Figures for shorthand

Hi everybody:

What is the method to count words?
Because in Pitman, you count one by one, for instance:  “a” is consider one word, and “arrangements” is also consider one word.
Does this  way work in Gregg?

(by valo1969 for everyone)

9 comments Add yours
  1. The method in Gregg is a little different than in Pitman. A standard word in Gregg is 1.4 syllables in English. This has been the norm since 1931 — 140 syllables for 100 words. In Spanish, though, since words are longer, it is a little more (I have to find the actual number — I read it somewhere but I can't recall the standard length.). So in a sense, writing 150 wpm in Spanish could be considered "faster" than 150 wpm in English, because the words have more syllables. Pretty interesting stuff.

  2. There is a way to find out what the standard length is in Spanish.  In the key to Gregg Shorthand dictation or transcription books, there is a small superscript number.  The number can be a single digit (1, 2, 3, etc.) or a double digit (20, 40, 60, …).  If the number is a single digit, it means that there are 20 standard words between two consecutive single digits.  If the number is a double digit starting with 20, then it is the number of standard words.  Count the number of syllables between the two numbers and divide by 20.  That should give you the standard length.   For example, consider the following passage.  According to the transcript, it has 20 standard words.   "… unable to put your message across.  Won't you help us by letting us know in just what way our offer failed to …"   If you count the number of syllables, there are 28.  Hence, 28/20 = 1.4 syllables/std word.   Try that and see what you get.  In the meantime, I will get some more information.

  3. I did a little bit of research on this subject. It turns out that according to the "Taquigraf챠a Gregg: Dictado and Transcripci처n, Edici처n Centenaria" book, 40 syllables are 20 standard words. This means that a standard word in Spanish is 2 syllables long.

    If you do the math then, in theory, taking dictation at 100 wpm in Spanish is equivalent to writing 143 wpm in English. Below is a table with the equivalences:

    English Speed (wpm) Spanish Speed (wpm)
    —————————— ——————————-
    60 42
    70 49
    80 56
    90 63
    100 70
    120 84
    140 98
    150 105
    180 126
    200 140
    220 154
    240 168

  4. In English-language shorthand instruction, it has been the custom to measure speed in words per minute, despite the fact that some words are much shorter than others–as in your example of "a" and "accomplishment". In many European countries, speed has been measured in syllables per minute. Counting syllables rather than words avoids the problem of different word lengths. It also makes it easier to compare speeds between different languages.

  5.  with most of my shorthand books, diction ones mostly, they measure syllables.  Usually 28 syllables.  Makes it easy to dictate at the 40, 60, 80 etc., because it's just repeat for 2 minutes, the others (50,70,80) are harder because the numbers are not repeats and seconds are different for the first 2 minutes (if the dictation is that long)… Debbi  

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