Most people can write 35 words per minute. However, most students after 1 year of instruction can not write 60 words per minute (wpm) using Gregg or Pitman shorthand. After two years of instruction, half will not reach 80 wpm. Now you know why shorthand was the most frequently failed course and is no longer taught in High School. It is not a matter of shorthand being obsolete, especially for the Investigator or Reporter. It relates to the basic failure of these systems to be easily taught, and more importantly, retained.
A usable system based on the roman alphabet, rather than an obscure and entirely different alphabet, shortens the learning curve. It also lets the student instantly write short forms for the 10 most common English words, which make-up about one quarter of all the words we use. In business correspondence, we normally use only 422 words according to some experts.
An alphabetic system that uses very few symbols, and easily understood rules, should get most people to 80 wpm if it concentrates on the most common words. Such a system may be easily transcribed years later as it will follow certain rules and it uses our normal alphabet. Alphabetic shorthand systems fall back on longhand to define an abbreviation or where clarity is important. These two considerations are critical to any type of Investigator. Investigation notes and notebooks must be accurate, complete, legible, and usable years after the investigation has been completed. The system must also be adaptable to the type of notebooks normally used to record the investigation’s progress. Gregg, Pitman and even Teeline shorthand are far less adaptable to the small notebooks used by Investigators.
Don’t resist learning to write this type of shorthand. Unlike traditional symbol-based shorthand, you won’t fail the course. Failure here only means you will improve your note-taking speed by only two times instead of three. This system won’t make you a court reporter or Hansard recorder, but it will make you a better Investigator.
There are a few shorthand systems like this, but the easiest to use and the least expensive to learn (in time and money) is the Quickhand system. At $25.50 from Wiley in Canada or at Amazon on our Book Page.
Quickhand A Self-Teaching Guide
Author: Grossman, Jeremy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, New York
Author: Grossman, Jeremy
Publication Date: February 1976
Dimensions: 9.96×6.74x.38 in. .61 lbs.