Minggu, 30 Juni 2013

It's The Business

It's The Business - Part 1 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

Absolutely Everything Must Go - shop sign
Mangled outlines, that is
I hope your shorthand learning is going smoothly and successfully, and that you are mopping up the outlines with increasing speed and ease. I wonder if you have come across a particular outline that you keep getting wrong, or which just sticks to the end of your pen or pencil and gets regularly mangled. You look it up, practise a few times and think that you have it licked. I did this with the word “correspondence”. I knew I had to know this outline, but it was a long tricky one. Finally, I attacked it with everything I had. I wrote whole pages of it. To make sure it never escaped me again, I wrote it in giant size across the pad, about four inches wide, and copied over the top of it endlessly until the paper was a soggy mass of black ink and fell apart in tatters. I was not making any attempt at speed, but I wanted my fingers to be able to form it without hesitation. I never stumbled over it again. This one was particularly satisfying as it is a graceful flowing shape, but this method should be used for any outline that needs severe drilling, and not just the beautiful easy ones that you already know well.

It's The Business - Part 2 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

Zone Ends - road sign
Exit the
Bothersome Outlines Zone
The next best thing to reducing a perfectly good piece of steno pad paper to shreds is to write a passage and include the troublesome word in every sentence. If you write your passage neatly in ink, then go over the top lightly with a hard pencil that makes little or no mark, you can practise it many times without having to rewrite the page. Eventually you may wish to try it from dictation, but that is not the primary aim of this method, although that would be a good test of whether you have conquered that particular outline. You have to decide which is the outline that is plaguing or annoying you at present, but I am going to use the word business, as it has several forms and other related versions. It is very helpful to include the derivations, maybe towards the end of the passage, or in a separate piece, so that they don’t distract you from overcoming the one particular outline that needs this special treatment.

It's The Business - Part 3 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

Park seat
Park seat + snack + shorthand pad =
business and pleasure mixed
So let’s get down to business, open our shorthand pad and get going with the business end of a pen or pencil. Some people say you should never mix business with pleasure, or maybe you have to put business before pleasure. When there is no pleasure involved, we can claim that it is strictly business. If there is any questionable activity going on, we call it monkey business. If we are tired or disillusioned with our activity, we call it a funny old business. If you are practising your shorthand in the library or park, you are of course minding your own business. What you are writing is nobody’s business but yours. If your scribbling draws too much interest from strangers, you may just have to say to yourself “That’s show business!” If someone makes it their business to interrupt you several times too many, you may be looking for a polite way to tell them to mind their own business and that your writings are none of their business.

It's The Business - Part 4 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

If you are streaking ahead wonderfully and getting on really well with your study, the phrase used to be “getting on like nobody’s business” but nowadays the phrase is more likely to be “doing the business”. Once you have reached the magical three-figure speed, you can consider yourself open for business. When something is exactly what you are wanting or looking for, you might say “It’s the business!” but if your speaker says “It’s the bee’s knees!” (meaning something really good) then that needs to be written separately, with the vowel signs included.

It's The Business - Part 5 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

Bee on deutzia flowers
YouTube: The Bee Song
Some free bees-ness
dictation perhaps?
The intersection is best used only where it is obvious what the phrase is and where there is room for the Bee stroke to remain clear. If you need to record the word “biz”, as a slang expression, then it needs writing separately and with the vowel, for example “It’s the biz” or “showbiz” versus “show business / show business” or “newbies” versus “new business”. You may find yourself having to write the latest buzzwords, which you definitely don’t want to get mixed up with business words, and certainly not buzzards either! I know you are going to be very busy practising all these phrases, and you will be busily filling the pages. If you have constantly busied yourself with shorthand, you will be busier than ever and the busiest person will be the fastest. You can sing to yourself “I’d like to be a busy busy bee, being just as busy as a bee can be.”

It's The Business - Part 6 of 6 - Long Live Pitman's Shorthand! BlogSpot

Bee in rose flower
Sometimes it's hard to tell
if the workers are getting
on with buzzy-ness or just
taking a secret nap
You might have ambitions to take a business course* to learn how to run your own business, and eventually become a successful businessman or businesswoman. Businessmen and women spend their day entirely differently from either a busman or a postman. If you make it your business to work at your shorthand skill, then in time writing accurately and easily at a reasonable and useful speed will just be “business as usual.” You will, of course, have to make time in your busy day and not let the “busy-ness” of other activities make incursions into your study time. You might even go so far as to put off delays and time-wasters with that bold, defiant and faintly threatening phrase, “Just gotta go and take care of business, know what I mean?” (933 words)

*If you use the intersection here, write it first and the outline second.