Teeline shorthand partner wanted!

I was wanting to learn shorthand so I googled and found a few samples and found one called Teeline. It’s not too bad. It’s pretty straight forward but, like anything else, it requires a lot of practice. So…I was wondering if anyone would care to join me in learning from the ground up?

I can show you what I learned and where, the alphabet is terribly simple, forming entire words in just a few scribbles is pretty awesome. The tough part for me is reading it back. So far I’ve been writing some words and sentences and the first few lines of the Gettysburg Address…

So, if anyone is interested I was wondering if we could make some words and sentences, stories and the like in order to become more proficient.

I honestly am not sure what I would use this skill for…I type at 120 wpm so it seems a bit pointless to be able to write at 130 to 200 wpm (at peak speed) but, it’d still be a fun to learn a dying art.

So…who’s up for some shorthand nerd-out?


I can say if you’ve made up your mind on tee line, I’m out…but I have been learning Gregg Shorthand myself, and Im still not very good. It is a lot of fun, but it hurts to spend “practice time” on something unrelated to memory, so I Tell myself it’s for the poetry event. I didn’t do much research at all, just saw some consensus that it was very quick to learn compared to other methods and got down to it. But I’ll check out tee line, maybe they’re similar.

Edit: As I thought, the systems couldn’t be more different. Teeline looks like it could be both slower to learn and slower to write. You could probably spend a day with gregg and know it well enough to write everything (slowly), but the #1 problem with Gregg Shorthand is that the differences in sounds are often based on the length/size of loops and lines, so without precision, everything looks pretty much the same. Teeline looks like you could be a little more sloppy with it (9/10 people write sloppy anyway, don’t they?).

I’ll check out Gregg, I learned Teeline in a day. And by ‘learned’ I mean that I can write decently and read it slowly. It was a very simple program but it has a few flaws that I’ve not addressed yet, like vowels… ALL of the vowels are taken out…so if I write “Carpe diem” it looks like “crp dm” so…I’d have to go back and add the vowel modifiers which seems a bit weird and unproductive…so…ima give Gregg a look now.

Hey, have you had any time to work on this at all? I haven’t been working on it, but today was a big day for me with shorthand, so I thought I’d share how that happened and maybe it’ll help you or someone else out.

On this page:
There is a list of about 300 common words and how to write them, these words are so common that they are not written out in full. They are each abbreviated in one of two ways, with a couple of exceptions.
A) the first syllable is written, f.e., immediately = i m E
2) vowels are omitted, and sometimes the end of the word too, f.e., strong/strength = s t r

Knowing the alphabet and then going straight to a page like this has got to be the most efficient way to learn.

It took a few hours this morning, but I went through the whole list twice, writing out each word over and over until it was written perfectly and at a pace that wasn’t absurdly slow. The second time through the list was much faster (I took an hour break in between).

In the past few hours I went from not being able to write really anything at a faster than normal pace to being able to write all kinds of things at a faster pace. Half of the words or more in most of my sentences would have had abbreviations included in that list.

That last sentence above ^^ was 19 words. FOURTEEN of those words, all except for “half, sentences, abbreviations, included, & list,” have specific shorthand forms that are in the list of 300. If I stopped all of my shorthand learning here and just practiced that list, I could double my writing speed in a week just by writing in a hybrid longhand/shorthand.

But the other great thing is that learning that list has given me a tool to practice the strokes for connecting a huge amount of the consonant/consonant, consonant/vowel, and vowel/consonant combinations in the language, so by the time that these are all mastered, I will probably be good enough at those combinations to be able to string them together quickly enough to stop writing longhand altogether. With daily practice, I’d say it would take about 16 weeks before I would no longer derive any benefit from longhand.

So if you’re going to learn shorthand, make sure to find a table like this for whatever style you choose to learn!

1 Like

Since that last post a week ago, I’ve spent about 20 hours working on shorthand. It is a huge undertaking. In my imagination I was thinking of being able to write the entire poem out five times during encoding, and then spitting the whole poem back out in shorthand for recall, and wondering “who could possibly beat the competitor with that tool?” (Nobody could.)

But many sources online say (I’m averaging them) that to surpass typing speed takes about a year, provided you practice for an hour a day that year. So even though I’m a little invested in it, and it would be so cool to know, I might have to ditch this project. I don’t think it’s justifiable when mnemonics are my priority - imagine the results that would come from spending half of that hour on N&F and the other half on poetry every day, or memorizing digits for an extra hour every day. Good luck to you, ZenAgain.

1 Like

If you haven’t seen them yet, there are some pages about speed writing and shorthand systems in the wiki. If anyone discovers interesting tips, feel free to edit the pages. :slight_smile:

I don’t have experience with Teeline, so this may not be helpful but I’ve used Pitman shorthand for a number of years. The learning curve is steep but writing speed is fast. This is a link to a helpful website. It’s not as well laid out as it could be but there is a lot of good stuff if you dig for it.

An alternative to learning the whole system would be to learn the most common words, phrases and shortforms. Not perfect, but it would speed writing. Good luck.

I’ve been using Forkner now for a few years and I’m about twice as fast as my long hand speed. But I can’t keep up with normal speech. My long hand speed has also considerably improved as I work on it too. Even though I peaked long ago, my interest is still there. I spend less than 1 minute on it a day, as I rewrite about 3 sentences in long hand and shorthand every day from an interesting book. I also read my three sentences out loud, timing all three tests.
I think over the years, this little exercise has been good for me. I am still occasionally working on new changes to the system (when I get an idea) to ensure I write as little as I need while keeping it legible. Making changes and incorporating them is fun. I think there is no point in copying any system perfectly. I think doing just that(copying the system perfectly) is like for a memorizer to try to learn and use another memorizer’s personal images . Not a good idea. I even suspect that to strive for perfection in writing any shorthand language (Pitman, Forkener, Teeline) is a reason why speed writing isn’t as popular as it could be. The more you have fun playing with it the better.

Yeah I was very interested in the subject but all I read is complaints from people that they aren’t fast enough relative to some other speed. I mean, if you’re even twice as fast that’s got to be exciting because for me as a songwriter it’s so hard getting all the words on a page before you forget them (some ethereal, spoken word to motor skill thing). I think if you have mnemonics or a mind palace combined with some speed writing system, you’d be A+ in my book.

Today I learned shorthand for the first time. It was from some youtube video about “Alpha” shorthand, and apparently I learned about 50% of common use words in writing and speaking. Longer words are easy if you just cut out the syllables. I’d say I’m not very fast at all, but it’s still fun. And with practice it could be useful.

I am very interested in doing this. I created this account just because I saw something about teeline, read what you wrote and wanted to join.

1 Like

Your statement is correct, but IMHO possibly misleading.

The first 5-10% of a Gregg’s textbook are simple and logical. As you say, you could write anything slowly. Same statement for Pitman.

But the difficulty in both Gregg and Pitman shorthand is the “contractions”. These take up the remaining 90-95% of the book, and they are an absolute beast to learn. If you don’t learn the contractions, you will never achieve great speed. (Other terms for “contractions” are: brief forms and short forms.)

The following statement comes from the Gregg article in Wikipedia. A similar statement will apply to Pitman. I know nothing about Teeline (or one that’s new to me - Forkner).

  • All the [Gregg] versions use the same alphabet and basic principles, but they differ in degrees of abbreviation and, as a result, speed. The 1916 version is generally the fastest and most abbreviated version. Series 90 Gregg has the smallest degree of abbreviation, but it is also generally the slowest standard version of Gregg. Though each version differs in its level of abbreviation, most versions have expert and reporting versions for writers who desire more shortcuts.

They are referring to briefer ways of writing a word in order to save time. The briefer the word, the greater the speed, and the greater the difficulty of comprehension. You pays your money, and you makes your choice.

As an example, on your laptop, here’s how you could progressively shorten the word “characterization”:


You can see that it’s the vowels that are chopped first. The same thing happens in shorthand.

The shorter it is - the more difficult it is to read back.