Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.
Yet another word study this month. But this time, it's the Grammalogues from 1905 edition of Pitman's Shorthand. Grammalogues, for those who are not Pitman writers, are the common (and some, not so common!) words which are represented by a single stroke. That stroke, however, can represent multiple letters. Once more, the language is a bit stilted in order to cram in as many grammalogues as possible so be careful.
Shorthand Instructor, Pitman’s Shorthand, Isaac Pitman, 1905, p. 164-165
Exercise 79 (Grammalogues)
If you wish to prove to others your belief in the things which you approve, whether they be of a religious, political, or scientific nature, it is most essential that you speak distinctly and with a true apprehension of the meaning of what you say; otherwise, your argument will be wanting in strength and your words will fail to signify all that you intend them to convey. You will readily own that you should endeavor to express your thoughts so that you may be understood without special effort on the part of your listeners. This is a duty owing to those whom you invite to hear you. How many a good and holy cause is lost through faulty presentation? How often has the cause of liberty been weakened by the bad delivery of those who were sent to strengthen it!
The Christian religion itself sometimes loses where it ought to gain, through the speaker’s inability to clothe his thoughts in suitable language and to speak on Christianity with clearness, strength, and grace. Who has not occasionally heard a beautiful passage of holy scripture perhaps the words of the Savior himself, distorted from what they signified by incorrectly reading? Have we not all admired the elocutionist who speaks so that his words are carried over a larger area than an untrained speaker could hope to reach? Who has not heard the speaker whose voice itself added strength to his logic and enabled him to lead his audience wither he would? Thus it is believed to have been with Lord Chatham, the glory of his generation and the champion of liberty, whose voice had such strength that when he desired to speak with special effect, he had only to raise the tone and the House shook with its peal. And do you imagine, young students, that Chatham obtained his power of oratory without trouble or pains? Can you believe that he met with no difficulty in acquiring the ability which brought him fame and glorified him? Not so. He studied long and hard to acquire that command of language which enabled him to signify his own thoughts with precision and afterwards contributed to glorify his name. It is most likely that few men ever went through a larger amount of drudgery than he did to find himself as a public speaker. The leading principles of liberty, religion, government, etc., were all studied to this end. Thus was he able “listening Senates to command.” So it ought to be your special aim to cultivate the strength of will to imitate him in this particular respect that you may become, if not a brilliant, at least, an effective speaker and an elegant reader.
For more information on shorthand speed building, click here.
Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!
Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.
The dictation material above is copyrighted, all rights reserved.