What is shorthand ?

Shorthand is a quick way of writing that is often used in business settings and by people who take notes frequently. It involves using abbreviations and symbols to represent words or phrases. Shorthand can help you write faster and can be a helpful tool if you need to take notes quickly.
introduction to Shorthand

History of shorthand

Shorthand is comprehensively defined as the representation of spoken words with signs and symbols.

Shorthand is a method of writing words quickly by means of signs.
Shorthand is any system of speed writing in which words are represented by a simplified form of writing. The first known shorthand system was developed in ancient Rome by Marcus Tullius Tiro, a slave and personal secretary to Cicero. In the 9th century, an Arabic writer named Al-Jazari developed what is considered to be the first known book on shorthand, which was called Kitab al-Fiqr fil- Huruf, or "The Art of Shorthand."

first shorthand system in English was developed in the 1580s by Timothy Bright. Bright's system was popular for a time, but it was eventually eclipsed by John Willis's system, which was first published in 1602. Willis's system became the standard for English shorthand and was used by journalists and court reporters for centuries.

With the advent of the typewriter in the late 19th century, shorthand began to decline in popularity. However, there are still many people who use shorthand systems.

Pitman shorthand was invented by sir Isaac Pitman in the 19th century and was then known as the initial teaching alphabet. When Sir Isaac Pitman died.  Sir James Pitman took over the teaching of little scholars and taught them how to read and write Isaac Pitmans initial teaching alphabet. Since then, pitmans shorthand had become known throughout the world. 

The 1st edition of Pitmans shorthand system was first published in 1837. It is phonetic in nature .This means that words are writing as they are sounded and not according to ordinary longhand spellings for example paid is to be written as p-ai-d with each sound having it's respective />
Other types of shorthand include Greg's, sloan,and sight and sound.
There are many advantages that can be derived from knowing how to write in shorthand, though there are some difficulties to be encountered when learning it. 

Advantages of shorthand 

  1. Shorthand is a means of earning a living. One can look for employment as a shotgun typist, confidential secretary, private secretary, lawyer or personal assistant. The sky is the limit for an ambitious student. There are many shorthand writers who have become commercial managers ,commercial training officers, doctors of law, professors, permanent secretary and personal managers. 
  2. A means of setting up ones private business. There are many students who do not wish to work for any organization with their shorthand. They learn the art so that it can be of help when they set up their own business. This will enable them to prepare their private and confidential matters.
  3. It helps to make an accurate, immediate and legible recording of spoken words in parliament ,congress, courts of justice and in offices. 
  4. It is used for jotting down conclusion at meetings and conferences.
  5. It helps to reduce the normal writing time to the minimum because signs ate written with great speed when practice daily. 
  6. There is an improvement of the spoken and written form of English language. 

Techniques of writing good shorthand outline 

To enable you practice well and write good and readable shorthand outlines, the following instructions and methods must be followed .

1. provision of a good shorthand writing material. 

  • A good shorthand note book should be purchased. Paper of an inferior grade will not allow pen or pencil to move as fast as possible .
  • Pen or pencil; one can either use any of the two depending on the one you prefer .If it is a pen like Ester brook and osmirold pen is purchased with good quality ink to enable the pen to function well. The pen must be properly cleaned at least thrice in a month and should not be lent to any one.  If you prefer a pencil, care must be taken. The pencil must be HB quality. The length must be less than 1.3 metres.  it must be properly sharpen and a long point should not be used to avoid snapping when writing. Make sure you have an extra pencil lying on the desk which you can change to as soon as the one you are Using is getting blunted 
  • Desk; Get a good ,solid writing desk where your arm will not be raised too high 

2. correct sitting position 

  • you have to sit erect with the left Foot flat on the floor, slightly ahead of the right foot. 
  • Rest your whole body weight on the non writing arm. Hold your pen or pencil lightly. 
  • Raise your wrist slightly from the notebook as this will enable you to write quickly for long periods of time without getting tired 
  • The writing page must be kept sliding up with your left fingers so that you will be able to turn to the next page as quickly as possible. 
3. Shorthand outlines must be written once and not drawn to help you make neat and accurate shorthand outlines. 

4. There should be no erasure even when error are made. This is because erasures reduces ones speed as the time spent on erasure could have been used to write more outlines. 

5. Correction of errors should be done by only making a circle round the error made while the correct outlines is written next to the circled error. 

6. Sound representation; Note that sound are represented by signs.  Heavy sounds must be represented by heavy signs as Light sounds must be represented by light signs. 

7. Constant drilling; Drilling is the most essential of shorthand practice both difficult and familiar outlines. The result will enable you gain high speed. 

8. Memorising short forms;  Through memory of short forms will promote speedy writing. Short forms are signs used in representing some very frequently used words in English language .

9. Join shorthand words together to aid speedy writing . Note that outlines should be phrased only when they join easily and naturally. You will learn better on short forms and phrasing as you advance.

Pitman's shorthand alphabet 

Pitmans shorthand alphabet comprises 24 consonants, 12 vowels and 4 diphthongs. They can also be regarded as sounds. A shorthand sign is used to represent each of these sounds. 
Consonants are represented by strokes and curves. 

Vowels are represented by dots and dashes.
Diphthongs are represented by angular marks. 

The Pitman shorthand alphabet is a system for representing speech sounds using the Latin alphabet. It was developed in the mid-19th century by Joseph Pitman, and is still in use today. Pitman shorthand is largely used in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, but is also used in some other countries.

Pitman shorthand is composed of 26 letters, five of which are vowels. The letters are assigned toonsonant phonemes, and each phoneme has an associated letter. There are no letters that represent consonants.

The Pitman shorthand alphabet is shown below. In most cases, the IPA symbols for the letters are also shown.

There are a few different shorthand alphabets in use today, but the most common is the Pitman alphabet. This alphabet was developed in the early 1800s by Sir Isaac Pitman, and it is still in use by stenographers today.

The Pitman alphabet is based on the sounds of English, and each letter is represented by a different symbol. For example, the letter 'a' is represented by a downward-facing triangle, while the letter 'b' is represented by a square. To read Pitman shorthand, you need to know the sound of each letter and the symbols that represent them.

Pitman shorthand is a very efficient way to write, and it can be used to write at speeds of up to 200 words per minute. If you're interested in learning this unique alphabet, there are a few resources available to help you get started.

Importance of shorthand in business organization 

There are many benefits to using shorthand in business organization. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help to save time. This is because when individuals are communicating using shorthand, they are able to write down information much more quickly than if they were communicating using full sentences. This can be extremely beneficial in fast-paced business environments where time is often of the essence.

Another benefit of using shorthand in business organization is that it can help to improve communication accuracy. This is because when individuals are using shorthand, they are less likely to make mistakes in their writing. This can be extremely beneficial in businesses where accurate communication is essential, such as in the medical field.

Overall, shorthand can be an extremely helpful tool for business organization. It can help to save time and improve communication accuracy. If your business could benefit from either of these things, then implementing a shorthand system may be a good idea.

 In business studies, shorthand is an essential skill for taking accurate notes during meetings and lectures. Shorthand is a form of writing in which symbols or abbreviations are used to represent words or phrases. This can be extremely useful in taking down key points quickly and efficiently.

There are many different shorthand systems in existence, but the most popular one used in business is Pitman shorthand. This system uses a variety of different symbols to represent different sounds, and with a little practice, it can be written at speeds of up to 150 words per minute.

If you're interested in learning shorthand, there are plenty of resources available online and in libraries. Once you've mastered the basics, you'll be able to take notes at lightning speeds and never miss a key point again!

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