Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.
We change books this month to something a bit more modern, but not much! Again, as I've said in the past, exercises like the one below were meant to be repeated until they had been written 50, 60, 100 times in order to learn the vocabulary and the special outlines associated with it. Most of the words in this piece are still in use today but there are a few I haven't heard in quite a while!
Shorthand Instructor, Pitman’s Shorthand, Isaac Pitman, 1905, p.175-176
It may appear singular and even extraordinary to the individual unacquainted with journalism, but it is unquestionably true that the circulation of a newspaper depends almost as much upon the advertisements it obtains as upon the intelligence it gives. On the other hand, the advertisements are the result of good circulation. In fact, they are indispensible to each other and it may be said that each is subservient to the other. The expenditure must, of course, be proportionate to the revenue, and those responsible for the commercial department are sensible that perpetual watch must be kept upon this, to prevent extravagance and an indiscriminate or unnecessary outlay of any kind or the paper, instead of being a profitable investment, would become a source of pecuniary loss. Such a contingency must be avoided by all possible means. It is familiar knowledge to everyone acquainted with newspapers that many original articles appear which are the work of authors who have, in many instances, a wonderful familiarity with their subjects. Though most aristocratic in the ordinary sense, they belong to the aristocracy of letters and their superscription is sufficient guarantee that the articles are above suspicion. The influence of these men is quite magnetic and even their extemporaneous utterances frequently excite the astonishment and enthusiasm of the intelligent assemblies; they are more intelligible and more generally applicable to everyday circumstances than the labored harangues of less gifted speakers. It is not easy to find substitutes for men of such distinguished ability. Familiarity with a subject, however, only comes from long preliminary training and laborious study and eminent writers, no matter how enthusiastic they may be in the pursuit of knowledge and however repugnant to the idea of associating learning with mere trade, have yet sufficient commercial instinct to require payment in proportion to the value of their work and they decline to superscribe an article without the prospect of payment. (Concluded next month)
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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.
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