I learned shorthand when I was 19. I'm not 19 anymore. (Or even 20.) Back then they taught the Pitman method. Today Pitman is obsolete. Come to think of it, the more "modern" Gregg method is probably obsolete, too. Is shorthand even taught anymore?
Anyway, I haven't had much occasion to use shorthand over the years, even when working as a reporter. My little Olympus recorder, all of four inches long, hears everything I need to remember. But I had just barely started interviewing a woman the other day when my little Olympus recorder began blinking strange messages at me. Oblivious to my plight, the woman proceeded with her monologue as if nothing had happened. I had to recall some shorthand in a hurry.
I'm not sure how to grade my effort. I have to conclude that when using shorthand for the first time in decades, one must choose between speed and accuracy. Since my monologuette was rattling off facts without pausing for breath, I chose speed.
I covered a lot of notebook pages with the squiggles I learned at the Mary Byers School. But I discovered that translating them into a newspaper article presented a bit of a challenge. Do you have any idea what Presses for put good my you means?
Or how about this: Local man for all about direct up.
And my favorite: Getting to it some full I like thing there it.
I'm thinking of using one of these as a direct quote. I may have lost my ability to take notes in shorthand, but it's good to know I haven't lost my sense of mischief.