Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.
We are back to more "normal" dictation material. While there are a few words you may have to look up and/or check your shorthand dictionary for, the language of this month's piece is less 19th century than those of the last few months.
Shorthand Instructor, Pitman’s Shorthand, Isaac Pitman, 1905, p. 259-261
How and When to Read
The art of reading to the best advantage implies the command of adequate time to read. The art of having time to read depends upon knowing how to make the best use of our days. Days are short and time is fleeting, but no one’s day ever holds less than twenty-four hours. Engrossing as one’s occupation may be, it need never consume all the time remaining from sleep, refreshment, and social intercourse. The half hour before breakfast, the fifteen minutes waiting for dinner, given to the book you wish to read will soon finish it and make room for another. The busiest men I have known have often been the most intelligent and the widest readers. The idle person never knows how to make use of odd moments; the busy one always knows how. Yet the vast majority of people go through life without ever learning the great lesson of the supreme value of moments. Let us suppose that you determine to devote two hours every day to reading. This is equivalent to more than seven hundred hours a year or to three months of working time, of eight hours day. What could you not do in three months if you had all the time to yourself? You could almost learn a new language or master a new science; yet this two hours a day, which would give you three months of free time every year, is frittered away, you scarcely know how, in aimless matters that lead to nothing.
A famous writer of our century, some of whose books you have read, devoted only four hours a day to writing; yet he produced more than sixty volumes of fiction, poetry, drama, and criticism, of singular literary merit. The great naturalist, Darwin, a chronic sufferer from a depressing malady, counted two hours a fortunate day’s work for him, yet he accomplished results in the world of science which render his name immortal.
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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.