29/05/2012 3 Comments
Having blogged about a lot of serious events recently, I thought I’d relax a little and write about every trainee journalists favourite subject.
For those of you who aren’t trainee journalists, the answer is Teeline Shorthand a.k.a hand-slayer, mind-boggler and the plot line of LOST’s adopted cousin.
Teeline is said to be the easiest form of Shorthand to learn, which is good considering that you have to sit a 60 word a minute exam after 10 weeks of a 14 week course. But if this is the easiest to learn then the other forms must be like trying to ride a unicycle up Mount Everest.
In fairness I’m finding the theoretical side of Teeline relatively straight-forward. The majority of the system is based on the alphabet whilst many outlines are based on common sense and context. Something we are constantly reminded of in class.
You wouldn’t write “I want to bad light lost note” for example, unless you were Arthur Bostrom rehearsing for a line as the linguistically confused Officer Crabtree in Ello Ello.
Having now finished all 20 theory units of Marie Cartwrights wonderful book (kaching) we have now begun speed building exercises.
Speed building is the Batman of Teeline. A darker but practical and effective entity for journalists to have.
It is something which, at first, I can only imagine feels like having your brain extracted through your nostrils whilst your hand flaps around like a dying fish; desperately trying to remember the special outline for vandalism (VN blend, D, S, M).
By the time you’ve remembered this, the dictation has ended and you’re left feeling like the Marie Celeste, empty, alone and adrift.
But have no fear! Now we’re being told not to worry about getting the correct outlines provided we can read our own outlines back.
Common sense and context rides in on it’s white horse once again. Albeit leaving clumps of manure over 20 theory based units.
Having said this, I’m amazed at everyone’s progress after six and half weeks on the course. Our outlines have evolved from single-celled amoeba to complex, and in some cases, diverse lifeforms.
With three and a half weeks until the 60 word a minute exam, we can only endeavour to advance our shorthand skills. Otherwise it may be the end of teeline for us wannabe journalists.