This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
EVERY year adds proof, by the constantly increasing demand for it, how indispensable in a modern education is a knowledge of rapid writing. The young, by all means, should acquine it.
It may be used by the author in his study, the editor in his "sanctum," the clergyman in his library, the lawyer in his office - in fact, everywhere that writing is needed, the simplicity and dispatch of Short-hand make its value apparent.
The beginner should determine, at the outset, whether or not he will, for a time at least, do verbatim writing. If he wishes to do this, he must expect to give much time and close attention to it. The man or system that promises to give verbatim speed in a few weeks' time, is unworthy of confidence. It is useless to expect to be. a good reporter and follow some other business at the same time. Reporting is a profession of itself, and requires the undivided attention of the person following it. If, however, the beginner, simply wishing relief from longhand in his daily writing, is content with a rate of speed that gives a fully written and absolutely legible manuscript, a style that is easy to learn, write, read, and remember, let him take up the simplest style, master it thoroughly, and depend for speed upon perfect familiarity with the word-forms used, and the greatest facility in their execution, as in long-hand, and he will gain his object more easily and quickly than if he seeks it through shorter word-forms, which must necessarily be more difficult to learn and read. Very few people need to become verbatim reporters; every one, however, having much writing to do, can use a simple style of shorthand to advantage.
The grand principle upon which a system of short-hand should be built is that of phonetics. Every sound in the language should be represented by its individual sign, used for that sound and no other. As a simple sound is uttered by one impulse of the voice, so should the sign representing it be made by one movement of the hand; resulting in a single, simple sound being represented by a single, simple line. These lines should be of such a form that they may be easily joined, one to another, so that a word may be completely written without raising the pen. The most frequently occurring sounds should be represented by the most easily written signs; and all the sounds should be represented by such signs as will give a free, flowing, forward direction to the writing, without running either too far above or below the line upon which it is written. There should be a distinct line drawn between the simplest style for general use - which should contain no contracted, irregular, or exceptional word-forms - and the more brief and complicated styles for the reporter's use.
Of the various systems of Short-hand, that called Tachygraphy (Ta-kig-ra-fe), a system invented and elaborated by D. P. Lindsley, of Andover, Mass., probably more nearly meets the requirements of the public than any now in use; the advantage of this system of Shorthand being, that it combines rapidity with completeness of detail in a very large degree. By permission of Mr. Lindsley we are enabled to present the following synopsis and illustrations from his work, "Elements of Tachygraphy," published by Otis Clapp, No. 3 Beacon St., Boston.