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Theory Intro

 1   Strokes

 2   Vowels

 3   Forming Outlines

 4   Circles

 5   Loops

 6   Hooks Intro

 7   Hooks R L

 8   Hooks N F V

 9   Shun Hook

10  Halving

11  Doubling

12  Hay Aspirate

13  W Forms

14  L Forms

15  R Forms

16  Imp/Imb

17  Ish

18  Prefixes

19  Suffixes General

20  Suffixes Contracted

Short Forms

SF Intro

SF List 1

SF List 2

SF List 3

SF List 4


Contractions Intro

Contractions Main

Contractions Optional


1 Phrasing Intro & Contents list

2 Theory

3 Theory

4 Omission Part words

5 Omission Whole words

6 Miscellaneous

7 Miscellaneous

8 Intersections

Distinguishing Outlines

DO Intro

DO List 1 A-C

DO List 2 D-H

DO List 3 I-P

DO List 4 Q-Y


Vocab Intro



Word Lists

Text Lists from PDFs


Yellow Teddy's page

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It seems that most people in the world are completely unaware that they are surrounded on all sides by Pitman's Shorthand. It's everywhere. You and I can see it!

Park gate in Sevenoaks
  Cricket club grounds gate in Sevenoaks

In the middle Tee Dee Kay Gay. Outside is L (mostly up) Ler (always down), Ar Rer, Ef Vee, Ish Zhee.
Pitman's New Era: Tee Dee Kay Gay L Ler Ar Rer F V Ish Zhee

Sight screen in cricket club grounds
  Sight screen in cricket club grounds at Sevenoaks

In the middle, Pee Bee Chay Jay and Ray (always up). Outside is Em Imp, En Ing, Ith Thee, Ess Zee.

Pitman's New Era: P B Chay J Ray M Imp N Ing Ith Thee Ess Zee
Pitman's paperclips
  Pitman's paperclips

They are all in here somewhere: Way, Yay, Hay (up) and Hay (down),
and a month's supply of: with when what would
Pitman's New Era: Way Yay Hay Hay with when what would
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Tonbridge Castle curtain wall  Orpington cycle path sign
  Tonbridge Castle curtain wall

Some clarification is needed regarding Chay Jay and Ray. Tonbridge Castle buttress is showing Chay Jay which is written downwards and is about 30° from the vertical – this reduces the travel of the pen in a backwards direction and also produces a reasonable angle when joined with Ray. Orpington Cycle Path shows Ray (always written upwards) at a shallower angle, thus avoiding pushing on the nib and digging into the paper. The bike is travelling leftwards, as a reminder to return quickly to the start of the next line on the pad.

Practice words: cherry, charity, jury, Jarrow – rich, ridge, rage, region, register, ratchet
Pitman' New Era: cherry charity jury Jarrow rich ridge rage region register ratchet

Garden gate screw
  Garden gate hinge

Another example of Chay

Rochester Castle curtain wall  Rochester Castle curtain wall

L normally goes up, and Ar always goes down. Unlike the Castle gate, there is no angle at the top, it is all smooth.

Practice words: lower, lair, lure
Pitman's New Era: lower lair lure

Steps down to River Medway at Tonbridge
  River Medway, Tonbridge     Pitman's New Era: paid deep

Facility drills, done thoughtfully and not mindlessly, are the key to success, and here the sun itself has written paid, paid, paid, paid on the steps leading down the River Medway in Tonbridge. Or maybe it's a warning about playing near the river – deep, deep, deep, deep. You should space your outlines out a lot more than the shadows have done.

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House beams

Who lives here? Mr P R L Chay?

Wooden pallet

Just a little reminder to always have supply of lined shorthand pads at the ready, with good quality smooth blemish-free paper.

Rock-A-Nore cliffs at Hastings
  Rock-A-Nore cliffs at Hastings

If you have to use a thick chunky pad, lay it on the table opened half and half, so your writing hand is not constantly falling off the cliff edge. It is better to avoid the chunky ones if you can.

Road markings
  Kent countryside

Have you ruled your "safety margins" on every page? Do them all in advance because, like the motorist, you cannot do it on your high speed journey down the page. Save time by doing this in odd minutes that would otherwise be wasted. This gives you the chance tear out any pages with marks or blemishes, and also ensures that no pages are stuck together. These are essential safety measures and not a luxury. After dictation, you can enter notes and corrections during your first read-through. When transcribing (if not an exam) red-pen the errors and look them up at the first opportunity.

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Wrought iron railings in Tonbridge Castle grounds  River Medway at Tonbridge  Pitman's New Era: civil soufflé

If they had closed the curl, this would say either civil or soufflé.

Brick gateway Orpington Priory Kent  Pitman's New Era: erosion
Erosion is obvious on this old gateway at Orpington Priory in Kent

Wrought iron gates to Tonbridge Castle grounds
  Tonbridge Castle iron gates

Almost shorthand, but more like a hand-loosening exercise, practising beautiful flowing curves and just lightly touching the paper. Was the blacksmith a would-be Pitmanite?

Underpass mural at Maidstone  Underpass mural, Bishops Way, Maidstone
Flowing outlines obviously inspired by the River Medway which runs alongside, but could it have been a volunteer shorthand student earning some cash to buy that fancy fountain pen?

Parasol stand  Flower pots
  My garden

Don't get rusty. Practise curves and circles of all types, to counteract any tendency towards heavy-handedness.

Tonbridge Town Lock winding gear
  Tonbridge Town Lock winding gear

The shorthand curves change into each other when someone turns this handle. They are unaware of this, but you know, of course.

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Weather vane at Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club
  Weathervane at Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club

The cricketer is alert and ready to deal with anything that comes his way, at whatever speed. Looking closely at the weathervane, the ball is on the ground, having failed to reach the bat, and it is obviously doing its best impression of dot "the".

Swans  Tonbridge swans

Every time you see a swan, you will remember what your efforts are aiming for – smooth effortless unruffled gliding, all the while paddling at ten to the dozen beneath the surface!

Nylon cord
  Nylon cord

You are on your way to beautiful legible shorthand, which will unfortunately look like this "bird's nest" of cord or spaghetti to your friends who spent their time on less fruitful pursuits. Advantage to you! Be generous and teach them some simple shorthand.

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"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

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