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    Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.

    I left off all the citations for this month's selection. Some of the Greek and Roman names would have presented an unnecessary challenge. These aphorisms still apply today; some we even still quote or paraphrase. I've also cleaned up some of the language to make it current. I truly doubt many people still have to write "thou" when taking dictation.

The Handbook of Standard or American Phonography, Andrew J. Graham, 1894, p. 367-368

Aphorisms of the Ancients

          Before old age, I made it my care to live well; in old age, to die well.  Strive not with words against the contentions:  speech is given to all, wisdom to few.  The body is a vessel as it were or receptacle for the soul.  It is the province of folly to discover the faults of others and forget one’s own.  Men believe their eyes rather than their ears.  The road by percept is long; by example, short and sure.  I depart from life as from an inn, not as from my home.  I am a man and nothing that concerns humanity do I deem a matter of indifference to me.  Honorable death is better than an ignominious life.  In prosperity let us especially avoid pride, disdain, and arrogance.  It is true wisdom to be able to govern the feelings whenever there is a necessity for it.  To keep the mastery over your indignation and language when you are angry is no mean effort of the mind.   Nothing can be honest which is destitute of justice.  Do not that yourself which you are wont to censure in others.  It is folly to tear one’s hair in sorrow just as though grief could be assuaged by baldness.  Whenever you behold a follow creature in distress, remember that he is a man.  Just so much meat and drink should be used as to reinvigorate our powers, not to oppress them.  A good man ought not to be drawn from the path of rectitude by weather by favor or by danger.  The industrious husband plants trees of which he himself will never see a berry.  When we are utterly ruined and when no counsel can profit us, there seems to be one way open to us, whatever may happen:  to bare it with moderation.  Fortitude is to be seen in the endurance of toils and dangers; temperance, in the self-denial of luxuries; prudence, in the choice between good and evil; justice, in rendering to everyone his due.  Death falls heavily upon him who, too well know to all others, dies unknown to himself.  No man was evey truly great without some portion of divine inspiration.

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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"!

Dictation Practice:
    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.

60 wpm 80 wpm 100 wpm 120 wpm 140 wpm

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand