The ‘Thing’ About Shorthand

Welcome to the wonderful contradicting world that is shorthand. As first year journalism students have come to the end of learning about the theory of shorthand and will now start experiencing rigorous dictation four times a week, I felt it would be fitting to write a list of points that we’ve learned which summarises the ironic statement: “The Thing About Shorthand”. The irony being that there isn’t one ‘thing’; there are loads.

“The thing about shorthand is that there’s no right or wrong in shorthand.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you reach a peak where you’re all fired up and you go go go.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you can be a bit flexible.”

“The thing about shorthand is if you put in contractions, you’ll get marked down.”

“The thing about shorthand is that size really does matter.”

“The thing about shorthand is that context is everything in shorthand.”

“The thing about shorthand is that it’s YOUR shorthand.”

“The thing about shorthand is that it’s a bit like driving; it doesn’t really start until after your test.”

“The thing about shorthand is that it’s all about speed.”

“The thing about shorthand is that it’s about what’s easiest for you to use.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you need to think shorthand.”

“The thing about shorthand is that if you get a problem word, you need to move on to the next.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you have to use it all the time.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you take it down and you’ve got to read it back.”

“The thing about shorthand is that it’s a personal thing between you, your pen and your notebook.”

“The thing about shorthand is that at the end of the day it’s your shorthand.”

“The thing about shorthand is that problem words stay with you.”

“The thing about shorthand is that you’ve got words ending unkonkinkankenk.”

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