Links to Distant Sites
Leah Price’s fascinating essay from the London Review of Books looks at the history of shorthand, and the similarities between shorthand writers and modern-day programmers. “Like the open-source movement a century and a half later, Pitmanism was idealistic, distributed and male.” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n23/leah-price/diary
The Joy of Pitman Shorthand is a site created by Pierre Savoie years ago. I have a soft spot for this site, because it’s one of the ones that first got me interested in Pitman. Pierre includes some interesting facts about the history of Pitman, as well as some of the more unusual outlines. He is generous with his links, connecting (most unwisely) to the hated sites of the Gregg-shorthand heretics, but also (most wisely) to my own site. http://pitmanshorthand.homestead.com/
Beryl Pratt is an expert Pitman writer from Kent in England, who’s on a one-woman mission to keep Pitman’s New Era shorthand alive. Written with a nice sense of humour, her site contains a wealth of information on every aspect of Pitman, including advice on pens, pencils (regular and mechanical), reference books, paper, and practical tips. There are also lessons, and hundreds of examples of handwritten shorthand symbols. http://www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk/index.htm
Ever wonder which system of shorthand we should learn? If you have, you will find the answers you’re looking for in E. Barker’s Which System of Shorthand Should We Learn?, a book from the early 1900s, available for download or reading online at The Internet Archive. Mr Barker carries out a detailed study of various shorthand systems used in the United States, and discusses their shortcomings. He concludes that the best system is Isaac Pitman’s. The books is published by Pitman’s company, and ends with ads and endorsements for Pitman’s books, so not exactly an unbiased opinion. But it’s interesting to see some of the criticisms of the other systems – particularly the biggest threat, Gregg Shorthand.