It is my intention to add as much material as I can for you to practise your reading.
I am assuming that your course books will give you plenty of business material,
but here you will find short pieces on anything and everything dealing with
all types of vocabulary is essential. Hopefully
these will provide a change of scenery and get Pitman's New Era out in the fresh air.
The commonest words of the
language are generally independent of subject-matter and learning
these will provide a good basis for all your future shorthand
writing. If you go from writing these, or other simple passages, to
more specialised material, you may find that your speed suffers
slightly, until you have learned all the new vocabulary/outlines for
that particular subject.
The Shorthand Reading Pages have word counts for each article.
If you record yourself as you read the shorthand out loud
(preferably the second reading when you are more familiar with it),
you can produce sound files for practice at a speed that matches
your knowledge of the outlines. Include the word count and speed in
the sound file name and you can build up your own dictation library
knowing that you have the correct shorthand as a key. Even better,
do this with your instruction book exercises. (See
As items get added to
the pages, or improvements/corrections made, you may wish to compare the latest date against any version
of the page or PDF you may have already downloaded. I
am including the notepad margin in the shorthand in order to give alternatives where the phrasing produces unconventional outlines,
for the benefit of the beginner. The
PDF pages are A4 landscape, so they can be folded
or cut to fit an A5 ringer binder, and they are laid out so that
shorthand prints at life-size.
These are real stories and
places, and not practice fabrications. Additional reading material is available on my
shorthand blog (started 3 April 2012) and these will remain
unvocalised, except for the essentials:
have revised the shorthand by inserting all the
vowel signs. This will enable you to practise rapid reading, as well as improve your
knowledge of the vowel signs and their placement. This ability is
essential and should not be overlooked in the rush for those
gratifying speed triumphs. Your speed will benefit, as well as the
reliability of your shorthand. Being able to insert the occasional
vowel quickly and confidently during dictation will make reading
back much easier, especially if you are unsure of the outline and
when writing names. If you use the passages for writing practice,
write only those vowels that are essential to prevent misreading -
phrases would not normally be vocalised unless a clash is likely.
It is helpful at intervals to write out text
passages into leisurely neat shorthand with vowels inserted, so
that you are aware of what may need revision. If you keep your own
handwritten copies in a separate notepad or ringbinder, you
will have an ever-increasing fund of reading material, written in
your own hand rather than mine or the textbook's. If using a binder,
A5 is more portable and less obtrusive in public, and the back of
each page could be used for additional notes and comments. Include a
wad of blank lined pages, plus a pen or pencil stored between the rings, for spare
practice moments see
Own Shorthand Notepad on the Downloads page. You might also wish
to make your own mini shorthand reading books by copying passages
into the blank ruled
Origami Booklet page.
The Photo Tour section below has photos/shorthand paragraph/text key for each of the paragraphs in the article,
with some of the phrases and related outlines explained at the page
end. I suggest you scroll up the photo and the shorthand, and leave
the text hidden below the screen until you need it. The text is in a smaller font, make it easier to display
shorthand and text on the screen together. The PDFs omit the photos.
Top of page