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How to write the alphabet in shorthand
The first lesson that anybody has when they want to learn shorthand is how to write the alphabet. This is the starting point for leaning any kinds of shorthand, whether it is Teeline, Pitman or Gregg. And most importantly, it forms the most important foundation of learning shorthand.
We all know how vital it is to have strong foundations when learning a new subject, or building anything such as a house, so if you want to learn shorthand quickly and successfully, it's imperative to learn the alphabet thoroughly first. In fact, students should ensure that they spend plenty of time learning and understanding the basic shorthand alphabet. Practice, practice and practice again!
This article will show people in detail how they can write every letter of the English language in Teeline shorthand. Beginning with a and ending with z, this page shows how letters were transformed into shorthand symbols. There's also a video at the very end that visually demonstrates how to write the letters. By the end of this, you will be able to write the shorthand alphabet.
So are you ready? Let's learn the shorthand alphabet.
The first letter in the alphabet is a, so that's where we'll begin. There are two variations of the letter a in shorthand. The most basic is a triangle, the second is a small backslash. The one that's used most frequently is the small back slash. Being careful to keep the shorthand letter small and neat, make a small downwards stroke with the pen, finishing on the line. The image to the right shows the shorthand letter a, and the arrows show the direction that the pen should take when writing the letter.
The shorthand letter b is a simplified, and more curvy version, of the normal letter. The reason that the shorthand symbol is curved is that it makes note-taking much faster without having to write a straight line, reverse with the pen then do the circular bit. So to write the shorthand letter b, start at the top and just go round with the pen to create a small circle attached to the curve.
The shorthand letter c is exactly like it is in the normal English alphabet. Why? Well, it's already a pretty simple letter that's easy and quick to write. So there's very little that James Hill, the inventor of Teeline shorthand, needed to change when he was developing the note-taking system. When writing the letter c in shorthand, ensure that it is small, neat and kept on the line of the writing paper. Begin with the pen at the top of the letter and curve anti-clockwise to finish at the bottom.
Writing the letter d in shorthand is easy, but takes a little bit of explaining to understand how it was formed. The letter d is simply a small horizontal line, a bit like an underscore. It was formed this way because when people write a d, the very bottom of the letter that comes into contact with the line on the paper can be used to represent the letter. In shorthand, you can simply remove the straight stick and curvy part of the d, and squash the bottom into a flat line. Write the letter from left to right.
The letter e was formed from the capital letter E. If we remove all of the parts of the letter, and just leave the bottom left hand corner, there is a small right angle left. This is the shape that is used as the shorthand symbol for e. Why not just do a small curve? Well, that shape has already been used for the letter c, and also this shape makes it very easy when writing long words and sentences to merge the letter e with other symbols and outlines. Begin at the top, go down, then to the right.
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- Shorthand Course, the original and only shorthand site offering free lessons and information
Shorthand website with loads of article, information, pictures, videos and lessons to get you started on the path to shorthand success
So there we have the first six letters of the alphabet written in shorthand. Practice those letters by repeatedly writing them on the paper on the same line, always taking care to keep the shorthand letters neat, small and clean. Also remember to keep the hand and arm relaxed, pressing lightly with the pen as it glides slowly and softly across the page.
Now, once your have perfected writing the first six letters of the alphabet it's time to move on and learn g through to z.
By now shorthand should be getting clearer, so I've simply written all of the letters in one diagram that explains each one. Study the letters and symbols in the image, and then practice writing them.
Following the image with the shorthand alphabet, there is also a video below, that covers every letter in depth. Please watch that and practice each letter until it is perfect.