Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.
As promised, we have another piece this month on high-speed writing from the Pitman point of view.
Guide to High Speed Writing in Pitman’s Shorthand, Smith and Munro, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., Undated, p 34-35
Although we have here been able to touch but lightly on certain points of theory, we nevertheless must emphasize once more the gravity of the mistake made by many learners of imagining that a scrappy knowledge of the rules is sufficient. Few, if any, succeed in reaching the higher flights without having first laid a sure foundation by acquiring a sound knowledge of the rules of the system, which, when all is said and done, is only applied common sense.
It is, of course, not only from textbooks that one’s knowledge of theory may be augmented, just as it is not purely from books on grammar that one acquires a knowledge of a language. One of the finest ways of building up an extensive vocabulary is by abundant reading practice, and it is a surprising fact that teachers of shorthand generally find it a matter of no small difficulty to impress upon the minds of some students how absolutely essential it is that they should read as well as write shorthand; and this in spite of the reiterated testimony of expert shorthand writers attributing a large measure of their success as high speed writers to the benefits derived from the regular practice of carefully reading well-written and printed shorthand. Shorthand reading is, indeed, so closely associated with the successful practice of the art that it should be looked upon as an essential part of the study. . . .
The chief advantage of systematic shorthand reading is that it keeps before the eye of the reader the correct forms for words and phrases, which are almost unconsciously imprinted on his mind; and it is this familiarity with the outlines for an ever increasing number of words which is such an important factor in the attainment of a good speed. Further, it naturally greatly increases the facility with which the student can read his own notes. . . .
Shorthand writers who acquire the reading have will be amply repaid.
For more information on shorthand speed building, click here.
Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!
Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.
PLEASE ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR THE DICTATION TO LOAD depending upon your internet connection and the size of the dictation file. Slower dictation files are bigger.
The dictation material above is copyrighted, all rights reserved.