Paul Makepeace ;-)

November 7, 2004

Teeline shorthand progress

Posted in: Drivel

After starting to learn Teeline shorthand a little over a week ago I'm on page 47 out of 60 of Ann Dix's "Teeline Fast" book thanks to a week's travelling on the Tube. I've learnt a few surprising things from the experience.

First off the amount of information about Teeline online is almost nothing; even the Wikipedia barely mentions it. About the only info online are book and course listings and the Goldsmiths audio files. Odd.

So. My idea of using an established shorthand as an input method for small computers/phones has a harsh reality: learning shorthand is no joke. My tube journeys are about an hour at a time of which let's say thirty minutes is productively spent learning. So I'm putting in an hour's work a day and I've been disciplined enough to work on it for ten days straight. In ten hours I've covered 80% of a course book and that's even before any substantial writing practice, dictation, speed drills, word lists, word groupings, etc.

Explorations on the web left me with the idea of about 80hours to become reasonably proficient. That is two weeks full time effort. Like I said, no joke. I suppose viewed as learning a whole new way of reading and writing, which it is, this isn't that surprising.

With the context of shorthand as an input method I've been thinking while learning about how to recognise and display shorthand. Handwriting OCR is a technology that's been worked on for many years and is still being developed; it's not a solved problem. And compared to longhand handwriting, shorthand recognition has got to be hard. Even displaying it without the aid of a massive look-up table would be a challenge. In essence those challenges are:
* vowel and double letter removals. These leave a considerable amount of ambiguity, e.g. "lk" = like, look, leak, leek. I'm often finding myself thinking WTF does "chrfl" mean and having to read on and then realise retrospectively from the context, "cheerful". Without a doubt, this is a learning stage I'm going through before recognising the outlines, but for the shorter outlines like "lk" the computer has some work to do
* word groupings. To aid speed many common phrases like "dear sir" and "as soon as possible" are shortened. Not a major issue but extra workload for the would-be implementor of a shorthand input system
* fine subtlety in shape. A letter "o" is distinguishable from a letter "u" by the barest of margins. Several vowel forms are actually identical. The TN/DN blend rounds off a corner, again with an astonishingly subtle difference.

One solution to deciding which out of several possibilities an outline refers to could be statistically derived from what other words precede and follow it. For example the easily readable phrase "got out of control" informs a reading of "fr" as probably "fire" (versus "for") which furthers suggests reading "flms" as "flames" rather than "films". Fortunately such an analysis is relatively straightforward using Bayes Theorem. The challenge then becomes experimenting with where to calculate the probabilities (immediately after, in the same sentence, three words behind, looking at whole phrases, rest of the paragraph(s), etc). As usual I suspect someone more learned than me has already checked this out. What tweaked my curiosity would be using this technology for predictive text - my PDA prints up four possible word completions while I'm typing a word (e.g. "complete", "completely", "completing", "completion" for "complet") but often they're crap guesses. They could be much better taking into account context and words I'd already just typed. Again, some smarter researcher probably has the answers here ;-)

That all said, it's been a fun and engaging exercise learning shorthand and I'd like to persevere to the point of some degree of proficiency; I've already had one experience in the last week where being able to transcribe a speech, Stephen Hawking at Naming of the Dead, would've been quite cool. Despite ready access to voice recording—my phone does it with a single button press—being able to write fast will be useful all over the place. Not to mention a great party trick and I've certainly spent longer hours learning dumber party tricks :-)

Posted by Paul Makepeace at November 7, 2004 23:10 | TrackBack

If you want to learn Teeline, after you've worked through Ann Dix's book get a copy of the Teeline Gold course book by Stephanie Hall, et al. It clears up a few mysteries Dix leaves unsolved. Harry Butler's Teeline Gold Workbook is also very helpful, though not essential.

For computer input, you might want to check out what's already available in the way of typed "shorthand" (one system is called something like EZwrite or the like) or machine stenography (used by court stenographers in the US at least)as they've already got systems that will translate these into standard English via computer.

Posted by: James Haiens at November 23, 2004 06:08

I wonder how you have been getting on with your teeline projects. I am currently studying from a book by IC Hall and Merial Bowers. Perhaps the reason my progress is stalling is I don't need shorthand professionally. I'm just fascinated by this slightly archaic skill.

Posted by: Battlepanda at June 9, 2005 10:23

I am on the crest of learning shorthand and wondered if you have any useful tips. I am and admin assistant, and want to learn this art for taking minutes of meetings etc..
Any help appeciated.

Posted by: Dawn Begg at June 16, 2005 16:19

I taught myself shorthand and it's proven to be an invaluable skill, even in this so-called age of technology.

This, and my ability to type have gotten me into some of the most exciting companies around.

Don't underestimate the power of basic stenographic skills!!

Posted by: Sorcia at June 17, 2005 15:43

I'm 15 and I'm learning shorthand for my future career as a journalist. I'm finding it difficult to dicipline myself into sticking to strict lessons. Any tips for this?
My advice for learning teeline is to go over and over the alphabet since if you forget a letter when you're reading back you're notes, the entire outline is a mystery to you.

Posted by: jen at July 21, 2005 12:17

the key to shorthand is one thing- practice.
nothing else will do, no "just reading the book" or " i am memorising the outlines" its all about graft and sweat and labour and practice.
All horrible things admittedly but it can be done.
I went from 0wpm to 100 wpm in 18 weeks through the above unfashionable method.
sorry its not more glamorous!

Posted by: chris at August 4, 2005 12:42

I want to speed shorthand & reading without hegitage.

Posted by: Sarita Prasad at September 14, 2005 07:36

I want speed my shorthand writing & read speedly with out confuse.

Posted by: SArita Prasad at September 14, 2005 07:40

Having taught various methods of shorthand over many years and lastly, Teeline shorthand, I have many different textbooks, tapes etc which I would be happy to pass on. Please email me if interested.

Posted by: Margaret Walkley at September 15, 2005 20:21

have just started learnig teeline and am finding it very hard. any good books to help me would be brill

Posted by: terence at September 16, 2005 14:42

Does anyone know if it's better to be taught Teeline, say one evening session per week, or to just learn it from books? Is it a big advantage to have a listed qualification on one's CV for Teeline? And finally, is Teeline the most commonly and widely used short-hand method in journalism?

Thank you.

Posted by: Louise at September 18, 2005 12:13

I don't use shorthand, but as a professional photographer I photographed many Teeline classes in UK for the magazine "Teeline" in the 80s. I came across a photo of a lady teacher demonstrating the shorthand moveable cards on a board at one of the colleges; I would like to use it in my stock library as a 'generic' picture of a teacher perhaps, but obviously need to know who she is!
Without being rude or too flattering the lady would have been in her low to mid forties in about 1985, so may be retired now. She was wearing a light blue outfit and a 'paisley' pattern blouse.
Many thanks for any leads.

Posted by: Tim Motion at September 20, 2005 18:14

I too am learning shorthand. I just started - only had two lessons so far. It's part of my journalism course.

The only thing that keeps me interested in practising is the thought that it is like a new secret code - I've liked those since I was little, so it is a nice way of keeping my interest up.

I fear much much much more practice is to be done before I get it up to speed though!

Posted by: Kate at October 1, 2005 21:09

I m also lrnng Tln shthnd. Its v difclt n tm cnsmng, bt im dfntly gtng thr.

4 wks into my crs n i mst hv 30wpm or so. Btr off wrtng longhnd, i hr u sy. Well, myb. Bt i WL gt to 100wpm wthn 14 wks.

Thr. I sd it. Chrs!

Posted by: Fergus at October 10, 2005 19:27

I learned Teeline in 1998 using the standard textbooks. I am proficient but have never attained great speed - I'm usually a sentence or two behind when taking notes using it. I suspect that's because I don't use it everyday, but at the same time it's difficult for me to comprehend writing it at conversational speed. It's an extremely handy skill though - once you've got it you'll have it, it's just a matter of practice and learning all the blends and shortcuts there are. It took me about 4 months.

Posted by: Sloan at October 20, 2005 02:32

Fergus, very clever :)

But yes, I did get to 110wpm in about eight weeks (Teeline).
Borrowed books and tapes from the library.
The key is consistency.
It's a brilliant skill.

Posted by: Mietta at October 22, 2005 03:52

I am about to start learning Teeline (for my journalism course). I already have a half-useful knowledge of Speedwriting Shorthand, learned in the seventies, and which I was at one point able to use at 100 wpm. (I no longer remember the short forms and other tricks that stop your hand falling off as you struggle to keep up.) I anticipate there being a Speedwriting influence - good or bad - on my Teeline studies. If I start using bits of each will I get myself into trouble? Is there anything to stop me using the '.' for 'the', for instance? Does anyone know the answer to this?

Posted by: Leita Prior at October 30, 2005 08:09

I'm doing the NCTJ journalism course at the moment, and the hardest part is Teeline. I just don't see any logic to the way it works, for instance why is there a letter for "sh" but not "ch"? Is it trying to represent English spelling or pronunciation? It seems to have got stuck in the middle. Also it proclaims that silent letters can be left out. Well, in many British accents, including RP, the "r" in "park" and "cart" is every bit as silent as the "gh" in "light". So why does Teeline insist on including one and not the other? And as for the "special outlines" don't get me started, it's like trying to write English in Japanese script.

Love the Law and Public Affairs modules though- really interesting both.

Posted by: Eddie L at November 24, 2005 00:14

I am currently doing a teeline course and key aspect is most certainly practice. After a while it makes sense. However learning the 700 common words as well as special outlines is a must. Also doing different practices of skills such as reading, writing as well as transcribing it.
On transciption pieces always read back your shorthand before translating it, as it is fresher in your mind. You can mark down words that are fresh in your mind where your outline is unclear.

And failing that, I've found it helps reading back the outlines in a cockney accent. Sounds strange but works for me, especially on words like repetition

Posted by: ben wright at December 2, 2005 13:20

I learned Teeline in 1986 at college. The most important thing is to try to practice at least a couple of times a week, or preferably every day if your job does not involve using it, or your speed will lapse. In order to get any useful speed your outlines must be automatic and require no great thought, especially the more common ones. The only place you'll find the book on word groupings is Amazon: type "Teeline Word Groupings" on the Amazon site.

Posted by: Steve Wylie at January 23, 2006 10:26

I've just finished Ann Dix's 'Teeline Fast' and have bought the Teeline Gold 'Student Pack' off Amazon, which is a coursebook, an accompanying workbook and a Teeline Dictionary. I'm going through it to improve my accuracy before I attempt getting my speed up. Some of the Teeline Gold isn't consistent with Ann Dix's version though, like in 'they' she uses THI whereas the Gold course book uses THE, which I find a bit weird.

They are really helpful though, and much more substantial than Ann Dix's version. I am learning it now because I am a geek and I want to have a headstart before my NCTJ course in September, plus the skill of being able to write that fast would be majorly helpful to me in lectures! I find that if I focus more on my accuracy, the speed kind of just comes with it.

Posted by: Hannah at January 24, 2006 23:12

As a working reporter in Hong Kong, I've found that not having learned shorthand is a severe handicap. You can't rely on a digital recorder all the time. So I took it upon myself to buy the Teeline Gold book which I have diligently worked through mainly after dinner and before bed. It took me ages to get through all the chapters at the rate I was going.Anyway, I'm now concentrating more on doing a few recordings of texts and practising on that.

Posted by: Danny Chung at January 27, 2006 03:00

Like teaching t-line using esperanto as a subject language

Posted by: lee at March 2, 2006 15:21

If you want to learn Teeline, there is a e-learning platform at

They helped me achieve my goal of 110 wpm.

Posted by: Peter Jones at March 8, 2006 12:53

Everything everyone says about it (above) is true - Gold is less perplexing (but Dix feels quick); the system is annoyingly half sound/half spelling, etc. but if you just trust it and DO it you can't help but get there and it's WORTH it. The best thing of all is dictation - make your own recordings (you can cobble sentences up out of the practice material) if necessary. I'm really enjoying it. Leita

Posted by: Leita Prior at April 8, 2006 08:50

I am a Secretarial/Administration Lecturer and teach Teeline Shorthand. I started out not liking Shorthand because the first system I tried was Pitman New Era which I found difficult. Teeline is much more simpler because it is based on the alphabet. I've read everyone's comments on this beautiful subject and I found it extremely interesting to see that quite a few of you are 'men' - do disrespect. To help you along the way to perfecting the skill: treat it as another language i.e practice for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday. Once you are confident with the basics try having a go at writing down everything you see e.g adverts on hoardings, notices etc. Also, try having a go when you are watching television to see how much you can again transcribe. Teeline, unlike Pitman, is only 5% phonetic. As for using tapes, get someone do some dictation for you - it can be on any subject you choose. Happy writing.

Posted by: Linda Kellman at May 3, 2006 14:45

I said in my previous comment that it was good to see so many men showing an interest in Teeline. At the end of that statement is says "do disrespect" - this should read as 'no disrespect' i.e no disrespect to the men. Also, where it mentions the tapes, just get someone to dictate onto tapes for you or they can dictate to you. I'll be passing on your comments to my students to give them a bit of a boost. Re books - I found the best book to use was the Teeline Revised by I C Hill & Meriel Bowers. Again, happy writing.

PS Any correspondence please use the email address at Wanadoo and not the one at Barking. Many thanks.

Posted by: Linda Kellman at May 5, 2006 14:27

I am learning shorthand as a distance learning course. I am finding it really enjoyable. My tutor is excellent and informs me that Teeline is flexible (adaptable) that is why it varies in some of the text books.

The thing is you need to be able to read back what you have written down and if something is not completely right - chill!! You can usually read it back anyway!

Although you need to understand the theory and somethings need to be very precise, it is all about a 'quicker way to write'. Basicaly if you are too busy matching Teeline from a book and not being independent it does become a chore. I tried to learn on my own originally but it did not work for me, so anyone who is learning on their own from a text book... I think 'brlnt' and well done!!

I find Teeline totally amazing and the more you get into it the easier it gets and it is so logically. Anyone needing any help email and I will ask my tutor. Keep with the shorthand it is well worth it...

Posted by: Annie at May 7, 2006 09:52

hi, i've been learning teeline since september and have found it quite a challenge. it has taken me a while to get to grips with it but now i have, it's great! i'm in my last year of 6th form and have found it very useful for note taking in class and when we go to revision conferences. i do it at my local college as an evening course for 2 hours a week. it's hard to find the time to work on improving my skills but i know that once i've learned it, i won't regret the time spent on it.

Posted by: me at May 23, 2006 15:25

Hi,I am doing a teeline course at home. I get tutor-support with Shorthand-OC. I find it difficult sometimes but my tutor is great and keeps me going.

Posted by: Kim at July 6, 2006 21:36

Hi. I have been a shorthand tutor for more years than I care to remember and this year, after only 4 hours weekly tuition for 23 weeks, ie less than 100 hours, had many students pass the NCTJ 100 and 110. I used Dawn Johnston's book, Teeline for Journalists. It contains many short cuts and is really great for increasing speed with accuracy. Many of my students passed with Distinction and also with 100% accuracy. I have used all the other books mentioned above, but find Dawn Johnston's book better than any other.


Posted by: kaye at July 8, 2006 23:29

Whether you are an experienced Teeliner or just a freshman like myself, you are welcome to join our Teeline discussion (and practice!!) group at

Send an empty message to teeline_shorthand (at)

Posted by: Gene at July 31, 2006 21:31

Oups! Sorry: teeline_shorthand-subscribe (at)

Posted by: Gene at July 31, 2006 21:35

I just came across this website, although, till less than 24 hours ago, I had never even HEARD of Teeline -- and I am a journalist, too.

However, at my age, I reckon it is too late for me to learn -- also because I do not have a great deal of need to do so. (And, it must be said, after 20 years of using computers, and then a typewriter before that, my handwriting has become more like a doctor's....)

Actually, many years ago, I started to learn Pitman's -- but gave that up after three months when I found out that you have to transcribe ASAP afterwards, or you will forget what you really meant by what you wrote! Mind you, Teeline is just the same, of course -- in fact, obviously, all "shorthand" relies upon the aid of short-term memory. But as I was hoping to use it to write the diaries of my travels (this was before the days of blogs -- even computers!) I quickly decided it wasn't going to help me much at all. (And so now I have a pile of diaries that, representing about five years, is 2-3 feet high.)

It was while I was surfing the web, looking for the email address of a mag I might write for, that I came across the NCTJ website, which mentioned this thing called "Teeline shorthand". Now, I recall Speedwriting being taught back in the early eighties -- but Teeline?! What's that?!

Well, now I know -- it's much like Speedwriting, but presumably better. (I wonder what happened to Speedwriting...?) Anyway, firstly, having taught myself a BIT of German, from reading ad hoardings, etc., when I was in Germany for several weeks years ago, and, as an English tutor here in Hong Kong (my OTHER profession), I can certainly testify to the importance of INTERACTING with the "language" of Teeline. And more important, to say that "Thinking in Teeline" is one of the best ways to improve your speed. It is what I tell my students -- only, instead of "Teeline" of course the word is "English". The idea certainly helped me in Germany, even when I knew only a few words of German -- and the frustration of sometimes NOT knowing the correct word, pushes you on to FIND OUT. So, yes, it is an intellectual exercise, a "code" to be broken, indeed.

But don't let it become like my German, which, over here in Hong Kong, naturally has become extremely rusty. But since Teeline is "English" (based), you can go on practicing for the rest of your life. Good luck!

Martyn Green, Media & Educational Services, H.K.

Posted by: Martyn Green at August 21, 2006 07:46

I have just started learning Teeline using the book by Ann Dix, and find that sometimes the outlines do not look like the ones in the book, and are too big.

Can anyone help me with this?

Posted by: Robbie Campbell at August 28, 2006 14:48

I learned Pitman New Era Shorthand back in 1986, and at that time I reached about 80 words per minute. It takes a long time to learn, and I am very rusty, but you never forget it completely. I'm thinking about a refresher. Teeline is newer, and was supposed to be easier to learn, but you can never get as fast a speed, and I believe Gregg's Shorthand is used in America. All I can say is keep going - it does get easier!

Posted by: Jim McC. at August 31, 2006 14:13

I was interested in reading about people doing Speedwriting. I got a distance learning course, but did not finish it for two reasons, one because the student guide confused me, and secondly, because you have to write the letter "r" in a certain way, and I found that very hard to do.

Perhaps some Speedwriting graduates could let me know how I get over that and if r can be written in a different way.

Posted by: Robbie Campbell at September 4, 2006 14:19

My company are after hiring a Freelance Tee line tutor on a once a week basis, they need to be within the London area. Any recommendations??

Posted by: Joanna at December 19, 2006 15:18

I first taught myself Teeline shorthand at the age of 14, and went on to achieve 140 words per minute at 16; and we regularly used to take dictation at speeds up to and including 160 words per minute in class... people will often try and argue that "You can't reach the high speeds with Teeline" (as opposed to Pitman, the older form of shorthand), but this simply isn't true.

For anyone who wants to learn Teeline (or any system of shorthand, come to think of it), then dedication and regular practice (ie daily) is essential - it's no harder or easier than learning a second language.

I'm a little surprised by some of the comments here - that some students find Teeline outlines confusing, or they feel that Teeline is half-way between phonetics and spelling... Teeline is the most logical system of shorthand in the world (all other systems, including Speedwriting are based on pure phonetics), whereas Teeline is based on spelling (and is phonetic only as far as the English alphabet is phonetic - eg "F" for "PH" etc).

If you practice and thoroughly work through all the principles in a Teeline textbook, without jumping ahead, or skipping information, you will soon become a good Teeline writer. But, like any skill, Teeline must be practised and used regularly to become fluent in it.

Teeline is also fun to learn and one of the reasons it has replaced other forms of shorthand in the UK is because it is straightforward and relatively easy to master. If anyone has also tried to learn Pitman shorthand, they will know what I mean!

Posted by: Adam at December 30, 2006 20:39

hehehe, you've cheered me up! last year i gave away my collection of pitman shorthand textbooks old and new, but still have diaries from decades ago written in it. i have gotten a work diary for 2007, and this morning got sick of writing in longhand, and was seeing if i could remember the pitman.... which resulted in enrolling in OTEN edu au. I had never gotten any speed up in pitman, but couldnt go through life not up to speed eh!!! lol, youve cheered me up about it, i will do it after all ;-) the textbook is hill and bowers, and now i go look at the online resources above THANK YOU

Posted by: ruth at January 4, 2007 10:28

Dear Sir,

I am a French citizen, I do biographic studies and I need some help to understand a few lines written in stenographic characters. These lines belong to the personal diary of a French woman born in 1962 who learned French and English shorthand to become a professional bilingual secretary (English and French). She studied the Prevost Delaunay method for French language stenography during the early 1980s. I am unable to understand the English stenographic texts which are very short, and I am ready to pay somebody able to do this job for me. I would scan the texts and send them by email to the person. My email address is: ‘’.
Thank you,

Best Regards,


Posted by: Bruno GARNIER at January 16, 2007 16:39

I too have been learning Teeline for my journalism course...but the lessons only lasted 10 weeks and I'm ashamed to say I didn't attend the last 2 :( I haven't practised in a going back to Ann Dix's book and start all over! Are there any other helpful web resources? Like worksheets or something!

Posted by: Sarah at January 23, 2007 12:29

If you buy your own (Ann Dix best?) book & teach yourself teeline, can you still enter for an exam so you can say to future employers you have an 'official' qualification? Or do you have to pay for a teeline ourse with an exam built in at the end so as to be officially qualified? Would love to know, thanks!

Posted by: Emily at February 16, 2007 11:46


I have taught shorthand and now Teeline for the past 20 years! For all of these years I have used round patches that stick on my stopwatch to time my students with various speed timings on them. They are now barely visible and I wondered if there was anyone out there who could tell me where to purchase some more from as I find them invaluable. Many thanks.

Posted by: Elaine Taylor at February 21, 2007 09:56

I'm about to start an intensive NCTJ print journalism course and have been teaching myself teeline from Anne Dix's book and from the Teeline For Jounalists one for a few months.

Though I feel comfortable with the system, I haven't got to the stage where I can take notes without thinking.

My worry is that many people seem to fail NCTJ courses - especially the teeline exam. And as I'm doing a course that is only 4 or 5 months long, there is pressure to master it quickly. I find doing more than a couple of hours a day tiring - parly because I have not needed to use handwriting much in recent years, so writing itself is tiring and boring.

Has anyone recently taken a NCTJ teeline exam or can fill me in about the content of it. For example, for the 100wpm dictation, what sort of words are used? Would they be the sort of words commonly used in newspaper articles or more general sorts of things?

Does anyone know what the pass rate is for the pre-entry NCTJ course? What are the main reasons that people fail?

Posted by: Boris at February 26, 2007 20:50

teeline is cool! The only reason why teeline was not more successful is that dictation machines became available at the same time as his system was developed.... around the 1960's. I think that they should teach it in the school curiculum! It such a useful skill!

Posted by: steve at March 9, 2007 00:37

Teeline is cool. I did the NCTJ course a couple of years ago and Boris is right, only about 70 - 80 per cent get to 100wpm on the fast-track course. Even so, you'll almost certainly get to about 70-80wpm minimum in four months and some papers will take you on with that - usually on the condition that you get 100wpm within a few months.

The NCTJ Teeline exam itself is two minutes with a 30 second break and then a further two minutes. I think you're allowed to get four mistakes for each minute or something.

The golden rule is to try and not think about what is being said and get an ear to hand thing going (basically try bypassing your brain). Might sound stupid but it seems to work.

One site I've come across is which sells dictation CDs (I used the old fashioned tapes when I was learning my shorthand) and they've got online exercises too. Might be worth a look.

Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2007 20:29

In the 70's when I was a student nurse I learnt some form of shorthand that was necessary when writing up patient reports at the end of a shift.
I can't remember what the shorthand was called but for "with" we used to write ic (written with the i above the c and slightly to the left) also for "therefore" we put three dots in the shape of a triangle.
This was over 30 years ago but I can still remember quite a lot and use it nearly everyday when making notes. If anybody can remember the name I would be grateful if they could let me know

Posted by: Irene at March 29, 2007 22:13


Posted by: sashacat at April 16, 2007 10:43

If anyone has any old Teeline dictation tapes or CD's I could borrow, it would be really appreciated. I will return them when I have done my exam in July.

Posted by: Sarah at April 17, 2007 22:22

Just to answer Irene - the form of shorthand you're referring to was called Isotech, which is not strictly a form of shorthand but a form of mathematical notation. The inverse of the three dots meant "because" - etc. Isotech is used by large numbers of people including the medical profession and economists. Hope that helps.

Posted by: Jake at April 20, 2007 18:11

Hello, I am looking for a version of Teeline in French and in German. I have learnt Teeline in English and this is useful, but I would like to use it in French and I look forward to find somebody who has developed it in French and German or either one. Thank you. Best regards, CAtherine

Posted by: Catherine at August 6, 2007 17:57

Hi, I'm 43. Use to be a quick learner, but not so anymore. Didn't take Gregg in H.s., regretted it ever since. Typed 77wpm upon graduation, and worked in an office until 28, typing 90wpm. I haven't worked in 17 years, still type some, but want desperately to learn gregg (personal, nothing business). Have centennial textbook, diamond jubilee, and 2nd ed. simplified (wow, nearly the whole alphabet in the 1st chapter), I think centennial is for me.

Any help for me? I don't have any problem understanding the concepts, and READING it. I just can't make the stroke, the curves, especially F and V !!! Any help for me? I knew it would take a year, to master, but without a teacher saying, "m n d t s o e"....."main, may, deed, train, leader, Dale," (words learned in beginning), how is one ever going to learn how to take notes based on someone else talking, if you read a word, then look to the pad to write it?

I would have thought there would be some cassette tapes out there, from the community colleges, of 'drills', of all the beginning words?

(I printed off the anniversary from a website, I can't believe that one, they learned a ton, all right away!! thanks....connie

Posted by: Connie at September 10, 2007 03:35

I remember studying Teeline in English and French in the 1980s, but our French 'text' book was only a photocopied one from somewhere in Scotland. Not having used the shorthand for some time, memory says that it was a straightforward change of 'English' phonetics into French: the English 'qu' for example, became the French 'qu' - it really is a matter of 'thinking' in the language.
Good luck with the bi/tri-lingual attempts.

Posted by: Andrea at November 5, 2007 14:18

in responce to the pass rate question in NCTJ teeline exams i've been told by my Teeline tutor that for a 100 words per minute the pass mark is around 20% and around 90% for 80 words per minute.

The pass mark is so low because you are required to get something like 97.5% accuracy i believe.

Extremely difficult.

i thought teeline was fairly easy until i bumped into the 'doubling' theory and now i feel like im starting again!

Posted by: Fox at November 7, 2007 19:02

i need help with learning the Teeline Alphabet any sugestions?

Posted by: Monica Tucker at November 14, 2007 15:23

Monica - just keep writing it out over and over again, line after line. That's the only way it'll stick!

Posted by: James at November 25, 2007 19:14

I have just started to learn teeline! I seem to be picking it up quite well but will I ever reach a speed? Have I left it too late in life to start? I am in my forties.

Posted by: yels at November 28, 2007 22:20

I invite all Teeline novices to join Teeline discussion group at Yahoogroups.

We are sharing experience and skills-

Posted by: Gene at November 30, 2007 23:16

Can anyone help when I'm typing my word will end all jumbled up and I have go back and cut and paste, I have a laptop and I do not put my hand on the pad so it's not that that is doing it.

Posted by: Judy at January 1, 2008 07:04

It's a relief to hear that i'm not the only one with these problems, I was beginning to think I was. I'm doing the NCTJ module also and at the moment 100 WPM seems impossible. My main problem is that just when I think I've cracked it, a new dictation passage will bring an awkward word i've not learned and as soon as i've hesitated to think about it, i've lost it. I get good tips from experienced journalists though.

Posted by: david at January 15, 2008 11:48

Hi - I've been learning shorthand for a while but I need to push to get 100 so I can get my final NCTJ prelim adn start teh NCE. Does anyone know of a shorthand tutor or course that could help? I live in Taunton and I'm at around 85/90 wpm at the moment.


Posted by: Jo at January 29, 2008 12:20

I have just passed my 80wpm and have my 100wpm exam in about an hour and a half!!
I don't anticipate passing first time, the difference from 80 is so vast, I just can't seem to move my hand quick enough!!
Anyway, wish me luck... :os

Posted by: Russell at February 7, 2008 08:59

You'll find a handful of passages written in Teeline.

Posted by: Teeliner at February 15, 2008 13:45

Dear all:

I am a Chinese, non-native English speaker, I am starting to study Teeline, but still scared about my own language background. Any suggestions or similar examples? Is that possible for me to master Teeline?

Posted by: Cindy at February 24, 2008 05:49

It's never too late to learn anything - I'm 53 and am picking up my erstwhile journalism skills because I recently separated from my husband and am trying to pick up a full time job or at least regular freelancing. I remember the teeline alphabet from my original training but not the more advanced forms so I'm using teeline for general words but longhand for names etc that must be correct and text language in between. So far its worked ok but am persevering with finding a teeline course online especially to get my speed up.

Posted by: wendy at March 9, 2008 22:08

If the lady who is looking for plastic disks to go on her stopwatch is still looking I have them if she would care to e-mail me. Also larg selection of Teeline and some Pitman material if anyone is interested.

Pat Tabs - ex Shorthand tutor.

Posted by: Pat Tabs at March 27, 2008 22:40

I was a Teeline teacher/writer (also Pitman New Era/2000) while teaching at a large tertiary institution in New Zealand. While it is no longer taught at my institution, I am often asked to train journalists (as a trainer), which I continue to do.

I am gradually updating my resources and am currently looking for a list of the 700 most commonly occurring words. I am happy to share resources.

Posted by: Kay Lewis at April 14, 2008 07:07

Dear Pat

I am highly interested in some Teeline material you might have. I am looking for the Teeline Word Groupings book by George Hill and Meriel Bowers.

If the material is still available, could you be so kind to email me on

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


Posted by: Dennis at April 20, 2008 20:54

I have started the Teeline Online lessons which has really helped me - is anyone else here doing them?

Posted by: Kristell at April 23, 2008 15:35

Hello Pat,

I'm also looking into learning shorthand as I've just finished a journalism degree (but no Teeline was included), and am finding it increasingly difficult to find a job without it.

If you could contact me on I'd be eternally grateful



Posted by: Tess at April 24, 2008 17:01

Hello, would any of you know a London based Teeline tutor interested in freelancing, 4 hours p/w?


Posted by: HJ at July 17, 2008 15:19


I am a Teeline tutor based in Gloucestershire - I have produced an 80 wpm speed tape with warm up passages read at 100 wpm. These can be purchased through ebay or through our web site.
We hold evening classes and intensive classes during the summer.


Posted by: Jeannette at September 28, 2009 12:03

Dear Pat

I would be very interested in purchasing the plastic disks you have for a stopwatch.

I am also looking for a copy of the workbook that accompanied the Teeline Gold Speed Ladder - this is recorded as having been published, but I have never seen a copy.

You can contact me on


Posted by: Robert Laird at November 20, 2009 09:11

I started learning using the free online lesson on it's really useful

is it worth paying money for lessons or should i just practice like mad?

thanks for everyone else's helpful comments :)

Posted by: Bea at December 10, 2009 10:25

i want to learn about shorthand because am interested in doing secretarial work

Posted by: florence kasonde at April 16, 2010 11:26

I have coached journalists for their NCTJ exam and also taught Teeline on secretarial courses. Am available for one to one and group teaching. I LOVE Teeline!

Posted by: Sarah Hocking at June 20, 2010 08:19

I'm a qualified Teeline shorthand teacher just moved to the Milton Keynes/Northampton area and would love to teach private or small group of students keen on learning from scratch/developing their shorthand. Do e-mail me if there's anyone in the Northants, Bucks area who might be needing tuition.

Posted by: Jan Hillier at September 4, 2010 23:05

I would be interested in purchasing the plastic disks for a stop watch as offered by Pat Tabs - how do I contact her, please?

Posted by: cmattey at February 26, 2011 13:39

I am learning Teeline with Shorthand tutor Elaine Galloway and she is brilliant. Check out her website at The combination of online interactive time trials, dictation exercises, practice drill sheets for outlines, shortforms and word groupings plus one-to-one weekly telephone tutor support makes all the difference. I am moving at a good pace and I highly recommend this course for people with time pressures.

Posted by: Helene at June 12, 2011 18:26

I'm in my 30's and I only ever heard of shorthand until a couple of months ago. I'm working on getting a degree and need to be able to take notes quicker than I have been. So I checked out Pitman first. I don't like dealing with thin/thick lines. I started handywrite, found it fairly nice but seemed bulky to me. Then Gregg. Love the flow of Gregg, but I was having trouble reading it back later, because the lines look to similar to me. (granted I am a complete newb) Then I found Teeline. I picked it up surprisingly fast. I spent about 16 hours straight learning and practicing. Within that first day I could keep up with 40WPM with no problem. But I few things gave me hiccups, probably due to me getting slightly use to Gregg. So I tweaked it. I took out the stuff that gave me the hiccups and replaced it with what I liked about Gregg. Then added a few of my own rules that made since to me. Now one month in, I can go 80wpm (100% accuracy) and actually I can probably boost that up now. (keep in mind I have been putting at least ten hours every single day into this while on semester break) The best part is, since I devoted so much straight time and thought to it, tweaking it and such, I can write something down and go back to it days later and read it as if I'm reading longhand. I love shorthand now. Through out the day it's all I will use to take notes at work, little to do's, etc. Best part is that since I frankenstein-ed it so much nobody can read it except me. Although I did make a huge key with rules and special blends, etc. in case my wife ever wants to learn what I am writing :)

Posted by: Nemo at December 13, 2011 09:44
Post a comment

Remember personal info?