Pitman Shorthand

I don’t know if this thread was created before, because I don’t know how to look for a subject thread in MSN groups, anyway, here I go:
Does anyone have information about Pitman in full?
I mean: versions, languages, country, author, publishing years, etc.
in files: word, PDF, etc.
valo1969 for everyone)       

12 comments Add yours
  1. About Pitman:

    There is a huge amount of reading material in Gregg, is there the same in Pitman?

    I'm thinking way into the future, of teaching my son shorthand. He has very bad penmanship (which we're working on). I find Gregg has subtleties like line length being rather vague and "humpiness" being important for blends. Pitman looks more regimented; it's exactly one of three lengths; it's either curved or not, big loop or small. Is this a correct impression?

    How difficult is it to read an unconnected list, if you know when writing that someone else will need to read it? Teeline, although it says you can add vowels later, doesn't have room for them.

    Is there a way to compensate for pens that don't do think/thin? Maybe an extra parallel stroke?

    How extreme are the differences between versions? Extra brief forms, or things start changing meaning?

  2. Cricket:

    Actually, there's probably more written Pitman material than Gregg. Most of it was published in the Commonwealth, the place Pitman prospered the most.

    The single element about Pitman that seperates it from Gregg is that it's very regimented; you're not supposed to deviate from the rules at all. If it says to use a hook-n instead of a stroke-n, you do that, because there's a reason. There's a reason for each and every rule.

    One of these rules is if there's any doubt about later transcription, you're supposed to insert the vowels, such as your aforementioned grocery lists. In practice, I haven't found this necessary; the position-writing rules are enough to be able to read the words.

    The thick/thin rules aren't as daunting as they sound; I've seen the distinction clearly kept even at court-reporting speeds. Students usually use a pencil, because writing thick and thin lines is much easier than with a pen. A ball-point pen will work in a pinch but it's not very efficient.

  3. Cricket:

    I missed still another question. I apologize.

    The differences between old Pitman and Pitman New Era are enormous; in most cases, they're not mutually readable. Pitman New Era was invented in 1924.

    Between Pitman New Era and Pitman 2000? Pitman 2000 was formed in the 70s; the basic difference is that the words are spelled out; dramatically fewer short forms.

    A Pitman New Era writer can easily read Pitman 2000, but not the other way around.

  4. So my book printed in Toronto in 1964, called New Basic Course, is most likely New Era. That's encouraging! (There are something like 3000 books on abebooks with Pitman in the title, seeing as it's also a publishing house; hard to get a feel for the shorthand aspect.)

    (Cricket continues to go boingie-boingie between systems. All have pros and cons.)

  5. Cricket:

    New Basic Course is, indeed, Pitman New Era. It's one of the better courses; my edition promises theory in only six months of instruction.

    The trouble is, omitting vowels isn't introduced in this tome–the second semester of instruction was intended for learning speed and transcription, so this aspect is absent from NBC. NBC was intended for classroom instnuction and, in my opinion, is not too well suited toward self-instruction.

    I have quite a few Pitman instruction books. In my opinion, by far the best one for self-instruction is the Teach Yourself Shorthand books printed in the early 60s. You know exactly where you're supposed to be at each point, both speed-wise and theory-wise. Harder strokes are practiced at exactly the right time; vowel-omitting is introduced early. I

    If you're interested, copies can be obtained at abebooks.com. Just be sure you have the right edition.

  6. George,

    I have a book of Pitman Shorthand in Spanish with this information:

    "Nuevo Curso de Taqugiraf챠a Pitman
    adaptado al castellano por Carlos Obreg처n"
    Tercera edici처n 1963 (cuarta reimpresi처n)

    Translation: "New Course of Pitman Shorthand
    adapted to Spanish by Carlos Obregon"
    Third edition 1963 (fourth reprinting)

    There's a picture of Carlos Obregon's certificate issued by Isaac Pitman & Sons, dated in "the City of New York, this fifth day of September 1935", inside of the book: "This certifies that Carlos Obreg처n has completed with commendable diligence and proficiency the course of instruction prescribed for A TEACHER OF THE ISAAC PITMAN SHORTHAN and is awarded this CERTIFICATE…"

    According to the date of his certificate, could you indicate which version of Pitman he learnt?

    Because, I have read that there are many adaptations of Pitman for Spanish, and I can guess that would depend on the version the adaptator learnt. For example, a friend of mine was taught at High School that the vowel position goes this way (from top to bottom):

    a / o e / i u. While my book teaches: a o / e / i u

    Besides she used "the curve R" for R+ vowel, and the "straight R" for vowel + R. Which is very different in my book, apparently Obregon was more faithful to the original method.


    New York, this fifth day of September 1935
    Isaac Pitman & Sons

  7. Valo:

    Please forgive my tardiness in replying.

    According to the copyright date (1935) This book would have definitely been Pitman New Era–but only if it were the English version!

    I didn't realize that the Spanish version went through such metamorphosis, but it does make sense. I'm afraid I know very little about the various Spanish versions, so I'm sorry I can't tell you more.

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