I’m teaching myself shorthand.
Now, I’m absolutely rubbish at languages. I scraped a C in French at GCSE and forgot everything I learned in German and shorthand comes with its very own alphabet. Also, I’m not a very good teacher, so you know, this is not a good mix.
I’ve signed up to take a fast-track course at uni in a couple of months and we’re encouraged to take the 100 words per minute exam which is what is expected of us in the industry. So I thought the only way I might have a chance of passing is if I start studying now.
At the moment I’m still learning the alphabet. I get my notebook, my pen and my textbook out every evening and keep writing out each symbol whilst saying the English equivalent in my head. I think I might be able to get someone to test me on it soon and then it’ll be time to move onto the more complicated stuff.
And believe me it’s complicated. The position of the symbols on the line all depends on which letter is used first in the word and there are special squiggles for letters that end words like ‘ed’ and ‘tion’.
At the end of the course we have an exam to do, at the moment I’m only elligable for the beginners one because I’ve never done shorthand before. To be perfectly honest I don’t really need it. Magazines don’t tend to look for the skill in their employees however newspapers do. But one of the main reasons I’m doing it is because I look forward to the idea of being able to write something that some people won’t be able to understand, mwha ha ha.