“Graded Dictation”

Hi, all.
I recently acquired the book “Graded Dictation” by Walter Rasmussen, published by Gregg in 1909.  This book has been sitting on someone’s shelf for a long time–it looks practically brand new, except for a little browning of the pages.
Anyhow, it has NO shorthand in it.  It’s just a series of graded sentences for dictation practice.  But my how times have changed . . . here is a sample of some of the sentences:
Etta will not heed me.
Will Clara not get the guinea?
Helen will get the hat in our hack.
The marine will not take the eagle here.  [What the heck does that mean?]
Craig will take the tray the deacon made.
I will fish for shad, if he will fetch the pail.
The midget can teach the Jap.  [Ouch!  Imagine language like that today.]
John Wade will take the wheat in the wagon to the mill.
Have you the peanut or the nutshell?
Do not choke the dog in the hollow.  [Where should you choke the dog?]
If you will get the yawl, we can reach him yet.  [What’s a yawl?]
It was not in this state that Nelson saw the moose.
Can you hear him sing the Gospel hymn?
The snake wrought great havoc on the terrace.
The opiate made him drowsy.  [Duh.]
The demon had been hidden while we tried to threaten the gang. [???]
If a boy is not steady it is not a good omen.
I think the errand boy will repent at the temple.  [Seems like a good place.]
The criminal was silent, but he came to the temple at midnight.  [Hope he didn’t mess with the errand boy.]
And on and on it goes . . .
Alex

(by alex for everyone)

4 comments Add yours
  1. Gotta love the language! The funny uses of words come simply from how the words are facile for those who are beginning the manual. The use of the word "Jap" is quite common before 1950. Just read the Gregg Writer in the war era, where soldiers relate in Gregg Shorthand about fighting the Japs. 🙂

  2. The Reading and Dictation practice in Lesson 36 of the UK manual is very un-PC. It's all about the British Empire, which, it tells us, "extends over an area of approximately 12,000,000 square miles". "Population," it continues, "is as yet only sparsely sprinkled over the surface of many of the areas most suitable for white settlement. In respect of this promise of the future, the position of the Empire is unique." The world was a very different place in 1930! Kevin  

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