Here’s the first paragraph of Phil Plait’s article “Mooning Pluto” on Bad Astronomy in Teeline:
I’m not really happy about how I wrote “Pluto”: Joining upwards L and T is awkward (outline 1, below). I should have writen it disjoined, I think (outline 2). But then, I’m afraid this may indicate some suffix I do not know about yet. The proper way would be to use the normal L, to which T can be easily joined (outline 3). However, this outline would hang very low below the writing line.
There are a lot of Teeline users and learners out there; some are blogging, some are tweeting or hanging out at Google Plus and Reddit. In order to revive the late 90s genre of the “link list”, I’d like to show you what I have found so far.
I know the German shorthand system “Stiefo” quite well, but writing English with it is rather awkward. Therefore I have thought about learning English shorthand.
The most common systems are
Pitman is the oldest, and seems a bit complicated. But its biggest drawback for me is shading, i.e. using thin and thick strokes. You can do this with soft pencils and special fountain pens, but I’d like to write with any tool that I happen to have in my hand at the moment.
Gregg doesn’t use shading, looks extremely elegant and is also very fast and powerful. I had tried learning it, and it is not that easy. Also it can be difficult to read back, especially if you haven’t been very careful with shapes and sizes.
Teeline is quite easy to get started with – the same advantage that Stiefo has. After a little time you know the whole alphabet and are able to write anything. Perhaps not in the quickest way, but at least you can use it in everyday situations rather soon. Of course, as you proceed, you learn a lot of abbreviation techniques to write faster. I personally dislike that the letters are derived from their longhand form, which makes them more awkward and complicated to write than Stiefo letters, which have been choosen based on the frequency with which they appear in different positions.
But in general, Teeline suits me best. English is my second language, so I don’t need English shorthand that often. A powerful system like Gregg would take to much time to learn and to stay in practice, so I prefer the less sophisticated Teeline.
In this blog, I will document my progress and observations. In the past few weeks, I already posted some samples to the Teeline Google+ Community and asked for comments. The people there are really nice and helpful! I have published some of those samples in this blog, back-dated to when I posted them to Google+. If the comment authors agree, I will add their suggestions here as well.
But first, over the next days I will post a few articles about courses / learning materials and useful sites on the net.