Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Comet Landing

Comet Landing - Part 1 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I have been watching some reports about the probe that successfully landed on Comet 67P recently. As I listened to all the technical jargon*, I was wondering how some of them* would be written in shorthand. Although a lot of the terms are lengthy, they do provide a great opportunity for time saving, when you see just how brief they are to write in shorthand. Once you know the outline, you can write it almost before the person has finished saying it. Even the scientists themselves prefer to use acronyms (the first letter of each word), as they are talking about these things all the time and need their own verbal shorthand, and of course it is helpful for everyone else as well, from journalists to the lay person following the article. For example, everyone says NASA and one very rarely hears its full name. If you practise all the science vocabulary here, I think you might be pleasantly surprised if you try taking notes from the next television report of the mission*.

* Omission phrases "tech(nical) jargon"  "some (of) them"

* Dot vowels are written inside a shun hook

Comet Landing - Part 2 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The name of the mission type is comet lander and it is being operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The spacecraft is Rosetta and the robotic lander is Philae*, named after the Egyptian bilingual stone and the obelisk monument which, in the nineteenth century, between them provided enough information to begin* the deciphering of hieroglyphs. The crafts were launched by an Ariane rocket in French Guiana on 2 March 2004. Philae achieved its controlled touchdown on the comet on 12 November 2014, after a journey of ten and a half* years. The small lander is also being called a probot, a combination of the words probe and robot. The following paragraphs list all the autonomous system instruments on board. Note that Ptolemy is not an acronym but refers to the first name deciphered on the Egyptian stones.

* This is being pronounced many different ways

* "to begin" is based on the short form phrase "to be", likewise "to become"

* See for how to write fractions

Comet Landing - Part 3 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

APXS*: Alpha particle X-ray spectrometer - this detects alpha particles and X-rays, which provide information on the elemental composition of the comet's surface.

ÇIVA: Comet nucleus infrared and visible analyser - this is a group of seven identical cameras used to take panoramic pictures of the surface plus a visible-light microscope and an infrared spectrometer. These latter two are mounted on the base of the lander, and are used to analyse the composition, texture and albedo (reflectivity) of samples collected from the surface.

CONSERT Comet nucleus sounding experiment by Radiowave Transmission - this will use electromagnetic* wave propagation to determine the comet's internal structure.

* This is an initialism, rather than acronym, as it cannot be spoken as word. Letters are generally better in such cases, although if it occurs frequently, you might prefer to make up a convenient outline to cover it.

* Note the cedilla under the letter C, making it an S sound.

* Not using the short form "mag(netic)"

Comet Landing - Part 4 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

COSAC: Cometary sampling and composition - this performs an analysis of soil samples and determines the content of volatile components.

MUPUS: Multi-purpose* sensors for surface and subsurface science, which is a soil penetrator which will measure the density, thermal and mechanical properties of the comet's surface.

PTOLEMY: gas chromatograph and medium resolution mass spectrometer - this measures stable isotope ratios of key volatiles on the comet's nucleus.

ROLIS: Rosetta lander imaging system - this is a camera that will obtain high-resolution images during descent and stereo panoramic images of areas sampled by other instruments.

* Most "multi-" outlines have a halved L, but full strokes are used when necessary to make a clear join with the next stroke

Comet Landing - Part 5 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

ROMAP: Rosetta lander magnetometer and plasma monitor - this takes measurements of the magnetosphere and studies the nucleus' magnetic field and its interactions with the solar wind.

SD2: Sample and distribution device - this obtains soil samples from the comet and distributes them to the other devices and systems for analysis, consisting of drill, carousel, ovens and volume checker.

SESAME: Surface electric sounding and acoustic monitoring experiments - this uses three instruments to measure properties of the comet's outer layers, the way in which sound travels through the surface, its electrical characteristics and a dust impact monitor (DIM) measures the dust falling back to the surface.

Comet Landing - Part 6 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Philae is a very integrated project at system, science and management levels, provided by an international consortium of the following countries*: Austria, Belgium,  Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands*, Poland*, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The mission is tracked and operated from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt in Germany. It has provided the first in situ analysis of a comet surface, and the data will be used to determine the composition of its surface. A previous probe had been sent to a comet to impact the surface, but Philae is not an impactor and was designed to make a soft landing and attach itself to the ground with ice screws. The lander will be using the Rosetta Orbiter as a communication relay to Earth, in order to conserve its own electrical power.

* With a long list of proper nouns, it is not really necessary to insert all the caps marks underneath.

* "Netherlands" It is helpful to insert the vowel, as this outline is very similar to "England"

* Insert vowel in "Poland" if context might also suggest "upland"

Comet Landing - Part 7 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
Telemetry is the highly automated communications process by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. The mission's experiments will focus on "elemental, isotopic, molecular and mineralogical composition of the cometary* material, the characterization* of physical properties of the surface and subsurface material, the large-scale structure and the magnetic and plasma environment of the nucleus. In particular, surface and subsurface samples will be acquired and sequentially analyzed by a suite of instruments."

* Insert first vowel, as the outline is similar to "camera"

* Optional contraction

Comet Landing - Part 8 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Before detachment from Rosetta, a final test showed that the lander's cold-gas thruster (located on top, to prevent bouncing after landing) was not working correctly, but the landing was undertaken anyway, as it could not be repaired.  A confirmed landing signal was received at Earth communication stations, five hundred million kilometres, 28 light minutes away. The landing was successful, softer than expected but the craft bounced twice. The first bounce lasted about two hours and was one kilometre high, because of the very low gravity. The harpoons had not deployed upon landing, and the thruster had not fired. It was confirmed that the lander is now in a location about one kilometre from the planned landing site and sitting on two of the three legs.

Comet Landing - Part 9 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

As Philae is now located in the lee of a rock formation, in partial shadow, it is unable to recharge its batteries from its solar panels. Its initial battery charge could not power the instruments for more than about 60 hours, but during that time it was able to obtain data for about 80% of the planned initial science observations. Finally the lander was rotated 35 degrees in an attempt to position the solar panels more favourably, for future recharging, and it is now in standby mode. The orbiting satellite Rosetta will be continuing with its own scientific observations, and periodically checking to see if the lander has managed to recharge and resume its mission. Contact with the lander was lost on 15 November but it is possible that around August 2015 the comet's movement will increase the illumination of the solar panels enough for the lander to wake up. Transmission of information from an Earth terminal to a satellite is called an uplink connection, and from satellite to Earth is a downlink (both noun and verb).

Comet Landing - Part 10 of 10 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

In the months to come, I am sure scientists will be waiting impatiently* for Philae to receive some welcome rays of light onto its solar panels, and will be delighted when the lander eventually emerges from its enforced hibernation. Meanwhile, I was gratified to discover, whilst getting together all the facts about this mission, that the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK had constructed, amongst other things, the blankets that keep the lander warm throughout its mission. I am certain I will sleep much better on cold winter nights, under my acrylic fur blanket, knowing that little Philae is also cosily tucked up and snoozing under its own British-made blanket, until that part of the comet turns towards the sun and brings light, warmth and energy, so that the lander can continue its mission of investigation and discovery. (1275 words)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Simple 1


Please see tab "Simple Passages" for further information on the shorthand.

Simple 1 - Part 1 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

New Skills - If you keep on reading the book and doing the things it says, you will soon have the ability to keep up with what is going on in any office in the city. I am going to assume you have read it all by now and I think we can admire your skills in this area. Basically you are going to succeed and arrive at your goal because you were always busy at the academy listening to the lessons and reading your books. It is obvious you are doing things right and would never fall asleep on the job! You may wish to go to the agency today to get some advice and ask if they have any jobs for you. Do you think you can cope with a desk job at the council* office or a web design firm or maybe you would like to be dealing with customers in a shop or cafe? My advice is to discuss all these things at length with your careers adviser tomorrow and think of a job which would allow you to escape your low-paid job and do something with a higher monthly salary. (195 words)

* Note the vowel against the L is in third place. For "counsel" it would be second place.

Simple 1 - Part 2 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Seaside Visit - In July I had a desire to see the seaside. So on Monday I put my lunch box and a large map into my bag. I had to check the car was full of fuel, as it was a long way to go. I had to leave the house at six. It was a lovely day and I was happy to be on my way to the sea. Along the route, I saw many farms full of sheep and cows, and meadows of hay ready for the autumn mowing and making into bales. It was my aim to arrive at eight* so I had all day to enjoy myself. When I came to the seaside I saw the beach was wide and long, and the tide was right out and full of many small cool rock pools with tiny animals. It was sunny all day and it was really nice to lounge* on the beach with nothing to spoil my visit in any way. I had my meal of rolls with cheese and tomatoes and a ripe juicy peach, and took some photos of the sky and sea, to show my family. On the way back I had the time to look in the village museum with the history of the area, and saw the sailing boats on the big lake by Bell Farm, which is off New Road. I am happy to say my day out was a real joy and I will be going back soon. (251 words)

* Eight is generally best written as a numeral when it is alone, as the outline could look like a figure one.

* The diphthong sign should not be omitted, so that it does not get misread as "lunch" which would also make sense here.

Simple 1 - Part 3 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Safety Notice - Jack Smith said he would like to see for himself the memo which was going to be given to all those who were on the payroll at the factory. He said he was going to make some small changes to the notice which we have to put on all the fire doors. Because of the new safety rules he had to make various changes to the spacing of the office desks and move many of the filing cabinets to the side of the room. He feels this would make it safe when the cabinets are in use and also make some space for those using the photocopier to put the copies, files and belongings on the long desk by the window. I am going to type up all this right now and I will give him a copy of it for the purpose of checking the facts. Forty* copies of the new memo and four* of the door notice should be given to those in the office and factory. I hope they will read it all and realise they have to follow the new safety rules right away. (191 words)

* Note the different vowels in "forty" and "four"

Simple 1 - Part 4 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Names - Hi, my name is Jenny and my surname is Dixon. I was in Adelaide earlier this year and I have a house in Sydney, but nowadays I live in New York America. I would like to visit Paris and the Alps in the south, and if I have time also Delhi in India. If I had a higher salary or got a really big bonus, I would like to visit Alaska for the snow and Canada for the skiing, followed by Hawaii or the Bahamas for the palms, sea and sun. China and Hong Kong have some awesome views, as do the big Japanese cities. I am going to visit Niagara Falls with my family in July. My firm has an office in Moscow in Russia and in Venice in Italy. My boss Russell Thomson is going on a visit to Chicago with Harry Dawes and Pamela Murray to take photos of the big factories and do the new designs for the showroom facilities. It is likely I will be making a visit to a small business in Tennessee on Monday and Wednesday, which is much less appealing. But I do get to go back to my own house and family on the Saturday or maybe Sunday if I am delayed by the snow and ice on the roads and the foggy patches in the valleys. But I think I will be back in time for Samuel's party. (240 words)

Simple 1 - Part 5 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Rose Bushes - Yesterday I was enjoying tea and cakes, and reading a magazine in a coffee house. I looked out of the window and saw a passer-by taking photos of something in the park. It was a puzzle what the item was and so I took myself out of the room and into the park. By the hedge I saw a long wide path with red and yellow rose bushes and in the hazy autumn sun the rose area had become full of a heady perfume. I jokingly said to the lady with the camera it was a pity this rose smell was never going to show up in the snaps, and she said, "Yes, you are right." She said it was to look it up in a book and also get the name of the rose on the tag, so she can buy the same bush, and she and the family can enjoy the lovely perfume. So now I knew what the reason was. Like the lady, I also wish to have these rose bushes, now I know what the perfume is like. The shops may cease selling them as the fall season gives way to the snow and ice. It would be a shame to miss out on having them because I was too lazy to go. It would be ideal if I bought some of them tomorrow in my lunchtime and they can go in the soil when I get back to the house. I think any rose bush would be superior to the loads of big weeds which I have now and I will be happy when the bushes are safely in. (277 words)

Simple 1 - Part 6 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

1. going on, you have, to succeed

2. history of the

3. side of the, this would, for the purpose (note also: for this purpose)

4. I would like, it is likely, small business, to my own

5. coffee house, out of the, lunchtime

Monday, 10 November 2014


Spent rocket firework
Fireworks - Part 1 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Fireworks 1As I am writing this on a dark rainy evening, I can hear lots of fireworks going off. The official day for them was the fifth of November, four days ago, but they began to be let off several days before that, as that weekend was dry and not too cold. Gone are the days when single small fireworks were the norm, although I am sure there are still some providing a good display in people's back gardens. But when I am sitting at the computer by the window, it is only the giant loud ones that are noticeable. I think their attraction, apart from the sheer size and noise of the effects, must be that they give a good continuous display without any further action being required. As I can see houses on the lower ground further away, I always have the camera handy so that I can easily get some video of the starbursts, whizzes, pops and bangs. Although I like the colourful seed-head shaped bursts, I find the most amusing* ones are the screamers that go off in spirals in all directions, whining loudly as they go, and they are definitely better viewed from a distance and I am not sure I would like to be standing directly underneath.

* Always insert the second vowel in "amazing" and "amusing" to differentiate

Fireworks - Part 2 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Fireworks 2We have had some very heavy rain in the last month, but in between the showers the weather has been quite reasonable for the time of year, although it is becoming damper and chillier all the time*. I can't* imagine that anyone could have had a bonfire with everything so wet, but then that particular tradition seems to have* died away over the years, to be replaced by the huge one-size-fits-all mega-firework. After it is finished, there is no need to stay outside poking a dying bonfire or tidying up the charred remains of small fireworks, and so everyone can get back indoors for their party nibbles and treats.

* Omission phrases "all (the) time" "seems (to) have"

* "can't" apostrophied phrases should always have the vowel inserted, otherwise they are often the same as the normal ones, e.g. without the vowel sign, this would be "cannot".

Fireworks - Part 3 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Fireworks 3Yesterday I found a spent rocket stick and cardboard casing in my garden, a reminder of past times when the little fireworks were all that there were available for the normal householder. It was always rather gloomy on the morning after Bonfire Night, as it was called then, to find the blackened remains of our and other people's fireworks in the garden and streets. It was rather like the morning after a party, with the scattering of sweet wrappers and popped balloons throughout the house, and empty ice cream cartons piled up in the kitchen.

Fireworks - Part 4 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Fireworks 4Whenever we hear the explosions going on, we often shudder at the cost, knowing that it has all "gone up in smoke" but I do make the effort to remind myself that this is no different from any other type of entertainment. Party food is gone in a flash, other sorts of entertainment are soon over, and a day out runs its course more rapidly than we would like, as we arrive back home from the seaside or park visit as the sun goes down. The fuel in the car has been burned just the same as the fireworks, and we have gained benefit and enjoyment from it* for a short duration. All the more reason to take plenty of photos and movies of the action so that it can all be enjoyed over and over again later on.

* Halving to signify "it". Similarly, "if it" is halved, but "for it" uses full strokes, to differentiate

Fireworks - Part 5 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Fireworks screamers

Where I live New Year is always seen in with a flurry of fireworks, and at that time it seems to me* to be more meaningful, as it is marking a real event, the turning of the year. Once all the November fireworks are spent, I can look forward to another display but that one will happen all at once, and last probably only twenty minutes at most. I will have everything visible from my window recorded on camera and by half past midnight I will be more than happy to close the window on the cold air and slip into the warm bed. (659 words)

* In phrases, the short forms "me" and "him" sometimes need a vowel for clarity

The screamers, erratic and indecisive, obviously they thought they knew the shorthand and didn't feel the need to practise.

Friday, 31 October 2014

End Of Month Report

End Of Month Report - Part 1 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

If you have ever read a report consisting of unnecessary terminology and overworked phrases, you will have wondered what the use of it is. It may be hard work for the reader to follow, but such a mountain of verbiage is certainly excellent practice for the shorthand writer*. I am using green ink because that is the colour of one's face once it has all been ploughed through (or at least* it feels like it) and it is also the colour of envy, when your shorthand is the fastest through all this extra practice!

* Omission phrase "short(hand) writer"

* Always insert the vowel, to differentiate it from "at last"

End Of Month Report - Part 2 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

We hereby advise all our readers that there have been* a few changes in the information formerly given in previous articles issued. Although we have access to excellent forecasting facilities which can advise us on the likelihood of future trends in meteorological events, we have to report that some of the outer clothing that was cleaned, inspected and stored for the winter season was in fact unexpectedly brought out into use again. We apologise for any inconvenience this change of policy has brought about, and would assure readers that every effort was made to match clothing to the climate conditions at any one time*. It was unseasonably warm and we did not want our senior administrative* personnel to overheat merely due to a variation in the normal patterns of weather. The management are delighted to have these garment-related choices open to them, but would like to inform readers that they are not able to respond to any claims for injury or loss that this revised information may have caused.*

* Omission phrase "there (have) been" in order to gain a good join

* Halving used for the T "any wunt-ime"

* The R is omitted in "administ(r)ative" and derivatives

* "caused" written thus to differentiate it from "cost"

End Of Month Report - Part 3 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

We also reported that landscaping operations were up to date* and completed, and that we were ready for the cessation of operations for the winter months, but the sudden arrival of three very small shrubs resulted in us having to temporarily suspend our usual policy in regard to* this. The operative concerned was rapidly called back to the job and the items of vegetation were installed into their allotted spaces as quickly as possible. We apologise for this disruption to normal procedures but at the same time are happy to report that the gaps in the landscaping surrounding the headquarters* frontage* are now filled satisfactorily, and we anticipate that growth in future years will meet and even exceed our expectations once again.*

* Omission phrases "up (to) date" and "in regard (to)"

* Alternative outline that omits the R "headqua(r)ters"

* "front edge" would not be phrased but have separate outlines

* Omission phrase "o(n)ce again"

End Of Month Report - Part 4 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Moving now to the situation regarding the rear of our premises, we are happy to report that maintenance operations are now complete and it only remains to tidy up those few items that arrive unexpectedly. All the consumables have been gathered and either stored or used up fairly quickly, and we are hopeful that next year's production will be much better. To this end we have pruned those parts of the fruit production facilities as seemed necessary to us, so that the remaining branches are as productive as possible, although more reshaping may be necessary next year. Future satisfactory growth in all areas will only occur with a corresponding improvement in meteorological conditions, which are of course outside of our control, but we assure readers that the management are putting every effort into investigating* ways to match our efforts to the changing conditions prevailing in these areas. We conclude our report with a few words from our shorthand reporter, who is fortunately well trained in concise writing.

* Omits the T "inves(t)igating"

End Of Month Report - Part 5 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

"Dear Readers, Although I put away the summer clothes, it got warmer, so I had to get them out again, surprising but necessary. I finished tidying the garden, picking the fruit (which we have now eaten) and pruned some of the branches, so that is now all done for another year. The new apple trees are in, as well as some new small shrubs, so the display next year should be brilliant. It all depends on the weather we get, of course, but that is something we will work around." (642 words)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Not Guilty

A little adventure to get you some practice in legal vocabulary. An additional list is appended at the end.

Not Guilty - Part 1 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

As fast as possible
It had been a very busy day and my plans to have a shorthand themed day went out of the window. There was no time to look up words in the dictionary, make notes of special outlines in the shorthand folders, record the dictations or clean out all the fountain pens. It would all have to wait until tomorrow. Once in bed I turned out the light and tried to listen to a talk on the Ipod*, but, despite seeing all the outlines appearing as the words were spoken, I soon had to switch off and give in to slumber. After a short while of peaceful inky blackness, the outlines reappeared. I was in a large office, there was a distant faint voice speaking and I saw my hand writing furiously to get it all down. The pad seemed to have only one sheet in it and my outlines grew smaller and smaller* in the hopes of fitting them all in. I reached the last corner and then I had to resort to writing on the table, and then up and down the walls and across the carpet - no time to stop and find more paper. How would I ever read any of it back? I was not even sure there was any ink coming out of the pen, or maybe it was a blunt pencil, or even a piece of wood or an old drinking straw. Fatigue and weariness defeated all my efforts and the scene faded from view.

* Insert the second vowel, to differentiate it from Ipad

* The first stroke is repeated in phrases like this, but it would be equally acceptable here to join them together "sm-smaller"

Not Guilty - Part 2 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

All of a sudden* there was a rustling of papers and scraping of chairs. I looked up and found myself in a court room. Was this a Magistrates Court, a Federal Court, a District Court, a Trial Court, a State Court or maybe the Supreme Court? It seemed to be a trial by jury, and the jurors sat motionless and emotionless*, waiting for proceedings in the judiciary process to begin*. In front of me was a stern-looking judge, rearranging the documents before him. Somehow I caught sight of the heading of the documentation - Shorthand Crimes and Charges. What was my alleged misdemeanour* and why had I been taken to court? Was I being accused of the offence of negligence, nuisance or disobedience, or maybe malpractice or forgery in relation* to intellectual property? Would legal action be taken against me and a restraining order issued? If there* had been a robbery, a burglary, something stolen, vandalism, arson, embezzlement, assault, a kidnapping, a hijack, manslaughter or a murder/homicide, or even treason against Queen and country, then obviously this was a grave case of mistaken identity.

* Omission phrase "all (of a) sudden"

* Insert the first vowel in emotionless

* "to begin" based on the short formphrase "to be"

* Optional contraction "misd(emeanour)"

* The similar phrase "in relation (to) the" is an omission phrase

* "If" can be doubled or halved in phrases e.g. "if there/their" and "if it", but "for" is not, this ensures no misreading

Not Guilty - Part 3 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I knew no crime or offence had been committed, and I could only come to the conclusion* that it was a case of slander against me, or possibly bribery by an enemy with bankrupt morals, and I would certainly be able to counter these criminal accusations with a claim for defamation of character. I looked round and by my side was an oldish* gentleman with a white beard and friendly face. He was smiling broadly and showed me his business card - Sir Isaac Pitman, Shorthand Defence Attorney and Stenographic Advocate. Things were looking up and as I glanced at his papers, I saw a long list of witnesses that he was intending to call, although I could not quite read the names. Suddenly I felt much better, a lawsuit culminating in imprisonment* in shorthand jail was no longer threatening me and justice would be the outcome.

* Omission phrase "come (to the con)clusion"

* "oldish" both strokes are written downwards

* "-ent" is used for "-ment" where the halved M would not join clearly

Not Guilty - Part 4 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The Bench and The Bar
The first charge was read out: Scribbling the outlines. How does the accused plead? I had indeed scribbled them many times and was about to reply, when Mr Pitman quickly spoke up, "Not Guilty, Your Honour." I was amazed*. "The defendant* wrote the outlines exactly as I recommended when I created the system, in a manner in which they could be read back, and she did indeed transcribe* them accurately. Therefore I challenge and dispute this accusation and I claim that scribbling is, beyond all reasonable doubt, neither a crime nor a felony, and certainly not a breach of statute law, common law or business law. I call my first witness, the defendant's* shorthand teacher." She stepped up and began to explain how she taught us to write perfect outlines, and then later on encouraged us to write more flowingly in order to increase speed. She confirmed that it was impossible to write outlines as neatly as in the book when going at high speed, and that those had been laboriously engraved in order to be a perfect reference point, which real life writing should aspire to as closely as possible. The judge seemed satisfied with this explanation*. The jurors began to look more relaxed and I think I saw the corners of their mouths smiling in agreement.

* Always insert the second vowel in "amused" and "amazed"

* This is the full outline for "defendant" but the optional contraction "d-ft" is used in the remainder of article

* "transcribe" omits the second R, which helps to prevent it looking like "describe" when written at speed

* Keep the L Hook clear, so it does not look like "expansion" which can have a similar meaning in some contexts

Not Guilty - Part 5 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Hemming me in
The next charge was read out: Not using dictionary outlines. How does the accused plead? It was true that I had written some unorthodox* outlines, although I had always been able to read and transcribe them without difficulty. I was about to answer to that effect, when Mr Pitman once again* rapidly stepped in to argue against the accusation. "I do not think my client needs to answer that charge, as it is not based on any legal requirement to use particular outlines. The only time dictionary outlines are legally required is during an examination, to prove that the writer has performed satisfactorily using the system stated and so that the certificate is accurate, and in those cases marks are likely to be deducted for incorrect outlines. At the time my client used non-dictionary outlines, she was not in an examination nor, for that matter, writing material for publication. I would like to call my next witness, the editor of the shorthand dictionary."

* "orthodox" is a contraction

* Omission phrase "o(n)ce again"

Not Guilty - Part 6 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The editor was ushered in and began to read out excerpts* from the introduction to the dictionary, repeated over all the editions, which are as follows. "There will no doubt be differences of opinion with regard to the outlines for certain words, since a form which is the most convenient to one writer is not invariably so to another writer," and "No dictionary outline, therefore, should be rejected in favour of another until an attempt has been made* to ascertain whether there is not some special reason for its adoption," and finally "Every writer of the system is aware that there is often a choice between two or more possible shorthand forms, and the dictionary provides those outlines which experience has shown can be recommended for general adoption." Mr Pitman continued with his refutation of the charge, "This proves that they are recommendations and not legal requirements although I would strongly suggest that the dictionary forms are followed." The judge solemnly turned over to the next page of his documentation, which I took as a good sign that this point had been defended satisfactorily, no stenographic wrongdoing had been committed and therefore no penalty or punishment could be enforced upon the alleged perpetrator*. I was beginning to feel more vindicated than victimised!

* Sometimes heard pronounced without the P sound, but keeping to this outline will ensure legibility

* Omission phrase "has bee(n) made"

* Two of stroke P and one doubled stroke T

Not Guilty - Part 7 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Would my life be a
wasteland behind bars?
The next charge was similar and the prosecution were smiling  and smirking in full confidence that this one would bring me down: leaving gaps in the shorthand notes, a clear dereliction of duty and proof of total incompetence. How does the accused plead? How could I deny that I had left gaps at some time? I turned towards Mr Pitman, who smiled and immediately put forward his refutation. "My client and I would like to know which is the worse offence, leaving a gap of one word or leaving a gap of ten words." The judge ordered the prosecution to answer, and they grudgingly agreed to the latter. "My client has occasionally had to leave a gap. If she had stopped to ponder on the outline, then there would have been* a gap of at least the next ten words. In mitigation of this rare shorthand failing, she always attempted to go back and put it in the margin when there was a pause in the speaking. I feel this course of action has saved the prosecution much distress and anguish by reducing the size of the temporary gaps left. The resultant difficulties were always cleared up eventually, if not by memory or common sense, then by consulting the speaker, a most commendable practice, where accuracy was obtained at the painful expense of having to admit one's shortcomings." I hadn't really thought of it quite like that before, and neither had the prosecution, to their chagrin.

* Omission phrase "there would (have) been." There is little saving on writing time between this and using "have" with an N Hook, but the join is much clearer.

Not Guilty - Part 8 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Don't mention locks
Another charge followed: Not consistently using margins in the notepad and therefore bringing into jeopardy the quick insertion of headings or corrections, and the rapid finding of a particular paragraph for immediate transcription or to read back to the person speaking. How does the accused plead? I had always filled every notebook with pencil margins of about two centimetres, but occasionally a page had turned up without one drawn in, or I had to start a new unprepared notebook with no margins present. Unfortunately this accusation appeared to be quite true. Mr Pitman once again had an immediate answer. "The accused has written, very rarely, without the essential drawn left hand margin, but on those occasions* she merely refrained from writing in the first left hand inch of the page, and therefore I put it to the court that a margin was in fact used. Drawing it in, where it is not pre-printed in the pad, must be considered an optional extra, and a highly recommended and useful one, but it is the use of a margin, not the pencil line, that is in question* here and I assert that the defendant has never written any shorthand without leaving a margin space for extra notes. It is my opinion that this accusation is therefore fundamentally flawed."

* The shun hook of "occasion" is reversed in this phrase, in order to balance the circle

* Optional contraction

Not Guilty - Part 9 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A nice blue for the ink
The next charge was brought: not using an ink fountain pen at all times and unauthorised use of a pencil. How does the accused plead? I had indeed used a pencil and to deny it would be perjury. I knew by now that it would be better to let my excellent and indefatigable* attorney answer. Mr Pitman said, "I would like the prosecution to consider whether a speed of 150 words a minute is a worthy achievement or not*." The judge allowed them to reply and they resentfully agreed that it was. "My client was instructed to bring several pencils to the first shorthand class, which instruction she obeyed. At a later date she was given a clutch pencil to save having to sharpen the pencils or suffer the inconvenience of sudden broken or wobbly leads. With this she eventually passed the afore-mentioned exam. In later years personal funds were available to buy some shorthand fountain pens, which improved the writing speed and quality, and therefore the readability and durability of the notes. Pencil was never used again, and we agree that ink writing is much faster, as long as the pen is of good quality and not scratchy. However, the foregoing are merely suggestions to achieve higher speeds, and we are here concerned with the actual usage of pencils in all kinds of shorthand note taking."

* Optional contraction

* N Hook and halving for "not", similarly "will not" "certainly not"

Not Guilty - Part 10 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Which rule
had I broken?
He continued, "Once my shorthand system became more widely known, it was eagerly taken up by reporters who realised that making quick notes in the street, possibly in the rain, required the use of a pencil and not a dip pen, and I believe many of them used both, depending entirely on the situation in which they had to discharge their duties. They also needed to use pencil in low light conditions, where they might smudge the previous line of writing, or not be able to see the inkpot, for example in council meeting rooms. This was despite my strong recommendation to use the Fono Shorthand Pen wherever possible, which I believe was the best of its kind at that time. Pens are greatly improved* nowadays, but the most relevant fact* is that no law has ever been passed that required the use of ink at all times, and it is left to the writer to determine which to use, according to the circumstances and necessities prevailing at the time." I was relieved to hear that past high-speed reporters had enjoyed great success with pencil, and had not* been left to read soggy ink notes from being on the job out in the rain. This line of defence also boded* well for present-day students who could not get hold of a good pen, and that they too could achieve 150 words a minute or more with a traditional pencil, without fear of prosecution in a court of law.

* Short dash through the stroke is an advanced method of showing past tense of a contraction

* Omission phrase "relevant (f)act", there are many "fact" phrases that can be written like this

* The strict theory phrase for "had not " is to halve the short form "had" and add N Hook, but this makes it necessary to add both a dot vowel and a dot Hay, to differentiate it from "do not". This way is quicker. If you had already written it halved in a phrase, then you would have to add the dots to prevent misreading.

* bode, past tense boded, means to portend or be an omen of, derived from a word meaning announce. Compare bide, past tense bode, meaning to endure, stay, remain or abide.

Not Guilty - Part 11 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Manuscript song book, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Slow, laborious and
paper-consuming longhand
The last charge sounded extremely serious indeed: negligence in leading innocent students onto a path of study resulting in difficulties, confusion, late nights, exhaustion, anxiety and either obsession or disillusionment. How does the accused plead? I felt I could probably answer this but Mr Pitman raised his hand, so that he could speak first. "Not guilty to all charges of alleged misconduct, malicious, harmful and misleading procedures of shorthand dissemination, and abandonment* of responsibility to writers and learners. I present Exhibit One, a list of complaints by non-shorthand students on the exigencies of taking their* journalistic notes and minutes of meetings using only traditional longhand. They complained of difficulties, confusion, exhaustion and late nights in a state of anxiety at how they would read back their scrawled and incomplete longhand notes. These were illegible either because there was no time to write the words in full, or they had made impromptu* abbreviations, untested and untried, which were later found to be ambiguous or misleading. This left them disillusioned at the impossibility of writing complete notes, and indeed the time spent resolving these avoidable difficulties could have been spent learning a reliable and proven shorthand system. I am glad to say that* some became obsessed with finding a solution to this and fortunately discovered that shorthand instruction material was easily available."

* The contraction omits the N "abando(n)ment"

* Doubling for "their"

* MPT words generally omit the P, so use plain M, not the thickened MP stroke

* Omission phrase "I am glad (to) s(ay) that"

Not Guilty - Part 12 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Yes please!
"I would like to call my witnesses, namely several shorthand students* who can provide evidence to refute the accusations made. No habeas corpus or subpoena has been necessary, as they are all very willing to testify in this court." Mr Pitman sat down and in the excitement I was able to catch just a few of their comments. "Yes, there were difficulties, but I overcame them with hard work and got my certificate." "At first I was confused, but as I re-read the chapters, it all became much easier and I obtained my certificate." "I had many late nights but this meant that I could sit for and pass the exam several months early." "There was a lot of anxiety before the exam, but once I started writing, I was glad I had studied so well, and I gained my certificate." "I became quite obsessed with shorthand, and this resulted in earning my certificate much earlier than anticipated." "I became disillusioned with shorthand at the end of the first chapter, but I realised that I was not going to be writing fast until we had covered all the strokes. I persevered and gained my certificate, and I am working towards the next one. Now I am disillusioned with handwritten longhand, at least as a means of writing lots of material very fast and accurately."

* Omission phrase "shorthand s(t)udents"

Not Guilty - Part 13 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Bars opened and
freedom in sight
Mr Pitman had shrewdly saved the best one to speak last. "I got extra shorthand practise at college by taking shorthand notes in all the other lessons and lectures as well. This led to me being able to gain first class passes in all the college examinations, and the highest speed in my shorthand class exams!" Mr Pitman continued, "These statements* speak for themselves and I contend that the accusations made by the prosecution are unjust, unfair and completely unfounded, and I can only conclude, based on observations of my own students in the past, that such an opinion generally comes from someone already disillusioned or anxious, which would be rapidly dispersed and dispelled if they only took the time to speak to those who had already achieved their shorthand goals. These allegations are mischievous in the extreme and my client merely offers the means to learn and improve. No evidence whatsoever can be found for coercion to make students continue their studies beyond their own requirements, abilities and comfort levels." I was so glad I let Mr Pitman speak for me.

* "statements" written differently in order to join. The Ses circle represents the S sound of each word

Not Guilty - Part 14 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Prosecutors had dug
themselves into a hole
After an adjournment of two hours, the hearing continued. We were all quite relaxed and confident, but the prosecutors were looking decidedly pale and nervous. Their implications of the unlawful nature of my actions in shorthand writing* were likely to fall foul of the judge's ruling and his interpretation of any regulations appertaining* to the subject. As I looked at the jurors, I felt that I recognised them all, as my commercial course teachers and shorthand colleagues from college, but maybe this was an illusion as they would probably not have been allowed to serve if they knew me. The judge spoke at length on the proceedings and read out his final judgement. He concluded that this came close to a mistrial due to improper evidence, although he did concede that the evidence was merely inadequate due to their ignorance of the subject and failure to check their facts. He was confident that his decision would not be overruled by any higher court, that the accused was completely exonerated, and all the ill-conceived allegations, infringements and grievances put forward by the prosecution were successfully responded to and countered by the defence counsel. Notwithstanding this, he commended the prosecution on their brave attempt at protecting the interests and possible delicate constitution and mentality of past and future students.

* Omission phrase "short(hand) writing"

* Keep well above the line and insert the first vowel, compared "pertaining" which has the same meaning

Not Guilty - Part 15 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The  jury's completely impartial* judgement and decision was that all of the prosecution's evidence was insufficient and should be rejected immediately, no condemnation was relevant, no guilty verdict could be arrived at, and no sentencing was required. They declared that this litigation was poorly thought out by the prosecuting attorney. The judge commented that it was not in his jurisdiction to suggest how the defendant should write shorthand or what implements to use, and that this would be left to the advisory committee, who would be consulting all the shorthand books written over the past nearly two centuries, from the time of Mr Pitman's creation of the system until the present. This would include those of other systems, who have come to many similar conclusions, and whose minor differences of opinion are largely immaterial to the attainment of reliable high speed writing. Mr Pitman was nevertheless commended for his eloquent appraisal of the situation and his attention to detail in his defence of the accused, obviously a quality he had perfected whilst working on the creation of and revisions to his system of shorthand writing.

* Shel always goes up, and Sher always goes down

Not Guilty - Part 16 of 16 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

In deference to the counsel for the prosecution, in order to deflect attention from their miserable failure in bringing their grievances to court and obtaining condemnation and a conviction, the judge expressed the opinion that shorthand writers were already willing and happy prisoners, undergoing a life sentence of shorthand fascination, which however seemed only to lead to improved performance and increased job satisfaction. He also noted that the traditional longhand was itself struggling against a virtual death sentence imposed by the ubiquitous computer keyboards, audio recording devices and speech to text programs. He concluded by suggesting that interested parties should study shorthand for journalism and personal notes, stenotyping for court work and captioning, longhand for personal letter writing and calligraphy, and computer studies for everything else. I looked around the room to see who the plaintiffs actually were, but they were all bending down packing away their papers for a quick exit. As the court was dismissed, my eyelids began to get heavy, but then all of a sudden* I opened them and I saw the sun streaming through the curtains in my bedroom. How could I have lain in bed wasting a couple of hours of early morning daylight when I could have been doing all those shorthand jobs left over from yesterday? But first I would make a quick draft of my strange court room experience. (3368 words)

* Omission phrase "all (of a) sudden"

Additional vocabulary, with contractions underlined:

Not Guilty - Vocabulary - Part 1 of 4 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
  1. accessory, accomplice, accuser, acquit, acquittal, adjourned, adjudicate, adjudicator, administer, administered*, affidavit
  2. alias, alibi, alimony, annul, annulled, annulment, appeal, appealed, argument, arrest, arrested, autopsy
  3. award damages, bailiff, bankruptcy, bar, barrister, bench, blackmail, blackmailed
  4. burglar, burgle, circumstantial evidence, civil action, collusion, compensation, complainant, condemn, condemnation
  5. confess, confession, consent, conspiracy, constitutional, contempt, contention, contract, convict, copyright, coroner
  6. counterfeit, cross-examine/cross-examined/cross-examination, cross-examining, custody, decree, defend, defended, defender, deliberate, deliberation,
  7. denial, deposition, diminished, dishonour, disputes, disregard, edict, enforcement, entrapment, equity
* Omits the R

 Not Guilty - Vocabulary - Part 2 of 4 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  1. escrow, estate, executor, exempt, exemption clause, extort, extortion, extradite, extradited, extradition
  2. fairness, fault, felon, fiduciary, fraud, freedom (of) speech, grand-jury, guardian, guardianship
  3. hearsay, heinous, human rights, hung jury, identification, identify, immunity, impunity
  4. impartiality, inalienable, incarcerate, incarceration, indict, indicted, indictment, infraction, injunction, injury
  5. inmate, inquest, insolvent, intentional, interference, interpretation, intestate
  6. invalidate, issue, judged, jurisprudence, juvenile, kidnapper, landmark*, larceny, lawful
  7. lawyer, legacy, legislate, legislation, legitimate, leniency, lenient
* This is the dictionary optional version, but it is unclear going through a halved stroke, and might be better written close up

 Not Guilty - Vocabulary - Part 3 of 4 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
  1. liability, liable, libel, liberty, license, litigant, lynch, majority, mediate, mediation, mediator, minor
  2. morality, moratorium, motion, murdered, murderer, murderess, murderous
  3. negligent, oath, objection, obligation, offender, ordinance, organise, overrule, overturn, ownership
  4. paralegal, pardon, parole, partnership, patent, penalise, perjured, perjurer
  5. perpetrate, perpetrated, petition, petitioner, post mortem, precedent, preliminary*, prescription
  6. prison, probate, probation officer, probationer, professional, prohibit, protection, protest
  7. provocation, proxy, punish, punitive, receiver, redress, refute, regulate
* The colloquial word "prelim" is written through the line, which differentiates it from this contraction, although it would be prudent to insert vowel signs as well.

 Not Guilty - Vocabulary - Part 4 of 4 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
  1. rejection, relief, remand, remedy, repeal, resolution, resolve, respondent, response*, responsible/responsibility*, restraint/restrained
  2. revoke, sabotage, safeguard, sanction*, search, security, self-defence, sentenced, settlement, sheriff, slandered
  3. slanderer, slanderous, smuggler, smuggling, solicitor*, sue, summary, summons, summonsed
  4. suspend, suspended, suspension, swear, sworn, testament, testified, testimonial, testimony, theft, title, tort, transcript, transfer
  5. treatment, treaty, trespass, tribunal, truth, truthfulness, truthful, unanimous, unclaimed, unconstitutional
  6. unintentional, untruthful, uphold, usury, vagrancy, vagrant, vandal, vandalise
  7. verbal agreement, veto, violate, violence, waiver, ward, warrant, without prejudice, writ, wrongdoer

* Only the vowel signs differentiate this from "responsibility"

* It would be acceptable to write “responsibility” with a disjoined B for "-bility" if felt necessary, to differentiate it from "response"

* "sanction" omits the K sound, as do others like this e.g. function, distinction, extinction

* "solicitor" stretches the Ster Loop rule in order to gain a convenient outline