Short hand is a way of writing the spoken words with signs.

Historical development of short hand

The investment of shorthand was in the year 1787 when Simon George Bordley in England invested longhand system.

This was followed by Isaac Pitman as English Educator in 1837.

In 1867 another system of shorthand called JohnRobert Gregg shorthand emerged.

This was followed by the invention of speed writing which is the combination of Pitman and Gregg shorthand was invented.

Finally, machine shorthand was invested by ward stone.

Systems of shorthand

There are three systems of shorthand. They are:

  1. Gregg 2. Sloan and

3 Pitman shorthand.

Pitman shorthand

Pitman shorthand was invested by Sir Isaac Pitman in the year 1837 and it is a system of writing based on sound of words and symbols popularly known as phonetic principle.

Features of Pitman shorthand.

Some of them are:

  1. It is written by signs and according to sounds not according to spelling
  2. It is made up of 24 consonants, 12 vowels and 4 dipthongs.
  3. Consonants are the main language and are represented by simple strokes.
  4. Vowels signs are written according to their position etc

Shorthand principles

Some of them are:

  1. Shorthand principles are written only once.
  2. Shorthand is not written on a plain sheet
  3. Light pencils and blue pen are not used for writing shorthand
  4. Study shorthand every day etc


  1. Define shorthand.
  2. Give small history of development of shorthand

shorthand consonants

Date 31 – 4th September 2020

Consonant is defined as audible friction or stopping of the breath in some part of the mouth or throat.

Consonants is also known by it’s pronunciation when word causes brief stopping in the throat.

There are 24 consonants in pitman shorthand.

The first six consonants

It is represented by straight downward strokes because they are written from up to down. They are:


Consonants Shorthand Name Examples
P Pee  Pear, pea
B Bee big, be
T   Tee Tea, thief
D   dee day, deaf
CH   chey cheat, charm
J   jey joe, jack


So the first six consoants form in pairs, each pairs have the same outline (shorthand writing) the second pair in lightness.

P and B have the same type of outline but the different is that P is light and B is thick.

Joining of consonants

Consonants are joined together without lifting the pen or pencil.

When joining, begin the second stroke where the first one stops. The first stike must rest on the line e.g

  pt                                                    ,                                                       td



phrasing is the act of writing two or more words together without lifting the pen.

To add “the” to form phrase is adding a thick at the end of the word e.g

  1. tell the 2. at the etc

Punctuation marks

There are characters (shorthand outline) that represent punctuation mark in shorthand. Some of them are:

Full stop x
Question mark ?


Exclamation sign     I


Hyphen X




  1. Write the outline of the first six consonants.
  2. Join these consonants in shorthand

(a) pd  (b) tp

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