Speed-Writing: How to Use Shorthand Methods

Shorthand implies using various symbols for letters and sounds in order to write faster. This is a very helpful method of writing when you need to quickly jot down some important information or when taking notes in the classroom. There are a few common methods of shorthand writing. The Gregg method, the Pitman, and the Teeline methods are the most popular. You can improve your shorthand skills by taking classes and practicing. In addition, College-Writers.Com team is going to provide you with the basics of this type of speed-writing.

Teeline Shorthand

1. Start with studying the alphabet. The Teeline alphabet is a system of various curves and strokes which are used instead of traditional letters. For example, the letter “A” looks like a V-shaped curve.

2. Get rid of the unnecessary consonants and vowels. You should keep only letters that allow you to recognize the word. For example, if you want to write the word “about,” it should look like “abt.” The word “you” can be written as “u.”

3. Use different sizes for consonants and vowels. Teeline implies making vowels a little smaller. This way, you will quickly distinguish them visually.

4. Write consonants in one move, without lifting your hand. Groups of consonants should look like one symbol. However, the first letter should be clear.

Pitman Shorthand

1. Just as with the previous method, we suggest starting with the alphabet. The Pitman alphabet is based on how our speech sounds rather than on how words are spelled. You should also use different symbols for vowels and consonants. The set of used symbols includes dots, slashes, and lines of a different thickness.
Given that this alphabet is based on phonetics, some different letters are written the same. For example, “f” in the word “feelings” is written the same as a combination “ph” in the word “Philadelphia,” as well as “gh” in “rough.”

2. In the Pitman alphabet, consonants have different thickness. For example, “t” should include a thicker vertical line than “d.” “P” and “b” also have different thicknesses.

3. Vowels are written as dashes and dots which are added to consonants. For example, if you want to write the word “bat,” it will look as two consonant symbols written one under another. The “a” should look like a dot near the “b” symbol.

4. Use abbreviations when writing common words like “to,” “of,” “the,” etc. Articles “an” and “a” are written as dots above, and “the” — as a dot on the level of the bottom line. “Of” is a tiny slash above. “To” is written as a tiny slash that touches the line on the left side.

Gregg Shorthand

1. First, study the alphabet. The Gregg method is also phonetic. There are such symbols as circles and hooks. This alphabet is similar to the Pitman alphabet because it also uses different sets of symbols for vowels and consonants.

2. The most important thing about this alphabet is that you should use hooks and lines of the right shape. For example, “m” and “n” look as vertical lines, while “v” and “f” are curved horizontal lines. Sometimes, one symbol can mean various consonants.

3. Use circles for vowels. Different vowels look like circles of different size. More common vowels, like “o” and “a” are bigger than “e” or “u.” The sound “ea” looks like a dot inside a circle.

4. Gregg shorthand also has a system of punctuation marks. For example, you should use a small “x” instead of “?” and a dash instead of the period.

Make Your Shorthand Better

  • It will be easier for you to write shorthand if you use a sharp pencil or an ink pen. Make sure your pen doesn’t leak ink.
  • If you want to improve your shorthand, we suggest taking a course. It will also be good if you find a person who is perfectly familiar with shorthand. Many local community colleges have shorthand classes. You can also find online courses on the internet.
  • Shorthand writing requires a lot of practice. We suggest practicing every day, trying to use shorthand every time you need to note something. You can also make your practice easier by using flashcards with letters of the shorthand alphabet.

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