Student Shenanigans: Shorthand Saga, Part 1

Well, this should be an experience.

In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I’ve decided to track my progress in learning shorthand through at-least-semi-frequent blog posts. Hey, maybe if you follow along you’ll learn a little shorthand yourself. I can’t practice for you, of course, but I’ll at least be explaining some of the basics as I learn them myself. Keep in mind, though, that I’m learning too. There are possibly mistakes! OK, there are PROBABLY mistakes. I’m sure that when I learn more, I’ll clear any mistakes up.

Today, I’ve been attempting to memorise the shorthand alphabet and use it to write a short sentence. I’m not worried too much about words per minute right now. It’s safe to say it’s much, much slower than normal writing. Worrying about speed is a ways off yet.

Take a look at the following sentence.

1422888072821-1711061944Doesn’t it look like total gibberish? Well, let’s translate and see if you notice the correlation.

“tln i rly dfct t lrn”

Compare them and you might just begin to see it. Each word corresponds to a squiggle, and each of these squiggles are possible without the pen leaving the paper, with one exception – I’ll explain the specifics at another time. Translating the rest of the way is comparably easy. It’s like deciphering a text message from your grandma, because no-one else you know texts like that any more.

“Teeline is really difficult to learn”.

Not that I said “comparably” easy. Those grandma texts aren’t always easy to understand, because some of the abbreviated words are unfamiliar to you. For example, you may be unfamiliar with the name Teeline, which is the designation for this particular type of shorthand. This is part of what why trying to read someone else’s shorthand (AKA my first foolhardy blog post on the matter) can be excruciating, especially for a novice.

You know what, I think it’s actually starting to get into my head. I’m going to try and translate the first line of that image again!

teeline“Th oqr. Wv a lg bdm swt ala tm hntl th hnd of wk.”

Well, that was a little less painful, and I didn’t so much look to a key for translation so much as confirmation. The Ts and Ds are especially tricky, because they’re so context sensitive, but I’ve gone for translating exactly what I see. This looks like it could be filled out into a real sentence! Hey, I’m not stopping you if you want to give it a go.

Let’s compare it with what I wrote last time.

“th uir. wv pg btm swt al a sr tm hnti th hrd yh we.”

Yup, I’m happy with that progress.

-Jesse (@backblogguy)


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