1912 Article “Is speed Stenography a Gift or Hard Work?”

I found this searching for something else in shorthand.
It’s from The New York Time August 25, 1912.
Called “Is speed Stenography a Gift or Hard Work?”
Here’s the link
If that doesn’t work try this


Then click on View Full Article.
Yes the type is very tiny, I had to enlarge it.

(by debbiavon1 for

10 comments Add yours
  1. I'm always a bit dissapointed that peoples speed record for normal matter is much lower than their record for court testimony. Tarr got 230 for testimony and 181 for straight copy. I know I'm never gonna record testimony nor bother to learn all the specific briefs contained in it.

    Plus I can never read pre–pre-anniversary stuff.

    This is a crappy translation of the first part:

    "This years campaign in which the young men of America are virtually neccesity. When it is certain that the code of democracy eyes has been head there a could arch asks what poses what demographic place their futile statement which he states any to be falls."

    It would be funny if I'm actually correct. That would be a quite muddled speech wouldn't it!

  2. I wonder if she was trained for court testimony so she memorized all the brief forms associated with it.  Whereas if someone who was trained for business would know those and do better on the tests.  Maybe. Debbi

  3. It's all about the syllable density, Michael.   Testimony tends to move at a faster clip.  That's why it's so phraseable.  There are combinations of words that are used over and over again in law.  That's why you can do 225 on Q&A.  Literary tends to be less easy to phrase and the syllable density is usually higher.  Jury Charge is also given to phrasing.  Literary is just harder to take.    180 on literary is pretty damn good.  Listen to one of the sound files at 160 or so.  It even sounds fast.    Business correspondence has a limited variety in it's vocabulary.  I can take busness letters faster than I can do literary or jury charge.  The material dictated for the speed contests are given in those three areas.  The thing about testimony is that it can be VERY technical and very dense (not just medical testimony — biotech, computer acronymns, chemistry).   When Salome and Paula were taking up the art, verbatim reporting was the goal and the training was focused on the Q&A, JC, and Lit.    The article was a riot.  I laughed out loud when I got to the point where someone was saying that women were by nature too timorous to be good verbatim reporters.  That was not even a century ago. 

  4. The quote was, "It is not possible to train a woman who is naturally timid and uncertain … I cannot imagine some types of women I have known ever in the world becoming really proficient in this work."

    I read that as "If a specific woman is,… then it's impossible to train her." Not "A generic woman / all women are … and it's impossible to train them." That fits better with Tarr's thesis that natural ability (which includes temperament) is required, in addition to hours of industrious study.

    If you don't have the temperament, you won't put in the work. On the other hand, if you do have the temperament but spend your time doing other things (and probably getting quite good at them) you won't get the speed.

    I suspect the 10-year-old boy has a determined temperament, although at that age home environment strongly influences temperament.

  5. The quote was, "It is not possible to train a woman who is naturally timid and uncertain … I cannot imagine some types of women I have known ever in the world becoming really proficient in this work."
    You don't think that the statements, no matter how you choose to read them, are sexist?   There are men who don't have the appropriate facility for reporting, too.    He didn't feel it was necessary to include men in his judgment. 

  6. It was a different world back then. Women were raised differently. Even these days women presidents are few and far between because of the difference of how men and women are raised.

    I don't believe that statement is sexist. To take an example, many parents try to hide their daughters from going out by themselves because there are meanies etc. Boys, you'd just tell them to harden up and avoid any weird fellas.

  7. Here's the full transcript of Miss Tarr's notes. They appeared in the October 1912 issue of the Gregg Writer. The actual speech is not from Wilson — that part was an error in the Times article.   "This is a campaign in which the young men of America are vitally interested. When it is said that the candidate of Democracy, as has been said, is a candidate today because of the bosses of the Democratic Party, it is a futile statement which all citizens know to be false. The decency, the pride, the youth, the vigor, the idealism battled at Baltimore, not for Woodrow Wilson, but for the generations that are to come, and in the proportion that they stood up for him they knew that he represented not merely the ideals of little New Jersey,  but the soon prevalent ideals of our country. The corrupt influences, the money agencies of power and every bit of influence and activity that could be brought to bear tried to defeat his nomination, but the young men of America, with the counsel of older men standing for the decency of Democracy and the hope of America, stood stolidly in file and line, a solid phalanx, for this new revolution, as the Minute Men, the Wilson and Marshall Minute Men of 1912."   The full volume is here: http://books.google.com/books?id=RZcKAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0   You can also see a better picture of her notes here: http://books.google.com/books?id=RZcKAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA62,M1   There's a full article (about the article in the Times) starting on page 61.    

  8. I agree with Michael — I don't find it sexist either. The statement was made by a woman, Miss Tarr herself, based on her experience with women she knows that were "naturally timid and uncertain". It is her opinion (which we can agree or disagree with.) She didn't say "no woman is capable of being a reporter". Now, that would've been sexist. She merely exposed the traits that a reporter should have.

  9. It's one of those half-empty/half-full things. I probably miss a lot of sexist things because I choose to interpret them differently.

    She was one of the first women to reach high levels in the profession. When interviewing the first woman or (insert race) or kid under 10 or Martian to do something that only men or (majority race) or adults or Earthlings have done in the past, it's natural to ask them about other women or (insert race) or kids under 10 or Martians. I would have answered, "I know some people who are,…" and quietly ignored that the question implied there was a difference.

    Back then, though, there was more difference between men and women's abilities due to upbringing. If one person in 50 excels, and 50 men are trained, then 1 will excel. (We'll ignore proper statistics for the moment.) If only 5 women are trained, it's likely that the one who would have excelled isn't even given a chance.

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