Friday, 16 August 2013

Majestic Teeline

This week has been good for shorthand! I feel I have greatly misjudged Teeline as simply a system of missing out vowels. Surely (I thought) any child can do that! I have found it to be much more than that: as I've been going through the NCTJ textbook I've been impressed by the shortcuts I've been learning. But that's not all that impressed me.

First off, you don't miss out vowels half as much as 'all' implies, greatly increasing the readability of written Teeline. Vowels are always present at the beggining of words and at the end (so Andy is spelt andi and Emma is ema, equestrian eqstrn and so on), as well as being in the middle of words to make outlines more distinguishable and easier to write (for example, one always writes the short form of a vowel between an r and m). If a word has a similar outline to another, you can always write the intermediate vowel just beside it (e.g. shop and ship are far too easily confused without this)

Second, Teeline is current. There are resources and people actively learning Teeline out there. You can take exams in Teeline. Ironically, this is a fantastic resource for someone learning on their own, without a teacher, as resources are very available and encouragement it just a google search away.

Third, Teeline is forgiving. Unlike Gregg and Pitman, you can develop your own handwriting much more in Teeline. The symbols are designed to be distinctive, so that even if it's scruffily written, it should be fairly readable. You still have to be careful though, it says NCTJ textbook that just like handwriting, your Teeline will look different to other peoples and it should be read by other people

Fourth and lastly, the speed at which it is learned. I have been learning for about 14 days, and I'm on unit 10 of 20. By the end of unit 20, I will likely be able to write at about 50 wpm. Because of the way it is structured, I have been able to write Teeline from unit 1, (although many of the time saving tips were absent in my early writing). This has allowed me to truly embrace Teeline in a way that isn't possible with other systems I know; it has allowed me to stave off the temptation to procrastinate, because if I don't feel like doing a difficult dictation, why not just start writing phrases I've heard off the TV programme I'm watching? Or write notes on a youtube video I'm watching? It may not be a great way to learn, but it's a great way to beat a bout of the blues. Even drilling words can be a good starter! Teeline is definitely a shorthand that is designed to be learned, not admired.

In summary, Teeline fits with today's 'learn when I can' culture, using what one already knows (how to spell/write) to speed up the learning. I've really come to love Teeline for what it is.