A Shorthand Study from 1978

I stumbled on this link at Utah State University for a graduate thesis called An Analysis of Shorthand Usage as Perceived by Selected Ogden, Utah Business Executives by Normadine D. Kennedy.

There are even more shorthand studies in their archives here.

Enjoy this historical snapshot of shorthand!

3 comments Add yours
  1. I found this study fascinating. (Hey, I'm a geek, after all.)

    I started to work after graduating college in 1978. Every job I interviewed for required shorthand. In one year's time at my first job in advertising, I think I took dictation five times. In my next job in manufactirng, I was called in for a minimum of an hour's dictation every morning and every afternoon. When I worked at legal firms, dictation was a regular occurrence as well. But when I started as a Principle Clerk Stenographer at the university where I now work (I started in 1988), in the one year I held that title before being promoted, my boss tried to dictate ONCE. Giving dictation is a skill much like learning to take dictation. I thought the world of her, but she was awful at giving dictation: "Dear, um. . . Pam. Did you get that? I, er, I, um, want to. . . did you get that, too?" The entire letter went like that. At that time, I wrote 150 and this was painful! My shorthand was used almost exclusive to take notes at meetings. Still is!

    As a friend once said to me in the 1980s, businesses still requiring shorthand use it as a screening tool; it is not expected that the shorthand writer will receive dictation. But faster shorthand writers have better English skills, something important to industry.

    Strangely enough, shorthand is still taught and used in Great Britain and India. Perhaps we all need to move!

  2. I'm fascinated that there was a time when shorthand could be the subject of master's theses and doctoral dissertations . . . given that the concept of "shorthand" has almost completely disappeared from common knowledge. It's a clear and dramatic reminder of how times (and our lives) have changed.

    In Great Britain journalists study shorthand . . . that seems smart and practical on many levels. I think Tee-Line shorthand has the market for that group, though. Not likely to find Gregg being taught.

  3. Good evening Lee. You are right – British journalists learn Teeline. They have to get 100wpm otherwise they can't qualify I believe. But Teeline can't be written the high speeds of Greggs and Pitman so is used really for taking notes.

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