Teeline Impressions

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.     

“I was pissing by your door”

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.


About herring35
I'm currently being forged into a journalist so I thought I'd start this blog to try and hone my writing skills (if any). I have a 2:1 degree in International Politics and Military History from Aberystwyth University. I'm interested in history, particularly military and American, as well as foreign affairs and any issues that cause us to ponder on the greater aspects of the world.

3 Responses to Teeline Impressions

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post John, very amusing – and very true. Shorthand should not be taken lightly!

  2. Pingback: What is it like to study on an NCTJ Fast-track Diploma in Journalism course at Brighton Journalist Works? «

  3. Pingback: What is it like studying with us? The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: