Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

30 syllables a minute

In my shorthand course, once you go beyond the basic note-taking script (which I’ve finished now) and onto the advanced, dictation script, your goal also changed from “make the shapes as precisely as possible” to “practise writing more quickly”.

To that end, there are several suggested dictation texts, which you can dictate to yourself at an appropriate speed, as well as a dictation test at the end of each lesson, which you are supposed to dictate at specific speeds (starting out slowly and getting faster—with the stated goal of ending up faster than most students can write, so that every student will be writing at the limit of their ability at some point during the dictation).

I tried to record some of those texts, starting with the test ones, the ones with the specified speeds, partly to see what speed I might be writing at.

Students are started out at 20 syllables a minute, and I found that rate nearly impossibly slow to dictate. I figured I must be able to go faster than that, even using the basic script, without any abbreviations at all, simply from the practice I got so far taking notes.

I also recorded a couple of the "free speed" texts, at various speeds, to see what my range might be.

Yesterday, I took one of those texts and tried to write it down from dictation, and I found that 20 syllables was easy, and even 30 wasn’t too bad. 40 was pretty much my limit in the basic script, writing out all sounds; many words I could write that fast, but there was the occasional one in between where I hesitated or took a bit longer to decide how to write it, and at 40 spm I simply didn’t have enough “slack” or “reserve” for them. So I figure that my current sustained speed—again, without any abbreviations at all—is about 30 spm.

Tags: shorthand
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