Friday, 12 February 2016

Banking Vocabulary

Pitman's Shorthand outline for money written in coins
Gold, silver, copper, brass, nickel, paper, virtual, funny, Monopoly and pocket


Banking Vocabulary - Part 1 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I have been browsing the literature offered by banks to existing and prospective customers. I am glad to say that the* information is presented in a very clear and friendly manner, with none of the condescending or superior* overtones that such material might have had many years ago. Nevertheless, there are many terms that are not part of everyday ordinary speech and, to add to the shorthand writer’s* difficulties (or should I say challenges) they often appear in long strings or compound words, thus increasing the density of the text, from a shorthand point of view*. If you work in that industry, then you would no doubt wish to create your own brief* phrases, probably omitting a syllable or two, or using intersections. Whether or not* that is the case, you need to know the full outlines as they may occur in a different combination or order.

Throughout: "account"  "amount" Keep the M well curved, so that these two are as different as possible.

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

* Dictionary outline, use the dash vowel if you prefer the "soo-" pronunciation

* Omission phrases "short(hand) writer's"  "point (of) view"  "whether (or) not"

* "brief" Always insert the vowel, so it is not misread as "number of "


Banking Vocabulary - Part 2 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

I am certain that a bank’s perfect customer is one who takes full advantage of the services of their financial planning manager. This course of action will be of benefit if you have sole or joint savings over a certain threshold*. They will talk to you about your present financial needs and your plans and expectations for the future. They will recommend the next step you should take and ways of protecting your family, income and ability to handle your liabilities. They will give advice on building a portfolio of investments and also discuss with you the options available when buying a property, planning for your children’s education, taking out trust and protection plans, putting some of your income aside, obtaining insurance or critical illness cover, retirement plans and inheritance tax matters.

* "threshold" Original correct pronunciation has no H sound = thresh+old, but often spoken with one, due to the influence of the spelling.


Banking Vocabulary - Part 3 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

You can make an appointment to meet them in branch or in the comfort of your own home and they will guide you every step of the way. Their recommendations of products are likely to be restricted to the companies with which they have chosen to work. They will explain* the basics and tailor the plans to suit your circumstances. Every investment leaflet you read will no doubt emphasise the disclaimer that “The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the money originally invested.” Financial protection minimises the impact of accidents, illness, bereavements and other unexpected events, such as legal or medical costs, or funeral expenses.

* "explains" In this position the L hook on the stroke P is necessarily more angular, if you tried to make it rounded it would be barely noticeable

Banking Vocabulary - Part 4 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

If you do not feel the need for personalised financial advice, you may prefer to take advantage of the range of online services to help with your planning and decisions. You can take out a protection product to make sure your loved ones can cope financially if something unexpected happens to you. If you decide that this is the right way for you to proceed, then online services are quick and secure to use. You have worked hard for your money and the products offered can help your money to work hard for you. Your bank will recommend the services of carefully* selected investment and insurance companies, to make your financial goals a reality.

* "carefully" Normally the optional contraction "care-f" is enough, but here it helps to be able to put the dot after the L. See also "potentially" in para 7

Banking Vocabulary - Part 5 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Preparation done well in advance will save time later on when considering the options open to you. You could* make a budget planner list of your income and outgoings*, and get the exact details from the paperwork for insurance policies, life assurance and endowment policies, pensions, savings and investments, loans, credit cards, overdrafts and mortgage. You can then work out your priorities and goals for securing your future, the possible risks and the charges for services that you buy from the bank. If you have vision or hearing difficulties, the bank will supply leaflets in Braille, large print or audio format*, and you might need to contact them by “Textphone” or “TypeTalk”. You should be aware that calls to the bank will be recorded for security or training purposes.

* "you could" Write separately, as phrasing these would be too much like "you can"

* "outgoings" Does not use the short form

* "format" Always insert the vowel of the second syllable, compare "form" which has a similar meaning


Outlines for Pitman's Shorthand written in coins
Valuable, gleaming, precious, useful skill










A savings review can help you make the most of the money you wish to set aside and find the account or product that best meets your need. Banks like to reward* existing customers with exclusive savings accounts and higher interest and bonuses, as the amount invested increases. Some services can be opened and used immediately, such as deposit accounts, personal loans, credit cards and insurance schemes. Other accounts, such as investment accounts that carry higher interest or special rates and privileges, often require you to meet their eligibility* criteria, such as having been a customer for at least a year, or holding a current account with monthly deposits of a certain amount*. In the UK we have the ISA which stands for Individual Savings Account. The interest is paid tax free and there is an annual deposit allowance which cannot be exceeded. This was quite popular in its early years when interest rates were much higher.

* "reward" One of the few words that omits showing the R sound, likewise others ending in "-ward" and also "reword"

* "eligibility" Helpful to insert the first vowel to make reading back easier, even though "legibility" would not make sense here.

* Omission phrase "certain (am)ount" This word is shortened only in this fairly common phrase, so not recommended in other situations


Banking Vocabulary - Part 7 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Instant access savings provide the flexibility of easy withdrawal, but as might be expected the interest paid is minimal. Limited access savings accounts encourage longer* term saving, and if you do not mind limiting the number of your withdrawals each year, there is the potential for higher yields. Some investments must be locked away for as much as 6 years to gain the maximum amount of interest, but they should be carefully investigated to assess the possible risk factor involved, both in safety of the money invested and in your likely circumstances after all those years. With a Fixed Rate Bond you save for a fixed period to obtain a potentially* higher return, as long as you are happy to make no further deposits or withdrawals during its term. Charges may apply on closure of such an account before the end of its term. Junior* savings accounts can be opened by children and young people. Some they can manage themselves from age 7, others are managed by their parents or guardians, which they can access when they are of age, which in the UK is 18 years.

* "longer term" Keep the Inger really long and not phrased with "term", and always phrase "long term", in order to keep these two looking as different as possible

* "potentially" Needs the final dot, as "potential" also makes sense here. See also "carefully" in para 4

 "junior" Note the placement of the intervening diphone, if you choose to insert it

Banking Vocabulary - Part 8 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A current account is for regular money transactions, such as paying in wages or cash, transferring balances between your different accounts, purchasing on your credit or contactless card, and payments to others by standing order* or direct debits for regular items such as mortgage, household bills, repayments on loans and normal day-to-day purchases. Some banks offer a reasonable rate of interest if a regular specified* amount is paid in each month. Accounts can be operated in branch, online, by telephone or using the appropriate app on your mobile device, with text alerts when the balance is low. Cheques are still used but not to the extent they once were. Overdraft amounts can be arranged, which may be subject to a usage fee. A basic account, without cheque book or overdraft facilities, may be available for those with a low income, such as younger people not yet in employment.

* Omission phrase "stand(ing) order"

* "specified" Insert the diphthong, so it does not look like "specific" when written hastily, which has a similar meaning

Banking Vocabulary - Part 9 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A personal loan may be taken out to fund a large purchase such as home buying or improvements, education, a wedding or a new car. During the application process, all your individual circumstances will be taken into account and you will be advised on the borrowing options for which you might be eligible. The bank may require that you have a current account with them, make regular monthly deposits and have a good credit rating from your past transactions, either with them or another lender. You will probably need to be a resident citizen of the country and be over a certain age. Some banks offer an online calculator so you can get a better idea before you start the application process, which may incur an arrangement fee. The interest rate you pay will vary according to the* time period of the loan  (short term, medium term or long term), the amount borrowed and possibly other criteria as well. Early settlement may incur an extra charge, such as an additional 30 days’ interest payable by you to the bank.

* Omission phrase "according (to) the". Strictly speaking the "ing" part is omitted because that word is a short form, not because of the omission phrase.


Lots of coins
I want the chocolate one













Banking Vocabulary - Part 10 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

A mortgage is a legal agreement whereby a loan, generally for purchasing property, uses the borrower’s title to the property as security for the unpaid balance of the loan. It literally means “death pledge” as the agreement does not “die” until it is entirely paid up. A mortgage valuation* is a type of property assessment to ascertain the true value of the house, carried out* by a valuation surveyor, in order to calculate the amount of mortgage that can be taken against it. If the house value goes down, it would not cover repayment and this is called negative equity. You may have seen a jolly advert* for house-buying loans that end with the rapidly and more quietly muttered words “Your house may be at risk or repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage”, a warning not to take on this type of transaction or commitment lightly or beyond your means. The bank itself may advise you to consider* all borrowing options carefully and seek independent advice. You will be required to insure the property against damage and loss, as it is the means of repaying the loan should you get into financial difficulties.

* "valuation" is a short form

* "carrie-dout" using halving for the "out"

* "advert" Insert the first vowel, as it is similar in shape and same meaning as the contraction "advertisement"

* Omission phrase "to (con)sider"

* "insure" means to take out a policy. "Ensure" means to make certain that you do something.

Banking Vocabulary - Part 11 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

If you are a victim of online banking fraud, depending on the laws in your country, the bank may be required by law to refund the money back into your account immediately. Any such fraud that you notice or suspect should be reported to the bank immediately, who will cancel your card and issue another. It is then their responsibility to investigate the matter, pursue the criminal and the funds stolen, and if necessary improve their own security measures, in order to protect their customers’ accounts. Even a small or insignificant amount lost to online theft should be reported, as details of that transaction may provide certain identifying information that enables the fraud investigators to track down the criminal, which may lead to uncovering their other crimes as well. Your own part in staying secure is never to share internet passwords, always log out of accounts when finished , avoid internet cafes or libraries for financial matters, and always report to your bank any phishing* emails asking you to give or verify your personal and banking details.

* "phishing" Insert the wavy underneath to flag up this word as not being "fishing" if you felt you needed a reminder to use the PH spelling.


Banking Vocabulary - Part 12 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Finally, a very important part of any banking leaflet can be found at the end of the last page, just next to the part telling you that it is printed on paper from responsibly managed and sustainable sources, using biodegradable vegetable inks. It says, “When you have finished with this leaflet please recycle* it,” just like you do with your old filled-up shorthand practice pads, after you have extracted all the notes in the margins and transferred them to your more permanent notebook of outlines that need extra attention and drilling. One last thing you can do with the bank leaflets is to write shorthand over all the words in biro (because of the smooth paper) using the margins or spare spaces if necessary. You will then pick up on any extra terms not found in this article, to add to your vocabulary.

* Omission phrase "very important part (of)" The "of" is omitted so that "part" when written like this does not look like "number of". "Part of" when used alone does use the F/V hook, because it is using the whole outline for "part".

* "recycle" L Hook has to be more angular, see note para 3

Banking Vocabulary - Part 13 of 13 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Your investment of time, brainpower, and ink and paper in your shorthand studies, or indeed any self-improvement educational venture, cannot be affected by the vagaries of the financial markets, fluctuating interest rates, Wall Street crashes, credit crunches or online fraud or scams*, and there is no upfront application fee to pay beforehand*. Your (shorthand) increase will be beyond the reach of the taxman, your valuable reserve of knowledge and outlines will not be subject to capital gains tax or inheritance tax, and you can give your skills to others without incurring any decrease in your own supply. When your financial planning manager asks you what rate you would be happy with, you can confidently say “At the moment, 120 words per minute would be rather nice, thank you very much.” (1956 words)

* "scams" Write clearly above line, and inserting the dot helps, compare "schemes" which has a similar meaning

* Omission phrase "before(ha)nd


Fountain pen gold nib
Some gold is best kept at home in a mug

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Just Checking

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

A little while ago I watched a television programme about the Hubble Space Telescope, going through the history of its design, construction and launch, but the most memorable part of the programme was the discovery of the fault with the primary mirror. I saw the looks of puzzlement on the faces of those gathered around the monitor, way back in 1990, who were waiting for a wonderfully* crisp view of the stars, when the picture showed up fuzzy and indistinct, and then the incredulity and realisation that something somewhere was very wrong. The press conferences were polite but strained, and the voices of those explaining were thin and subdued, attempting to speak in unemotional flat tones to cover their dismay, which had completely replaced the former bubbly enthusiasm. After the blame finding and blame shifting had died down somewhat, ideas for correcting the distortion were invited, discussed and decided upon. Three years later, correcting mirrors and other optical instruments were installed and the scientists finally had their long-awaited sharp focus pictures of deep space in all its glorious detail.

* "wonderfully" The short form covers both "wonderful" and "wonderfully" but as both make sense here, the L stroke needs to be added. When an adjective comes after the "wonderfully" then it is always going to need clarifying in this way.

Just Checking - Part 2 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

What reminded me of this was an article I found today about the new telescope that will replace the 25-year-old Hubble, showing lots of pictures of engineers hard at work, assembling parts and running their tests. I am quite certain that at the top of their list are the tests and checking, this time with more than just one instrument and with absolutely no assumptions being made about the accuracy of the results. This will be the most checked and tested piece of space equipment there ever was and there will be no repeat of the previous blunders and embarrassment. The new telescope is called the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST as the scientists themselves are calling it, at least in print, like they do with all the other instruments. I have a suspicion that the names of some of the instruments are tweaked slightly to make them into pronounceable acronyms.

Just Checking - Part 3 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

You may not have any interest in science or astronomy, but all shorthand writers*, whether experienced or just starting, will empathise with the unpleasant results that failing to check properly* can have. The amount of checking that a person does seems to be* related to the severity of the results that might ensue. Checking you have enough bread or milk in the kitchen is fairly minor, but checking you have shut the windows and locked the door before going on your way is higher up the priority list, and done even more diligently when going away on holiday.

* Omission phrase "short(hand) writers"  "seems (to) be"

* "properly" Always insert the vowel, and the diphone in "appropriate", to prevent misreading


Just Checking - Part 4 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

In our school exams we were allowed to leave the room if we finished before the allotted time was up, but I never did this. I checked for the general sense of my answers, I checked for spelling and grammar, and then checked again for any bits of handwriting that were not crystal clear for the examiner to read, with all the I’s dotted and all the T’s crossed. Some subjects gave me a reasonable amount of time in hand, others were barely finished in time, but a quick read through in the last few minutes was always attempted, with extra facts that had come to mind at the last moment squeezed in between the lines of handwriting, which might give me one more point and bump up my final score into the next higher grading.

Just Checking - Part 5 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Making a transcription* has one extra danger that ordinary exams do not have. It is so easy to skip a line of shorthand as your eyes go back and forth* between the notepad and the screen or paper. The ideal would be to type on screen from the notes without taking your eyes off them. I generally have a marker on the pad, usually just a flat sided pencil, and I place it just above where I am reading, so that I do not need to move it for every line. I have to do the reverse of transcription* when making the blogs, moving my pencil down the printed text and looking back and forth* to the paper to write the shorthand. The method is the same, although the consequences for me (wasted time) are minor compared to an error going unnoticed and uncorrected in an exam or job assignment. This seemingly trivial little precaution can prevent major errors and damage to your shorthand reputation or your exam pass.

* "transcription" Transcribe and derivatives omit the second R, to prevent a misreading with describe and derivatives

* Omission phrase "back (and) forth"

Just Checking - Part 6 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

Of equal importance is the checking of my own outlines and so dictionary delving is top priority for the blogs. Checking your own outlines is essential and you will get the best results if you write down all your lookups in a notebook dedicated* to that purpose, so you can review and practise regularly until they are totally familiar. As your vocabulary of outlines increases, your speed will increase as well. It’s all down to checking, testing, inspecting, examining, assessing and investigating*, so that your shorthand speed and accuracy can shoot off into gravity-defying orbit, without the need for major correction of errors, and requiring only regular adjustments and maintenance to keep it on track and performing well. (855 words)

* "dedicated" Best insert vowels, otherwise similar to "deducted" and "educated"

* "investigating" omits the first T


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope#/media/File:James_Webb_Telescope_Model_at_South_by_Southwest.jpg

Magnifier lens on shorthand dictionary
Optical correction equipment

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Had Do Did

Had Do Did - Part 1 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

This article practises all the following: had, do, did - had not, do not, did not - hadn’t, don’t, didn’t

  • I had some notes from him. I do like to read them. I did get them in time.
  • You had a good week. You do the work very well*. You did everything you could.
  • He had a report to write. What should he do? He did get some help.
  • She had to go to town. There were* things she must do. She did it yesterday.
  • We had an email* from them. We do reply to everything. We did send a reply.
  • They had a nice day. They do like it when that happens. They did enjoy themselves.

* Omission phrases "very (w)ell"  "there (w)ere"

* "Email" Always insert first vowel, compare "mail"


Had Do Did - Part 2 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

In a phrase “had” may need a dot vowel to differentiate it from “do”. It would be quicker to just not phrase the “had” but you might have already written the phrase before realising there is a clash. Some books show two dots i.e. dot hay and the vowel. In the following sentences, the dot is essential.


Had Do Did - Part 3 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
  • We had let many people visit the office. We do let many people visit the office.
  • We had many emails and letters. We do many emails and letters.
  • We had loads of work every week. We do loads of work every week.
  • They had come to see us quite often. They do come to see us quite often.
  • They had a lot of crime in the area. They do a lot of crime in the area.
  • They had a very good meal at the cafe. They do a very good meal at the cafe.
  • We had expected some mail. We do expect some mail.
  • We had believed his report. We do believe his report.
  • We had informed the foreman. We do inform the foreman.
  • They had remembered my name. They do remember my name.

Had Do Did - Part 4 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

The tense of the verb tells you whether the phrase should read “had” or “do” but sometimes the verb is the same in both tenses e.g. put, let, come. Short forms and contractions like “believe” “expect” “inform” are identical for present and past tenses, but you can write a short dash through the last stroke to indicate the past tense, to further help out with reading back correctly. There is no time to consider* possible clashes during a dictation, and indeed they might only be noticed later on when transcribing*. For this reason it is helpful to always write them in such a way that they could be read correctly even if standing alone without any context.*

* Omission phrase "to (con)sider"

* "transcribing" This and its derivatives omit the second R, compare "describe" etc (see para below) which has a similar meaning.

* "context" Always use the Con dot, never proximity, to prevent misreading as "text"


Had Do Did - Part 5 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

NEGATIVES - “had not, do not, did not”. The first two are identical, and once again “had not”* can be vocalised with the dot if necessary. “Did not” omits the second D sound and would more accurately be described as an omission phrase. It must always be written on the line. Sometimes this is possible in the phrase, other times you have to write it separately. It cannot be helped out with a dot vowel, because that would turn it into the apostrophe version “didn’t” described below. The examples show the optional dot and the second paragraph gives instances where the dot is essential.

* Showing the two dots

Had Do Did - Part 6 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • I had not received it. I do not receive visitors. I did not receive the gift.
  • I had thought of a good answer and had not written it down.
  • I will be meeting a customer and do not know his first name.
  • I lost my keys and did not know where to look.
  • You had not received a reply. You do not have the time. You did not get an answer.
  • He had not seen the man. He did not get the email. 
  • She had not been there* long. She did not go to the house.
  • We had not expected them to come and so we did not have everything ready.
  • We do not believe him. We did not believe him.
  • We did not get his message and did not go to the meeting.

* "been there" Doubling for "there"


Had Do Did - Part 7 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot


  • We had not given it to them. We do not give it to them.
  • We had not believed it. We do not believe it.
  • We had not inspected these items. We do not inspect these items.
  • They had not manufactured them. They do not manufacture them.
  • They had not put any effort into it. They do not put any effort into it.
  • They had not let us in. They do not let us in.
  • They had not come to town and had not given us the letters. They do not come to town and do not give us the letters.

Had Do Did - Part 8 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

APOSTROPHES - The versions with apostrophes do not use the short forms, they are all full normal outlines, treating the phrase as if it were just one word, like the longhand does. These are best always vocalised, so that there is no possibility* of misreading. “Don’t” must always be vocalised and is written above the line to match with the unvocalised “do not”. Their position above the line is simply to make them different from “did not” and “didn’t”. “Didn’t” omits the second D sound and must have its dot. My personal preference is to avoid* the official “didn’t” outline because it adds to confusion with the other three and instead write it as a full outline, a formation similar to “trident”. This means I can use the dot for “did not” if necessary, thus keeping that set of three all distinct from each other whether they are phrased or not. However, the official version of “didn’t” is shown in the blogs.

* "possibility" Optional contraction

* "avoid" Insert the diphthong and keep unphrased, compare "evade" which has a similar meaning

Had Do Did - Part 9 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • I hadn’t seen the person before. I don’t know his name. I didn’t meet him yesterday.
  • We hadn’t any idea of the cost. We don’t know what it was. We didn’t ask them.
  • You hadn’t been there* before. You don’t recognise the town. You didn’t look at the map.
  • He hadn’t written his report. He didn’t give himself enough time.
  • She hadn’t passed the test. She didn’t read all the books.
  • They hadn’t seen the group. They don’t know their names. They didn’t want to know.

* "been there" Doubling for "there"

Had Do Did - Part 10 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

UNPHRASED “NOT” - If the two words do not naturally belong together, or if the “not” (or any other word) is being emphasised, then phrasing is not appropriate*. They must be* written as separate outlines so that the meaning is clear. Constructions like this are best set off with dashes in the shorthand. The accuracy of your transcription relies on getting this right. The first set of examples have opposite meanings, depending* on where you indicate the pauses. Pauses can make a difference to many other* types of sentence as well, and using the dash in the shorthand notes will help you read it back, get the correct meaning and then punctuate the transcript to reflect that meaning, using dashes, commas or parentheses. A comma in shorthand is unsafe, being too much like an outline, although you might see them and other marks typeset in old shorthand books and magazines within a story that has conversations, but these are reading practice and not dictation pieces. The first paragraph below shows how the meaning can change according to the* punctuation.

* "appropriate" Insert the diphthong, and the first vowel in "proper" as these two are similar in meaning

* Omission phrases "they mus(t) be"  "many oth(er)"  "accord(ing to) the"

* "depending" Keep the Ing clearly full length, to prevent misreading as "dependent"

dependent = adjective, hanging down, or relying on for support
independent = adjective, not relying on anything or anyone
independence = noun, freedom of action

dependant = noun, a person who depends on another


Had Do Did - Part 11 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • They do, not surprisingly, know his address. They do not, surprisingly, know his address.
  • We had, not unusually, received a call. We had not, unusually, received a call.
  • Did you finish the work? If you did, not many people noticed it.
  • Did you finish the work? If you did not, many people noticed it.


Had Do Did - Part 12 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • Because of the difficulties that they had, not many of them returned the next day.
  • They are pleased with the success they had, not the work that led to it.
  • This is the work our staff do, not every day but at least* three days a week.
  • If you do as I do, not as the others do, you might* finish it earlier.
  • I want you to copy what I do, not what the others may tell you.
  • Do you send emails? Yes, I do, not every day though.

* "at least" Insert the second vowel, and also in "at last"

* "might" is best not phrased, to prevent misreading as "may", do the same with the other halved outlines"not" (vs "no") and "could" (vs "can")

Had Do Did - Part 13 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot


  • Despite the work that the staff did, not much improvement was seen.
  • This happened because of what he did, not what he said.
  • Whatever he did, not many people appreciated his efforts.
  • It was clear what they did, not to say that they will admit to it.
  • There is a lot of unseen work that I do, not to mention replying to all the letters.
  • We had, not without some suspicion, watched everything they were doing.
  • They had, not to put too fine a point on it, made a great number of errors.

Had Do Did - Part 14 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • We do NOT wish to know all about what happened there.
  • I do NOT appreciate this extra work that has come in.
  • He said very loudly that he had NOT seen them for a week.
  • The children did NOT hand in their work on time.
  • Most assuredly we did NOT give our permission for this.
  • Visitors do NOT have permission to enter this door.
  • I DO like ice cream and I do NOT like boiled cabbage.
  • I had NOT been told about this and I do NOT want to hear any excuses.

Miscellaneous practice:


Had Do Did - Part 15 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • I had arrived in town, I had not taken long, and I hadn’t experienced any delays.
  • We had eaten the meal, we had not received the bill and we hadn’t seen our friends.
  • Mr Smith had come to the office but had not seen the staff and hadn’t noticed my absence.
  • They had come a long way, they had not brought any cases and they hadn’t found the hotel.
  • I do like this house but I do not like the garden, and I don’t think I will buy it.
  • We do have the staff, we do not have enough customers and we don’t know when this will* change.
  • The people do want to come, they do not want to be left out and they don’t mind saying so.

* "this will" Downward L in order to join in this phrase, likewise "this letter"

Had Do Did - Part 16 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot


  • They do as they want, they do not follow the rules and they don’t get good results.
  • I did want to travel, but I did not want to go very far and I didn’t really have any plans.
  • We did receive his letter, we did not agree with him and we didn’t reply until later.
  • They did enjoy the evening although they did not stay long and they didn’t meet him.
  • Mr Brown did the work, he did not complain and he didn’t leave the office until late.
  • They do not like this town and they don’t want to come here again.
  • I do not wish to go to the house and I don’t have any plans to do so.

Had Do Did - Part 17 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot

  • If you do not see the staff this morning, they might think you don’t care about them.
  • If you do not understand, then don’t hesitate to ask me and don’t forget to write it down.
  • We do not have to come to the office tomorrow and we don’t think it will be necessary.
  • Do not lose any time and don’t forget to take your books.
  • We do not have a lot of time and I don’t believe we should stay too long.
  • The people do not speak the language and they don’t know what is being said.
  • The men do not want to work there and we don’t know what we should do about it.

Had Do Did - Part 18 of 18 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot
  • The children do not like to eat that food because they don’t know what it is.
  • I do not understand at all why I did not see him at the office yesterday.
  • I do not work in that town and so I did not get to see him.
  • Be very careful* that you do not upset him, as he did not get his exam pass.
  • You do not have to write the report because you did not attend the meeting.
  • Do not write in the report that he did not agree with the others.
  • Do not worry about what we did not do, but remember what we did do. (1990 words)

* "careful" Optional contraction

As the material is rather stilted and lacking in phrasing opportunities, speed practice might be disappointing, so best used for accuracy and neatness practiceThe Facility Drill book for this article will contain only the black ink practice sentences. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Finally Winter

Snowy countryside

Finally Winter - Part 1 of 5 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! Blogspot





At last the winter weather has arrived that deserves the name. Here in the south east of England our autumn and winter months have been very mild, with barely a frost to be seen. Last October was the only time that I have ever managed to put the garden to bed absolutely perfectly, with new trees, rose bushes  and bulbs planted, fences repaired and painted, and paths pressure cleaned.  What spurred me on to these efforts was the prolonged* mild and mostly dry weather, accompanied by nagging memories of smarting frozen* fingers and numb toes, and regrets for not getting those last few jobs done earlier. October was my “any moment now” month, when it could turn cold, wet and windy without the slightest warning - but it didn’t*.

* "prolonged" Stroke Ing cannot be halved

* "frozen, freezing" Insert vowel to prevent misreading

* "didn't" Inserting the vowel is necessary. Without the vowel it is "did not"

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

Pine cone pattern wrist warmer in progress on needles
Started at last -
pine cone pattern wristies
My devotion to all things green and flowery evaporates in an instant once the air starts to bite my fingertips. I make up for it by getting some replacement floral decoration onto my computer screen wallpaper and find ways of persuading  the column of hot air from the radiator to waft a little closer to my computer seat. I did manage this recently, when I came home on a cold night, by tucking the edge of a small blanket behind the corner of  the radiator and then draping the rest of it over my shoulders, making a perfect little hot house for the few minutes needed. The glove supply is checked over and plans are considered (although not always carried out*) for knitting some decorative lacy wrist warmers so that I can keep my hands going for the typing and pen writing without looking like a fishwife from centuries ago with their cloth-wrapped fingers. No such niceties for the feet, though, which at present resemble shapeless teddy bear’s legs, with layers of socks and leg warmers.

* "carri-dout" Halving to represent the "out"

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


Frost flowers on glass
Flowers on the car window
Unresponsive fingers means typos on every line and, having been brought up on a typewriter, I always appreciate that wonderful indispensable backspace key. Screen typing is a million miles from typing on a real mechanical typewriter. The most important* thing was to hit the correct keys all the time, as it was ink on paper, not pixels on screen. Speeding up beyond what one could do accurately (through skill level or hand flexibility) was a complete and frustrating waste of time*, because it took so long to make the corrections, erasing with a gritty typewriter rubber on the top copy and all the carbon copies underneath as well. Fortunately the firm’s glossy headed paper helped, but erasures were rarely* invisible, despite a judicious smear of white chalk before typing the correct replacement letters or numbers. Sometimes starting again with a fresh sheet was the only answer but I did not like this wasted time and it was an incentive to improve first-time accuracy.

* Omission phrases "mos(t) important"  "was(te of) time"

* "rarely" Vowel advisable, as it is similar to "really"

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

Multicoloured random wool glove
A meadow of tulips, daffodils and bluebells
Many years later, I have finally had to admit that the best way* of keeping extremities warm is exercise, warming from within. Maybe I should stop typing this paragraph and walk briskly up and down the stairs for a while, but that might end up being an excuse to extend* the exercise to the kitchen and its store of snacks, if done too often! In past centuries, some of the old country mansions had long galleries running the length of the house, so that the occupants could walk up and down and get some exercise without venturing out into the cold. Many of these originated from open walkways that were later enclosed, as their use changed from access to exercise. No doubt the house itself was very draughty and chilly anyway, and the only warmth was to be found immediately in front of the fireplaces.

* Omission phrase "bes(t) way"

* "extend" Keep the T vertical, so it does not look like "expand" which has a similar meaning

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


Activity to improve the circulation is most needed in winter but if it is snowy or icy, then picking one’s way over the slippery surfaces hardly counts as sufficient exercise. Maybe the best place to stretch the muscles properly is in the local shopping mall, walking up and down the galleries where the only falls are those into the temptation to buy a big fleecy scarf, a well padded hat with added earmuffs, or cosy faux fur lined  mukluk boots. Backdrops and posters around the shop showing wintry landscapes add to the sense of urgency*, despite the fact that the* snow outside is really only a dusting and may even be rained away by the time I emerge from the mall. This is all to the good in terms of being able to stride energetically (especially if the bus is just coming around the corner), but my little triumphs over adverse weather will have to wait until another day. (772 words)

* "urgency" Optional contraction. Full outline has N stroke, not a hook

Omission phrase "despite the (f)act that the". Keep the "fact" part very close underneath, so it is clear that it is not an outline from the line below. "Fact" is only shortened like this in some phrases (either joined or disjoined), not on its own.