.

Pitman is a "geometric" system which combines straight lines and curves, and makes use of heavy and light strokes to encode differences in the voicing of consonants (e.g. a heavy stroke for b, d, g, j, z but a corresponding light stroke for p, t, k, ch, s).

Gregg doesn't make use of shading differences and is called, therefore, a "light-line" system. It is also based on the ellipse shape, which is said to be more like a natural motion of handwriting. But proponents of Pitman say that it is more logical and faster, although most people admit it is harder.

It is interesting to note that Gregg's system beat out Pitman's at precisely a time (the 1930s) when the great age of the fountain pen had ended and people had moved away from superflex nibs and studying ornamental Copperplate. Gregg argued strenuously that the "light-line" system was better, and in a way, he was right, inasmuch as people no longer had the penmanship skills that made learning Pitman so much easier in the 19th century.

In Germany they have another system that was originally invented by Franz Gabelsberger in the early 19th century. It uses shading differences a little, but less than in Pitman. It is based on highly abbreviated forms of longhand letters and is in many ways a brilliant invention. It spread to all of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and to Italy, but it never caught on in the English speaking world. In France, interestingly enough, there are two competing systems, one based on Pitman and another more like the Gabelsberger type. In the Spanish-speaking world a version of Pitman was once in use, but in Latin America the change to Gregg happened just as in the US.

You can buy all the vintage textbooks you want on shorthand on Ebay at very reasonable prices. Newer books can be bought, but anything written after 1950 is about equal in quality.

Both Pitman and Gregg have "dumbed down" versions that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s -- Pitman 2000 is the name of the Pitman one. These were invented because nobody wanted to spend a year or two learning shorthand anymore. Other systems, mentioned by other posters above, such as Forkner, Teeline, and Speedwriting, were also invented to meet the needs of people who wanted to take notes for themselves, but didn't aspire to take dictation or, for that matter, do verbatim reporting in a court setting.

But if you're an old die-hard like me with an eccentric interest in all things antique, learning the original "hard" shorthand is a great way to have fun with your pens and develop dexterity in writing. The best Pitman shorthand writers of the early 20th century were also excellent at writing Copperplate, and were masters at controlling the thick and thin lines needed to make that style look elegant.

It's also worth noting that Pitman changed his system several times and numerous variants were in use in the late 19th century. (Isaac Pitman had a brother, Benn, who introduced shorthand to the US, but when Isaac modified his system, Benn did not follow suit, so that if you buy an old Pitman textbook from the 1880s published in the US, it is likely to not teach anything like the "standard" Pitman shorthand). The last revision of Pitman was in the early 1920s and was called "New Era". The preceding revision was around 1900 and was called "Century". If you want to learn Pitman I would recommend learning New Era and buying only books that mention "New Era" or were published after 1922 or so.

Right now I use an Esterbrook LJ with nib 9128 (extra-fine flexible) for writing shorthand. I also have a Waterman "Fono" -- a pen that was commissioned by Pitman for writing shorthand. It has a fine, but not extra fine nib, and I prefer the extra-fine nib of the Esterbrook. I have recently bought a vintage Mabie Todd with extra-fine flex nib, and am waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

If you decide to study Pitman shorthand, and you have any questions, you can post them here and I will try to answer them.

#20 BillTheEditor

BillTheEditor

    “Qui m'aime aime mon chien.” Pretty much says it all.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,547 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:34

QUOTE (flaviano @ Sep 13 2008, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've just joined the forum and I got interested in fountain pens because of Pitman shorthand which I am learning.

Are you teaching yourself from the books, or did you find a course or a tutor? I'm interested in learning Pitman for job purposes, and have an Esterbrook fitted with a 9128. Mostly I want to use Pitman instead of a DVR for making conference notes and doing interviews.

#21 tawanda

tawanda

    Over the hill but refusing to wear roller skates

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,791 posts
  • Location:Somewhere in La-La land, mostly!

Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:54

I have taught myself shorthand for taking lecture notes at university. I experimented with pitman and gregg but found them unnecessarily complex. The best method for me by far, was Teeline shorthand. Its taught on journalism courses here in the UK, in many educational faciliites.
The concept is so simple and rather like ancient Greek in that the first thing they teach is to remove unnecessary vowels, double letters etc, and then learn signs for common endings (eg -tion) and so on. There is a short passage in the intro in my Teeline book, whch has all the vowels and surplus removed, and it can still be easily read. Where outlines for similar words look the same (eg bee, be) the context always clarifies it.
I picked it up really quickly, and could take notes in a mixture of long and shorthand in under a week! The great thing is you can take it as far as you like. I didn't complete the book (did about two thirds) because I didn't need to get too proffesional about it.
Also, once you learn the principals, you can make signs for words yourself, as long as you can remember them, that is! I have a Teeline dictionary and put my own words in the back, just in case I come to read something back in 6 months and have forgotten what it was.

Hope this helps

Tawanda
For Sale:
Penman Ink http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11952-penman-mocha-ink/
Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

#22 flaviano

flaviano

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 21 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 04:14

QUOTE (BillTheEditor @ Sep 13 2008, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (flaviano @ Sep 13 2008, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've just joined the forum and I got interested in fountain pens because of Pitman shorthand which I am learning.

Are you teaching yourself from the books, or did you find a course or a tutor? I'm interested in learning Pitman for job purposes, and have an Esterbrook fitted with a 9128. Mostly I want to use Pitman instead of a DVR for making conference notes and doing interviews.


I am just teaching myself. This is actually my second go-round. The first time around I didn't learn properly because I held the pen with too much tension. I think you have to hold the pen very lightly and use the wrist and the whole arm (and not the fingers very much) to move the pen, just as the old Copperplate handwriting manuals teach.

Here are the four books I recommend:

1. Basic Course in Pitman Shorthand. New Era Edition. Pitman Publishing, New York.

2. Gilson, Goodwin and Morris Mellinger. 1965. Developing Shorthand Skills. Pitman Publishing, New York.

3. Smith, Emily. 1980. The New Phonographic Phrase Book. Pitman Publishing, London.

4. Student's Shorthand Dictionary and Phrase Book. Isaac Pitman & Sons, Toronto.

The "standard" textbook was Pitman's Shorthand Instructor, but pedagogically it is terrible (teaches lots of rare words). The book I mention in (1) above is better because you learn the 700 most common words in English first. The book in 2 then helps you to expand your vocabulary. Actually the book in 2 is supposed to accompany a revision of the book in 1, which was called the "New Basic Course in Pitman Shorthand", which I don't own. It could well be better.

I record myself with my computer to practice taking "dictation" ... all I can say is that it is not easy and my respect for the people who did it in the old days is immense. Emily Smith, author of book number 3, was the only person in the UK who could take 250 words per minute dictation with Pitman shorthand in 1980. I imagine that there's nobody left now who can write that fast!

My understanding is that when journalism schools in Britain still last required shorthand (I don't think they do now), they had switched to Teeline as the most sensible shorthand for reporters' every day needs. Pitman will take about a year to learn well if you practice every day for an hour, I suspect.

#23 Maria

Maria

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:44

Dear BearsPaw,

My sister learned Gregg Shorthand in high school (1964-1968). She doesn't remember much now. Gregg Shorthand was on the way out, due to the recording devices available for bosses to read into and the secretary to transcribe and repeat the recorded letter if necessary. I was in 'typing' class in my high school (same one sister graduated from in '68; and no short hand was offered (69-73).

Now, if I was to learn short hand, I would want to try my hand at Lloyd's Shorthand; the style of short hand during the Civil War. It would be interesting to read the transcripts as taken by the 'secretaries' of the day and also the "court of inquiries" and " court martial" trials of other cases that have not made it into the "Official Records of the Rebellion." And, to read President Lincoln's personal secretaries' notes before transcribing.

Respectfully,
M. E. Wolf

QUOTE (BearsPaw @ Sep 6 2008, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anyone use shorthand anymore? I found this website, and tried going through the first unit but found it rather confusing. Does anyone know any good online resources or comments in general on learning shorthand?



#24 flaviano

flaviano

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 21 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 14:40

QUOTE (Maria @ Sep 14 2008, 02:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Now, if I was to learn short hand, I would want to try my hand at Lloyd's Shorthand; the style of short hand during the Civil War. It would be interesting to read the transcripts as taken by the 'secretaries' of the day and also the "court of inquiries" and " court martial" trials of other cases that have not made it into the "Official Records of the Rebellion." And, to read President Lincoln's personal secretaries' notes before transcribing.


This link provides some interesting discussion of the history of shorthand and information about Lloyd's Shorthand.

http://english.ttu.e.../shorthand.html

Lloyd's shorthand was alphabetic (used letters and omitted most vowels). In this respect it was somewhat like Speedwriting of today, but less developed.


#25 flaviano

flaviano

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPip
  • 21 posts

Posted 14 September 2008 - 14:47

QUOTE (Maria @ Sep 14 2008, 02:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My sister learned Gregg Shorthand in high school (1964-1968). She doesn't remember much now. Gregg Shorthand was on the way out, due to the recording devices available for bosses to read into and the secretary to transcribe and repeat the recorded letter if necessary. I was in 'typing' class in my high school (same one sister graduated from in '68; and no short hand was offered (69-73).


One place that shorthand is still taught and used regularly is India. I guess the reason is because labor is cheap and recording devices are not? Since India was formerly part of the British Empire the system taught there is Pitman and the language of transcription is English (still one of the official languages of India).

This is a link to an on-line course in Pitman shorthand offered by the Stenographers' Guild in Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

http://www.stenold.o...nlineshand.html