HomeClean Teen ReadsCan you Speak Shorthand?

Greetings Teen Reader~~

Did you know that in the not-too-distant past, shorthand classes were offered in every high school in the nation. In my book Flower in the Hills, our main character Latina has taken on the task of helping her new friend Donna Dee practice shorthand.

Clean Teen ReadsWhat is Shorthand?

So exactly what is shorthand? And why would so many students (mostly girls) want to study the subject?

Shorthand is an abbreviated writing method that uses symbols rather than the normal letters used in writing. The objective is speed. Before the days of recording and dictation machines, shorthand was an essential skill for a girl to become a crackerjack secretary.

Any office worth its salt was staffed with stenographers (a person who can write shorthand), who were speed-demons when it came to taking dictation. Here’s how it played out:

The boss wants a letter to go out. He calls in his stenographer. He dictates the letter; she takes it down in shorthand in her steno pad. When he’s finished she goes back to her desk and types out the letter. (Oh yes – on a typewriter.) The steno pad was designed to prop up tent-shaped for ease of reading.

Oh those were the days! (Hopefully, she’s good enough so she can actually read her own shorthand!)

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Learning shorthand was like learning a whole new language (hence the silly title of this blog) and took a great deal of skill to master. But those who did were the ones who commanded the best secretarial positions.

Secretaries and stenographers have long since fallen by the wayside – now someone who works in an office might have the title of administrative assistant.

Or better yet, some of you gals might be the CEO of your own company. (That possibility was quite rare back then.) Let’s hear it for advances in the workplace!!  Rockin’!

Do you have plans to own your own business one day? If so tell me about it in the comments section below!

Meanwhile, keep on reading

Norma Jean

PS: Heads up!  The second title in the Norma Jean Lutz Classic Collection is about a girl who’s all mixed up about whether to enjoy her passion in life –or worry about what others think of her.  Ever feel that way? Tiger Beetle at Kendallwood is coming soon!

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Can you Speak Shorthand? — 2 Comments

  1. I learned Gregg shorthand in high school and worked very hard to achieve a high speed. Learning this skill was quite intense and I remember actually dreaming in shorthand. I then went on to jobs where I took dictation and transcribed it. Shorthand is a skill that is certainly nice to know and one I’m sure that newspaper reporters still rely on today.

    • Hi Connie — What cool memories you have. You seem to have enjoyed learning this “other language.” LOL It was the opposite for me. I hated the class with a passion, and dropped out as soon as I could. I still remember a few of the basics, but not much. I blamed it on being left-handed which made using a steno pad sheer torture.
      Thanks so much for sharing.

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