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SHORTHAND, HISTORY OF
a true reporting style is altogether unsuitable writer: Currant verba licet, manus est velocior for general personal use. The simplicity and illis. Among ancient papyridiscovered 100 fulness of a true personal style is altogether miles south of Cairo in 1903 by Professors impossible for reporting practice. The unsuit- Grenfell and Hunt, there is a contract with a ability of a business style for reporting or writer of tachygraphy, made 137 A.B., whereby personal use differs nowise in kind but only in a slave boy was to be taught shorthand for 120 degree.
drachma ($24); 40 drachma were to be paid
GODFREY DEWEY, down, 40 more on satisfactory evidence of the New York State Shorthand Reporters' Asso- progress of the boy and the last 40 when he ciation.
had become proficient. SHORTHAND, History of. The early
Shorthand seems to have been much used history of this art is closely allied with palæog- by the early Christians. It is supposed that raphy, and it has been traced into the mists of Saint Paul dictated to amanuenses several of antiquity. Antiquarians have tried to connect his epistles, notably that to the Colossians, where it with hieroglyphics and to show that it was Tychicus acted as shorthand writer and Onesused more than 1,000 years before Christ by imus as transcriber. We know that Origen in the Persians, Egyptians and Hebrews. Abbre- the 3d century was assisted in the preparation viated writing, to take down lectures and also of his Commentaries on the Scriptures? by for the preservation of poems recited at the clerks who wrote in shorthand from his dictaPythean, Nemean and Olympic games, was tion. Saint Augustine refers to an episcopal aspractised by the early Greeks, and there are semblage held at Carthage late in the 4th censpecimens of ancient Greek notæ, or shorthand, tury, at which eight stenographers were emin the Vatican Library, at Rome, the Biblio- ployed in relays of two. About the same period thèque Nationale, at Paris, and the British the poet Ausonius praised a youth who could Museum.
write faster than his master could dictate, and, Ancient History.-The definite existence of with poetic license, even faster than he could shorthand reporting dates in the century pre
think; and in another poem expressed his adceding the Christian era. Tiro, the accom
miration of the skill of the stenographers of plished freedman and amanuensis of Cicero, the time. Charlemagne, king of the Franks was in 63 B.C. the first known practitioner of for 46 years and likewise Roman emperor durthe art. He reported speeches of his master, ing the 14 years preceding his death in 814, poswhich were afterward revised by the orator; sessing an amount of learning unusual in his and as note Tironiane became the established age, endeavored to become proficient in writing name for shorthand writing its invention was Tironian notes. But the lingua Latina was fast subsequently ascribed to him. At that period giving place to the lingua Romana, from which Rome was drawing from Greece her stores of the modern Romanic languages of Europe learning and art, and Tiro's system was prob- sprang. At the Council of Rheims in 813, ably an adaptation from the Greek. Plutarch priests were admonished to address the people informs us in his life of Cato the Younger that in the rustic tongue. Nor was a knowledge of Cicero distributed notarii (shorthand reporters) the art confined to the Western civilization. in various parts of the Senate House on the A translation by Professor Flügel, of Dresden, occasion of the vote as to the fate of Catiline, from the Arabic, narrates how a Chinese in the chief purpose being to take down the 923 A.D., who had acquired Arabic speech and speeches of Cæsar and Cato. The text of those writing in less than five months, took down in speeches may be given by Sallust in his history shorthand from the lips of his teachers 16 of the Catilinian conspiracy, chapters 51-53, or books of Galen. the historian may have followed the example Modern History.- The first modern shortof Thucydides and embodied in them his con- hand work was printed in London in 1588 and ception of the character and policy of the two dedicated by its author, Dr. Timothy Bright, foremost senators. Mæcenas, the famous to Queen Elizabeth. The first French publicastatesman, courtier and patron of literature, tion, that of Jacques Cossard, appeared in 1651. introduced some improvements in shorthand, The oldest German system was published in and, according to Dion Cassius, instructed many 1679. Gurney's is the oldest living system of in the art through his freedman Aquila. Sen- English shorthand. It was first issued by Maeca afterward increased the number of nota- son in 1672 and improved by Thomas Gurney tions to a total of 5,000. Scalinger made a col- in 1750. Taylor's system appeared in 1786, sublection of the notes of Tiro, Seneca and others, sequent editions of which bore the name of which is appended to the great work of Janus Odell, Harding and so on. This system has a Gruterus, published at Heidelberg, in 1603. remarkable history of successful adaptation to
An illustrious German scholar, Ulrich, in Continental languages. Bertin adapted it to the 1817 analyzed the Tironian notes and his analy- French and Danzar in 1801 adapted it to the sis shows that Roman shorthand, though a German language. Marti's tachygraphy was an strain on the memory, answered the practical adaptation of Taylor's alphabet to the Spanish purposes of stenography quite as well as the language and was first published in 1800. By a systems in vogue in the early part of the 19th royal ordinance in 1802 a chair for shorthand century, such, for example, as the one sketched was established in the university at Madrid and by Charles Dickens from his own experience in Marti named as professor. The cortes of Cathe 38th chapter of David Copperfield. We diz first had an official shorthand report of its are informed by Suetonius that the Emperor proceedings in 1810. Marti's tachygraphy was Augustus taught the art to his grandchildren in 1828 applied to the Italian language hy his and that the Emperor Titus was
son, who also adapted it to the Portuguese. Stenographer. Martial, who lived in the time of Pereira had also, early in the century, adapted Nero, has left an epigram upon a shorthand Taylor's alphabet to the Portuguese. The intro
SHORTHAND, HISTORY OF
duction of shorthand into Mexico and the coun- In 1834 Franz Xavier Gabelsberger, secretries of South America followed these adapta- tary to the Ministry in Bavaria, brought out tions. Amanti, an Italian, adapted Taylor's his invention and in 1837 Isaac Pitman, of Bath, shorthand to his own language and as modified England, gave to the world the first edition by Delpino it is now used by the official corps of phonography or sound hand. Gabelsof the Chamber of Deputies. The three pre- berger's system, with adapatation, has been vailing French systems are those of Prevost, widely introduced in Austra-Hungary, SwitzerDuploye and Prépéan, the first named being a land, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finmodification of Taylor. It is estimated that the land, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Serbia and bibliography of shorthand comprises 16,000 vol- Rumania, although in some of these countries umes, exclusive of reissues or editions. A modifications of the Stolzean method predomvaluable contribution to the English branch of inate. Wilhelm Stolze published his system in this subject has been made by Julius Ensign 1841 and it is used in the Prussian Chamber, Rockwell , published by the government
which is the sole exception to the official use of Circular of Information No. 2, Bureau of Gabelsberger's shorthand in Germany. In RusEducation, Washington (1884), and Circular sia a translation of Gabelsberger is officially emNo. 1 (1893). The latter contains a repro- ployed in the imperial Senate, the Court of duction of 112 English shorthand alphabets,
Cassation and other law courts. There was, extending from the first alphabetic system, that of course, a gradual development of the art of Willis, in 1602, to the Duployan method down to Isaac Pitman's invention. Dr. Bright's adapted by Pernin in 1882. In 1888 Light Line system was cumbrous and followed the vertical Phonography, issued later as 'Gregg Short- style of Chinese writing; but he indicated a hand, was introduced.
present particle by two final dots just as Isaac A court of law in England in 1740 took the Pitman nearly three centuries afterward deinitial step in appointing an official shorthand
noted it by one. writer. The next instance of the public recogni- Phonetics.- The phonetic principle was first tion of shorthand in that country occurred in applied to English shorthand by John Willis, 1789, when the House of Commons, during the in 1602, and it was further developed from time trial of Warren Hastings, called the shorthand to time; but it remained for Isaac Pitman to writer to the bar and required him to read from make it a complete basis; in other words, to his notes the exact words used by Mr. Burke, invent phonography or sound hand. As there and thereupon resolved that Mr. Burke had are in the English language 43 distinct sounds, exceeded his instructions in accusing Sir Elijah represented by 26 letters, Isaac Pitman adopted Impey of murder. The publication of Hansard's
an extended alphabet by which consonants are Debates was begun in 1803 and has become a indicated by simple geometrical strokes, straight general system of reports of representative or curved, the light sounds denoted by light bodies in Great Britain and her colonies. It is strokes and the heavy ones by corresponding compiled from newspaper reports, supplemented heavy strokes. The leading heavy vowels are by special reports. This system is closely fol- represented by six heavy dots and a like num lowed in some of the colonies, as in New ber of heavy dashes, placed at the beginning, Zealand, while a method similar to that pur
middle or end of the strokes and before or sued by our national legislature has been after as they precede or follow the consonants. adopted by the Canadian Parliament. The The same course is followed with the light Hansard's report is semi-official, the speeches vowels. Diphthongs are provided for by a being submitted to members for revision and combination of dash forms and by a small semiit is subsidized by the House of Commons. circle differently formed and placed in differThe official shorthand writing for the British ent positions. Circles, hooks and loops are emParliament is confined to the committee re
ployed in distinct offices. As an illustration, the porting, in which Pitman's and Gurney's sys- word bought is composed of three sounds reptems have long had governmental recognition.
resented by six letters. It is spelled phonetically A census taken in 1914 of the systems of b aw t, and in phonography it is written with shorthand used in the Press Gallery of the two straight strokes joined, one sloping and British Parliament showed that out of 137 the other perpendicular and a disjoined dash. writers 128 wrote the Pitman system, 4 the
In rapid writing the dash is omitted, as an imTaylor system, 2 the Gurney system and 3 the portant feature of the art in reporting is the Sloan-Duployan system.
use of consonant outlines, omitting vowels. It The American colonies were not far behind
follows that shorthand is more readily adapted the mother country in the use of shorthand.
to a consonantal than a vowel language and for The Virginia Convention of 1788, called to de- this reason French is easy and Japanese diffiliberate on the ratification of the Constitution cult. In every case, however, many brief forms, of the United States, was reported in shorthand more or less arbitrary, are used for words of in a meritorious manner by David Robertson,
frequent occurrence. of Petersburg, Va., and in 1903 the National Pitman System.-- As has been stated, verShorthand Reporters' Association of the United batim reporting in the English-speaking world States erected a tablet in Saint Augustine's
dates from the invention of phonography by Sir Church, Philadelphia, to the memory of Thomas Isaac Pitman. In recognition of his eminent Lloyd, the official reporter of the National service, the honor of knighthood was conferred House of Representatives, 1st session 1st Con- on him by Queen Victoria. There was a celegress. This tablet bears the following inscrip
bration in London in 1887 known as the Golden tion:
Jubilee of Phonography, in which an array of
ialent was displayed which came as a surprise Captain Thomas Lloyd, Author, Soldier, Patriot. The father of American shorthand reporting.
to men of letters on both sides of the Atlantic, 14 August 1756 – 19 January 1827.
who were unaware of the accomplishments nerSHORTHAND, HISTORY OF
essary to make the career of a shorthand re- How well the inventor succeeded in his realporter successful. Sir Isaac died in 1897, after ization of these first two resolves may be seen having witnessed the introduction of phonog- in the representation in the next column and the raphy into every land that Anglo-Saxon civili- history of the dissemination of the art proves zation has penetrated. The inventor received that this third has also been crowned with sucgreat aid from his brothers, but that of his youngest brother was conspicuous and Ameri- Pitman's phonography has not only been suc
Benn Pitman came to the United States cessfully adapted to such languages as the Spanin 1853 and established in Cincinnati a phono- ish and Dutch, but even to the Malagasy for graphic institute and a publishing house, which official used in Madagascar, and in 1902 Edward are still in successful operation. For many Gantlett made an adaptation to the Japanese years Pitman had an able associate in the language under the title Phonographica Japerson of Jerome B. Howard. In 1903 ponica. In Japan and China a method of Benn Pitman having spent 50 years in the dis- tachygraphy is generally employed. The sepasemination and development in the United rate marks which united form a character in States of his brother's invention, the National ordinary writing are made by a single stroke of Shorthand Association, which met in Cincin- the pen, the contours being traced regardless of nati, made an appropriate celebration of the details. In India, Navina, of the Punjab Unigolden Jubilee of his labors.
versity, invented an alphabet of new Hindu The following is the complete alphabet of characters, which is said to form the basis of a the Isaac Pitman system as
presented in rapid and legible system of shortland. Other "Course in Isaac Pitman Shortland” (1918). systems, based on Isaac Pitman's, have been
introduced in the United States by Elias LongTHE PHONOGRAPHIC ALPHABET.
ley, Andrew J. Graham and James E. Munson. (BY ISAAC PITMAN.)
Mr. Graham brought out the first edition of
his Standard Phonography) in 1858.
SPECIMEN OF ISAAC PITMAN SHORTHAND. P. B
as in pat
“I wish every man had such an education--every
young man especially. And if either of my sons 1 1
had lived, and I had trained him, as I should have pit
tried to do, to be a great and good farmer, I should AW] Ď 7
have wanted to send him at least six months to
a Business School, to give him the aptitude and OH
Horace Greeley. too oo
foot DIPHTHONGS. v 1 low loi du
Official Use.-- The enlarged use of short
hand, owing to the demands of State legislaTo these brief elementary signs, which rep
tures, courts and the business world, is well
known. The National Shorthand Reporters' resent every distinct elementary sound in English, are added abbreviating adjuncts and prin- posed of reporters from 35 States, 2 Terri
Association has an executive committee comciples that enable the hand to keep pace with thought. When Isaac Pitman invented his
tories and the District of Columbia, (See
SHORTHAND STANDARDIZATION). The Senate shorthand alphabet and with the assistance of
of the United States in 1848 made a contract distinguished educators and practitioners improved it, he had a three-fold object in view:
for a verbatim report of its debates and pro
ceedings and the same course was adopted by 1. To give those who had memoranda to make, a more the House of Representatives in the following elementary method of writing, plain, simple, easily acquired in a few weeks, and capable of being executed at the rate of
year. Before 1848 the Congressional Globe 50 or 60 words a minute.
contained an abstract of the debates and such 2. To develop a style of writing for the use of business speeches in full as members wrote or had spemen, ministers, physicians, authors, scientific investigators, and others who would acquire through a few months' study
cially reported. In 1873 Congress adopted the the ability to write 100 words per minute, with the ease of existing method and transferred the official pubspeech and the legibility of print.
lication of the proceedings from private con3. To establish a system of reporting for those who sought to record the eloquent orations of public speakers at
tract to the government printing office. By the rate of 300 words a minute when required.
this method each house employs a corps of five
SHORTHAND, SCIENCE OF
reporters, the Senate paying to its corps $25,000 science and literature of shorthand and the a year and the reporters of the House re- investigation and discussion of the principles ceiving $5,000 a year each. In addition, the which should govern the construction of sysHouse of Representatives employs a corps of tems of shorthand and abbreviated longhand, official reporters of committees.
adapted, if possible, for general use." The Shorthand has reached the highest possible transactions of this society (59 numbers of the development in every country where a parlia- magazine Shorthand), which lasted for a dozen mentary form of government has obtained. years till disrupted by the factional strife of Turkey possessed no system of shorthand until system partisans, contain many sincere efforts her accession to the list of constitutional states, to establish such basic general principles of brought about by the reform movement of 1876. shorthand - unfortunately in most cases too The Turkish Parliament met in 1877 and much specific in their application to particular types difficulty found in securing reports. of systems to have the general value for which Stenographers were employed to translate on they strove. the spot into French the speeches delivered in The outstanding feature of the society's efTurkish, but in this work the note-takers failed. forts is undoubtedly the work of Edwin Guest, The speakers were then required to reduce their 1836–1919) which reached the point of proremarks to writing before delivery; but it was pounding and roughly grouping 49 genuinely found that such a rule could not be applied to single and separate propositions and definitions a deliberative body. Efforts were then made under the general head of “Shorthand princito invent a stenographic machine, but this ples worthy of general acceptation," before proved a failure there as elsewhere. Gabels- further organized progress was suspended by berger's system subsequently was translated
the disintegration of the society. into Turkish by Grünbaum.
Equally able and sincere though less deThe Continental countries of Europe, Great
tailed is the notable paper of Prof. J. D. Britain and the United States now make in- Everett, “On the principles that govern the construction in shorthand a material and essential
struction of a system of shorthand,” read bepart of education.
fore the 1887 International Shorthand Congress CLARENCE A. PITMAN.
at London. Various other statements have been
put forth in the name of shorthand science, but SHORTHAND, Science of. Shorthand
with rare and fragmentary exceptions they Empiric.- Modern shorthand has developed prove on examination to be at best a list of unfrom the earliest times down almost to the
substantiated personal opinions, at worst a catapresent day (1919), wholly as an empiric art,
logue of personal prejudices. lacking those standards of measurement and Science of Shorthand. The science of accompanying definition of terms which consti
shorthand, presented before the 1918 convention tute the first essential of any science
of the New York State Shorthand Reporters ing anomaly in this scientific age.
Association, the oldest shorthand organization Resultant Confusion.- As a direct conse- of America, as a part of the work of the Comquence of this condition more than a thousand
mittee on Shorthand Standards marks the first different systems of shorthand have been published for English alone, which for longhand fundamental principles of shorthand science. It
systematically comprehensive formulation of the has in effect but one. No less striking is the
is an attempt to classify, define and where fact that those systems most prominent in the necessary discuss the single separate factors United States to-day differ not only in their involved in the construction of any shorthand specific alphabets and outlines and minor rules
system, so far as they could be ascertained by but also in their most fundamental conceptions reading, conference or original research; with of the nature and use of shorthand material out regard to their bearing on any particular - differences as marked as though the steam system past, present or future. Although necesrailroads of the country should run
sarily neither complete nor final it may be conrail or three while the electric rapid transit of sidered substantially correct as far as it goes the cities ran on two.
and sufficiently complete to be accepted as a Controversial Data.- This lack of recog- guide. nition of scientific principles which, recog- Structure.- The propositions of the science nized or not, must underlie the practice of any are classified under seven heads : 0 General useful art, has developed an immense mass of considerations; 1 Phonetic or sounds; 2 Geometcontroversial literature, in which system A is ric or signs; 2:1 Assignment of signs to compared with systems B and C, or system X sounds; 3 Manual of writing; 4 Visual or with systems Y and Z, always to the latter's reading; 5 Mental or remembering. disadvantage - each document conclusive and Each main head is subdivided into three final in itself, but each directly and irreconcil- classes: (a) Axioms and definitions --- which ably contradictory to the other. The inevitable should involve no scientific controversy at the result of this futile recrimination has been to present time; (b) Canons -- which are considincrease rather than decrease confusion and cred proven or demonstrable but recognized as strife, and to make organized scientific prog- still subject to controversy in greater or less ress impossible.
degree; (c) Theorems – put forward rather Efforts to Formulate Science.-- Various for discussion and investigation than for imattempts have been made in the past to deter- mediate acceptance. mine the basic principles which, systematically The direct work of the science has been related, constitute the science of shorthand as supplemented by extensive researches giving the distinct from the practice of the art. Of these, relative frequency of every sound and the comthe most noteworthy was the formation moner syllables and words of English, and is of The Shorthand Society in London in 1881, being further supplemented by various experiwith the avowed purpose of "the study of the mental data on the relative facility of the possi
ble signs and sign combinations of shorthand the case of straight stems particularly, right and writing and their relation to penmanship left. technique. Much more remains to be done, but 2:1 a 2. Latham's second law: "2 That the work is going forward under the direction sounds within a determined degree of likeness of the leading State and national associations. be represented by signs within a determined
Limitations. Students of shorthand science degree of likeness; whilst sounds beyond a cerwill be struck by the absence from the science tain degree of likeness be represented by disof any specific pronouncement on such leading tinct and different signs, and that uniformly.”. questions of shorthand as: Whether to shade 2:1 b 1. (Assignment of signs to sounds in or not to shade stems; Whether to write stems a simple shorthand for general use). Must on two, three or four distinct slopes; Whether not suggest by geometric similarities phonetic to use the appendages for primary representa- relations contrary to fact. tion of vowels or for secondary representation 3 a 2. The relative ease of the various of consonants. This is because such questions strokes which are possible material for shortare not single separate factors of any shorthand hand writing will be profoundly affected by the problem, but are each a complex of a dozen or muscles chosen to perform the principal effort more important and inter-related factors, so and control of writing, and by the position of that to pass judgment on such decisions would holding the pen or pencil. It is therefore esseneasily become dogmatic and enormously re- tial that instructions for pen position and musstrict the scope and usefulness of the science. cles to be used be adapted to each other, and
Purpose. The purpose of the science of to the genius of the system to be written; or, shorthand is to provide those standards of conversely, that in the construction of a shortmeasurement and their accompanying defini- hand system these points be determined in adtion of terms essential to scientific shorthand vance of its analysis of other data. progress; to be used analytically to determine 3 a 4. Other things being equal, a shorthand the strength or weakness of existing systems, or which employs symbols of only one length, one synthetically to determine the construction of thickness or one position, will be more facile future shorthand systems.
than a system employing symbols of more than Specific Propositions.- A few of the more one length, thickness or position. In practice important propositions of the science, illustra- observation of all three of these restrictious tive of the plan and scope, are given below. would make impossible the condition of other The complete series to date (1919) is accessi- things being equal." ble in the 1918 Proceedings of the New York 4 a 2. Other things being equal, a shorthand State Shorthand Reporters Association. The which, within the limits of clear distinction, emfirst figure of each number refers to the main
ploys symbols of more than one length, one head noted above, the letter to the sub-class. thickness or one position, will be more legible The second figure is a serial number in each
than a system employing symbols of only one sub-class, for convenient reference.
length, thickness or position. 0 a 4. No system of shorthand can con- 5 á 1. «Rules should be simple, compreceivably be best in every important point, for hensive, logical, and as nearly as possible free several of the most important basic features
from exceptions.” (Guest). are mutually incompatible. Every fair minded
5 a 2. The less of a word or phrase is experson who has paid any attention to the rela
pressed or implied the more of it must be retive merits of different systems, or who has membered. himself tried his hand at system-making, knows 5 a 6. Arbitrary abbreviations are always that the best result can only be attained by objectionable, but are least objectionable in judicious compromise. One advantage cannot words of most frequent occurrence; for the be obtained in its highest degree without the
double reason that their economy is so much sacrifice of other advantages, and no sound the more valuable, and their meaning so much judgment can be arrived at by setting up one the more readily remembered. particular point of superiority as the sole test
5.b 2. Words are most readily recognized of excellence.” (Everett).
by their first elements, next by their last ele0 b 8. «Time, not space, is the proper meas- nients and least by their middle elements. ure of brevity.” (Guest).
Thoughful consideration of these and simila l. The total number of different sounds
lar factors, studying their inter-relations and in spoken English can no more be determined
weighing their relative importance for the parthan the total number of different colors in the
ticular purpose in view, will go far toward asspectrum, and for the same reason – that they
suring a more rational and constructive develblend into one another by imperceptible degrees
opment and progress for the shorthand of the or shades.
future. 1 a 2. A minimum number of sounds neces
GODFREY DEWEY, sary to be distinguished for phonetic writing of English may be and has been conclusively de
New York State Shorthand Reporters' Asso
ciation. termined. This minimum number is 40, counting diphthongs. (See table of comparative al- SHORTHAND STANDARDIZATION. phabets under SHORTHAND).
In 1909 the National Shorthand Reporters 2 a 1. The simplest conceivable material for Association appointed a committee "to standgraphic purposes is composed of right lines and ardize verbatim shorthand reporting, putting it arcs of simple curves, whether of circular, ellip- on a thoroughly scientific basis.) This committic or other assumed origin.
tee, accepting as a starting point those signs 2 a 6. The principal material for modifying and principles common to all Pitmanic shortor supplementing the simplest straight and hand systems, has given 10 years of arduous curved stems consists of circles, hooks and and unremunerated toil by some of the best reloops, small and large, initial and final, and, in porters of the United States and Canada to
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