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  "I lk to abbrv, it's a hab"  

A sample of literary Pitman

Here's a sample of Pitman New Era, taken from an old copy of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol which was printed in Pitman shorthand in the 1920s or 1930s. Reading literature written in PItman is a good way to learn it, because you soon recognize many common words by sight.

If you hover over the various symbols, you should (depending on your browser) be able to see a translation, and in many cases an explanation, of each symbol. A full translation is printed at the bottom of the page.

This text is written in an "advanced" style, which means that, in addition to the extensive use of shortcuts (or grammalogues) found in Pitman New Era, it also drops most of the vowels, which is the way that shorthand would normally be written by a stenographer.

Christmas Carol

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.

    Page last updated 2010-01-10 9:10 AM