Hugh Longbourne Callendar.

A manual of cursive shorthand online

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Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us
our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(Capitals are not marked. The second vowel in the word Amen
should have been inserted, since both syllables are accented.)

Specimens of Writing. 89


.A key of the above in phonetic writing* will be found in
the pamphlet on Phonetic Spelling (p. 27). The original is
taken from English as she is Taught.


Girls are very stuckup and dignified in their manner and
be have your. They think more of dress than anything and
like to play with dowls and rags. They cry if they see a cow
in a far distance and are afraid of guns. They stay at home
all the time and go to church on Sunday. They are al-ways
sick. They are al-ways funy and making fun of boy's hands
and they say how dirty. They cant play marbles. I pity them
poor things. They make fun of boys and then turn round and
love them. I don't beleave they ever killed a cat or anything.
They look out every nite and say oh ant the moon lovely.
Thir is one thing I have not told and that is they al-ways now
their lessons bettern boys.

* The spelling of the original has been imitated, here and there, both
in the phonetic and shorthand versions.

90 Specimens of Writing.


1. Good people all of every sort,

Give ear unto ray song;
And if you find it wond'rous short,
It cannot hold you long.

2. In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.

3. A kind and gentle heart he had,

To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

4. And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.

5. This dog and man at first were friends;

But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.

6. Around, from all the neighb'ring streets

The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

7. The wound it seem'd both sore and sad

To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

8. But soon a wonder came to light,

That show'd the rogues they lied,
The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

Oliver Goldsmith.

Specimens of Writing.




fj 0\ r^, -1 f>



i V-/T- r



92 Specimens of Writing.

lowing passage *, or something like it, was read by Mr Rundell
at a meeting in the presence of several shorthand writers of
various systems :

"Eyde wrote the rude reed, reading aright the ready
writing. Wright wrought a rod, and hurried ahead, at a horrid
rate, a harried rat, in a harrowed arid rut, with a rotten root,
a reedy rood, on the ruddy Eeading road, to rot a ratting rad
with a written writ, re riding a rowdy raid, arrayed in red, to
rout the irritating riot of rutting roes."

It is almost needless to say that everyone was beaten by it,
except Professor Everett, "who took it down at a very decent
speed, and read it accurately, not knowing the meaning of it."
Such passages present no difficulties in Cursive Shorthand.
The following is the complete version of the above :


This can be written by a skilled hand in about half a minute
(that is to say almost as fast as the words themselves can be
distinctly articulated); and at the same time so clearly that
anyone who knew the system, could read it correctly at sight
without having ever heard the original.

A version of the same in Pitman's Phonography, is given as
an illustration of the use of detached vowels, on p. 13.

It will be noticed that the outlines in the Pitman version are
nearly all alike, but for the presence of certain little dots and
ticks, which look very neat and harmless, but which are most
annoying in practice ; in reading, because they are so incon-
spicuous and indistinct ; in writing, because it takes so long to
insert them with the care and accuracy necessary to distinguish
the words correctly.

* I have since discovered that the original passage, as read by
Mr Bnndell, was less elaborate.

Met/tods of Abbreviation. 93


100. Cursive Shorthand is about three times as brief as
longhand, and can be written in full, by persons of average
skill, at the rate of between 80 and 100 words a minute, without
any of the outlines being spoilt. Higher rates of speed are best
attained, not by more hurried scribbling, but by methods of

In reporting, abbreviation by omission must be employed to
a large extent in any system. The manner and degree of ab-
breviation must always depend largely on individual discretion
and on special circumstances. It is impossible to give hard
and fast rules to meet all cases. The subject will be more
fully developed in a subsequent work : meanwhile a few general
principles and illustrations are appended, which will enable
the intelligent student to attain considerable brevity and speed
with very little loss of legibility.

Words are, in general, best abbreviated, as in longhand, by
omitting the terminal portions. The full expression of vowels
in the outlines, enables us to employ this simple method of
abbreviation to a far greater extent in Cursive than is possible
in most other systems.

A single comprehensive method, like this, is much more
useful in practice than a long list of special contractions.

A word thus abbreviated is marked, as in longhand, by
a dot at the end. The last character or two may be written
over the dot, thus, f^^~^ advcmfa<7eous, if required to show
the part of speech or the inflection : in this case the dot may
generally be omitted, especially if the word is obviously an

The best words to abbreviate in this way are long words in
which the first syllable or two suffices to show the meaning;
as in the following examples, in which the portions to be
omitted are italicized ;

antagonist, baptism, benevolent, ecclesiastical, extravagant,
manufacturing, plenipotentiary, philanthropic, unaniwioits.

c. 7

94 Methods of Abbreviation.

If a long word occurs several times in the same passage, it
should be written in full the first time (unless it is a common
word), but may generally be abbreviated with safety on each
subsequent repetition. Initials may be used, as in longhand,
for words or names that are constantly recurring.

The method may be applied even to monosyllables, especially
if the shortened outline could not stand for any other English
word. This restriction need not be observed in the case of
very common words when the sense is obvious:

r**' point, K time, J^ life, \ came, V^ g&ve, nil friend.
It is especially advantageous to omit long, common, or
meaningless terminations, such as -ful, -able; more particularly
such as if written would be separated from the rest of the
outline by the mode of hiatus. The dot may be placed above
or below to indicate w or y; thus,

rv' valua&Ze (75), <3O consequent, OC. consecutive [ 77, (1)].
A substantival termination may be indicated by a small
circle disjoined, when it does not clash with the suffix 'self.
An adverbial termination is indicated by a double dot ; thus,
n thankfulness*, H: satisfactorily, /f): especially.

The following adverbs, and the corresponding adjectives,
etc., may be conveniently abbreviated as shown by the italics :
absolutely, characteristically, essentially, extraordinarily,
generally, immediately, originally, particularly, practically,
probably, publicly, respectively, severally, sufficient?!/.
Unless the termination is very long it should be written

in full. The termination of the word a consciously, for

instance, can be written nearly as fast as the double dot, but

it is worth while to abbreviate Q / koncyencosly, conscientiously,

provided that the meaning is otherwise clear.

Abbreviations familiar in longhand may be safely used as
a rule in shorthand : for instance,

Magazine, advt (advertisement), Govt (government) , examination,
ppose (purpose), amt(amount),abt (about), Mona"ar/,Februan/,etc.
* It should not, of course, be used for the negative termination -lessness.

Methods of Abbreviation.


The following are particularly common and convenient:

/- M r , l-f Messrs, // M", It Miss, In Misses, ^^~ D T ,

>-& Reverend, A_^ Ld. (Lord), ~l" honourable, n member.

The common termination -nee may be indicated, as in
longhand, by s -ce, written above ; thus,

\_s' difference, A~x~b advance, cp. /N. "~s> advantages.

101. SPECIAL ABBREVIATIONS. A prefix or initial syllable
which is common to several words, does not make a clear
abbreviation unless its use is restricted by special convention
to some particular word, preferably the commonest word con-
taining it. The most suitable word in each case will depend
on the kind of work in which the writer is employed: the
following will be found of general utility, and may be taken as
typical examples :


P Christian, <

r^ objects,

\ signify,


. character,

rr^) 6b;ects,

ey opinion,

d ifferent,

U- strength, a

L -\ subject,

/^~' aw/ttl,


Q- principal, *

-b several,

n speafc,


rl/ plaintiff, r,

-x public,

(7 Engiisn.

general, Jf religion,



It is a common device to omit the middle of a word and
join the termination directly to the prefix. This method must
be used with great caution, and can only be applied safely to
known cases which do not clash with unabbreviated words:
such as,
?y acknowledge, if influence, O notwit/tstanding,

C>WN opportunity, (JJ interest, //->^ nevertheless,

a\j? consideration, c question, <V~O publication,
a/ constitution, ) in/orntation, C generation.


96 Methods of Abbreviation.

There is no limit to the number of logograms that may
be formed on this plan. They are useful for reporting, but
should be avoided in ordinary writing.

it is sufficiently full to be intelligible, may always be followed
in abbreviating words, whenever it gives a clearer and easier
outline. This method is particularly useful in the formation
of phrases. In conversation, if a consonant ends one word
and begins the next and no pause is made between the two, the
articulation is not repeated in speech, but one is made to do
double duty. In such cases the consonant need not be repeated
in shorthand. Examples of conversational pronunciation :

fr some more, /'~ vx ~ x ought to be, l^^^ must be,
^cannot, /^7more'n(moret^fln), '"~v-'7 better'n (better tJian),
Lt as soon as, j/7 as long as, AT as far as, i^f so as.

With respect to the omission of vowels the student is re-
ferred to the remarks in 65. The strict rules for vowel inser-
tion should always be followed in the case of rare words, and,
if such words are to be abbreviated, they should be abbreviated
in the regular way.

Consonants may be omitted, as in metrical writing, in the
words e'er, e'en, o'er, and in similar cases.

When several consonants come together in a single syllable
one of them may sometimes be omitted without much loss.
The prefixes trans- and self- may be written tras- and sef-
respectively. L and r, when combined with other consonants,
may occasionally be omitted in unaccented syllables and in
very common words, as in children, public, application, interest,
instruction, contradict, fulfil. A common prefix may sometimes
be omitted if the word is clear without it; thus con and com
may be omitted in the words, completion, cojwbustion, communi-
cate, comparative, conclude, confident, conscious, and some
others. These methods must however be used with great
caution, and are not recommended to beginners. Examples are,

*V? self-respect ; & instruction ; M transact ; / >eu completion.
u v J

Methods of Abbreviation. 97

103. OMISSION OF CONNECTING WOBDS. In note-taking, as in
telegraphic despatches, when the sense is more important than
the actual words in which it is expressed, connecting words
and phrases may be very freely omitted. If the leading words
and ideas are skilfully selected and noted down in their proper
order, the connecting links may be readily supplied afterwards.
It is better to omit a few unimportant words, and to write
the leading words clearly, than to abbreviate them in such
a way as to render all alike indistinct. As Mr T. A. Beed
remarks: " Misreadings are quite as likely to arise from out-
lines closely resembling one another not being kept sufficiently
distinct, as from the noninsertion of words".

Skill in the application of this method can only be acquired
by practice in note-taking. Those who have been accustomed
to taking notes in longhand, will find no difficulty in applying
it to shorthand.

An omission of several words is marked, as in longhand, by
a series of dots. The number of dots in a short omission, may
be the same as the number of words omitted.

If a phrase is repeated several times in the same passage,
the first word or letter only should be written at each repetition,
followed by a long dash, to which, for greater clearness, the
termination of the phrase may be attached, if desired. Common
and familiar phrases may be treated in a similar way.


^-> '

St Matth. v. 210.

98 Phraseography.


104. Time is often saved by writing whole phrases, like
single words, without lifting the pen except as required for the
'mode of hiatus'.

Initial and final short vowels may be frequently indicated
in this way, by joining the consonants; and initial w and y
may be expressed by mode instead of being written.

A reckless use of phraseography, however, is strongly to be
condemned. Only such words as are closely connected in
sense may be joined together; and the conditions of correct
vowel indication, of facility and lineality, should be satisfied.
The conversational pronunciation may generally be followed;
but it is desirable that the outline of each component word
should remain unaltered, so as to be separately distinguishable.
The following are a few typical examples :

I cannot

X '



you do not

we'll not
you are not

it is not

I am not

I've a

in part
in all that is
so that it is
by that
there is

v J^^. they are

should have

my dear sir

The alphabetic words are so familiar, that exceptions
to the strict rules of vowel indication may be made in the case
of very common and useful phrases containing them, provided
that the joinings are easy, and that the resulting outline can-
not clash with any English word. Such as are fully expressed
may be freely joined; but the words, and, of, the, from, very,
think, them, give, can only be joined in special cases.

Ph raseography.


(1) PHRASES CONTAINING a, and, of, the, for, to, ETC. The

o-tick may be used for a, and either of the e-ticks for the, after

alphabetic words, and at the ends of several common phrases;

v and the

/~"v by a

/-v by the

<*/~\ to be

A of the

<-/- to a

WN to the

v> / to do

v\ and of the

^ in a

-7 on the

^s~d to have

v and are

L as a

vs from the

C to give

and is

eX with a

o^ with the

C forgive

/ is as

o_ up a

Of have the

(j unto

f as is

nr- for a

nf for the

(j undo

^A with a view to the, 9| with regard to the,

/T~>- for ever, rt~*v*-J forbid, (v forget, cp. n\^ forego.

"""Sk we have had
we shall have

/-^s would be
^ will be

it has been

let us be

should be

may have
may be
ought to be

(3) NEGATIVE PHBASES. The negative in auxiliary phrases
may often be implied by INTERSECTION.

>, cannot have
should not do

may not be
had not been



as if it were
as it is
d'you think
"^ I think I was
to think that

I wish to be

I shall be
able to do that

in order to do so

Many other phrases may be formed on similar analogies.
Short phrases may be directly derived from longer ones : from
the phrase in all that is may be derived the useful phrases
in all, all that, that is, all that is, in all that. On the analogy
of by that, we may write by this, by tliese, by tliose, by their, etc.;
on the analogy of would be, we may form can be, could be,
might be, had been, would have, could have, etc.

In phrase-forming, the conversational pronunciation may
always be followed ( 102). Connecting words, such as and, or,
of, the, etc., may be freely omitted in common phrases; but if
the remaining words are abbreviated, it is generally better,
instead of joining them, merely to write them closer together
so as to show their connection.

Phrases beginning with words, such as that, with, whose
outlines are characteristic, are particularly to be recommended,
because they are at once recognized as phrases, and cannot
possibly be mistaken for words.

An important use of phraseography is to indicate the
connection of words. By joining together in phrases only
words that are closely connected in sense, we may not only
save time, but also secure greater legibility.

The student should exercise the greatest caution at the
outset in his use of phraseography: he must remember that
abbreviated words cannot be freely joined without danger of
clashing ; that time is not saved by joining words which join
awkwardly or indistinctly ; that phrases which are so long that
they cannot be written easily without shifting the hand, can be
written more clearly and quickly if divided; and that only very
common phrases are likely to become sufficiently familiar for
fluent writing and reading.

Characteristics of the Age. 101



CHAEACTEBISTICS OF THE AGE. The peculiar and distinguishing
characteristics of the present age are in every respect remarkable. Un-
questionably an extraordinary and universal change has commenced
in the internal as well as the external world, in the mind of man
as well as in the habits of society, the one indeed being the necessary
consequence of the other. A rational consideration of the circumstances
in which mankind are at present placed, must show us that influences
of the most important and wonderful character have been and are
operating in such a manner as to bring about if not a reformation, a
thorough revolution in the organization of society. Never in the history
of the world have benevolent and philanthropic institutions for the
relief of domestic and. public affliction; societies for the promotion of
manufacturing, commercial and agricultural interests; associations
for the instruction of the masses, the advancement of literature and
science, the development of true political principles; for the extension
in short of every description of knowledge, and the bringing about of
every kind of reform, been so numerous so efficient and so indefatigable
in their operation as at the present day. We do not say that many
of the objects sought by these associations, are not extravagant and
impracticable, but we do say that it is impossible that such influences
can exist without advancing in some degree the interests of humanity.
It would be idle to deny that notwithstanding all these beneficial in-
fluences, a great amount of misery exists; but it is only the natural
consequence of great and sudden changes. Let us hope that in this
instance at least it may be but the indispensable preliminary stage
in the cure of a deep seated disease.

102 Comparison with Pitman.

105. COMPARISON WITH PITMAN. The subject of the fore-
going specimen is taken from a tract entitled, A Persuasive to
the Study of Phonography (Pitman's), where it is given in the
briefest reporting style. It is also the first example given in
Pitman's Reporter. We may reasonably assume that it re-
presents his system at its best, and that it is a fair subject for
our comparison.

The Cursive version given on the preceding page is NOT
written in the briefest possible style*. None of the words are
omitted, and many of them might be much further abbreviated
in practice, owing to the accurate expression of vowels in the
outlines. It is quite brief enough however for ordinary re-
porting, and we therefore propose to take it as it stands.

It is much more fully and clearly written than the Pitman
version. The number of sound-elements, vowels and con-
sonants, actually expressed (leaving out of account, for the
present, the indication of vowel places and of accentuation), is
only about 15 / greater in the Cursive than in the Pitman ;
but whereas in the former they are nearly all simply and
definitely rendered by their alphabetic characters, in the latter
nearly half (upwards of 40 %) are more or less uncertainly
implied by methods of abbreviation.

Not only is the actual number of sounds expressed In the
Cursive larger, and the mode of expressing them simpler and
clearer ; but the selection of the sounds is also more rational ;
those sounds being chosen, whether vowels or consonants,
which are most useful for the recognition and distinction of
the wordsi

More than one hundred and twenty of the most important
vowels are written by joined characters according to rule.
Besides this, the exact places of about one hundred and fifty
others are indicated, the quality as well as the place of the
vowel is generally shown, and the absence of vowels in all
other cases is correctly f implied. The meaning of every out-

* The plate was executed a whole month hefore the idea of making
the comparison was entertained.

t Except in one or two very obvions phrases, snch as hare been.

Comparison toith Pitman. 103

line is thus rendered so definite that guess-work is practically

The illegibility of the Pitman version is largely due to
its disproportionate deficiency in the expression of vowels.
Only ten vowels are inserted in the whole passage. There
is scarcely any attempt at vowel indication. The downward r,
indicating the absence cf a vowel after it, is only used four
times, out of twenty-two cases in which it is theoretically
required. The loop for the compound st is only used five
times out of twenty. The hooks for the I and r compounds are*
used as often as not (22 times out of 45) when vowels inter-
vene. Even when carefully engraved, the Pitman is, therefore,
far from legible. When written at a moderate speed, many of
its essential refinements* of length, thickness, and position,
are lost or obscured, and in hurried writing it often becomes
quite undecipherable.

Cursive on the other hand is not one quarter t aa delicate.
The outlines, being almost entirely on the longhand slope,
have an easy flow, and can be recklessly scribbled with little or
no loss of legibility. Thus, although the Pitman, being much
less fully written, is about 25 / briefer to the eye, the Cursive
is so much easier to the hand, and involves so much less
mental effort, that, given equal skill, it can be written in
the same time, not only with far fewer mistakes, but with
incomparably superior legibility.

" In this connection, the remarks of the ablest practical exponent of
Phonography, Mr T. A. Reed, are interesting and instructive. In criticis-
ing a briefer system than Pitman's, he says: "This [the counting of
inflections] is by no means a conclusive test. There are inflections and
inflections. Twenty easy inflections may be written more rapidly than a
dozen difficult ones with awkward joinings. ...The easy flaw of a system
is one of its most important practical elements.. ..Greater precision is
needed in regard to the size and slope of the letters.... These peculiarities
are necessarily unfavourable to speed and ease in writing, and greatly
detract from the value of the system to the professional shorthand
writer, to whom all undue niceties and refinements are a thorn in the
flesh ". See also Introduction, pp. 3, 4, C, etc.

t See Introduction, p. 4, near end.

t Estimated by Prof. Everett's rule, Introduction, p. 6.

104 Facsimile of Writing.

vo 3 \ V <o O^6 ^ G*> A ^- /""* /-^ v **<, -7

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