DIRECTIONS TO THE STUDENT
The system of shorthand set forth in the following pages received the name of phonography (a term derived from two Greek word meaning “sound writing” ) because if affords the means of recording the sounds of spoken language. From the outset, therefore the student should remember that he is learning to write by SOUND, i.e. to write words as they are pronounced; that each simple character represents one definite sound and no other; and that the ordinary spelling-with its many irregularities and inconsistence-as exhibited in printing and in longhand writing, is not to be followed or imitated.
When the student has mastered the value of the phonographic signs, he should use those which represent the equivalent sounds in forming the characters for the words he desires to write. For example, if he wishes to write in phonography the word knee (spelt with four letters, though made up of only two sounds), he uses the two photographic signs, namely, that for the consonant n and that for the vowel e(up la line). To spell in this fashion, a mental analysis of the sounds of words must be made, but the ability to do this is very easily acquired, and is soon exercised without conscious effort.
For working the exercises and for ordinary phonographic writing, a pen and ruled paper should be used. Speaking generally, it is not so easy to acquire a neat style of writing by the use of a pencil as it is by the use of a pen. No doubt, the pencil is frequently employed; in some cases, indeed it may be found impossible to use a pen for note-taking. The student would do well, therefore to accustom himself to write either with a pen or a pencil in the more advanced stages of his progress, though for writing the exercises given in this book the pen only should be used.
The pen should be held lightly, and in such a manner as to permit of the shorthand characters being easily written. The wrist must not be allowed to rest...