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Full text of "Practical pointers for shorthand students"

,RACTICAL 
WINTERS 



PRACTICAL 
POINTERS 

FOR 

SHORTHAND 
STUDENTS 



BY 

FRANK RUTHERFORD 



47107 



CHICAGO 

GREGG PUBLISHING COMPANY 
1904 



Copyright, 1 904 

BY 

JOHN R. GREGG 



The Publishers' Foreword 



We hope and believe that this book will prove of 
value to every ambitious student into whose hands it may 
come. It would be difficult to find anyone better quali- 
fied than the author to write a book of this kind. Mr. 
Rutherford can speak of almost every phase of shorthand 
and typewriting work from actual experience, for he has 
been a stenographer, a private secretary, a reporter, a 
teacher of shorthand, and an exponent of modern methods 
of typewriting. This broad, comprehensive experience 
has enabled him to write a book full of practical, up-to- 
date suggestions. 

In speaking of Mr. Rutherford as a teacher, the 
TYPEWRITER AND PHONOGRAPHIC WORLD said: "He is 
one of the very few teachers whom we know that every 
pupil he ever had recommends unqualifiedly and always 
mentions in terms of unstinted praise. He is a careful 
and painstaking teacher and conscientious, tireless worker. ' ' 

This book was written by Mr. Rutherford in his 
leisure moments, as opportunity offered, and the copy 
sent to us from time to time. We desire to express our 
indebtedness to Miss Alice G. Rosenfels and Mr. Rupert 
P. SoRelle for their valued assistance in arranging and 
editing the manuscript. 

THE GREGG PUBLISHING COMPANY. 
Chicago, February, 1904. 



GREGG SHORTHAND PUBLICATIONS 



GREGG SHORTHAND MANUAL. New and revised 

edition. Bound in cloth, gold lettering $i . 50 

PROGRESSIVE EXERCISES IN GREGG SHORT- 
HAND. These exercises are intended to test the student's 
knowledge of each lesson and to develop independent read- 
ing and writing ability 50 

READING AND WRITING EXERCISES IN GREGG 
SHORTHAND. Advanced practice matter business 
letters, articles, law forms, etc. designed to follow the Manual 
and Progressive Exercises 50 

GREGG SHORTHAND PHRASE BOOK. Contains 
about 2,400 useful business phrases. A great aid in attain- 
ing speed, and invaluable to all practical writers. Bound in 
cloth; vest pocket size .75 

GREGG SHORTHAND DICTIONARY. Contains the 
outlines of about 7,000 words. Bound in leather; vest pocket 
size i . oo 

LESSONS IN SHORTHAND PENMANSHIP. By 

John R. Gregg 15 

FACTORS OF SUCCESS. Compiled by H. T. Whit- 
ford and written in Gregg Shorthand; a very interesting and 
instructive reading book 25 

PUNCTUATION SIMPLIFIED. By J. Clifford Kennedy, 
pres't (1901) National Shorthand Teachers' Association; vice- 
pres't (1902) National Commercial Teachers' Federation. . .25 

RATIONAL TYPEWRITING. By Ida McLenan Cutler 
and Rupert P. SoRelle. A complete text-book for class or 
self-instruction in the art of typewriting by the Touch Meth- 
od. In two forms Single Keyboard and Double Keyboard i.oo 

ENGLISH: PROGRESSIVE STUDIES. By Francis 
Effinger-Raymond. A succinct presentation of the essentials 
of English .75 

WORDS: THEIR SPELLING, PRONUNCIATION, 
DEFINITION AND APPLICATION. 128 pages; 
flexible cover. . .15 

THE GREGG WRITER. A monthly magazine, con- 
taining exercises on the lessons; with numerous helpful sug- 
gestions for the students, advanced writing exercises, facsimile 
reporting notes, etc. Single copy, 10 cents; subscription 
per year 50 



CONTENTS 

PART I: THE STUDY OF SHORTHAND. PAGI 

Can I Learn Shorthand ?......! 

Which System of Shorthand ?.....! 

Advantages of Shorthand to a Young Man ... 3 
Advantages of Shorthand to a Young Woman . . 4 

" The Greatest Heights Not Reached by Easy Flight " . 5 

Is there an Over-Supply of Stenographers ? . . . 7 
How to Learn Shorthand and Typewriting . ' . 8 

The Advantage of Having an Instructor ... 9 

Don't Get Fits of the Blues ..... 10 

Make Haste Slowly . . . . . .11 

Notebook and Paper . . . . .12 

The Correct Position in Writing . . . . 1 3 

Pen or Pencil ? . . . . . . .14 

Size of Notes . . . . . . 1 5 

Punctuality and Regularity in Attendance . . .16 

Have Confidence in Your System . . . .17 

Transcribe Your Notes . . . . . 1 8 

Importance of Reading Shorthand 20 

Master Each Lesson . . . . . 21 

Don't Sacrifice Legibility for Speed . . . .21 

Have Faith in Your Teacher . . . . .23 

Practice! Practice! Practice! . . . . .25 

A Few Don'ts : Don't erase ; don't wet the end of your 
pencil; don't talk during study hours ; don't assume that 
you know more about shorthand than your instructor ; 
don't flourish your pen or pencil in the air; don't fail to 
subscribe for the magazine of your system ... 26 
How to Write the New Words ..... 28 

How to Write the Long Words . . ... -3 

Word Signs and Contractions . . . . 3 1 

Brief Outlines Often Deceptive . . . . .32 

Invariability of Outline . . . . .33 

Carrying Words and Sentences in the Mind ... 34 
Perseverance Conquers All . . . . -35 

Enlarge Your Vocabulary by Reading .... 36 

Independent Reading . . . . . -37 

Cleanliness . . . . . . . 38 

Phrasing .'...... 39 



CONTENTS CONTINUED. 
PART II : POINTERS ABOUT TYPEWRITING. 

The Machine ....... 41 

The Machine and the Operator ..... 42 

Typewriting ........ 41 

Single, Double Case and Double Shift Machines . . 44 
Memorize the Keyboard ...... 45 

The Touch or All-Finger Method of Typewriting . . 46 

Touch Typewriting Requires Earnest Study ... 47 
Blank Keys .*....... 49 

Cultivate a Light, Uniform Touch .... 49 

Accuracy Before Speed . . . . . -5 

Useless Delays : Lifting the Carriage and Erasures . . 51 

Transcribing the Notes . . . . . -5* 

Cleaning the Typewriter . . . . . .53 

Spelling 54 

Punctuation . . . . . . -57 

Neatness in Typewriting . . . . . .58 

Copyholders . . . . . . . .61 

The Tabulator 61 

Book Typewriting . . . . . . .63 

The Card System 64 

The Annular Scale and Its Uses .... 66 

Wide Carriage Typewriters ..... 66 

Manifolding . . . . . . . .68 

The Mimeograph . . . . . . .69 

The Hektograph ....... 70 

Copying Typewritten Letters . . . . .71 

Addressing . . . . . . . -7* 

General Advice to the Student . . . . -73 

PART III : THE STENOGRAPHER IN THE OFFICE. 

Breaking the Ice ....... 76 

Applying for a Position . . . . . .78 

" Fuss and Feathers" . . . . . .81 

Technical Words and How to Deal with Them . . 82 
Don't Waste the Office Stationery .... 85 

Reading Back Your Notes . . . . .86 

A Few Don'ts in Business : Don't look at the clock ; 
don't be gruff or rude ; don't neglect your machine ; don't 
write with a blunt pencil ; don't neglect your shorthand ; 
don't be late ....... 87 



CONTENTS CONTINUED. 
PART III Continued. 

How to Write Names and Addresses .... 89 

Getting a Position . . . . . . .90 

A Few Pointers for the Office Stenographer : Margins in 

notebook. Take an interest in your employer's affairs. 

Index and date your notebooks . . . . -93 

The Phonograph in Business ..... 94 

The Law Stenographer ...... 95 

The Life Insurance Stenographer ..... 98 

The Railroad and Steamship Stenographer ... 98 
Manuscript Copying ...... 99 

The Public Stenographer . . . . . .100 

Technical Reporting . . . . . 101 

Phrase Writing for the Office Stenographer . . .104 
Grit and Determination . . . . . .107 

PART IV : POINTERS ABOUT REPORTING. 

How to Become a Shorthand Reporter . . . .108 

Some Pointers for the Embryo Reporter : Master your sys- 
tem. Read your own notes. Word building. Small, 
neat notes . . . . . . . .no 

Contingencies in Reporting . . . . .113 

Getting up Speed . . . . . . 1 1 3 

Practice and Dictation Matter . . . . .116 

The Law Office as a Training School . . . 1 1 7 

Reporting Sermons . . . . . . .120 

Reporting Lectures . . . . . . .122 

Reporting Stockholders' or Directors' Meetings . . 123 

Political Reporting . . . . . . .124 

Newspaper Reporting . . . . . .125 

Reporting Deliberative Bodies '. . . . .126 

The Phonograph for the Reporter . . . .128 

Court Reporting . . . . . . .128 

How Long ? . . . . . . . .119 




PART I. 

The Study of Shorthand 



CAN I LEARN SHORTHAND? 

Do you think I am too old to learn it? Am I 
too young to master it? These questions are fre- 
quently asked by prospective shorthand students. 
The question of age has nothing to do with it. It 
is a matter of application and determination, of 
which the oldest and youngest students are capable. 
Anyone with an average brain can learn the princi- 
ples of shorthand and typewriting, but it requires 
earnest study and practice to make a success of it, 
and the student who puts forth his best effort, and 
works intelligently, will master it and ultimately be 
successful. 

WHICH SYSTEM OF SHORTHAND? 

The author's opinion in regard to shorthand sys- 
tems is well known. For twenty years he wrote and 
taught the Pitman system, and afterwards adopted 
Gregg Shorthand reluctantly at first, but with in- 
creasing enthusiasm as he gained a deeper knowl- 



2 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

edge of its remarkable merits and resources. The 
lapse of time has in no' wise diminished his faith in 
the system or in its future. As the first teacher of 
Gregg Shorthand in America, it has been a source 
of pride and satisfaction to him to watch its won- 
derful strides in popular favor, until today it is un- 
questionably more widely taught in 'this country 
than any other system. Its success, and the results 
accomplished by it, have vindicated the claims we 
made on its behalf when it was struggling for a 
footing, and this has naturally been a great grati- 
fication to us. 

Its ease of acquirement, its common-sense basic 
principles, its rapidity, and its great legibility, are 
all factors which should not, and must not be over- 
looked. It is based on longhand principles, having 
the uniform slope and freedom of movement to 
which the hand is accustomed. But one position 
on the line is used and the characters are all light. 
It offers no difficulties that cannot be easily sur- 
mounted by the student of ordinary ability, and it 
has been proved by the test of years to be equal to 
all emergencies. It answers every requirement of a 
shorthand system without one-tenth of the difficulty 
which the older methods offer. Gregg Shorthand is 
modern and up-to-date. 

Oftentimes students are discouraged because 
someone who writes a different system tells them 
that they have made a mistake. Now, it must be 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 3 

clear to anyone of ordinary intelligence that the 
opinions of those who know but one system are 
absolutely worthless regarding the merits of other 
systems of which they know nothing. Upon inves- 
tigation, it will be found that practical writers, 
reporters and teachers of all other systems have 
changed to the Gregg, and it is the only system of 
which this can be said. On the other hand, we have 
never known, in all our experience, any practical 
writer of the Gregg to change to another system. 
This, in itself, should be conclusive evidence that 
Gregg Shorthand possesses an inherent strength 
that makes it superior to all others. 

ADVANTAGES OF SHORTHAND TO A YOUNQ MAN. 

In these days of keen commercial competition 
when men are struggling for supremacy, a young 
man starting out in life is very prone to ask: "What 
will I get out of shorthand?" Shorthand as an edu- 
cational factor cannot be overestimated. It stimu- 
lates thought, creates mental alertness, and the re- 
quirements for facility of execution give a training 
almost unattainable in any other way. To catch the 
fleeting word, to record its shorthand symbol, and, 
then, with almost equal rapidity, to print its alpha- 
betic equivalent on the typewriter, call for mental 
activity and harmony of thought and action required 
by hardly any other study. 

The study of shorthand will increase the student's 



4 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

knowledge of the English language, it will enlarge 
his vocabulary, and altogether give him a better 
education than he could obtain in the same length 
of time through almost any other channel. Short- 
hand brings the young man in close contact with the 
principal of the business in which he is engaged. It 
gives him the close, personal acquaintance in this 
way that no other employment enjoys. Thus, if a 
young man possesses ability, such a position proves 
a stepping stone to better things. 

Further, it will bring the beginner in business 
more money, and, in many cases, shorter business 
hours than any other clerical position. 

"Once a bookkeeper always a bookkeeper" is an 
old saying, but a wide future stretches out before 
the young man stenographer, limited only by his 
own ability and ambition. The shorthand writer is 
a specialist, and as such deserves and obtains the re- 
ward which should be his. 

ADVANTAGES OF SHORTHAND TO A YOUNG WOMAN. 

"What shall we do with our girls?" is a question 
that has appealed to, and will face in the future, 
many an anxious parent. Shorthand and typewritr 
ing offer a comparatively easy way of answering this 
question. Thousands of young women are today 
earning, not only a living, comfortable for them- 
selves, but at the same time laying the foundation 
for future competence by the means of shorthand. 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 5 

Women stenographers, it may safely be said, are 
writing two-thirds of the correspondence of the 
United States, and from all reports the number of 
women stenographers is increasing rapidly in Euro- 
pean cities. Every year adds to the huge army. 
Shorthand and typewriting do for the young woman 
all they do for the young man, and more they 
make her independent. In thousands of offices the 
woman stenographer is counted as absolutely indis- 
pensable. Her ready brain easily assimilates short- 
hand and her nimble ringers fly over the keys of the 
typewriter with unrivaled rapidity. Her presence 
has raised the tone of many an office and her salary 
has often proved for the family at home "real help 
in time of trouble." The woman stenographer has 
come to stay. 

You can be one of the number if you will have 
patience and perseverance to study, but be not con- 
tent to be a stenographer of mediocre ability; be 
above the average if you want your ability to be 
recognized and rewarded. 

THE GREATEST HEIGHTS NOT REACHED BY 
EASY FLIGHT. 

During the initiatory period of shorthand, the aver- 
age student is very apt to take an exaggerated view 
of what his future position should be. He pictures 
himself, after a few months of study, taking down 
with facility the lecture of the professor, the 



6 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

speeches of the senator or political aspirant, or the 
Sunday sermons of the minister. Let him at once 
disabuse his mind of these illusions. This phase of 
shorthand existence is reached only after years of 
patient study and hard work. Be ambitious, if you 
will, but remember that you have limitations. No 
matter how high your aims are, there are always 
greater heights L o attain; but they cannot be 
attained if the slow steps of progress that lead to 
them are scorned. The reporter's chair is well to 
bear in mind as a goal to work for, but it is not 
reached by the mere study of shorthand. There are 
hundreds of good stenographers to one shorthand 
reporter. The two branches of court reporting 
and commercial stenography although allied, are 
far apart. The shorthand reporter has been with us 
for years; the office stenographer is a creation of 
recent times. There are many phases of office and 
commercial life which call for great speed in short- 
hand, and these, in turn, lead to boundless opportu- 
nities for advancement. Qualify yourself first for 
office duties; be a good amanuensis by learning to 
write shorthand well and read it with facility. Learn 
to operate a typewriter accurately and rapidly. 
When you have attained this height, continue to 
study and practice shorthand until you are master 
of it in every detail; improve your general education 
by wide and intelligent reading, and in due course 
you may be qualified to become a court reporter. 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 7 

IS THERE AN OVER-SUPPLY OF STENOGRAPHERS? 

Stenographers are of every grade. It is an un- 
fortunate fact that many of them possess only a lim- 
ited knowledge of shorthand and typewriting, and 
an indifferent command of English, and in many 
cases show a lamentable ignorance of even the sim- 
plest details. The student should be taught that a 
knowledge of shorthand and typewriting is not the 
only essential. There are more stenographers em- 
ployed today than ever before in the history of the 
world. Possibly, too, there are more out of employ- 
ment than ever before. The reason is plain. The 
business man of today wants a stenographer who is 
familiar with business forms in general, and who will 
acquaint himself thoroughly with the technicalities 
of the business in which he is engaged one who 
can conduct his employer's correspondence intelli- 
gently. He wants a stenographer who is ambitious 
and who will make his employer's interests his own. 

To succeed as a stenographer you must be thor- 
ough in your study and in your work. You must 
write shorthand swiftly, and transcribe it on the 
typewriter with speed and accuracy. For those who 
can do this there are always positions to be had. 
But for the ill-prepared, immature stenographer, 
who cannot take dictation and cannot transcribe his 
notes, there is no room and never-will be. Through 
lack of ability and energy, such stenographers fail to 
hold a position for more than a few days. There 



8 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

never has been such a demand for good, all-round 
stenographers as there is today. The standard is 
high and it requires work to reach it. 

HOW TO LEARN SHORTHAND AND TYPEWRITING. 

The most satisfactory, economical, and quickest 
way to learn shorthand and typewriting is to attend 
some well-equipped commercial school, or to employ 
the services of a competent teacher. By the first 
plan, the best teaching, combined with the benefits 
of the experience of years of instruction, is secured 
at a moderate cost. The majority of business 
schools are equipped with typewriting machines of 
standard make, and the prospective student should 
ascertain before entering a school its facilities for 
giving good typewriting instruction. While it is 
advisable for the student to train himself to become 
expert as possible on one make of machine, he 
should also have a working knowledge of others. 
Further, each business school has many opportuni- 
ties of placing its qualified students in remunerative 
positions. So in every way it is preferable for the 
embryo stenographer to have the benefit of the 
thorough training a business school affords. 

Another way is to take lessons from a reputable 
teacher or correspondence school. Learning short- 
hand by correspondence is necessarily a slow process, 
and it is not so thorough nor so rapid as personal 
instruction. 'By this plan.it is necessary for the stu- 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 9 

dent to purchase or rent a typewriter upon which to 
transcribe his shorthand notes at home. He must 
also have someone dictate to him in order that he 
may attain speed in shorthand. If possible, after 
receiving mail instruction, the student should have 
the benefit of some personal instruction to finish 
and thoroughly equip him for his career. 

The third plan is the cheapest. It is to purchase 
a shorthand text-book, rent or buy a typewriter, and 
study at home, without the aid of a teacher. Many 
have done this and succeeded, but it is uphill, dis- 
couraging work, and is only to be commended for 
its economy. The assistance of a good school is by 
far to be preferred. 

THE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING AN INSTRUCTOR. 

While there is no royal road to success in short- 
hand, the advantages of having personal instruction 
are obvious. 

We quote the following from an old shorthand 
book: "The assistance of a teacher, when it can be 
obtained, is of great advantage in the study of this 
art. Men differ in their genius and perceptions, 
and every pupil has his own peculiar views and ideas. 
Difficulties present themselves to some minds which 
never occur to others, and which no writer on the 
subject can anticipate. It is impossible, in a public 
treatise, to lay down rules and explanations adapted 
to the several capacities, and satisfactory to the un- 



io RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

derstanding of all who may endeavor to learn by it. 
A teacher, however, has it in his power to give such 
minute and personal instructions as cannot fail to 
produce a beneficial result. He can at once explain 
to the student whatever seems obscure and ambigu- 
ous; can solve his difficulties, correct his mistakes, 
assist his invention, encourage him in his progress, 
and lead him on to practical proficiency." 

By the aid of a teacher, the difficulties which 
beset the path of the student are overcome, and 
the student is skillfully guided over the rough places. 
To have a teacher to point out errors of form and 
outline, mistakes in typewriting, faults in spelling, 
and lapses in punctuation, is an almost indispensa- 
ble aid. An encouraging word, an appropriate sug- 
gestion, which the conscientious teacher gives, strips 
shorthand of many of its difficulties. Then, when 
the trials of study are over, and the pupil is ready 
to embark in business, the teacher is able and will- 
ing to assist him to a good position. Get a good 
teacher, then, by all means, and you will find your 
study lightened. 

DON'T GET FITS OF THE BLUES. 

It is a mistake to think, in taking up the study 
of shorthand and typewriting, that all will be smooth 
sailing. Periods of depression are sure to come, 
when storms of discouragement will sweep down 
and clouds of disappointment will almost drive 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. n 

away all hope of success. There may be times when 
you will think you are making no progress, but 
don't get these fits of the "blues." On those occa- 
sions, instead of giving way to your discouragement, 
spend the time in overcoming the difficulties that 
have beset you. You will find the difficulties that 
seemed almost to overwhelm you have melted away 
like dim shadows. Don't have fits of the "blues!" 
Have confidence in your teacher, in your shorthand 
system, and in your own ability, for the difficulties 
you overcome add immeasurably to your strength 
and make the final only seem the more sweet. 

MAKE HASTE SLOWLY. 

The old Latin proverb, "Festine Lente" make 
haste slowly should be taken seriously to heart by 
the shorthand student. Don't be over-anxious, or 
in too great a hurry; but "make haste slowly." 

The "blues" alluded to previously are generally 
caused by the fact that as soon as the average 
stenographic student touches pen or pencil to paper, 
in the study of shorthand, or finger to typewriter, 
in learning typewriting, he makes a mistake. He 
usually gets the fallacious idea that from the begin- 
ning his sole purpose should be to write rapidly. 
Forget that there is such a thing as speed in short- 
hand and typewriting until you can write and read 
fluently. When you can do this, speed will come 
almost without effort. The better you can read your 



12 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

notes, the better and the more rapidly you will write 
in future. It will take you fully three times as long 
to learn to read your shorthand notes with facility, 
as it does to learn to write them. Then think of 
what use are your shorthand notes if you cannot 
read them! Write accurately first, last and all the 
time, and speed will surely follow. Bear this in 
mind now and always "Make haste slowly." 

NOTE-BOOK AND PAPER. 

One of the greatest advantages of stenography 
is its ready adaptability to emergencies. All that is 
required to bring it immediately into service is paper 
of good quality, preferably in the shape of a note- 
book opening at the ends, and a pencil or pen. Be- 
cause of the fact that Gregg Shorthand is written 
with characters all of one thickness, the best paper 
for note-books is that with a fairly smooth texture. 
This offers less resistance to the pen or pencil, is 
therefore easier to use, and avoids all danger of the 
pen point catching in the paper, as it often does in 
the rough paper note-books. While it is not abso- 
lutely necessary that the paper should be ruled for 
use with Gregg Shorthand, ruled paper is more 
convenient. Note-books ruled in blue are less 
fatiguing to the eyes than those ruled in red. 
A good plan is to have a perpendicular line down 
the middle from top to bottom of each page. The 
student should first fill up the space on the left of 



RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS, 13 

the perpendicular line, and then the space on the 
right. This will insure small shorthand characters, 
the value of which is alluded to in another chapter. 
Write on the side of the paper nearest you when 
the book is open. When the book is filled on one 
side, turn it and fill it on the other side. 

THE CORRECT POSITION IN WRITING. 

In learning shorthand and writing it rapidly, one 
must have a comfortable position. Sit well in front 
of the table erect as in writing longhand. Let 
the left arm rest on the table, and spread the fingers 
of the left hand on the lower left side of the note- 
book, to hold the paper in position. Don't lean 
your chest on the desk. Hold the pen or pencil 
naturally as in penmanship, and let your right arm 
be as free as possible, resting lightly on the table. 
The little finger of the right hand should glide over 
the paper. Use the combined forearm and finger 
movement. Put as little pressure on the pen or 
pencil as possible. The lighter your touch, the 
faster you will write. Don't rest your head on your 
left hand, because that hand will be kept busy in 
turning the leaves of your note-book. Don't lounge 
in your seat when taking dictation, or during lulls 
in the dictation; it looks lazy and is not conducive 
to speed. 

Be alert, ready for emergencies and rapid spurts 
of the dictator at all times. One never knows when 



14 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

a burst of speed is coming. It is a good plan to 
have a stiff-covered note-book and practice taking 
notes with the book resting on your knees occa- 
sionally. It is what the stenographer has to do 
sometimes, and a little practice will fit him for such 
an emergency. When writing on your knee, the left 
hand must be spread on the note-book with the first 
finger ready to turn the leaf. 

PEN OR PENCIL? 

It is an open and much debated question, which 
is best for shorthand writing pen or pencil. Both 
instruments have their strong advocates. The foun- 
tain pen is to be preferred, provided you have a good 
one and good ink. The ever-ready pencil, sharpened 
at both ends, has its advantages, however, and thou- 
sands of reports and other shorthand data are daily 
taken by its use. If the pencil point breaks, the 
other end can be brought into service and a reserve 
pencil will place two other points at your instant 
disposal. In using the pencil, however, be sure to 
keep it sharp; never write with a blunt point. 
Further, be sure to get a pencil of good quality, 
and not one with a harsh and gritty lead. 

The notes you write with a pen are clearer, neater 
and easier to read than pencil notes. Further, there 
is less danger of their becoming obliterated when 
writteri with pen and ink. The fountain pen, on the 
other hand, has its drawbacks. It may refuse to 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 15 

flow just at the exact moment you desire to use it. 
A good shaking will sometimes remedy this, but not 
always. Again, you may have forgotten to fill it, 
and the pen runs dry a contingency which must be 
guarded against by filling it regularly every morn- 
ing. The ink may clog from various causes. With 
a moderate amount of care and attention, however, 
the fountain pen will be found to be almost indis- 
pensable to the shorthand writer. Use a fountain 
pen if you can, but be sure that it is a good one, 
suited to your hand. A fine point is generally to 
be preferred. 

SIZE OF NOTES. 

When alluding to note-books under a previous 
caption, we wrote of the perpendicular line in the 
middle of each page of the note-book. It has been 
found that note-books ruled in this manner tend to 
decrease the size of notes. The average stenog- 
rapher writes his shorthand characters too large and 
this tendency is increased when he writes rapidly. 
Write as small as you reasonably can and let the 
characters be as close together as possible. Try 
to find your "stride," and stick to it. The shorter 
the distance the hand has to travel, the more 
quickly, of course, the distance can be overcome. 
So, large notes, by causing more frequent transition 
from line to line and from page to page, hinder 
speed. Don't flourish the pencil in the air, making 
invisible characters before beginning to write, but 



16 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

strike the paper with the first movement. The large 
straggling notes usually prove unintelligible. 

The talented author of Gregg Shorthand wrote 
the following excellent advice on this subject: 

"Avoid a sprawling style of writing. It looks un- 
sightly and shows a lack. of artistic taste. But there 
are practical considerations in favor of neat, com- 
pact shorthand writing. With small outlines there 
is less traveling of the hand across a page, less effort 
and flurry, less time lost in passing from line to line 
and page to page. What a difference there is in the 
work of an expert and a beginner at the reporter's 
table. The expert seems to write mechanically 
the pen glides smoothly across the paper, drops 
from line to line without apparent effort, and the 
page turns easily without a rustle. It all appears 
so simple that one is apt to imagine that the speaker 
is going at a very moderate pace; but this idea is 
quickly dispelled by a glance at the beginner. See 
the wild flourishes, the frantic jump from line to 
line, and the excited jerk with which the page is 
turned what a contrast! Try to cultivate a neat, 
compact, artistic style of writing, and you will feel 
repaid by the increased speed and print-like legi- 
bility that will result." 

PUNCTUALITY AND REGULARITY IN ATTENDANCE. 

Too much cannot be said in favor of punctuality 
and regularity in attendance at school. Many stu- 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 1 7 

dents when attending a business school think that 
they can come at any time, (if allowed to do so), 
and that absence of a day or more will make no dif- 
ference. This is the wrong idea. Students of short- 
hand are no longer school children. They are men 
and women who have entered upon the business of 
life where "time is money," and habits of punctuality 
and regularity should be rigidly enforced. Rigid 
adherence to business hours is demanded by em- 
ployers, and habits of life are formed in student 
days; therefore, let them be good ones. Throw all 
your energies into the business of learning short- 
hand and typewriting while you are at school and 
accustom yourself to habits of punctuality and a 
strict adherence to the business at hand. 

HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR SYSTEM. 

If, in the course of your studies, your progress 
is not as satisfactory as you think it should be, do 
not blame the system of shorthand for it. Have 
confidence in your system, and having once taken 
up the study, let no fear of future results interfere 
with present duty. Remember that hundreds and 
thousands of young people have studied the same 
method before you and have succeeded why 
shouldn't you? You may be slow in acquiring it, 
but what of that? "The race is not always to the 
swift," and the plodder is as certain to reach the 
goal as the student who learns rapidly sometimes 



i8 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

more sure. Don't give up to discouragement. Suc- 
cess in any calling is but the natural outcome of sure 
and accurate knowledge. Gregg Shorthand is so 
simple and rational that it commends itself to every- 
one, and you can surely learn it. Have confidence 
that you can do what others have done and you will 
do it successfully. 

TRANSCRIBE YOUR NOTES. 

Several years ago we made an attempt to study 
one of the early English methods of stenography 
without the aid of a teacher. We progressed finely, 
could take rapid notes, and every Sunday endeav- 
ored to report our minister's sermon. We "fol- 
lowed" him some way behind, but we got it down 
somehow. After church, however, came the ordeal 
to transcribe it. Only a word here and there could 
be read and the rest was unintelligible. There was 
nothing to do but to begin the study of shorthand 
again, and with another system, for being young 
and foolish, we conceived the idea that it was the 
system that was at fault. The next time we had 
a teacher who insisted upon our reading every short- 
hand character we wrote, and then all difficulties 
of reading vanished. Take warning by our ex- 
perience. 

If you wish to be successful with shorthand, read 
f 11 your notes, or better still, transcribe them on the 
typewriter. You will learn more by transcribing 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 19 

shorthand than by writing- it. Once the shorthand 
outlines are photographed upon the brain, as they 
are in transcribing, they will be instantly recalled 
whenever the word is heard. You will then write 
them without hesitation, and when you can write 
shorthand without hesitation you will have the 
longed-for speed. 

Do not think this time spent in properly learning 
the principles of shorthand and typewriting is 
wasted. It is nothing of the kind it is time saved. 
Just realize for one moment what your position will 
be when you take your first step into the business 
world. Your employer will dictate to you a number 
of letters, perhaps four, and maybe forty. You take 
them down as best you can. Occasionally an un- 
familiar word will disturb, or perhaps completely dis- 
concert you. You make a supreme effort at an out- 
line, and struggle along, wishing you had your 
teacher at your elbow to refer to. At length he 
finishes and curtly says, "The machine is in the 
corner; the paper's in the drawer; just get those 
letters out for me by the time I return." 

Then you are left alone to work out your own 
salvation as a stenographer. This is the crucial 
test, where you will prove whether you have studied 
properly. You go to the machine and set about 
your work. Your employer returns in due course 
and asks for his letters. Suppose you haven't been 
able to read your notes. The letters will never catch 



20 RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

that night's mail and your employer will probably 
look for another stenographer who is competent to 
take his dictation. And would he not be justified 
in discharging you? Inability to transcribe their 
notes is the great failing of the majority of stenog- 
raphers. Don't be one of that class. Transcribe 
every line of shorthand you write during your study 
of shorthand, and you will not go through such an 
experience as that outlined above. 

IMPORTANCE OF READING SHORTHAND. 

The reading of shorthand should not be confined 
wholly to one's own notes. It is well to read nicely 
engraved or printed shorthand notes. For this pur- 
pose the "Gregg Writer" and other shorthand publi- 
cations and books are invaluable and should be used 
wherever possible. The more reading of shorthand 
the pupil gets, the more familiar the characters be- 
come, the more readily also they are recalled and 
when again heard, the more rapidly they are written. 
For years the author of Gregg Shorthand and the 
writer of these lines have corresponded in short- 
hand, written on unruled paper, and every word has 
been as plain and legible as print. Evidence taken 
in court, and at hearings has been transcribed read- 
ily by both. 

Gregg Shorthand by its invariability of outline, 
by its one way of writing each word in the English 
language, is especially adapted for interchange it. 



RUTHKRFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 21 

reading. Subscribe for the shorthand magazine of 
your system and provide yourself with all the short- 
hand literature of the system. Practice it and read 
it until it becomes part of your being. You will 
thus lay the solid foundation without which success 
cannot be attained. 

MASTER EACH LESSON. 

We found by years of experience in teaching that 
many pupils are anxious to study lessons ahead. 
They imagine they know a lesson when the prin- 
ciples seem clear to them, forgetting that there is 
a wide difference between theory and practice. It 
is a mistake to start a new lesson until the preceding 
one is mastered. Omit nothing and do not con- 
fuse your knowledge by perfunctory study of what 
is too advanced for you. Learn each principle in 
each lesson thoroughly and let your teacher be judge 
of whether you are ready for new lessons. Each 
principle is a stone on which will rest the structure 
of your shorthand knowledge, and if a stone is lack- 
ing in the foundation the structure cannot stand 
firmly. 

DON'T SACRIFICE LEGIBILITY FOR SPEED. 

Those who know little or nothing about short- 
hand frequently ask the stenographer, "How fast 
do you write?" and the shorthand writer may care- 
lessly reply, "Oh! about 150 to 200 words per 



22 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

minute." Whenever you hear anyone talk like that, 
just put your hand in your pocket, take out all the 
spare cash you have, lay it on the table and say: 
"All this and more shall be yours if you will kindly 
sit down and write in shorthand what I shall dic- 
tate, at the rate you state, 150 words per minute, 
and then give me an accurate transcript of what you 
have written." Then you will see the rapid one hide 
his diminished head and vanish within his shell, as 
he faintly replies, "Well, I am sorry, but I can't 
possibly stop just now to give you a test, as I have 
a previous engagement, but I used to write at that 
speed when I went to school."^ 

Never boast of your speed! I Aim for accuracy and 
legibility first and speed will follow. Speed as ap- 
plied to shorthand is a comparative term. Every- 
thing depends on the matter dictated. Words' of 
one syllable, it is true, may be written at great 
speed, or great speed may be attained by practicing 
the same matter over and over again, but such tests 
do not represent the actual, regular, normal rate 
at which the student can write. 

The English language is so rich in words that it 
is possible to make the most skillful writer of short- 
hand in the world slacken when words are dictated 
that are not in his vocabulary. He has to think of 
the shorthand forms, and in doing so hesitates, and 
hence the speed is diminished. 

To illustrate a case in point: Suppose a self-made 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 23 

man makes a speech, and in alluding to his father's 
early life, says: "My father was a farm laborer and 
used a pick and shovel." This is easy language, 
readily taken down, but suppose for a moment that 
you had to report the speech of a highly educated 
Boston lady whose father was, by a strange coin- 
cidence, also self-made and formerly used a pick and 
shovel. She would not use the same language in 
conveying this information, but whatever she said, 
you, as the shorthand writer, would have to record 
verbatim. She might murmur something like this: 
"My estimable and venerable paternal antecedent 
was an indefatigable manipulator of agricultural im- 
plements." In taking words like these, one's boasted 
speed would dwindle considerably. Do not then 
boast of your speed, but aim for legibility and accur- 
acy, and speed will come gradually. When you hear 
an uncommon or unfamiliar word, practice the out- 
line over and over again, until it can be written 
fluently. Then find others and deal with them in 
the same way. Never write your shorthand char- 
acters in a way that will imperil their legibility. 

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR TEACHER. 

Some students are prone to lose faith in the 
teacher when they find they are not advancing as 
rapidly as they think they should. They consider it 
an injustice to be told to review a lesson, and they 
think the teacher is trying to retard their progress. 



24 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

It is always a pleasure to a teacher to have bright, 
energetic students, but teachers appreciate that all 
students are not of the same caliber of intellect. The 
ideal teacher endeavors to understand each pupil 
and do the best for him. The teacher is there to 
guide the student through the right paths of learn- 
ing, but he is not there to do the thinking and the 
studying. These the student must do for himself. 
The student is usually safe in deferring to the teach- 
er's superior wisdom and advice, and if he bears 
this in mind he will not lose faith in his teacher. 
One sometimes meets a pupil who has the ability 
to study, but will not apply himself, and yet desires 
to keep up with those who have spent more time 
on their studies. This class of student feels 
aggrieved when he is told to review his work. If 
you are one of these unfortunates, don't lose faith in 
your teacher, but show him that you are ambitious 
and interested in your work. Be assured that he 
is doing what is best for you and the difficulty is 
with you. He would be glad to have every pupil 
in his class bright, active, alert, and energetic. It 
would simplify his work. 

Your future welfare is your teacher's constant 
care, his every attention is devoted to your progress, 
and it lies with you whether or not success shall 
attend his efforts. Have faith in your teacher 
heed what he says, follow his instructions faithfully, 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 25 

conscientiously and intelligently. Your reward will 
then be sure. 

PRACTICE PRACTICE - PRACTICE. 

This is the only true speed secret and the only 
road to stenographic success in any of its branches. 
Practice practice practice. Sir Walter Scott's 
advice to seekers for success was "never to be doing 
nothing." The immortal Franklin wrote that the 
golden way to success was to "keep busy." And 
Ovid, hundreds of years ago, wrote the following 
excellent advice: "To wish is of slight conse- 
quence; thou oughtest to desire with earnestness to 
be successful." Success in shorthand and typewrit- 
ing, like success in any walk of life, is earned only 
by those who "keep everlastingly at it." To perse- 
vere, to work faithfully for the desired end, and to 
economize every moment of the day is the key to 
success. The following anecdote taken from an old 
shorthand magazine will aptly illustrate the ad- 
vantage of utilizing spare time in practice: 

"I happened in a busy man's office the other day, 
and while waiting to see him I was much im- 
pressed with the foolish waste of time his 
stenographer was indulging in. She sat in an easy 
chair, in a comfortable nook of the office, doing 
absolutely nothing. At her side was an elegant oak 
typewriter cabinet, in which rested a new Smith- 
Premier typewriter. I waited some fifteen minutes, 



26 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

and during all that time she sat there idly. After 
transacting my business with her employer, I was 
bold enough to' ask him in an undertone how he 
got along with his stenographer. He immediately 
responded: The girl I have is a fairly good short- 
hand writer, but is a very poor typewriter operator; 
her letters are full of mistakes, and she cannot 
operate the machine with any speed; but I suppose 
that is due to the fact that she has only a little work 
to do here each day; does not have enough practice, 
so I can't blame her.' 'Yes, you can,' said I. 'Both 
you and she are to blame. Now, let me give you 
a pointer. When she has no letters to write, put 
her to copying articles from newspapers, books, or 
anything to keep that machine busy all the time.' 
He thanked me, and thought it a capital idea, and 
when I met him a few days after, the very first thing 
he said to me was: 'Harrison, both my stenographer 
and I owe you a vote of thanks for that copying 
idea you gave me the other day; she has improved 
a hundred per cent in her typewriting and I intend 
to raise her salary next month.' ' 

.What applies to typewriting in this case will ap- 
ply equally well to shorthand. Don't be idle; utilize 
every spare moment and practice practice 

practice. 

A FEW DON'TS. 

DON'T ERASE. That is to say, never use an 
eraser to correct an error in shorthand writing. Sim- 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 27- 

ply pass your pen or pencil through the word incor- 
rectly written and proceed. At first, your note-book 
may be full of crossed-out words, but they will 
gradually become fewer. 

DON'T WET THE END OF YOUR PENCIL. It isn't 
a clean habit, and serves no good purpose. The 
moisture hardens the lead, and the pencil never 
marks so well as it did before. Keep your pencil 
sharp, and if the lead is too hard to give a clear 
mark, get another, but never wet the point of the 
pencil, or nibble at the other end. 

DON'T TALK DURING STUDY HOURS. You cannot 
talk and study too, so do your work first, and talk 
after school hours. When talking during study 
hours, you are not only wasting your own time but 
you are diverting the mind of your fellow student, 
who may be less able to afford it. You are doing 
your class-mate, your teacher, and yourself injustice 
by talking so don't chatter. Silence is golden. 

DON'T ASSUME THAT You KNOW MORE ABOUT 
SHORTHAND THAN YOUR INSTRUCTOR, OR EVEN THE 
AUTHOR OF THE SYSTEM You STUDY. We have be- 
fore now met students who assumed they "knew 
it all." Be sure that your teacher's knowledge and 
experience qualify him for the position he holds. 
Have patience to learn, and as your studies develop 
you will doubtless find your teacher is usually right. 
Don't try to improve on the system at least until 
you have comprehensive knowledge of it! Every 



28 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

form and outline in the text-book has been placed 
there after mature deliberation. Be modest, unas- 
suming, polite and attentive, giving respectful at- 
tention at all times to those who are trying to teach 
you. 

DON'T FLOURISH YOUR PEN OR PENCIL IN THE AIR. 
Many students, especially those who have studied 
penmanship to a marked degree, are fond of draw- 
ing imaginary circles in the air preparatory to start- 
ing a new sentence, or writing a shorthand form. 
This will not do for the shorthand writer he must 
think of the shorthand outline and write it without 
the slightest hesitation. Keeping the pencil close 
to the paper saves time, so don't flourish. 

DON'T FAIL TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE MAGAZINE OF 
YOUR SYSTEM. We advise this because it en- 
courages the student. He learns of the success of 
others and he sees the best examples of shorthand 
writing. He reads hints that will help him and he 
obtains abundant reading matter and writing exer- 
cise. He finds that others are experiencing the same 
difficulties that he has met with and he learns ways 
of overcoming them. All this and more the short- 
hand magazine will do for students. The magazine 
habit is a good one. 

HOW TO WRITE THE NEW WORDS. 

To get speed in shorthand you must learn to write 
unfamiliar words. Enlarge your vocabulary by mak- 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 2Q 

ing a mental note of any word over the outline of 
which you are puzzled. The amateur will meet with 
them constantly. When taking dictation, do not stop 
your dictator, but make an attempt to write the 
word and draw a circle around it. When the dicta- 
tion is finished return to it. If you have a long out- 
line, don't be satisfied with it, work at it until you 
have discovered a briefer form, which will be even 
more legible. Apply the rules, and when you have 
found the best outline, practice it until you can 
write it with facility and then it will never bother 
you again. If this be done intelligently with every 
new word, you will be astonished to find how in a 
very little while, as your capacity for handling the 
word-building principles increases, the most difficult 
words will become easy. 

Don't write a new word in longhand it discloses 
your weakness, and will cause others to lose confi- 
dence in your ability, besides having a pernicious 
effect on you. Write the word in shorthand to the 
best of your ability, and, as the esteemed author of 
our system says, "put a ring around it," as a re- 
minder, so that you may get the best form later on 
by your own efforts, from the teacher, or from the 
shorthand dictionary. 

You will be assisted much in writing new and un- 
common words, if you will occasionally review your 
text-book. Review all the principles and characters 
in the text-book, and you will be astonished to find 



30 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

what a number you have forgotten, if you have not 
kept up frequent reviews. A careful review, occa- 
sionally, will give you greater fluency, better out- 
lines, better work, greater ease in reading, will save 
questioning the teacher, promote self-reliance, en- 
large your vocabulary and consequently increase 
speed. 

HOW TO WRITE THE LONG WORDS. 

Mr. David Wolfe Brown, in his clever book on 
"The Factors of Shorthand Speed," writes: "If the 
young phonographer could only write all the words 
as promptly and rapidly as he can write some, how 
smooth his pathway would be." 

Herein lies the whole secret of rapid shorthand 
writing how to write the long words. It is not so 
much the slowness of the hand as the hesitation in 
thinking of the outline of a new or uncommon 
word, that causes the stenographer to fall behind 
the dictator. The only remedy for this was detailed 
under the preceding heading, with the further in- 
junction that, in the case of long words, you must 
"divide and conquer." 

Gregg Shorthand is especially adapted for writing 
in syllables. If the student, on hearing an uncom- 
mon word, will divide it into syllables, and write two, 
or at most three, syllables of each word, writing con- 
sonants and vowels in regular order, he will find that 
the hard words will be made easy to write. The 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 31 

forms will be written without difficulty or hesita- 
tion, and read with equal facility. Take words like 
in-clem-en-cy, re-min-is-cence, mis-con-cep-tion, tan- 
tal-iz-ing, un-dis-cov-er-able. Divided into syllables 
the difficulty vanishes. 

Then learn to drop the terminations; that is, write 
only so much of the word as is necessary to convey 
the meaning. The words given in the text-book 
will give plenty of drill in this respect. The inser- 
tion of the vowels in regular order with the con- 
sonants, opens up a wide field in syllabic writing and 
abbreviation, it simplifies the writing of long words 
and enables the student to make progress that is 
unattainable in any other shorthand method. We 
urge upon the student to practice this method of 
syllabic writing as much as possible. Work out the 
outline of each word syllable by syllable as you write. 

Don't attempt to memorize the outlines of long 
words, parrot fashion, but apply the rules given in 
the text-book. Try to make the burden on the 
memory as light as possible, and this can best be 
achieved in shorthand by dividing the long words 
into syllables and so conquering them. 

WORD SIGNS AND CONTRACTIONS. 

Learn all the word signs thoroughly, so that you 
can recall them without the slightest hesitation. 
These word-signs comprise from 5 to 7 words out of 
every 10 words in an ordinary sentence, which is, 



32 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

perhaps, more than half the number of ordinary 
words in a sentence. From this you will see how 
essential it is that they should be thoroughly 
memorized and practiced until the writing of them 
becomes automatic. "Speed," writes Mr. J. E. 
Munson, "depends chiefly upon the ability of the 
writer to make the various outlines of words with- 
out hesitation." To this we would add: learn your 
word-signs so well that you can write them without 
the slightest hesitation, and you will then have more 
time to spare in writing the outlines of the new and 
uncommon words. 

BRIEF OUTLINES OFTEN DECEPTIVE. 

The briefest outlines are not always the best. An 
outline that can be written with freedom, and with- 
out perceptible effort, is at all times preferable to 
one written carefully and with an effort, though the 
former occupies twice as much space as the latter. 
Mr. David Wolfe Brown writes: "A long outline 
for a new or strange word is something that no 
stenographer should be afraid of. Frequently a long 
outline, which suggests itself readily, is more quickly 
written than a shorter one, which requires the writer 
to stop and think." The one slope, the one position, 
and the one thickness of Gregg Shorthand are great 
factors in securing uniformity and invariability of 
outline. The insertion of the vowels also materially 
assists in providing, without alternative characters, 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 33 

the briefest outlines for words by dropping the ter- 
minations. This abbreviating principle, if properly 
carried out, will place at the finger ends of the Gregg 
writer the briefest and easiest written outlines pos- 
sible in any system of shorthand, and yet secure a 
degree of legibility not equaled by any other method. 
In your work, then, find that outline, as you readily 
can do, that is the most easily written, although it 
may occupy on the paper a rather larger space than 
a briefer though more difficult outline. When found, 
"make a note of it" and practice it. Never strive 
after a brief outline to the sacrifice of legibility. 

INVARIABILITY OF OUTLINE. 

In a properly constituted system of shorthand 
there should, in the main, be but one way of writing 
a word. The less variability of outline there is, the 
better. "Frequent hesitation as to the proper forms 
of words," writes the author of Graham's Short- 
hand Andrew J. Graham "takes away very much 
from the facility of writing." The Gregg is espe- 
cially remarkable for its invariability of outline. The 
majority of words in the English language can be 
written in one way only in the Gregg hence its 
superiority over the other methods. Mr. David 
Wolfe Brown writes: "Invariability of outline is one 
prime factor of speed. To allow one's self to write 
a word in several different ways entails a certain 
degree of hesitation, which must postpone or defeat 



34 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

that happy condition the most favorable condition 
to high speed when mind and hand shall work, as 
it were, automatically." Again, Mr. Andrew J. 
Graham has well said: "You should have settled 
forms for the more frequent and effective words." 
Such good advice as this coming from such sources 
is invaluable, and it should be a source of gratifica- 
tion to the Gregg writer and student to know that 
the system he uses is especially remarkable in 
its invariability of outline. There is only one 
way of writing a word in the Gregg, and this insures 
not only less hesitation consequently speed but 
legibility, which is of equal, if not of greater 
importance. 

CARRYING WORDS AND SENTENCES IN THE MIND. 

In taking dictation the student should train him- 
self to carry in his mind as many words and sen- 
tences as possible. A spurt on the part of the dic- 
tator will sometimes carry him a dozen or more 
words ahead of the writer. These words must be 
carried in the mind, and written as quickly as pos- 
sible. I^will require practice to do this but every- 
thing comes to him who tries. When taking dicta- 
tion at a rate of speed which is easily within your 
ability, it is well occasionally to fall behind a little 
way, so that you may train your mind to retain a 
whole sentence and then by recalling the sentence 
and writing rapidly you can catch up with the 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 35 

speaker. The better plan, however, is to get 
the dictator to read more rapidly than you can 
write. In this way you must train your mind to 
carry several sentences, and when the actual work 
comes in business you will find the ability of great 
advantage. 

PERSEVERANCE CONQUERS ALL. 

As we wrote under a previous heading, it is neces- 
sary for the student of shorthand and typewriting 
to avoid discouragement and at all times to perse- 
vere. Lay a good foundation by having a thorough 
knowledge of your alphabet next, from time to 
time, review your lessons then memorize the word- 
signs. Every time you hear or read an uncommon 
or new word think of the outline. If you have no 
pencil or paper at h-and, trace the outline with your 
finger. In fact, think in shorthand as much as you 
can arid if you are an energetic and enthusiastic 
student you will do so whether you have read this 
or not. Read all the shorthand you can find, and 
be sure to read all you write. We urge upon you 
to cultivate the habit of reading well-written short- 
hand. Subscribe for the magazine of your system. 

If you come across a difficult word, and do not 
find the outline as brief as you fancy it might be, 
ask the opinion of your teacher. Put your heart 
and soul in your work and master it. Don't let it 
be said, "He tried to learn shorthand and was not 



36 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

successful." If others succeed why not you? They 
persevered, and so must you. Speed will come 
gradually and without effort other than practice. 
Facility of execution will come with practice, and 
quickness of thought will follow by like training. 
Remember the old Latin adage: "Perseverentia 
omnia vincit" it is old, but it is good advice and 
it has done wonders; it has made civilization and 
progress what it is today. Take heed to it and 
it will work wonders for you. "Perseverance con- 
quers all things." 

ENLARGE YOUR VOCABULARY BY READING. 

The greatest trouble that employers find with 
average stenographers is that they have not enough 
general information. The ability to write shorthand 
at a moderate speed and to transcribe it on the 
typewriter should never be the ultimate goal of the 
ambitious stenographer. He should not be satisfied 
with standing on the bottom rung of the ladder 
when there is so much room at the top. Improve 
yourself by reading, or better still, get some one to 
read good books to you on a variety of subjects so 
that you can take them down in shorthand. By this 
plan you fulfil a triple purpose. You improve your 
mind, enlarge your vocabulary, and add materially 
to your shorthand knowledge and speed. If you 
cannot get a fellow student to join you in this plan, 
you may be able to form a class of young people, 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 37 

who will meet once or twice a week or oftener, and 
read aloud in turn. Try this; it will increase your 
speed, enlarge your knowledge, add to your vocab- 
ulary and benefit you in many ways. Dictation from 
any interesting book, leading articles from a news- 
paper, any matter, in fact, that is good English 
will assist you materially. "All is grist that comes 
to the mill" in the shape of practice, and the wider 
the scope of the reading the better the result. Im- 
prove yourself. 

INDEPENDENT READING. 

In all your writing of shorthand do not neglect 'to 
read independently and without assistance from your 
dictator. Good reading will come by practice, but 
in no other way. Make sense of what you transcribe 
and don't substitute. By that we mean don't 
"make sense of it" by reading something that is 
similar, but not quite correct. The business man 
in dictating a letter wants transcribed exactly 
what he said. He does not want you to sub- 
stitute or put in something that he did not say, 
because you cannot read your notes. Neither does 
he desire you to alter a sentence because it reads 
better that way. Your duty as a stenographer is to 
record the expressed thoughts or spoken words of 
your employer, or dictator, intelligently, and you 
can do this only when you write shorthand rapidly 
enough to record what is dictated and read your 

47107 



38 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

notes well enough to transcribe them without assist- 
ance. If a word or a sentence puzzles you during 
the progress of your course of training, study it out 
for yourself and do not bother your fellow student 
with it. Strive to work out your own salvation, and 
with perseverance and the cultivation of self-reliance 
you will become a first-class stenographer. 

CLEANLINESS: 

We have already urged upon the student punctu- 
ality in attendance at school and in business, and 
we would now like to say a word about cleanliness. 
Some students consider this a minor matter. On 
the contrary, it is of vital importance, not only to 
the student but to the stenographer. Cleanliness 
includes tidiness, not only personal tidiness, but tidi- 
ness of your books, papers and office equipment. 

First, to treat of the personal portion: See that 
your hands are clean and that your clothing is neat. 
Look after your finger nails and see that your hair 
is tidy. Take pride in yourself, be sharp, bright and 
active. Shorthand should and must make you quick 
and energetic. Keep your books and papers free 
from lead-pencil marks and ink stains. Use a rub- 
ber band on your note-book to mark the page you 
are using. Don't allow the corners of your note- 
book to become "dog eared." Learn how to sharpen 
a lead pencil without covering your fingers with 
lead. Keep your desk in order; be systematic, and 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 39 



when you get into business take the same care of 
your desk or table. Keep your machine clean. 
Don't think that the first duty of a stenographer is 
to be "an .ornament" to the office. Dress neatly, 
but not conspicuously. Employers like to see their 
employes neatly dressed and presentable, but not 
gaudily attired. Look "smart" and be smart. 

PHRASING. 

The suggestion to the student that he should be- 
gin to phrase, or join common words from the start, 
is a strong feature of Gregg Shorthand. Some 
methods reserve this until the student is advanced 
in the study, but it is found to be difficult to acquire 
at that stage. The student, however, must guard 
against a waste of time in striving to think out 
phrases for himself. "There is nothing," writes Mr. 
David Wolfe Brown, "more unprofitable, and noth- 
ing more likely to make a slow writer than the pre- 
mature study of phrasing rules, and the premature 
attempt to apply them in impromptu phrase-con- 
struction." The best way is to memorize a number 
of constantly recurring, useful phrases, those only 
which join easily and readily. Use them whenever 
possible, but without making a special effort, or tax 
upon the memory to do so. They will come nat- 
urally after a little practice. Don't lose time in 
trying to make outlines which carry the hand un- 
comfortably above or below the line of writing. Let 



40 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

your phrases, at first, consist of simple words; those 
clearly set forth in the Gregg text-book and others 
like them. Rightly studied and rightly used, phras- 
ing is a great factor for speed and legibility. If 
carried too far, it is likely to be, as Mr. A. P. Little, 
of Rochester, described it, "The most infernal mis- 
take that was ever made," for it will not add to the 
writer's speed, but absolutely retard it. We strongly 
urge students not to try to invent phrases at first. 
Know your system thoroughly first; learn the simple 
phrases given in each lesson in the text-book. Work 
on these, and gradually, as you practice them, you 
will find that other facile forms and phrases will 
occur to you without effort, and you will then easily 
construct your own phrases. The only rule to be 
observed in the Gregg for phrasing is to use only 
such phrases as form natural, facile junctions, and 
which do not carry the hand too far above or below 
the line of writing. Phrasing should come without 
effort; do not be constantly striving to construct 
new or original phrases. If a combination of words 
will not phrase readily, write them out separately. 



PART II. 

Pointers About Typewriting 



THE MACHINE. 

It will be impossible in the following pointers to 
deal fully with the mechanism of the various makes 
of typewriters. This information can best be ob- 
tained from publications on the subject issued by 
the typewriter companies. Neither is it our inten- 
tion to enter into a disquisition as to the advantage 
of one make over another. We have no particular 
preference; there are many machines of standard 
make and all of them good. Some have points of 
advantage that appeal to one class of operators and 
others have points that appeal with equal force to 
another class. Fortunately for all of us, tastes 
differ; but in the case of typewriter selection it is 
not only a question of taste, but of fulfilling certain 
requirements. Some operators prefer single-case 
keyboard machines, others prefer double case; some 
prefer two, or double shift machines, others again 
prefer a keyboard that differs from the so-called 
"universal." And so it is all a matter of choice and 

41 



42 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

adaptability to purpose. It is not so much a ques- 
tion of machine as operator. 

Machines nowadays are built strongly and sub- 
stantially to withstand wear. Experience has demon- 
strated to the typewriter companies that wearing 
qualities are paramount, so all have striven to obtain 
strength and long life in their machines. The first- 
class machines have similar labor and time-saving 
devices. An operator on one machine can soon be- 
come equally proficient on another. Learn to oper- 
ate to the best of your ability whatever machine you 
use at school or during your study. Find out all 
there is to know about it. Keep it clean and free 
from dust and practice on it every moment you have 
to spare, and make every moment of your practice 
count. Do not waste time in writing aimlessly 
and superficially. Be in earnest. 

THE MACHINE AND THE OPERATOR. 

The vexed question, "Which is the typewriter 
the machine or the operator?" seems never to have 
been satisfactorily settled. So far as possible we 
shall use the word "typist" in these pointers to desig- 
nate the operator of the machine, and the word 
"typewriter" to allude to the machine itself. 

TYPEWRITING. 

A few years ago little attention was devoted to 
the teaching of typewriting in business schools. 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 43 

Certain classes of machines were supplied for the 
use of students, generally old models in more or less 
dilapidated condition. In fact, anything in the 
shape of a typewriter was thought to be good 
enough for students to practice on. In those days a 
student was introduced to the typewriter somewhat 
in this fashion: "Here is the So-and-so typewriter 
the machine you have to practice on. You place 
your paper in so, move on to the next line thus, 
draw your carriage back in this way, strike the space 
bar like that; the keys with the letters on them are 
there; you make your capitals so; now use one or 
two fingers of each hand in writing; here's something 
to copy; now practice, and do your best." And that 
was all the instruction the pupil received! Was it 
a wonder that he struck the keys heavily and ex- 
perienced difficulty? Is it to be marveled at that 
printers went so far as to print imitations of type- 
writing, with one letter above the line of writing and 
the next one below? The standard of instruction 
was low and poor work and poor typewriting was 
the natural result. 

The business man demanded something better, and 
in due course he obtained it. The standard of type- 
writing was raised. More attention is now devoted 
to the teaching of typewriting because the business 
man is naturally a better judge of good typewriting 
than of shorthand. The employer can only judge 
of the qualities of his stenographer, or typist, by the 



44 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

finished product. Herein, then, lies the importance 
of good typewriting. It is imperative that the 
stenographer be able to transcribe rapidly and accur- 
ately on the machine. Today good typewriting is 
recognized by advanced teachers as the more im- 
portant study of the twin arts of shorthand and 
typewriting. Don't forget this. You can do good 
work on the machine by having a method in your 
learning and by persistent and constant practice. 
There is comparatively little difficulty in learning 
typewriting; it is simply a matter of time, patience 
and the right kind of practice. 

SINGLE, DOUBLE CASE, AND DOUBLE SHIFT MACHINES. 

Typewriters are generally made with what is 
called "single" and "double case" key boards. The 
single case machine has keys with all the letters of 
the alphabet and the numbers on what is called the 
"lower case." By depressing a key called the "shift 
key," the capital letters as well as the various 
punctuation marks, are brought to the printing 
point. This is called the "upper case." In the 
double case typewriters there is a separate key for 
each letter, figure and punctuation mark conse- 
quently there are twice as many keys on a double 
case machine as on a single case. The double shift 
machine has two shift keys one for capital letters 
and another for figures and punctuation marks. It 
is best for the pupil in learning typewriting to con- 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 45 

fine his practice to one or the other of these key- 
boards exclusively and become proficient on it. He 
can subsequently, if business demands, readily adapt 
his knowledge to another keyboard. It will entail 
only a few hours' practice. 

MEMORIZE THE KEYBOARD. 

It is necessary that the location of each key upon 
the machine should be memorized. On the same 
principle that to write shorthand rapidly one must 
know the principles so well that the writing becomes 
automatic, the pupil should know the keyboard so 
well that he can operate the typewriter auto- 
matically. In fact, the location of each key should 
be photographed, as it were, upon the brain, so that 
when a letter is to be written, the mind will in- 
stinctively impel the finger to drop upon the key 
required. Experienced operators naturally obtain 
this facility of operation in a degree after years of 
practice. They become expert by continuous repe- 
tition of words and sentences. It has been found 
that a thorough knowledge of the keyboard is in- 
dispensable to correct writing. Those who have 
memorized the keyboard in this way and practiced 
certain fingering, have attained a degree of pro- 
ficiency in operating that could never have been 
equaled by those who used the old method. There 
are various methods of memorizing the keyboard 
learning one row at a time, covering up certain keys 



46 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

with celluloid key caps, gummed paper, etc. A good 
plan is to learn the location of the keys in their 
relation to each other and to associate certain keys 
with certain fingers. 

There are so many good text-books and treatises 
on typewriting now published, among which is a book 
called "Rational Typewriting," that it would be 
needless for us to dwell further on this matter of 
instruction. One thing must be borne in mind 
a thorough memorizing of the keyboard is essential 
to satisfactory progress and ultimate success. 

THE TOUCH OR ALL-FINGER METHOD OF 
TYPEWRITING. 

The "all-finger" method of typewriting, gener- 
ally called the "touch" method, has been demon- 
strated to be the best method. By this plan all the 
fingers of each hand are used as in playing the piano; 
certain rows of keys being allotted to each finger, 
and the space key being struck with the thumb 
generally of the right hand. By the touch method 
more rapid work has been done on a typewriter, with 
a degree of ease to the operator and less wear and 
tear to the machine, than is possible by any other 
plan. 

The advantage of the touch method lies in the 
fact that the operator or typist, having the key- 
board thoroughly memorized, is enabled to read 
his notes and transcribe them simultaneously. In 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 47 

this way the carriage of the machine is kept moving 
unceasingly, and every moment is utilized. 

The average stenographer in transcribing his 
notes takes up an "eyeful," or as much as he can re- 
member, writes those words on the machine, watch- 
ing his fingers all the while, because he has not 
memorized the keyboard, then stops, for he cannot 
read his notes and typewrite at the same time 
takes up another "eyeful" once more starts and 
repeats. This constant stopping of the machine 
while referring to the notes wastes much time. 
Touch operators have been found to do from 25 to 
50 per cent more work in a day than the old-fash- 
ioned operators. In addition to this the touch 
operator has a lighter and better touch; he is more 
accurate; does not waste energy, and consequently 
is able to do more work with less labor and less 
fatigue. Again, the touch method saves the 
machine. The touch operator, striking the keys 
lightly and evenly and with precision, does not sub- 
ject the machine to the rough usage of a sight 
operator. The touch method is rapidly pushing the 
sight operators into the background; therefore the 
student who expects to reap the richest reward will 
learn no other method. 

TOUCH TYPEWRITING REQUIRES EARNEST STUDY. 

The pupil must not become imbued with the idea 
that he can learn touch typewriting without effort. 



48 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

It requires a good deal of effort, much patience and 
considerable perseverance. Many have tried it, and, 
while admitting its superiority, have abandoned it 
because it required too much time. Teachers have 
abandoned it because it demanded more attention, 
more time and more machines in the school. It has 
been condemned by some teachers because, not be- 
ing touch operators themselves, they could not teach 
it; it was a case of "the blind leading the blind." 
There is no gainsaying the fact, however, that when 
properly learned, "touch" typewriting is far superior 
to the old method of operating the machine. It 
produces better work with less effort in the same 
length of time. But the fact remains, it entails more 
work for the student and more attention on behalf 
of the teacher. 

Another difficulty which meets the average stu- 
dent of touch typewriting is the training of the third 
and fourth fingers. The touch method necessitates 
the use of these fingers, and herein lies a struggle. 
Some claim, perhaps with reason, that they cannot 
use these fingers on the machine, and even when they 
do they produce an uneven touch. We once heard 
a pupil exclaim, "Please, sir, I can't do touch type- 
writing." "Why not?" we inquired. "Because," 
came the reply, "my mother's little finger is weak 
and so's mine!" Of course it is all a matter of spe- 
cial training, the same as learning the fingering on 
the piano or the violin. The difficulty is to make 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 49 

the pupil see the advantage of devoting time to prop- 
erly training the fingers. The best is none too good 
for your future work. You can, if you will, learn 
touch typewriting. 

BLANK KEYS. 

In a large number of schools, where a conscien- 
tious effort is made to teach touch typewriting, it 
has been the practice to cover the keys of the type- 
writer with celluloid keycaps or other devices for 
concealing the letters. By this plan it becomes 
obligatory upon the pupil to learn the keyboard by 
studying the location of each key. Many claim this 
materially assists the learner, in his work, and we 
do not doubt it. But neither blank keys nor other 
devices will make a touch operator of you unless 
the desire is within you. Cover the keys of your 
typewriter, and practice your writing without watch- 
ing your fingers more than is necessary. You will 
make mistakes at first, but if you persevere with 
your practice you will soon find that it is easier to 
write without watching your fingers than by the 
other method. 

CULTIVATE A LIGHT, UNIFORM TOUCH. 

Do not strike the keys with a slow, ponderous 
stroke. Strike each one a sharp staccato blow with 
the end of the finger, withdrawing the finger from 
the key instantly. Adhere closely to the fingering 



5O RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

outlined in your manual, because invariability of 
fingering is absolutely essential to correct work. Al- 
ways strike the space bar quickly with the side of the 
right thumb. Endeavor to cultivate as light a touch 
as is consistent with a clear, sharp impression of 
the type. Keep your elbows fairly close to your 
sides, your wrists well up and clear of the machine. 
Let the hands drop easily from the wrist, and train 
your fingers to strike the keys with an impetus from 
the hand. Practice is the only thing that will make 
you perfect, so practice all you can on the machine. 
Get a uniform touch; look at your work, and if one 
character is light and another heavy, your touch is 
uneven, and must be corrected. Strive for uniform- 
ity in this respect. 

ACCURACY BEFORE SPEED. 

Don't hurry in your typewriting at first. Accur- 
acy is the great desideratum in typewriting, as in 
shorthand: It sometimes takes longer to properly 
correct a trifling error in a typewritten letter than 
to re-write the whole letter. Of course the correc- 
tion of a mistake by an erasure saves the stationery, 
but it wastes time. Practice all the time for accuracy 
so . that you can write page after page without an 
error. The majority of teachers at schools will not 
accept typewritten matter from pupils unless it is 
absolutely free from errors and erasures. This is a 
good plan; it enforces accuracy, carefulness and 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 5! 

cleanliness from the start. Good habits once culti- 
vated remain long. Acquire the habit of accuracy 
in typewriting don't sacrifice accuracy for speed 
the latter will come in due course after practice. 

USELESS DELAYS-LIFTING THE CARRIAGE AND 
ERASURES. 

Two sources of slowness in operating the type- 
writer are lifting of the carriage and erasing. The 
lifting of the carriage is very much a matter of habit. 
It consumes valuable time and can usually be 
dispensed with. Almost the same amount of time 
is lost by operators of the "visible" typewriters who 
stop frequently to see if the machine has written 
correctly. To avoid this bad habit give the machine 
credit for doing its own work; try to realize that it 
will not make a mistake if you do not. The machine 
is built purposely to reproduce in printed characters 
the words you spell out. But no typewriter has yet 
been invented equal to the feat of spelling. It will, 
however, write properly, and faithfully -reproduce 
your spelled words. If you feel in your mind that 
you have done this, and this knowledge will soon 
become instinctive and certain, don't waste time by 
lifting the carriage or stopping to see if the machine 
has done its work. It is sure to do that. Be con- 
tent that if you have done your part well the machine 
also has done its work well. Don't raise the car- 
riage or stop your writing to verify this; go straight 



52 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

on with your work. Write line after line without 
lifting the carriage or stopping to see if the machine 
strikes the wrong key. If you are a touch operator 
you will instantly know when you have done this. 
Then raise the carriage and read all you have 
written, and if you have made a mistake turn the 
roller back and correct it. It is as easy to correct 
a mistake six or ten lines back as one line back, so 
wait for the first known mistake to correct any 
others that may be noticed. 

In learning typewriting, don't trouble to erase 
your errors. Write slowly and carefully. If you 
make a mistake, destroy the copy and begin again. 
Do not be satisfied with typewriting that contains 
mistakes. When you get into business the inculcated 
habits of writing correctly will serve you in good 
stead. In business you will have to erase occa- 
sionally to avoid destroying stationery. In your 
school work, where pressure of time is not so forcibly 
insisted upon, proceed slowly and accurately with 
your typewriting. Speed will come to you later. 

TRANSCRIBING THE NOTES. 

We will assume that the student by this time has 
so far progressed with his typewriting that he is 
able to copy business letters and other documents 
on the machine correctly and at a fairly high rate 
of speed. He may now be called upon to transcribe 
his shorthand notes upon the machine. This is likely 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 53 

to trouble him a little at first. There will be the 
reading of the shorthand notes with the simulta- 
neous transcription of them upon the machine. To 
get the best results, it will be necessary for you to 
glance through a sentence before beginning to put 
it on the machine, in order that you may properly 
punctuate' it. If you do not use the touch method, 
just before you write on the machine the last three 
or four words that you have in your mind, glance 
at your note-book, still keeping the machine run- 
ning take up another sentence and write that. By 
this plan you will save time, and gradually as you 
train yourself you will find that you can remember 
more and more and will be able to write longer 
stretches without glancing at the keys, until at length 
you can carry three or four lines of shorthand matter 
in your mind, and keep the carriage of your machine 
traveling without a moment's cessation. Herein lies 
the real /utility of the touch method the ability to 
keep the machine constantly moving. 

CLEANING THE TYPEWRITER. 

Pupils often try to avoid cleaning their machines. 
It generally soils the hands, and some people are as 
much afraid of a little oily dirt on their fingers as 
they are of soap and water, and vice versa. For this 
reason many pupils shirk cleaning their machines 
and look upon this feature of their work "as not only 
dirty and disagreeable, but entirely unnecessary. 



54 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

They overlook the fact that the typewriter is a ma- 
chine and that its chief enemies are dirt and dust. 
They altogether ignore the fact that when they get 
into business as stenographers a machine will be 
placed in their charge, an expensive machine, too, 
and that upon their satisfactory operation of that 
instrument will depend their bread and butter. If jt 
runs well it will do good, rapid work and give satis- 
faction. If it is dirty, covered with dust and oily 
waste, it will run less easily, entail more work on 
the operator, write unsatisfactorily, and eventually 
break down from the simple lack of attention and 
care. All machinery must be cleaned to work 
smoothly and produce the best results. Clean your 
machine daily before you begin to write on it. Rub 
off all the dust from the rods and wearing parts. 
See that the dust does not accumulate on the 
enameled parts of the machine. Keep the nickeled 
parts bright. Clean the type picking out the full 
letters with a pin, or brushing the faces of the type 
with the small brush supplied for that purpose. 

Habits of cleanliness should be inculcated and en- 
couraged in the school or class-room, and learning 
how to care for and clean your typewriter is almost 
as necessary as learning to operate it. 

SPELLING. 

If a typewriting machine could spell, it would be 
worth its weight in gold! But it not only will not 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 55 

spell, but it insists upon showing up, in the most 
glaring manner, every orthographical error that is 
perpetrated by its operator. "Why do you make so 
many mistakes in your exercises?" asked a teacher, 
and the innocent pupil replied, "I don't know how 
it is, sir, but that machine of mine doesn't spell a 
bit correctly." "My boy," said another teacher, "do 
you know that your spelling is bad atrociously bad ! 
It is useless for me to attempt to teach you short- 
hand and typewriting until you can spell well." "I'm 
sorry to know that, sir, but I can't help it." "You 
can't help it, eh? Why not?" "Because, sir, bad 
spelling runs in our family, sir my grandfather 
couldn't spell!" 

This kind of excuse will never be accepted any- 
where. It is absolutely necessary that the stenog- 
rapher should be a good speller. He must learn to 
spell or abandon all hope of becoming a stenog- 
rapher. Too many young people take up the study 
of shorthand and typewriting without the primary 
qualification of a fairly good knowledge of the 
English language. Is their failure to be wondered 
at? The average business man may not know short- 
hand and typewriting, but he knows when his corre- 
spondence is correctly spelled, and will seldom put 
up with bad spelling for long. We heard of an 
instance where a young woman by her prepossess- 
ing appearance and the kind interest of friends ob- 
tained a position. Her employers soon discovered 



56 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

her weakness in spelling, but she was such a pleasant 
young woman that they put up with it as long as 
they possibly could. At length she went too far, 
and the manager arose in his wrath. "I say, Miss 
Jenkins," he exclaimed, "we really, you know, can't 
put up with this any longer; your spelling is some- 
thing awful; it is simply appalling." "Good gracious, 
sir," she answered, "why why what is wrong?" 
"The word 'sugar/ " he replied, "here you have 
spelled it 'suger.' ' "Dear me!" was the innocent 
reply, with her brightest smile, "how foolish of me; 
I left out the V didn't I?" 

If your spelling is weak or defective, do your best 
to improve it. The average business man will not 
have the courage, or, possibly, may not care to tell 
you that you are a poor speller, and that is his reason 
for discharging you. He is more likely to make 
some other excuse. In fact, we have known in- 
stances where an employer, rather than tell a sten- 
ographer of her poor spelling, has given her a nice 
letter of recommendation on the eve of her dis- 
charge in which he stated that she was a competent 
and painstaking stenographer. He did not mind 
so long as she was off his hands! It was unfair of 
him, no doubt, but don't let the necessity for such 
a subterfuge arise in your case. 

Make an effort to have a complete command of 
the English language. Whenever you meet with a 
strange word, make a note of it, look it up in the 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 57 

dictionary, and learn exactly how it is spelled and 
used. We have found that the best way to learn 
spelling is to write the word several times in long- 
hand, or on the machine, if you have one. Write 
it ten or a dozen times in longhand until its exact 
spelling is photographed upon the brain. Once it 
is fixed there, you will never have any further trouble 
with it. The attempt to learn spelling by mere rote 
is absolutely useless. Write out the word many 
times, apply it in sentences, and before long your 
vocabulary will be increased and your spelling will 
be improved. Keep a dictionary by your side and 
refer to it whenever necessary. 

PUNCTUATION. 

In addition to accuracy in spelling, the stenog- 
rapher should have an accurate knowledge of punc- 
tuation. One is quite as essential as the other. While 
the language is dictated, the correct spelling and 
punctuation must necessarily be the sole work of 
the stenographer. It behooves the student, then, to 
study punctuation carefully. A misplaced comma 
has sometimes been the cause of endless trouble. 
Only very recently it was necessary to recall the 
legislature of New Jersey for an extra session 
through the omission of a comma in a certain clause 
of an important bill. In business, sentences shouH 
be short and concise. Commas should be used only 
where the sense demands them. The ,>c-micolon is 



58 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

not used to so great an extent as it was formerly, 
land parentheses should be avoided when possible. 
'Learn the use of the various punctuation marks; read 
'good literature, leading articles in papers and 
r.mguzines, and carefully note the punctuation. This 
will assist you materially in your studies. Use your 
common sense whenever you are transcribing and 
devote your best efforts to make sense of what you 
are writing. Make each sentence clear, understand 
it yoi i rself, and then punctuate it so that there can 
be no doubt of its meaning to the reader. 

NEATNESS IN TYPEWRITING. 

Good typewriting can always be distinguished by 
the way it is "set up," and by the neatness of the 
work. Considerable taste and judgment can be exer- 
cised in this respect. In business letters see that the 
date is placed well to the right. If there is a date 
line, arrange the paper, or set the "variable spacer" 
of your machine, so that it will write exactly on the 
line. Do not be satirised with writing it just a little 
above or a trifle below the line; it must be exactly 
on the line. Set the address out nicely. Some em- 
ployers prefer the address to be spread out, others 
like it arranged in successive steps. Find out from 
your teacher or from your typewriting manual the 
different plans, and practice them. See that your 
paragraphs all start at the same distance from the 
left hand side of the paper. If the letter is short, 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 59 

use the double space and get the body of the letter 
in the middle of the page. If it is a long letter, don't 
carry the matter so far down the page that you leave 
no room for the pen signature. Try to keep your 
right hand margin as regular as possible. Don't 
have an inch to spare on one line and three charac- 
ters crowded in beyond the margin on the other. 
You will seldom succeed in getting the margin on 
the right hand side to look as regular as that on the 
left, but give careful attention to it and you will 
do good work in time. If you properly set your 
marginal stop you should have no difficulty in this 
respect. 

Place "Yours truly" fairly in the middle of the 
page, at about 35 or 40, according to the suggestions 
of your teacher. Never arrange a letter so that you 
are under the necessity of carrying only a few words 
on to the second ' page. If that happens re-write 
the letter, so as either to finish the whole letter on 
one page, or carry over a sentence or two on to the 
following page. 

In envelope addressing, write the name just below 
the middle of the envelope and the city and state 
well toward the bottom. If you are using a single 
case machine be sure not to get a double impression 
from the upper case characters. Open the flap of the 
envelope, if necessary, and arrange your paper guides 
so as to keep the envelope flat against the platan or 
roller, 



60 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

If you are copying a document set it out as nicely 
as you can, putting in capitals those letters which 
you think should be prominent. If it is necessary 
to erase, do it neatly, so that it will not show. Rub 
long enough to get the paper clean of ink stains, 
but don't rub a hole in it. Neat erasures require 
practice. Be satisfied with nothing but good work 
and neat work. Keep the type of your machine 
clean; to write with type that is clogged, or 
dirty, should not be tolerated. Don't write on 
your machine so that the letters print or pile up 
one on the other. If the machine writes in that 
way it may be that it needs cleaning or your touch 
is very uneven. Clean your machine and try again. 
If the type still print on each other, it is probably 
the fault of your irregular touch. Try to correct 
it so as to make your work neat and regular. 

In hot weather keep your warm hands away from 
the ribbon and the printed letters. If you do not, 
your letters are likely to look soiled. Don't strike 
the period and other punctuation marks so they 
show through the back of the paper. This is a com- 
mon fault of the majority of typists. If you have 
accidentally struck your punctuation marks too 
hard, turn the sheet over, lay it face downwards on 
a flat surface, and pass the nail of your thumb or 
finger over the punctures in the paper, and in future 
strike the punctuation marks more lightly. 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 61 

COPYHOLDERS. 

Where to place the shorthand note-book when 
transcribing has been the subject of much discus- 
sion. Hundreds of different ideas of copyholders 
have been invented and put on the market, but the 
majority of them have met with no success. Some 
models stand on the table or desk, others are at- 
tached to the machine, but all of them vibrate to a 
certain extent when the machine is operated rapidly. 
It is an open question whether or not the copy- 
holder is an advantage. If you have an opportunity 
in school to practice with a copyholder, by all means 
do so. It is mainly a question of becoming accus- 
tomed to a certain thing. If you use the touch 
method of operating a typewriter a copyholder will 
be found useful. Sometimes in business it will be 
found that there is not sufficient room on the desk 
for a copyholder. It will be advisable, therefore, for 
the student to become accustomed to reading his 
shorthand notes or copy from the level of his desk 
or table. The great point with a stenographer is to 
be always ready for emergencies, and to adapt 
himself readily to surroundings. Practice read- 
ing and transcribing your notes with and without a 
copyholder, and then you will be able to meet all 
contingencies. 

THE TABULATOR. 

The growing importance of the typewriter has 
called for new uses for it and opened a wider fiel4 



62 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

than ever for the employment of good typewriter 
operators. A few years ago the machine was used 
only for correspondence, but the economy effected 
in this branch of mercantile life pointed out other 
ways of economizing time. Hence a demand for 
typewriters; or an attachment to the typewriter, 
which could be used for making out invoices, state- 
ments and all kinds of tabulated work. Tabulation 
was. previous to the advent of the tabulator, always 
regarded as the most difficult line of typewriting. 
The introduction of this attachment to the type- 
writer has reduced tabulated work to the simplicity 
of ordinary correspondence and at the same time 
has opened up a still wider field for the machine and 
the operator. By an ingenious arrangement the 
machine can be made to stop at any point desired 
upon the scale, and columns of figures can be written 
\vith an ease and speed unknown a few years ago. 

The tabulator can be attached to any of the stand- 
ard makes of machines, and the learning of its use 
should become a part of the school duties of the 
pupil. The operator of today will not find himself 
fully equipped unless he is perfectly familiar with the 
tabulator. He is likely to meet with it in any busi- 
ness house in which he may be employed. 

There are several modifications of the tabulator 
on the different makes of machines, and all do good 
work under proper manipulation, and the pupil who 
lias learned how to operate one kind can readily 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 63 

grasp the details of the other. The tabulator is also 
useful in addressing envelopes and arranging names 
and addresses in business correspondence, etc. 
Some of the largest firms in New York City are mak- 
ing it obligatory for each clerk in their employ to take 
a comprehensive course of typewriting and the use 
of the tabulator. Don't be behind the times. Book- 
keeping ere long will be done on the typewriter by 
the aid of the tabulator. Learn all you can about 
this time and labor-saving device. 

BOOK TYPEWRITING. 

The clearness and conciseness of typewriting, and 
the ability of the typewriter to make manifold copies, 
has called forth other uses for the machine, hence 
the introduction of the book typewriter, a machine 
designed to write in a bound book. Before the in- 
vention of this machine, if it \vas desired to keep 
a permanent record of typewriting, the matter was 
first written on loose sheets and then bound up in 
the ordinary way into a book. With the book type- 
writer the leaves of the open book are held in posi- 
tion by a series of clamps and the typewriter travels 
across the page, the machine being operated in the 
usual way, except that the operator has to work on 
a moving keyboard. Hundreds of these machines 
are used throughout the world, writing the records 
in bound books, and they do their work well. If 
the student has an opportunity he should not neglect 



64 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

learning all about these wonderful machines. They 
have the universal keyboard, so he should experi- 
ence very little difficulty in operating them if he 
can use the ordinary machine. They are also used 
to a large extent in railroad and steamship work for 
the writing of large sheets and "manifests," where 
thousands of figures are used and several copies are 
required. Learn all you can about the book type- 
writer, for its sphere of utility is increasing daily, 
many of them being used by large dry-goods stores 
and others for invoice and statement work. 

The competition of the book typewriters has caused 
the manufacturers of the ordinary typewriter to 
bring out books with loose leaves. These are written 
on by the use of the typewriter in the ordinary way, 
and by a series of catches are securely fastened in 
book-form between covers. Protection against 
abstraction of the sheets is obtained by having each 
page numbered. By the use of the loose leaf books 
and an ordinary typewriter any kind of work can be 
successfully accomplished and bound securely in 
book-form. 

THE CARD SYSTEM. 

The writing of postal cards and envelopes upon 
the typewriter has until recently been attended with 
some difficulty. It was difficult to make the stiff 
card or thick envelope present an even, regular sur- 
face on the circular platen. The introduction of the 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 65 

card system of filing, by which thousands of different 
colored cards are used for reference and even ledger- 
keeping purposes, has created a demand for a type- 
writer, or an addition to the typewriter for the pur- 
pose of card writing. So great has been the in- 
crease of the number of business firms using these 
reference cards that nearly a dozen large firms are 
now engaged in the manufacture of reference cards 
and filing cabinets. Typewritten cards are so much 
easier read than hand written ones that a demand 
sprang up for machines and operators for this pur- 
pose only. The book typewriters are undoubtedly 
the best for card writing, as they permit of the cards 
being written while lying perfectly flat, and the 
machines are so arranged as to take cards of any 
degree of thickness. The ordinary typewriters, how- 
ever, by means of attachments, are now almost 
equally adapted for the purpose of card writing. 
Card cylinders and card holders can be bought and 
attached to any make of machine, and they will be 
found to take any of the ordinary "stock" cards with 
the greatest ease, and produce satisfactory work. It 
will be well for the student to learn all about the 
"Card System," and practice energetically the writ- 
ing of cards until proficient. This method of filing 
is coming more largely into use daily and the typist 
is sure to meet with the card system, in some form, 
into whatsoever office he goes. 



66 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

THE ANNULAR SCALE AND ITS USES. 

The use of the typewriter for bill and charge work 
has called forth the invention of the Annular Scale, 
an attachment to the billing machine of the type- 
writer. By means of this scale invoices can be writ- 
ten in the usual way, and at the same time, by the 
addition of carbon paper, a copy of each invoice (one 
immediately underneath the other on a separate 
sheet of paper) may be made. As each invoice is 
written it is withdrawn from the machine, but the 
carbon and paper at the back remain in the machine. 
By the use of the Annular Scale, which is attached 
to the left-hand side of the roller or platen, the 
carbon and paper are moved up the requisite dis- 
tance to permit of the next invoice being written 
immediately below the preceding one, as one would 
write entries in a day-book by hand, another invoice 
form inserted and written on as before. When the 
sheet is filled with the copies of the invoices it is filed 
away in a loose-leaf binder, becomes a part of the 
"journal" or "day-book." and is used for posting the 
entries of sales directly into the ledger. The Annular 
Scale attachment saves much time and labor, and is 
used largely by dry-goods houses and others. The 
pupil should learn its uses. 

WIDE CARRIAGE TYPEWRITERS. 

Railroad and steamship offices, as well as account- 
ants, dry-goods stores and many mercantile firms, 



fcUTHERFORD's PRACTICAL POINTERS. 67 

require occasionally machines that will do what is 
called "wide work." The ordinary typewriter will 
usually write from 72 to 75 characters to the line. 
This is not wide enough for some classes of work, 
and as a consequence the typewriter companies have 
put upon the market machines that will write as 
many as 300 characters to the line, and take paper 
almost three feet wide. The book typewriters will 
write on paper of almost any width, in fact as wide 
as any writing paper made, and do tabulating work 
at the same time. In the majority of cases the car- 
riages are large and cumbersome, and not very suit- 
able for rapid work. Some machines have inter- 
changeable carriages, so that it is possible to slide 
the ordinary 75-point carriage off the typewriter case 
in a few seconds and substitute a wider one upon 
the same base. The advantage of this style of ma- 
chine is obvious it can be used for ordinary work 
if desired and arranged for wide work in a few 
moments. 

The very wide machines used for steamship and 
railroad work have no small letters. They write 
capital letters, figures and special marks required in 
shipping circles. The student should see and learn 
about the wide or long carriage machines. If there 
are none at the school he attends he should visit 
the agencies of the various typewriter companies 
and make an inspection and investigation of the long 
carriage machines. They have come to stay. 



68 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

MANIFOLDING. 

Apart from the fact that the typewriter confers a 
benefit on the business community by placing all its 
correspondence in a printed and consequently a read- 
able form, there is the added advantage that if de- 
sired one or more copies of any document can be 
made at the one time of writing. This economy of 
time and space is effected by the use of carbon paper. 
By placing a sheet of carbon paper at the back of the 
sheet on which the typewriting is to appear, and 
above another sheet of paper, the sharp blow of the 
key of the typewriter on the paper will cause an 
exact copy to be imprinted from the carbon sheet to 
the sheet below. Thus one or more copies can be 
made at one time, the number of copies being lim- 
ited only by the number and thinness of the sheets 
of paper and carbon, and the force of the "touch" of 
the operator on the machine. The mode of arrang- 
ing the sheets of carbon in the machine requires a 
little practice, but your teacher, or any typewriter 
demonstrator, will readily show you, so it is needless 
to enter into details here. The colors of the carbon 
paper may be varied they can be obtained in a num- 
ber of colors, and very pretty ornamental work can 
be arranged with the exercise of a little patience and 
ingenuity. 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 69 

THE MIMEOGRAPH. 

Among the many inventions of Mr. Edison one 
of the most useful is the mimeograph. By means 
of it exact reproductions of typewriting may be 
made in a few moments and hundreds of fac-simile 
circulars produced in a short time. The process is a 
very simple one, and the sheets upon which the writ- 
ing is done may be quickly prepared on any of the 
standard typewriters. These sheets are called "sten- 
cils." If the machine has a ribbon it must be un- 
pinned or the ribbon mechanism arranged so the 
ribbon will not move, so that the type may strike 
directly against the stencil. A specially prepared 
waxen sheet is placed over a piece of fine silk and 
above that a sheet of tissue paper. These three 
sheets, with an oiled backing sheet, are placed in 
the typewriter as one would put in carbon sheets, 
the tissue sheet being uppermost. The typewriter 
is operated in the usual way. The bare type striking 
the tissue paper forces the impressions from the 
waxen sheet on to^ the piece of silk. The wax ad- 
heres to the silk and when the circular is completed 
the waxen sheet is found to be perforated wherever 
the type has struck it. The waxen sheet is taken 
from the machine, separated from the others, and 
fixed in a special frame with a porous sheet over it. 
By means of a roller, printer's ink is forced through 
the porous sheet and perforated waxen sheet on to 
a sheet of ordinary paper. This produces an exact 



7o RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

fac-simile of the letter or circular, and at each pas- 
sage of the ink roller over the porous and waxen 
sheets another circular is printed. 

The new rotary mimeograph will print a circular 
at every turn of a handle, and we have seen some 
marvelous work done with it in an astonishingly 
short time. At an exhibition some time since of the 
capabilities of producing circulars by the combined 
use of the typewriter and the mimeograph, 100 
words were written on a typewriter and the first 
mimeograph copy produced in two minutes and fif- 
teen seconds. One hundred copies of the circular 
were then run off in two and one-half minutes more, 
making four minutes and forty-five seconds from the 
time the circular was started on the typewriter to 
the time when 100 copies were printed ready for fold- 
ing and placing in envelopes. This shows the 
rapidity with which circulars may be reproduced. 
Pupils at school should learn how to make stencils 
for the mimeograph and how to use the machine. 
Nearly every business firm has use for this invaluable 
aid to circularizing. 

THE HEKTOGRAPH. 

The hektograph and similar inventions are made 
of a composition placed in shallow tins. The com- 
position, which has somewhat the appearance of 
glue, is first wiped with a damp cloth and the type- 
written letter, written with a specially prepared hek- 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 7 1 

tograph ribbon, is laid face downwards upon it. It 
is allowed to remain there for a few minutes, and 
on being removed an imprint is left on the compo- 
sition. On laying another sheet of paper on this, 
and passing the hand, or a roller, over the back of 
the sheet, a perfect fac-simile of the typewritten 
matter is transferred to the sheet. As many as 100 
copies can be taken from one writing in this way. 
The first few copies are of course the best, as the 
ink gradually is absorbed, becoming fainter and 
fainter as each copy is taken off. For a few circu- 
lars the hektograph is very useful and expeditious. 
It is used largely in steamship and other offices, and 
a knowledge of how to work it should be obtained 
by the pupil if possible. 

COPYING TYPEWRITTEN LETTERS. 

It is usual in business houses to keep copies of 
all letters. Copies are sometimes made by using a 
copying ribbon on the typewriter, and copying the 
letter by means of a press in a book made of tissue 
paper leaves. The typewritten letter is laid face 
downward on a sheet of tissue paper beneath which 
is placed a damp linen cloth. The moisture from the 
cloth passes through the tissue and transfers some 
of the aniline ink of the typewritten letter to the 
tissue paper, thus making a fac-simile. To facilitate 
the transfer the book of tissue paper is subjected to 
pressure in a letter press. It requires some practice 



72 RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

to get good, clear copies. The best results are ob- 
tained when the cloths are moderately damp. Al- 
though in most offices the office boy is required to 
copy letters, it will be well for the student to learn 
how it is done in case he is called upon to do this. 

An invention called "the rapid roller copier" 
greatly facilitates the ordinary mode of copying type- 
written letters, and the student would do well to 
become familiar with this also. 

In some offices, instead of copying the letters in 
a bound book with a copying press, a carbon copy 
is made of each letter, and attached to the original 
letter, all being filed together. This dispenses with 
the copying press and the letter book. The pupil 
of shorthand should learn all these methods of copy- 
ing and filing letters, and in fact make himself thor- 
oughly familiar with office routine. 

ADDRESSING. 

Addressing an envelope on a typewriter is not 
usually accomplished so easily as writing a letter. It 
requires care in feeding into the machine and 
considerable attention in spacing and judgment 
in arrangement. When the envelope is made of 
thick paper, it is advisable to open the flap. On 
single case machines, unless some care is exercised 
in adjusting the -paper guides or fingers, a slight 
imprint from the capital letters is likely to appear 
above the other letters thus giving the envelope an 



RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 73 

untidy appearance. The pupil at school should have 
plenty of practice in addressing, for unless he has 
this practice on his entrance into the business world, 
he will have difficulty in addressing envelopes. Long 
"fool's-cap" envelopes will occasionally require care- 
ful feeding into the machine. It is advisable to use 
the knobs or handles on the ends of the platen when 
feeding envelopes into the machine and not to use 
the spacing handle. 

GENERAL ADVICE TO THE STUDENT. 

By this time we presume that you are fairly pre- 
pared for your entrance into the business world. 
You have studied shorthand properly and faithfully 
until you can write at a fairly good speed, and you 
can now, doubtless, transcribe your notes on the 
machine rapidly and well. Before leaving school be 
sure that your teacher says you are ready and fit 
to enter upon the duties of a stenographer. Don't 
leave school simply because you think you are com- 
petent and can do just as good work as somebody 
else who was formerly in your class and is now 
earning a living. Let your teacher be the judge 
of your competency; he knows best your exact quali- 
fications, and will be willing for you to go forth into 
the business world, provided that you can do 
justice to yourself, your teacher and the school. He 
knows, as you should, that it will do you more harm 
than good to leave school before you are thoroughly 



74 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

competent. Don't be impatient. Everything comes 
to him who studies while he waits the favorable 
opportunity. If you are well up in spelling and 
punctuation, alert and capable in taking dictation, 
rapid and accurate in transcribing your shorthand 
notes, well-informed on copying letters, mim- 
eographing, hektographing, manifolding and card 
indexing and, above all, have "nerve" to face a new 
dictator, then you are ready to leave school. 

Your teacher should give you a thorough exam- 
ination. You should be able to write at least 100 
words per minute in shorthand for five minutes, and 
even for ten minutes would be better. You should 
be able to transcribe the notes you have taken, in 
the five or ten-minute test, on the typewriter at the 
rate of 20 words per minute. If you can transcribe 
them at the rate of 25 or 30 words per minute accur- 
ately and practically without error, you are doing- 
well. In this examination your teacher should give 
you new matter, and not letters that you have writ- 
ten several times before. It would be no test to take 
letters you had written before, for in all probability 
you would know them by heart. The test should be 
on business letters of not too technical a nature; on 
the other hand, they should not be made up of words 
of one syllable, but should be a fair mixture cf 
ordinary language such as would be used by one 
business firm communicating with another. If you 
succeed in putting the letters in really proper shape, 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 75 

so that if they were real letters your dictator would 
not hesitate to sign them, then you are ready to 
launch forth as a stenographer. Be courageous, have 
confidence in yourself, in your shorthand and in 
your typewriting. 



PART III. 

The Stenographer in the Office 



BREAKING THE ICE. 

Assuming that the student of shorthand and type- 
writing has been able to pass an examination as set 
forth in the preceding pages, he seeks the employ- 
ment bureau of one or more of the typewriter com- 
panies, armed with a letter of introduction from his 
teacher. He should provide himself with a note- 
book and pencil (unless he has a fountain pen" and 
a circular eraser. On reaching his destination his 
first duty will doubtless be to fill out an application 
blank setting forth his name, address, qualifications, 
etc. At a stated time he will have to pass an ex- 
amination. 

In some offices three business letters are given 
for dictation, each consisting of about 100 words. 
The first letter is dictated at about 80 words per 
minute, the second letter at about 90 words per 
minute and the third letter at about 100 words per 
minute. Before beginning to take dictation see that 
your pencil is sharp, that your note-book is in good 
condition and not twisted or curled. Make yourself 

76 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 77 

as comfortable as possible and be sure to have plenty 
of room in which to write. If there is a machine 
on the table where your notes are to be taken move 
it to one side, or even, if necessary, remove it from 
the table altogether so that you will not be ham- 
pered in any way. It is most essential that you get 
the shorthand down well. Don't be nervous. Sit 
close to the dictator so as to hear distinctly and 
keep up with every word dictated. Concentrate 
your efforts on the work in hand and endeavor not 
to allow any disturbing element to creep in and 
disconcert you. Get the addresses down correctly 
and write as much of these as you can in shorthand. 
When the dictation is finished, turn to the machine. 
Write a line and see if the carriage runs nicely, and 
if everything is in good order. \Vhen you are told 
to begin transcribing don't rush, but proceed delib- 
erately. Observe the form and arrangement in trans- 
cribing which you have been taught. If you make a 
slight mistake, erase, but don't waste time about it. 
Take a fresh sheet of paper for the second letter, and 
also for the third, and get through with them as 
quickly and as nicely as you can. Don't let the rattle 
of machines about you make you nervous; you have 
heard them before at school. Don't worry because 
someone else finished a minute or two before you. 
We hope that success has attended your efforts and 
that you have passed the examination satisfactorily. 
If, however, you have not, don't be discouraged. It 



/S RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

is possible that you have failed simply through nerv- 
ousness. Don't think that your teacher did not do 
you justice because you did not pass the first time. 
Try again. Practice faithfully for another week or 
two and then make another attempt. You will soon 
school yourself to withstand the nervous strain and 
pass the examination without difficulty. 

APPLYING FOR A POSITION. 

Having passed the examinations of the typewriter 
companies you are now prepared to apply for a posi- 
tion. Possibly your teacher is able to send you to 
a position at once without the necessity of your tak- 
ing an examination at the employment bureaus of 
the typewriter companies. So much the better. We 
will assume, anyway, that you are now about to 
embark in your first business venture. A word as 
to your personal appearance*. See that your hands 
and face are clean and your hair is tidy. Young 
man, be sure that you are well shaved. Young lady, 
if a veil improves your appearance, by all means 
wear one. A favorable first impression counts for 
much. Don't be gaudily, but neatly, dressed. 
Have your note-book, pencil and eraser with you. 
Ee at the office on time and ask for the person whose 
name has been given you. Young man, remove 
your hat, and take your hands from your pockets. 
Present your letter, and if you are asked whether 
you are ready for work answer in the affirmative and. 



RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 79 

start at once. At the first opportunity look at your 
machine. Write a line on it, see if the type and 
back rods are clean and the machine is in good run- 
ning condition. If the machine is dirty, find a 
cloth, which is probably in the drawer with the 
brush, and if not, ask for them, and clean your 
machine. This will show that you are business- 
like. We remember an instance of a young man 
who was sent out to look for his first position. He 
had a two-days' growth of beard on his face, his 
nails were not clean. He crept into the office, open- 
ing the door just enough to admit his body. 
He kept his hat on and had both hands in his 
pockets. He took down his letter from dictation 
readily and then slouched over to the machine. It 
was covered with dust, the type were full of ink, and 
the back rods so dirty that the letters piled up. He 
cared nothing for that. He went on with his 
transcribing. "I wasn't going to clean their old 
machine for them," he afterwads said, and he didn't. 
He tried his best to write the letter, but the 
machine was so clogged with dirt that it would not 
respond. He wrote the letter three times and de- 
stroyed each copy. His fourth attempt was no bet- 
ter. His would-be employer asked for the letter, 
which he handed him just as it was, without com- 
plaining about the machine. The man told him, 
after glancing at the letter, that he would let him 
know his decision by mail and he is still waiting. 



8o RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

If this young man had politely said, "Sir, your ma- 
chine is very dirty; I must clean it before I can 
write the letter/' his criticism would have been re- 
ceived with the comment, "That young fellow knows 
his business," and ample time would have been given 
him to clean the machine. 

Having attended to your machine, be ready to 
take dictation. Keep your note-book open at the 
proper place and the pen or pencil at hand. Go with 
alacrity, but quietly, of course, to the seat beside 
your employer's desk. Take down every word he 
says. If he dictates too rapidly, ask him to be kind 
enough to repeat, and say you will do better when 
you are accustomed to his voice. When you have 
the letters down, go to your machine and transcribe 
the shorthand with accuracy and despatch. Make 
sense of each letter and get each one out in first- 
class shape just as you learned to do in school. Don't 
hurry too much and make mistakes; make haste, but 
make haste slowly. Do your level best, and all will 
be well. 

Ask someone at what hour you are to go for your 
lunch and how much time you are allowed. You 
need not worry the principal about this, but you 
will, no doubt, soon learn who is in charge of the 
office routine and from whom you are to take in- 
structions. Be prompt and punctual in returning. 
Keep busy all the time, but keep busy on something 
useful. If you have a few minutes to spare from 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 81 

your work devote it to practice on your machine. 
Be sure to keep your note-book open at the proper 
place ready for instant service. Be as quiet as possi- 
ble about your work and, above all, mind your own 
business. When you have finished your work for 
the day put your note-book and papers in the draw- 
ers of your desk in order, and cover the machine 
with its metal cover, if it does not drop into a cabi- 
net. Place everything where you can find it imme- 
diately next morning. 

" FUSS AND FEATHERS." 

Being duly installed in a position, let us impress 
upon you the necessity of trying to think for your- 
self. Be self-reliant, at the same time ready and 
willing to take advice from others. Do not be 
impressed with a sense of your own importance and 
never believe for a moment that your services are 
indispensable. Don't force yourself on the attention 
of your principal or those in authority over you. Let 
your good work and persistent attention to your 
duties speak for themselves. What transpires in the 
office must never be mentioned outside. Be quick, 
quiet, and accurate in your work. Don't complain 
of the amount of work you have to do. 

"The most costly waste in business life," says the 
Saturday Evening Post, "is fuss and feathers. La- 
mont, the humble reporter, did good service quietly. 
He asked f.ew questions, said little, went ahead. 



82 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

Cortelyou, the unknown stenographer, grasped his 
duties, performed them, and won a cabinet portfolio. 
The men of fuss and feathers wondered why they did 
not do so well. Modern business is swift. Its orders 
do not admit of debate or explanation. A 
word may mean a full day's toil. The presi- 
dent or manager talks in snappy sentences each 
means a task. The employe who understands and 
does the work without questions gets the next pro- 
motion. To a real man of business nothing is more 
annoying than 'How shall I do this?' or, 'Do you 
think it ought to be done this way, or would you 
prefer it some other way?' or, 'I beg your pardon, 
but I want to be very sure that I caught your exact 
meaning.' Fuss and feathers men think they score 
by impressing their own importance. They don't. 
Modern business is argus-eyed. It watches its men 
keenly, weighs their usefulness, judges by results. 
Time taken in talk is time taken from work. Mod- 
ern business uses a stop watch in the close race for 
success." This is fine, good advice. Take it well 
to heart don't be a 'fuss and feathers' stenog- 
rapher. 

TECHNICAL WORDS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEH. 

Into whatever line of business you may chance 
to go you are bound to meet with unfamiliar words. 
Some will be technical, others possibly outside your 
vocabulary. In dealing with technical words, 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 83 

principals are usually willing to give their stenog- 
raphers time to get them down properly or will 
furnish a list of them. In your spare moments study 
these; make up outlines or abbreviated forms for the 
difficult ones. For those of frequent occurrence, 
evolve brief forms. In a few days you will be able 
to comprehend the usual routine manner of your 
dictator and adapt phrases to meet his special forms 
of dictation. The phrase book will help you mate- 
rially in this respect. Although possibly some of 
the phrases may not be in the book, the many exam- 
ples given will suggest the best outlines for the par- 
ticular phrases used by your employer. In the case 
of new or difficult words, ask how they are spelled 
if necessary, but do not trouble your employer un- 
less it is really essential that you should do so. Keep 
a small dictionary in your desk for reference. Get 
down the sound of the word as nearly as you can 
make it out and when you come to it in your notes 
look it up in the dictionary. See that it makes 
good sense. If it does not, ask, so that you may 
have it right. Rely upon yourself, however, just as 
much as you can. and gradually as your own vocab- 
ulary is increased you will find that your difficulties 
will decrease. 

In every line of business technicalities abound. 
The good stenographer must adapt himself to his 
surroundings and study the technicalities of the 



84 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

business in which he is engaged until he is perfectly 
conversant with them. 

The following good advice from an old shorthand 
magazine is worthy of reproduction here: "If you 
are a stenographer and are in doubt about a word, 
a phrase, or a sentence, draw a perpendicular mark 
down the left-hand margin of your note-book and 
when your employer ceases dictating turn to the 
marked page, read the doubtful part and have it 
straightened. It is better not to interrupt a per- 
son when dictating, if possible to avoid it, as it often 
breaks the train of thought which sometimes cannot 
be recalled. Many persons are annoyed by inter- 
ruptions while dictating and strongly object to them. 
At the close of the dictation is the time to have 
corrections made. Do not wait until you commence 
transcribing your notes before calling the attention 
of your employer to doubtful passages, as frequently 
he will have entirely forgotten the subject and Aviil 
be unable to recall the exact expressions used at 
the time, which may have been carefully chosen for 
a particular purpose. Until you are thoroughly 
familiar with the employer's composition and his 
business it is better not to attempt to supply lan- 
guage, as you will seldom please him, and will get 
the reputation of being a poor stenographer when 
in many cases the fault is with the dictator. This 
remark does not apply to the correction of English. 
In calling a person'? attention to these irregularities 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 85 

it is just as well not to impress him with the idea 
that you believe he is at fault. Considerable tact 
may be used in pointing out errors to employers, 
and with some men this is necessary, as they are 
extremely sensitive upon the point and do not like 
r to acknowledge, even to their trusted stenographers, 
that they can make mistakes. Say, for example, 
'Let me see whether I heard you correctly,' 'I do 
not exactly understand,' 'I am in doubt about this 
word,' or use some expression which, while it does 
not throw the blame on the dictator, at the same 
time does not compromise you as a stenographer. 
Finally, remember that while circumstances often 
make the man, the young man who desires to suc- 
ceed must take advantage of circumstances." 

DON'T WASTE THE OFFICE STATIONERY. 

It is a good plan when in school to learn to write 
so correctly that you may dispense entirely with the 
use of an eraser. When one is in business, however, 
and under pressure for time, more mistakes are 
made, and as a consequence an eraser becomes al- 
most indispensable. Unless an eraser is used when- 
ever an error is made it will entail the destruction 
of the sheet of paper, and this waste in the course 
of a week may become something quite consider- 
able. This should be watched and guarded against 
as much as possible. Few business men are stingy 
over a few sheets of paper, but none of them like tp 



86 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

see wanton waste, and the destruction of sheet after 
sheet of paper for trivial errors which the proper use 
of an eraser would correct in a moment is willful and 
extravagant waste. Try to write without mistakes, 
but if you make them erase them and do not de- 
stroy the office stationery. 

READING BACK YOUR NOTES. 

The stenographer will be often called upon to 
read back his notes. The dictator may lose the 
thread of his dictation, or he may be interrupted 
by a telephone call or an interviewer. In such cases 
he will desire to know where he stopped and will 
call on the stenographer to read back the dictated 
matter. It is imperative, therefore, that the stenog- 
rapher should have the utmost facility in reading his 
shorthand notes. Train yourself, then, by reading 
all the shorthand you write until you can read it 
as easily as print. If you have little practice in short- 
hand in business try to get someone to read to you 
in the evening to prevent your losing your speed. 
Whenever you get practice of this kind be sure to 
read back all you have written. At the time you 
read back place a circle around any outline or phrase 
that has given you trouble, and afterwards practice 
it until yoa are perfectly familiar with it. It is a 
good plan to pick out sentences here and there and 
read them without the context. Do everything to 
Accustom yourself thoroughly to reading your short- 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 87 

hand notes. A good shorthand reader is bound to 
be a good shorthand writer. 

The following good advice from the "Exponent'* 
cf Chicago is worthy of attention: "With regard to 
facility in reading, like facility in writing, it comes 
from practice. It is admittedly difficult to acquire 
facility in reading very imperfect writing, and you 
can therefore hope to acquire facility in reading only 
as you acquire good execution in outlines. I have 
always noticed that those students who devoted 
their spare time to reading their notes, reading the 
same article repeatedly, become independent, posi- 
tive readers. Only three things are necessary to 
become a good reader, viz., to thoroughly know the 
principles, to make an intelligent application of them 
in writing, and to give much thoughtful practice to 
reading." 

A FEW DON'TS IN BUSINESS. 

DON'T LOOK AT THE CLOCK. It is a bad plan when 
in business to watch the clock, and to be eternally 
waiting for "closing time." Work energetically and 
well as long as there is anything to do.- Keep busy 
all the time, and be ready and willing to do any- 
thing that may be required of you. If you are 
asked to write a letter a few moments before clos- 
ing time, do it cheerfully. It may inconvenience 
you, but it is better that you should suffer than that 
your employer or the business should suffer. A 



88 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

slight service rendered willingly and gladly is often 
repaid a thousand-fold. "Don't look at the clock." 

DON'T BE GRUFF OR RUDE. A pleasant word 
and a happy smile will carry one far in business. 
Try to be cheerful in your work. Greet your fellow 
employes in the morning with the usual salutations 
and be polite and courteous at all times. Don't be 
disagreeable and curt to callers. They may inter- 
rupt your work, but it is only for a few moments, 
and a little courtesy extended to a stranger will 
never come amiss. Be respectful to your employer 
and not overbearing to your subordinates. A cour- 
teous manner will raise you in everyone's estimation. 

DON'T NEGLECT YOUR MACHINE. Your machine 
should receive your first attention in the morning. 
Dust it, clean the type, and oil such parts as require 
lubrication. Watch your ribbon and see that you 
do not strike the keys so hard that you wear holes 
in it. Try to cultivate an even, regular touch. 
Above all, keep the machine clean. 

DON'T WRITE WITH A BLUNT PENCIL. If you 
use a lead pencil for your shorthand notes, use a 
good one that does not scratch and always keep the 
point sharp. Don't write with a blunt pencil; it will 
make your notes illegible, cause you to write large 
notes and give you endless trouble. Sharpen your 
penci's at both ends a^d always have them ready. 

DON'T NEGLECT YOUR SHORTHAND. If you have 
little practice at shorthand at the office, try to get 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 89 

some outside, by taking down sermons, lectures, 
political addresses and the like. If you can possibly 
find time, transcribe all reports made in this way, 
but, at any rate, read over all the notes carefully. 

DON'T BE LATE. Punctuality is the soul of busi- 
ness. Try always to be on time. In some firms time 
clocks are used to keep a record of each employe's 
attendance. They may not have them in the house 
in which you are employed, but whether they have 
them or not, always be punctual. 

HOW TO WRITE NAMES AND ADDRESSES. 

To the new stenographer the names and addresses 
of the correspondents will present a difficulty. They 
are familiar to the dictator, and he will in all proba- 
bility read them rapidly. At first you must try- 
to get them down as well as you can. Write as 
much as possible in shorthand, of course, and if 
you do not get the name and address clearly wait 
until the letter is dictated and then ask to have the 
name and address repeated. 

In many offices the letters are handed over to the 
stenographer to file as soon as the replies are dic- 
tated. In such a case it is an easy matter to refer 
to the letters and get the names and addresses cor- 
rectly. Another plan, which we have found ad- 
vantageous, is to number each letter as it is dictated. 
This the principal does when he dictates it by saying 
"number I," and placing the number on the letter. 



90 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

The stenographer numbers the letters in his note- 
book to correspond, and then when transcribing 
gets the names and addresses direct from the orig- 
inal letters. This saves time for the dictator and 
avoids the possibility of mistakes. 

Where, as in some businesses, each letter is num- 
bered with a rubber stamp as soon as received, all 
the stenographer' needs to have is the consecutive 
number and the letter handed over to him for filing 
purposes. 

GETTING A POSITION. 

Don't wait for something to turn up, but turn 
up something. You may be somewhat unfor- 
tunate in obtaining a position, or in holding one 
for any -length of time. Possibly, too, you 
may wish to improve your position and would like 
more salary. To you we would tender a little ad- 
vice. Go to the typewriter offices and register 
your name and address free of charge. If an 
opening occurs they will be pleased to advise 
you. Refer to the "want" columns of the daily 
papers and answer the advertisements you see there 
for stenographers. Write a brief, concise letter re- 
ferring to the advertisement, stating that you are 
a stenographer and are willing to call and give the 
advertiser an opportunity of testing your abilities 
if he will favor you with an interview. It may be 
that vou will answer a dozen advertisements and not 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 91 

get a single reply. Don't be discouraged. Some- 
thing will come your way shortly if you will keep 
on trying rather than waiting ior something to turn 
up. Beware of those '"fakirs" who guarantee em- 
ployment and take students for a week on trial and 
then discharge them without pay. Don't consent to 
work for anyone without a special agreement as to 
the salary that is to be paid to you at the end of 
the week or month, as the case may be. The taking 
down and transcribing of a single letter will fully 
demonstrate your abilities. You may do this with 
impunity and willingly, but have nothing to do with 
those who wish you to come for a week on trial 
without remuneration. They sometimes get their 
work done month after month by making false 
promises that if one will work for a week for noth- 
ing doubtless there will be a splendid opening, and 
at the end of the week the poor stenographer is 
discharged and another unfortunate engaged on the 
following Monday for another week on the same 
specious excuse. Every man is worthy of his hire, 
and you must be paid for your work from the very 
first day. There are some very reputable employ- 
ment bureaus which offer to obtain positions for 
stenographers in consideration of one week's salary 
being paid to them, in installments, after the posi- 
tion is secured. The student should exercise care 
and discretion in dealing with these employment 
bureaus, As a rule he should studiously avoid those. 



92 RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

who ask a certain fee payable in advance for regis- 
tration. These offices generally take the fee and 
that is the last the stenographer hears of the agency. 
The other bureaus which offer to secure a position 
and' then ask for one week's salary, payable by in- 
stallments, are less objectionable. It is sometimes 
better to pay an employment bureau $2 per week 
for a month or so than it is to remain idle for sev- 
eral weeks and lose your shorthand and typewriting 
speed. 

The Young Men's Christian Association and the 
Young Women's Christian Association also have 
employment bureaus in every city of importance 
and are always ready to place their services at the 
disposal of stenographers who can really do good 
work. Put an advertisement in the best paper in 
your town or city, that you are a stenographer and 
in want of a position, and doubtless it will put you in 
touch with something. If you have to wait for a 
position practice all you can. Practice at the type- 
writer offices for an hour or so each day. Keep in 
close touch with your school and be ready to em- 
brace the opportunity for employment when it 
comes. Use all the opportunities within your grasp 
to obtain a position; keep a sharp lookout, and you 
will soon find yourself in a lucrative and congenial 
situation^ 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 93 

A FEW POINTERS FOR THE OFFICE STENOGRAPHER. 

MARGINS IN NOTE-BOOK. It will be found a 
good plan to leave a fair margin on the left-hand 
side of your note-book. It not only affords a better 
hold of the note-book when taking dictation on the 
corner of a desk or on your knee, but it permits 
of an available space for the insertion of matter 
omitted for the moment by the dictator. Few 
business men dictate connectedly and in the proper 
order exactly what they wish to say. They often 
desire to interpolate, and in such cases the margin 
on the left of the note-book will be found very useful. 

TAKE AN INTEREST IN YOUR EMPLOYER'S AFFAIRS. 
By this we do not mean that you should be 
inquisitive, but learn as much about the business 
as you can. The stenographer's position is one that 
offers opportunity in this respect that no other 
affords, and the stenographer invariably becomes, if 
he keeps his eyes well open, almost indispensable 
to his employer. Take an interest, then, in what 
is going on around you; learn all you can about the 
business in which you are engaged; and as far as 
possible become a "perambulating encyclopedia" of 
information for your employer and for him alone. 
Never mention outside the office what happens 
within it. 

INDEX AND DATE YOUR NOTE-BOOKS. In some 
businesses, especially in legal offices, all note-books 
are filed away for future reference. In these cases 



94 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

write on the cover the number, date of commence- 
ment and time of completion of the book, and then 
file it away where it can be readily found for refer- 
ence purposes. Date your note-book at the begin- 
ning of each day's work and cancel the notes written 
up by striking a perpendicular line down the page. 
Form these habits while in school. 

THE PHONOGRAPH IN BUSINESS. 

The phonograph at one time threatened to take 
the place of the shorthand writer in the taking of 
dictation. It was found, however, that every busi- 
ness man could not dictate his correspondence into 
the machine without an occasional interpolation. 
As a consequence the phonograph has not yet met 
with such approval at the hands of the average busi- 
ness man as \vas anticipated. It is used, however, to 
some extent, and the up-to-date stenographer 
should learn all about it. For office purposes the 
machine is fitted with an apparatus for checking the 
speed of the motor when desired, so that dictation 
may be taken at any rate of speed. The employer 
dictates to the machine his replies to the corre- 
spondence. The records or cylinders, as completed, 
are taken to the typewriter operator and placed 
upon another machine beside the typewriter. The 
hearing tubes are placed in the ears by the operator 
and the transcribing begins. A switch is provided 
by which the machine may be instantly started or 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 95 

stopped. The reproducer may also be moved back 
so as to repeat any matter that was not fully un- 
derstood. When a sentence is taken it is transcribed 
on the typewriter, the phonograph being stopped in 
the meantime, and so the letters are completed in 
this way. 

Of course the phonograph dispenses with the 
shorthand, but the unwieldiness of the machine and 
its initial expense, together with the difficulties of 
adjusting the needles for making and reading the 
records, all present bars to its universal adoption. 
So far as we have seen there is no fear of the stenog- 
rapher being superseded by the phonograph. Many 
court and congressional reporters, however, use the 
phonograph for transcribing purposes, since the 
transcript may be dictated direct into the machine 
and then handed over to several typists to be type- 
written. In this way much time is saved, as all the 
court reporter has to do is to read his notes as rap- 
idly as he possibly can into the recording machine. 
To the court stenographer, or the trained dictator, 
the phonograph is a very valuable factor in econo- 
mising time. The phonograph may also be made 
most useful for increasing speed in shorthand. 

THE LAW STENOGRAPHER. 

The duties of the stenographer in a legal office 
generally call for a higher speed, both in shorthand 
and typewriting, than the commercial stenographer, 



g6 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

as well as a special training on legal forms. In a 
(corresponding ratio there is a high rate of remun- 
eration. The stenographer who is ambitious and 
would reach the court reporter's chair, should have 
a special training on legal forms, words and phrases. 
The majority of court reporters owe their positions 
to the fact that they obtained their early training in 
lawyers' offices. Legal terms and phraseology are 
studies of themselves, and the forms in which the 
various documents are set out or drawn up call for 
special drill and expertness. From four to five car- 
bon copies are made of all documents on the type- 
writer, and this style of writing necessitates absolute 
accuracy and fidelity in copying. Briefs and other 
legal documents are dictated and taken down in 
shorthand, and frequently to these are added long 
extracts from legal books which call for exact copy- 
ing. The legal stenographer is often called upon to 
take shorthand reports of hearings, references, or 
examinations of witnesses. These give a good in- 
sight into court work. Unless the legal stenog- 
rapher phrases he cannot obtain the shorthand speed 
that is requisite. It is therefore necessary for him 
to train himself on legal phrases. The phrase book 
contains a large number of these, which should be 
memorized. The various treatises on typewriting 
will give the ambitious legal stenographer the ma- 
jority of legal forms, and a good drilling on these, 
supplemented when he gets into a legal office with 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 97 

a copy to follow, will enable him to do good and 
satisfactory work. 

The use of the variable spacer or free roller on the 
typewriter will enable him to fill up blanks in legal 
forms and to write on lines with the greatest ease. 
This kind of work should be included in his drill, for 
a legal form filled out poorly, with the typewriting 
out of alignment with the ruled lines, looks espe- 
cially bad. The use of the variable spacer, or free 
roller, on the typewriter obviates the necessity of 
pulling the paper from the back in adjusting it for 
writing on lines. All legal documents are indented 
on the left-hand side, and to obtain this the left-hand 
marginal stop is generally fixed at 10 or 15 on the 
scale, depending on the exact position of the per- 
pendicular ruled line on the legal paper. 

Reports of references or hearings are transcribed 
on note-sized paper, questions and answers being 
usually placed on separate lines. These sheets are 
generally bound up in the form of a book, perfora- 
tions being made on the left-hand side of each sheet 
for that purpose. 

To reach the court reporter's position the stenog- 
rapher must first be well drilled on legal forms and 
documents in a lawyer's office, learn to phrase well, 
write shorthand rapidly and read his notes like print. 
Practice for this all you can; do good work and leave 
no stone unturned to obtain influence that will back 
up your ambition. 



98 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

THE LIFE INSURANCE STENOGRAPHER. 

The life insurance stenographer has to master a 
phraseology that is very different from that of the 
commercial or legal shorthand writer. Most dicta- 
tion books give ample practice in this special kind 
of work, and a few weeks' drilling in life insurance 
phrases and terms will soon make one competent. 
The use of the typewriter in an insurance office calls 
for a thorough training in the use of the variable 
spacer, as many forms have to be filled out. Long 
and extra long carriages are also used for writing 
policies, and the stenographer intending to equip 
himself for life insurance office work should be thor- 
oughly acquainted with the use of the wide carriage 
machines. The tabulator is also used in insurance 
offices, it being frequently necessary to write col- 
umns of figures. The mimeograph is also used to a 
great extent, and it would be well for the stenog- 
rapher to be drilled on the uses of this valuable 
machine. 

THE RAILROAD AND STEAMSHIP STENOGRAPHER. 

The offices of the railroad and steamship com- 
panies are usually very busy places and the stenog- 
rapher generally has every moment occupied. The 
work of a railroad office is of a technical character, 
but much information on this subject can be ob- 
'tained from the various dictation books. Nearly all 
the railroad and steamship companies use the wide 



R'L Y TIIERFORD'S PRACTICAL toiNfERS. 99 

carriage machines for manifests, bills of lading, etc. 
It is important, therefore, that the stenographer 
should know how to use these machines. Many 
forms of various widths have to be filled out. The 
variable spacer and free roller must be used con- 
stantly, as it would be impracticable to shift the 
paper so frequently. Very few railroad letters are 
press copied, but one or more carbon copies are 
made of each letter and attached to the correspond- 
ence. In railway and steamship work all the papers 
or correspondence relating to a certain subject are 
kept together, and when completed are filed away in 
one compartment. The hektograph is largely used 
for multiplying copies of way bills, manifests, bills 
of lading, etc. For railroad and steamship work, get 
a thorough training in the way of carbons, wide car- 
riage, hektograph, mimeograph and the variable 
spacer or free roller for filling in blanks on forms. 

MANUSCRIPT COPYING. 

Manuscript copying, as, in fact, all other type- 
writing work, generally calls for accurate and rapid 
operation of the typewriter. Very little shorthand 
is used. The copying of plays is usually done on 
ordinary letter-size paper, this being the size pre- 
ferred by editors, and the work usually permits of 
good typewriting well set up. Examples of the style 
are given in all the typewriting instructors, and the 
typist intending to earn his or her living at this class 



100 RUTHgRFORD's PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

of work should drill especially on it. "Study parts" 
for the use of the actors are also typewritten and 
contain such portions of the play as are required to 
be memorized by the particular actor for whom the 
part is intended, with the last words of the previous 
sentence spoken by another actor so as to give him 
the "cue." The typist undertaking this class of 
work should not only be a good reader of illegible 
handwriting, but a good speller and grammarian, in 
addition to being well drilled in punctuation. Good 
prices are obtained for theatrical and other manu- 
script copying, and in the large cities this class of 
work is in the hands of a few copying offices which 
make a specialty of this class of work. 

THE PUBLIC STENOGRAPHER. 

The public stenographer several years ago occu- 
pied a remunerative and important position in the 
business world, and today in many of the leading 
hotels and office buildings of the large cities such 
stenographers find lucrative business. It is at best, 
however, a precarious livelihood, and the work must 
generally be done hurriedly. It necessitates a 
thorough knowledge of shorthand with first-class 
speed, good hearing (for one must take dictation 
from all kinds of dictators), good spelling, faultless 
grammar and rapid typewriter operating. Com- 
bined with these accomplishments the operator must 
have a pleasant manner and the ability to remain 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 101 

Composed under all circumstances. Many hotels 
charge rental for the use of their space; others 
give space in consideration of the stenographer 
doing the letter writing of the hotel free of 
charge. Nearly all the large buildings in the cities 
grant privileges to one stenographer to take in work 
for that building alone. Some have to pay for this 
right in addition to the rent of an office. In other 
buildings the right is included in the rental, with 
the understanding that no other typewriter operator 
shall be permitted to solicit work from the tenants 
of the building. 

The easy terms on which typewriting machines 
may be obtained and the desirability of having a 
stenographer at hand whenever wanted, have placed 
machines and operators in almost every office, and 
consequently very little work is sent out to be 
copied. 

The public stenographer should own a machine, 
with wide carriage and tabulator, also a mimeo- 
graph and a hektograph. The main point to be 
observed in public typewriting is good work at 
all times, no mistakes, and rapid execution. 

TECHNICAL REPORTING. 

Each particular business or profession calls for its 
special nomenclature, and the stenographer taking 
up a new line of dictation will find that he will- have 
dictated to him words which he never heard before, 



10:2 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

the execution of which call for all the skill he pos- 
sesses. The medical profession has a vocabulary 
which requires a special study of years to acquire so 
that it may be handled with any degree of facility, 
and in addition to this it is constantly increasing. The 
stenographer taking dictation for the first time from 
a medical man will encounter words which will thor- 
oughly test, not only his English, but his knowledge 
of Latin and Greek. If he desires to make a spe- 
cialty of medical dictation he should devote his spare 
moments to the reading of medical works and famil- 
iarizing himself with its terminology. The forma- 
tion of phrases and outlines for the most common 
words and sentences is of course absolutely 
essential. 

These same remarks apply to the stenographer 
engaged by an electrical firm or any other line 
where he has to deal with technical subjects. There 
is a vast array of new words words not yet even 
found in the ordinary dictionary which are likely 
to be dictated to the electrical stenographer with- 
out warning. A good plan is to get a price 
list of the various appliances and parts sold 
by the electrical house and devote a few spare hours 
to the formation of outlines and phrases for the un- 
common words and terms. The only way to be- 
come expert on technical terms is to make yourself 
absolutely familiar with them and the outlines for 
them. 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. IO3 

The stenographer who becomes the amanuensis 
of one engaged in scientific pursuits will not find 
his position an easy one. The advice which 
has been already tendered for the medical and 
electrical stenographer can also be applied to the 
stenographer of the scientist. New words and re- 
curring sentences should be made the subject of in- 
dividual study, and once reduced to simple propor- 
tions they will no longer daunt you in the slightest 
degree. 

The embryo stenographer is prone to think that 
the taking of a sermon or a lecture is a simple mat- 
ter. On the other hand the stenographer who is 
called upon to report a theological discourse will 
find it difficult unless he is perfectly familiar with 
theological phraseology and has the requisite speed 
in shorthand. A knowledge of the most frequently 
used texts and quotations will save a vast amount 
of time, as these need seldom be written in full; 
the first word or two and the last word will ordi- 
narily suffice to convey the quoted extract. In 
transcribing the text or quotation, it must, of course, 
be written in full. The list of theological phrases 
given in the text-book should be thoroughly mem- 
orized, and the reading of the Bible and practice on 
the Biblical names will go a great way to facilitate 
your work. 

It will be readily seen from these remarks that the 
chief point to be observed for success in stenography 



IO4 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

is a thorough knowledge of the business in which 
you are engaged. Master the vocabulary of the 
technical part of the business from the very start; 
invent phrases wherever necessary and resolve each 
difficult outline into an easily executed, nicely flow- 
ing form. Thus you will soon be characterized a* 
a first-class stenographer, and remunerated accord- 
ingly. 

PHRASE-WRITING FOR THE OFFICE STENOGRAPHER. 

One of the greatest obstructions to speed in 
shorthand is the constant lifting of the pen. The 
closer the pen or pencil is kept to the paper and the 
less frequently it is fifted, the more speed is possi- 
ble. A phrase, however, should never be striven for. 
It must come naturally without effort, or it would 
better not be written. "Too much phrasing," writes 
Mr. Dement who claims to be the most rapid short- 
hand writer in the world "retards speed." The fol- 
lowing most excellent advice by that eminent re- 
porter, Mr. Theodore C. Rose, is culled from an 
old shorthand magazine and should be read by 
every stenographer: 

"The question whether phrase-writing does or 
does not retard speed, is one that is often asked, 
but seldom answered with a direct 'yes' or 'no.' In 
fact I doubt if it can be answered other than with 
a qualified answer. If the answer means phrase- 
writing when carried to its fullest extent, as laid 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. IO5 

down by some authors, then I would answer 'yes.' 
If it means simply the joining of two or more words 
in brief, convenient phrases, then I answer decided- 
ly 'no.' As in almost all departments of human en- 
deavor, very much depends upon the man. Some 
are so constituted that they cannot act coolly and 
deliberately when crowded to extraordinary effort, 
while others have better control of themselves, think 
and act more rapidly when placed in such a situa- 
tion. Then the mind may act rapidly enough one 
day to make the writing of phrases advantageous 
and the next day be so sluggish as to make it a 
positive disadvantage. The mind plans, the hand 
executes. Some writers put the burden upon the 
mind and make it do most of the work by forming 
and sending to the hand briefer and better outlines, 
whilst others shift the work off on the hand and 
are content with long-straggling, half-unconsciously- 
made outlines. The tendency when hurried is to 
rush ahead with the hand instead of holding it in 
check to await the formation of good outlines and 
phrases, and then to do its part. One of the hard- 
est things to learn in reporting is to write slowly 
with the hand and rapidly with the mind, and upon 
the acquisition of this quality largely depends the 
making of the phrase-writer and the legibility of 
his work. All these matters enter into the question 
at issue and render the answer difficult. 



io6 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

"Phrases may be used to advantage when well 
learned, the same as sign-words, but they should 
always be brief and easily made. The claim that the 
lifting of the pen is equal to the loss of a stroke 
will not always hold good; it often contributes to 
ease of writing, and ease in reading. Short, fre- 
quently used phrases, learned as you would learn a 
sign-word, can always be used with the greatest 
advantage. Three or four strokes joined together 
may be as easily learned as one stroke; in fact, often- 
times more easily; and in addition they are gener- 
ally more easily read. Logically it may be urged 
that this principle could just as well be carried into 
long phrases as well as short ones, but I do not 
think it can be. Every practical stenographer, I 
have no doubt, has in his experience commenced a 
beautiful phrase that he had well learned, with full 
confidence that he was to reap a benefit of at least 
twenty-five per cent, when all at once the speaker 
varied it a little and made it necessary to strike out 
the whole thing from the beginning and re-write 
the words, thereby suffering a loss of considerable 
time and a good deal of patience. My rule is, use 
short phrases; have them well learned and as avail- 
able as sign-words; never extend a phrase over a 
distinct punctuation mark, or where one should be; 
and never attempt those phrases that have to be 
measured, cut out and contracted while you are to 
follow the speaker." 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL WINTERS. 107 
GRIT AND DETERMINATION. 

The stenographer will require plenty of grit and 
plenty of determination to achieve success in his 
special calling. Do not become discouraged and 
believe that only a genius can make a success of 
shorthand. "Genius," said Helvetius, "is nothing 
but continued attention." "I have no genius," said 
Sir Isaac Newton, "it is only patient, concentrated 
toil that gives me success." "I can and I will," 
rigidly adhered to, will work wonders. Be persist- 
ent in your studies, in your practice and in your 
work. Do not practice for three hours today and 
then not touch your shorthand or your typewriter 
for two weeks or more. One half-hour per day oi 
regular practice will do more than ten hours of 
desultory work. James Whitcomb Riley wrote, 
"The most essential factor for success is persist- 
ence; he is richer for the battle with this world in 
any vocation who has great determination and little 
talent, rather than his more talented brother with 
great talent, perhaps, but little determination." 
Grit has made many a man famous, and persistence 
in your shorthand studies and a determination to 
master the subject thoroughly will lead you 
into higher walks of life. Don't look back, but 
look forward, and work "on. In the words of 
D'Alembert, we would say to the stenographer, "If 
you are tempted to turn back go on, sir go on!''' 



PART IV. 

Pointers About Reporting 



HOW TO BECOME A SHORTHAND REPORTER. 

"Verbatim reporting," writes Mr. William E. Fin- 
negan in Chat, "like everything else worth knowing, 
is easy when you know how, but the beginner who 
is afraid of hard work will never know how, for the 
art of reporting is not easily mastered. Therein lies 
'ts chief value. If the ability to follow accurately 
a rapid speaker could be absorbed as a sponge takes 
up* water, the stenographic profession would soon 
be filled with the failures from every other depart- 
ment of work. Fortunately he who would become 
a verbatim reporter must, far from absorbing the 
knowledge he seeks, dig for every morsel of it r-dig 
deep through strata of principles beset with difficul- 
ties, which only the patient, industrious and re- 
sourceful mind can hope to overcome 

Whoever is ambitious to become a verbatim reporter 
must not make the fatal error of being in too great 
a hurry. He must be willing to spend time enough 
to learn the art of shorthand thoroughly. If he 
trusts his reporting fortunes to an instructor who 
guarantees to turn out experts in three months his 

108 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 109 

experience is certain to be like David Copperfield's 
whose 'imbecile pen staggered about the paper as 
if in a fit!'" 

The chief aim and ambition of the stenographer 
is to become a reporter to be able to report ver- 
batim the loftiest flights of the orator, sermons, lec- 
tures, and the rapid questions and answers of the 
courts. It would be well for the ambitious stenog- 
rapher to realize from the very start that the art of 
verbatim reporting can be acquired only by con- 
stant and persistent practice for a long period of 
time. Those who have been most successful and 
have reached the highest positions in the sjeno- 
graphic field as congressional and court reporters 
have done so, not by good luck or influence, but by 
evolution and persistent, hard work. 

Under another caption we will set out in detail 
the various periods of preparation and study that 
many of the best reporters have had to undergo 
before they reached the height of their ambition. 
To be a successful reporter the stenographer must 
possess good sight, excellent hearing, the keenest 
of observation and good expression, in addition to 
possessing a thorough command of his shorthand 
system, and the ability to write it swiftly and tran- 
scribe it accurately. He must also have a thorough 
command of the English language, history and 
current events. In fact, the reporter to be successful 
must be intelligent, well read, quick, and uniformly 



110 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

well-informed on a multitude of matters. His daily 
duties are so likely to require the keenest perception 
and knowledge of matters outside the ordinary pale 
of commerce that nothing but supreme alertness 
as to what is passing about him would fit him for 
his position. 

We do not wish to discourage the ambitious 
stenographer, but if he desires to become a short- 
hand reporter he must remember "No victory with- 
out a struggle, no success without labor." The field 
is wide and open; persistent study, and a determina- 
tion to succeed will attain success. Don't be dis- 
couraged 

"The heights by great men reached and kept, 

Were not attained by sudden flight, 
But they, while their companions slept, 

Were toiling upward in the night." 

SOME POINTERS FOR THE EMBRYO REPORTER. 

MASTER YOUR SYSTEM. The first step to good 
reporting speed is a thorough mastery of your sys- 
tem. Utilize in study every spare moment of the 
day, but exercise the hand simultaneously with the 
mind. The mind must act quickly, and the hand 
must be instantaneously responsive. Mr. David 
Wolfe Browne writes: "The mind's conception and 
the hand's response must be so prompt as to leave 
no appreciable gap between hearing and writing." 
Again he writes: "The attainment of the highest 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. Ill 

speed requires not only a well-trained mind, but 
a well-trained hand." This harmony of mind and 
hand can only be attained by practice. Master every 
principle of your system of shorthand thoroughly. 
Have someone read to you on a variety of matter, 
so as to enlarge your vocabulary, and apply your 
rules and principles to every new word. Write in 
shorthand and think in shorthand. 

READ YOUR O\YN NOTES. Read everything you 
write. Better even than reading is to transcribe on 
the typewriter every word that you write in short- 
hand. Omit nothing; make sense of all. you tran- 
scribe. Read also everything you can find printed 
in shorthand. Of course the best practice is ob- 
tained when you read your own notes. In transcrib- 
ing read always a few sentences, so as to avail your- 
self of the context, carrying as much of the tran- 
script in your mind as you can at one time, so as to 
keep the carriage of your machine traveling the 
whole time. 

WORD BUILDING. It is an impossibility for 
any mind to memorize arbitrary outlines for all the 
words in the English language. The rules and prin- 
ciples of your system, if properly applied, will enable 
you to write the most difficult words in the language 
with ease and accuracy. This word-building facility 
is the foundation of the reportorial structure. "The 
key to success in the practice of shorthand," writes 
Mr. Brown, "is in the mastery of the word-building 



112 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

principles." "One word in 100," he writes, "is more 
than enough, as every reporter knows, to break 
down any shorthand writer whose training has left 
him unable to write the hard words promptly." 
Don't write the hard words in longhand; it is a slow 
and absurd custom. Write everything in short- 
hand; divide each word into syllables, and as you 
pronounce the syllable write it in shorthand with 
the consonants and vowels in regular order. "The 
hard words," says Mr. Brown, "must be written 
they must be written in shorthand; they must be 
written promptly." 

SMALL, NEAT NOTES. The smaller your notes, 
other things being equal, the swifter your short- 
hand. Don't let your notes be straggling, but neat 
and compact, written with the sole idea that they 
must be read with ease and celerity. Acquire a good 
style of writing. The more rapidly the speaker 
reads the smaller must be your shorthand notes. If 
this advice is followed it will result in increased 
speed. Mr. Alfred Baker, in "Reporting Hints and 
Practice," writes: "There is no doubt a great ten- 
dency to acquire speed at the expense of good style; 
this, if yielded to, results in the formation of ragged, 
scrawling and inaccurate ways of note-taking, which 
militate greatly against that perfect accuracy that' 
the reporter should endeavor to make the primary' 
characteristic of his work." 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 113 

CONTINGENCIES IN REPORTING. 

Learn to write anywhere on a table, on a desk, 
on your knee. The reporter is at times called upon 
to write with poor ink, or with a hard lead pencil 
on bad paper. He may be required to take notes 
in total darkness, standing or seated in a moving 
vehicle, in a crowd, on any kind of paper, with and 
without lines. He must become accustomed to these 
contingencies, and take them as a matter of course. 
His shorthand must be so well mastered that the 
means of applying it anywhere, under all circum- 
stances, must be a secondary consideration. We 
heard of a recent important case where a large part 
of the most convincing and important evidence was 
taken by a reporter behind a curtain in the dark. 
Learn to write shorthand with ease and facility 
under disadvantageous circumstances and be sure to 
read what you have written. 

GETTING UP SPEED. 

Mr. F. H. Hemperley, of Philadelphia, the editor 
of the "Stenographer," wrote some time ago: "The 
best way to learn to report in shorthand is to begin 
to report at the beginning that is, to write from 
dictation from the first lesson. It is like learning to 
walk; stand up and take one step, then another, until 
you get the needed strength and grace." Assuming, 
as the late Mr. Fred Pitman wrote, that the pupil 
possesses "accuracy cf form; a good smooth method 



114 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

of writing; facility in reading notes; the ability to 
transcribe notes neatly, quickly and with scrupulous 
fidelity; the capacity, when pressed beyond one's 
pace, to catch the sense and record it, at the possible 
risk of losing a few words or possibly some fine 
phrases these and many other attainments ought 
to advance abreast." He then recommended the 
writing of one sentence repeatedly, so as "to teach 
the hand how to move along." This advice is also 
given by Mr. Andrew J. Graham, the author of 
"Graham's Shorthand," and Mr. Fred Irland, the 
congressional reporter. Write the same sentence 
until you can write it fluently, and, as Mr. R. R. 
Hitt, another famous reporter, said, ''leaving speed 
to come when it will." 

We would like to quote here some extracts from 
a very interesting article by Miss Mary N. Evans, 
official stenographer of Sandusky, Ohio, which ap- 
peared in the "Phonographic World" in June, 1891: 

"My own habit has been, and my advice to my 
pupils, is this: begin with a single sentence only. 
Write it over six times, numbering each, and if there 
should be any outlines in it which seem especiallv 
difficult, cover a page or so of the paper \vith each 
of these until they are mastered sufficiently to be 
written as readHy as the rest of the sentence. Then 
take up the second sentence in the article in the 
same way. Now go back to the beginning, writing 
both sentences six times over, finishing up with 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 115 

writing the second six times additionally. Then 
take up the third sentence, write it six times, and 
afterwards write all three six times, finishing as be- 
fore with writing the last six times more than the 
others. (It will be understood that this sort of 
practice is done from memory and without a reader; 
of course it is necessary to glance at the book occa- 
sionally, but in repeating the sentences so many 
times the mind soon retains them.) It will be a 
pleasant diversion for the student to count the 
words in each sentence and time himself at the close 
of the sixth time of writing. He will find that he 
can gain speed quite perceptibly, and by this means 
the long continued practice on a single article be- 
comes, instead of a tedious and never-ending drudg- 
ery, a delightful and fascinating race which the 
enthusiastic and earnest student will be loth to relin- 
quish even after several hours of practice; and 
though it takes a long time to finish an article in 
this way, yet there is inspiration instead of discour- 
agement in it, as the student can note constant and 
most decided progress in his speed from day to dav. 
It is also a wonderful drill to the memory; a well 
drilled memory, I need scarcely say, is a sine qua non 
to the successful reporter. Another advantage is 
that it enables the student to utilize in helpful short- 
hand practice many minutes that would otherwise 
be lost to him from the impossibility of having some- 
one read to him at those particular times. Of 



ii6 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

course this sort of practice may, and should, if pos- 
sible, be varied by writing from some one's dicta- 
tion." 

PRACTICE AND DICTATION MATTER. 

The student desiring high speed must practice 
regularly and ceaselessly day after day. Get a good, 
patient reader if possible. If that is out of the ques- 
tion utilize a phonograph, having previously pre- 
pared your records. If even a phonograph is not 
available, practice in the way suggested in the pre- 
vious chapter, but in every case make your practice 
regular and not intermittent. Copying from cor- 
rectly written shorthand is very useful in order to 
acquire a neat, symmetrical and legible style. The 
kind of matter to be dictated or written should be 
varied, so as to give as large and complete a range 
of language as possible. 

Mr. W. Whitford, Medical Reporter of Chicago, 
in a letter written for a symposium, called "How 
Long?" stated: "I wrote Paley's Evidences of 
Christianity, a good deal of the Bible, and many 
sermons from dictation, Sidereal Heavens, Lectures 
on Astronomy, Macaulay's Essays. The Intellectual 
Development of Europe, Civil Policy of America, 
Charles Dickens' Works, selections from Washing- 
ton Irving, Carlyle, and Goethe, three volumes of 
the Manchester Science Lectures, works on Geol- 
ogy, proceedings of railways, medical, dental and 
pharmaceutical conventions, as well as articles from 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 117 

scientific and literary magazines." Col. E. B. Dick- 
enson, Official Reporter of New York, also wrote 
from dictation "many volumes of miscellaneous mat- 
ter; history, biography, lectures, trials; in fact, al- 
most every branch of literature." Mr. Theodore C. 
Rose, Official Reporter of Elmira, New York, when 
practicing for speed, worked eight hours a day. Mr. 
David Wolfe Brown, Reporter U. S. House of Rep- 
resentatives, wrote from dictation "such works as 
'Blackstone's Commentaries,' Macaulay's Essays," 
etc. From these experiences of expert reporters it 
will be seen that to attain success in the reportorial 
art one must practice untiringly. "Success treads 
on the heels of every proper effort," and though 
the work may be hard and at times discouraging, 
the embryo reporter should bear in mind the words 
of Mirabeau, "Nothing is impossible, but everything 
possible to the man who can 'will' and knows his 
end, and goes straight for it and for it alone." 

THE LAW OFFICE AS A TRAINING SCHOOL. 

One of the best stepping-stones to the reporter's 
chair is the law office. We would strongly recom- 
mend the stenographer who desires to become a 
court reporter to obtain a position in a busy lawyer's 
office. It will familiarize him with legal phraseology, 
he will occasionally be called upon to "take" refer- 
ences, depositions of witnesses, attend hearings in 
Qourt, and have many opportunities of receiving 



n8 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

thorough training, which will prepare him for the 
much coveted reporter's chair. Many of the best 
present-day reporters have had training of this char- 
acter. It may take two or three years, but it will 
be time well spent. In addition to this valuable ex- 
perience the stenographer will almost daily be 
brought into contact with men who may assist him 
in his ambition. Judges, when choosing court re- 
porters, invariably choose those stenographers 
whose work they are already familiar with through 
references or hearings. 

In taking a reference, sit as close as you can to 
the speaker or witness. Make a note of everything 
that takes place, as well as what is said. The court 
reporter should understand thoroughly the meaning 
of rulings, exceptions and objections, generally used 
in court procedure, so as to be able to make a proper 
record of them. Exhibits entered in court as part 
of the evidence should be carefully marked in ths 
order in which they are produced. Beginning with 
the first mark them "Exhibit A," "Exhibit B," and 
so on. Articles which are entered as exhibits and 
\vhich cannot conveniently be marked as such, 
should have labels attached to them, with the num- 
ber of the exhibit marked thereon. Names and 
addresses of the witnesses should be carefully re- 
corded, and it is the duty of the stenographer to 
take down, word for word, everything that is said. 
If a witness or lawyer is incorrectly heard, the 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 119 

stenographer must ask for the question or answer 
to be repeated, as it is most essential that a proper 
record of the proceedings be made. Some report- 
ers distinguish between the question and answer by 
drawing a horizontal dash from right to left. Oth- 
ers prefer to write the question at a special place 
on the page on one line, the answer indented still 
more on the next line, and objections or remarks 
of the court still further indented. The note-books 
should be numbered and dated, and carefully pre- 
served. 

It will be readily gleaned from these remarks that 
the qualifying for the position of court reporter en- 
tails a considerable amount of study and training, 
and a few years' experience in a busy lawyer's office 
will be an invaluable aid. Mr. W. H. Thorne, lawyer 
and court reporter of Johnstown, N. Y., began work 
in a law office and subsequently studied law. Col. 
E. B. Dickenson, official reporter, Surrogate's Court, 
Brooklyn, N. Y., read law for five years before he 
was appointed official reporter. Mr. Philander 
Deming, official reporter of the Supreme Court, 
New York, Albany Circuit, graduated from a law 
school. Mr. C. C. Marble, of Chicago, studied law 
and was admitted to the bar before he learned short- 
hand. Mr. Frederic Irland, Official Reporter U. S. 
House of Representatives, was stenographer to the 
attorney for a railroad company before he took up 
stenography in the courts. 



120 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS, 

We are indebted for the foregoing information to 
the symposium "How Long?" already referred to. 
Scores of other examples might be given, but we 
think we have quoted enough to show that the legal 
office is the best training school for the official court 
reporter. 

REPORTING SERMONS. 

Nothing affords the ambitious stenographer a 
better opportunity for acquiring speed and confi- 
dence than reporting sermons. The "taking" of ser- 
mons generally entails hard work and plenty of 
practice and perseverance. The first point is to find 
a clergyman who does not speak too rapidly and 
who speaks extemporaneously. Take with you a 
good supply of pencils or a good fountain pen and 
a note-book with a stiff cover. You will have to do 
your reporting on your knee and generally in a poor 
light. Get as close to the rostrum or pulpit as you 
can, and if possible obtain a seat behind a pillar, 
away in a corner, or somewhere beyond the "speak- 
er's eye." 

The stenographer who expects to engage in ser- 
mon reporting should study the Bible and have por- 
tions of it dictated to him frequently, so as to be- 
come familiar with the texts or quotations which 
afford the basis for theological discourses. "In quot- 
ing texts," says Mr. Alfred Baker, in "Reporting 
Hints and Practice," "do not write a long string of 
words, for example, 'second epistles to the Corinthi- 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 121 

ans, third chapter and second verse/ but write II 
Corinthians, iii, 2.' ' In writing well-known texts 
we have found that the first word or two, and the 
two last are sufficient to record in shorthand. Ref- 
erence to the Bible should be made afterwards, when 
the transcript is being prepared, ^nd the passage 
given in full. The sermon reporter must have at his 
finger ends a good stock of phrases applicable to 
such work. Learn how to turn over the leaves of 
jour note-book noiselessly. If you cannot get all 
the sermon, get as many complete sentences as 
possible. If your preacher speaks too rapidly for 
you at the start, try again, practice the words and 
phrases over which you have stumbled, and be 
persistent. 

Owing to the fact that sermons are generally de- 
livered without a break of any sort, a sermon is one 
of a reporter's most difficult tasks. "Sermon report- 
ing verbatim," writes Mr. Baker in "Reporting 
Hints and Practice," "for its thoroughly successful 
performance, calls for a high degree of phonographic 
skill, and for at least fair Biblical and religious 
knowledge; and to the conscientious reporter the 
task of fully reporting a preacher who is also a dis- 
tinguished scholar, is not a task to be lightly under- 
taken. The reporter has not received the training 
of a doctor of divinity; the preacher has a manu- 
script (which is not obtainable); the sermon as de- 
livered is not clearly audible; members of the con- 



122 RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

gregacion are troubled with coughs, which drown 
important passages and the task assigned to the 
shorthand writer will put him on his mettle." 

REPORTING LECTURES. 

The expert stenographer is sometimes called upon 
to report lectures, and this class of work is gener- 
ally attended with considerable difficulty. Lectures 
are delivered on such a variety of subjects, and some- 
times when given to special bodies they may pre- 
sent such formidable difficulties that a good report 
cannot be well obtained. As far as possible, it is 
advisable to get hold of the notes or manuscript of 
the lecturer, and with the aid of these and the short- 
hand notes a fairly good report may be prepared. 
We remember once having to report a lecture on 
music. It was purely technical, and the lecturer, 
who had no notes, used numerous musical terms, 
which he glided over with an abandon that was dis- 
tressing to the reporter. Luckily the lecturer was 
perfectly willing to read over the transcript and 
correct the errors made in the reporting of the 
musical terms. On another occasion the lecture was 
illustrated by stereopticon views, and the notes had 
consequently to be taken in the dark. 

Scientific lectures should be prepared for, if pos- 
sible, by the reporter studying some handbook on 
the subject, and practicing outlines for the technical 
terms and phrases. Lectures on philosophy, elec- 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 123 

tricity, medicine, surgery, sociology, music, etc., 
require special training, and in many cases the co- 
operation of the lecturer, or the report will suffer. 
The study and work of the reporter who lays him- 
self open for the reporting of scientific lectures is 
never done, for new words and phrases are con- 
stantly occurring and demand his earnest atten- 
tion. The work is arduous, but commands and de- 
serves good remuneration. 

STOCKHOLDERS' OR DIRECTORS' MEETINGS. 

In reporting stockholders' and directors' meet- 
ings the first point is to secure, as far as possible, the 
names of those present. We have found it a good 
plan to make a rough plan of the room (if of course 
the room is not too large), jotting down the names 
of those present and the places they occupy, and 
then to number them from right to left or vice versa. 
When a stockholder speaks, the reporter can glance 
hurriedly at his plan and place the speaker's number 
opposite the shorthand notes. This will save the 
writing of the names each time and is especially 
useful at small meetings when the remarks become 
almost conversational. 

At large meetings the name of each speaker is 
mentioned aloud by the chairman, and this mode of 
course will dispense with the necessity of a plan. 
It is a good idea to get a seat close to the secretary 
or chairman, either of whom are generally well in- 



124 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

formed as to the names of stockholders. At direct- 
ors' meetings a considerable part of the report can 
be made up from figures and statements furnished 
by the officials, but where the remarks of each indi- 
vidual are to be furnished verbatim it will require 
some considerable "hustling" on the part of the re- 
porter to get all that is said. The conversations 
are the most difficult to report, but even these are 
easier after some practice. In the majority of stock- 
holders' and directors' meetings there arise a large 
number of technicalities, which should be anticipated 
as far as possible by reading over the previous re- 
ports, etc., if you can possibly obtain access to 
them, before the meeting. 

POLITICAL REPORTING. 

Political meetings, if the speakers are important 
and the newspaper is anxious to get out an imme- 
diate report, are generally reported in "takes" or 
"turns." A "take" may consist of from five to ten 
minutes reporting of the speech and then the re- 
porter's place taken by another man, who "takes" 
another five or ten minutes, when he is relieved by 
a third man. The first man by this time has dictated 
his "take," or transcribed it on a machine, and is 
ready for another short "turn." Gradually as the! 
speaker draws his speech to a close the length of\ 
the "take" is reduced to two or three minute turns./ 
By the time the speaker is finished the written re- 



RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 125 

port is only a few minutes behind, and almost be- 
fore the applause that hails the conclusion of the 
speech has abated, the last "take" is transcribed and 
rushed off to the newspaper office. There the last 
few words are set up in type, a casting made, rushed 
to the printing press, run off, and the papers are 
being sold on the street almost while the people are 
leaving the building. 

This is done hundreds of times during the course 
of a busy political campaign, and it calls for plenty 
of skill and nerve on the part of the reporter. He 
should aim to get as close to the speaker as possi- 
ble and take his notes in such a shape that he can 
read them with the utmost fluency, as if he does 
not do so he will not only upset the whole scheme 
of "takes/' but disorganize the entire plan and delay 
the issue of the paper. In cases where there is not 
so much hurry, one reporter may take the whole of 
the speeches, transcribing his notes and making his 
report up at leisure. Speeches, though usually 
taken in the "first person," are generally transcribed 
in the "third person." This will require some train- 
ing on the part of the reporter. 

NEWSPAPER REPORTING. 

Shorthand does not enter so much into the life 
of the newspaper man as might be imagined. In 
the main the newspapers call for a word picture of 



126 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

what happens in the court or at the meeting rather 
than a verbatim report of what was actually said. 
As a consequence, to the newspaper man it is more 
important that he should have a lively imagination 
rather than skill in verbatim reporting. 

In interviews we have found a knowledge ot short- 
hand useful, as public men, if their sayings arc to 
be reported at all, desire that what they say shall 
be quoted exactly as they said it. There are, how- 
ever, few reporters on the staffs of the daily Ameri- 
can papers who can write shorthand, and some re- 
porters we have met allege that when they write 
shorthand it deadens their imaginations and conse- 
quently they do not make such good reports. We 
do not agree with this statement, for we have found 
a knowledge of shorthand extremely useful in news- 
paper work on many occasions. 

REPORTING DELIBERATIVE BODIES. 

The highest branch of the reporting art is un- 
doubtedly that of congressional reporting. One 
must be fitted for the position by good education 
and a complete understanding of parliamentary rules 
and procedure, together with a complete knowledge 
of the constitution of deliberative assemblies. In 
the United States House of Representatives and 
Senate the reporters have the liberty of the floor, 
and can pass from speaker to speaker, note-book in 
hand, in order to get their "turn." Each reporter 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 127 

follows the speaker for five or ten minutes, when his 
place is taken by another reporter, whose "take" 
is of like duration, when another relieves him. This 
permits each reporter to retire to the transcribing 
room and dictate his "take" either to a phonograph 
or to a typewriter operator. In the United States 
Senate phonographs are used largely for transcrib- 
ing purposes. 

In the English Parliament the reporters are not 
allowed on the floor of the house, but are placed in 
what is called the "Reporters' Gallery." No spe- 
cial facilities are given them for taking notes; they 
have to do the best they can. All are, of course, 
first-class stenographers and men well informed on 
their particular work. The session is divided into 
"takes" on the plan already detailed, and gradually, 
as the session draws to a close, the duration of the 
"take" is lessened so that by the time the speeches 
have ended the reports are in the hands of the 
printer. 

In the United States Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives the reporting is done by a staff of experts 
employed by the Government. In England the 
Parliamentary reporting, other than the newspapers, 
has been in the hands of an outside staff of reporters 
called "Hansard's," for many years, and the records 
are printed from the reports furnished by this staff 
of shorthand writers, 



128 RUTHERFORD'S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

THE PHONOGRAPH FOR THE REPORTER. 

Of late years the phonograph has been largely 
used in the transcribing rooms of Congress by the 
reporters, as well as by scores of court reporters. 
On returning from a "take," or "turn," the reporter 
goes to a phonograph and dictates into it his report 
as rapidly as he can read his notes. The cylinder is 
then taken by a typewriter operator and affixed to 
another phonograph. The ear pieces are adjusted, 
the record started and in a few minutes the "take" 
is written out on the typewriter ready for the press 
and the printer. The use of the phonograph effects 
great economy of time, and enables the reports to 
be kept almost up to the minute. 

COURT REPORTING. 

Under the heading "The Legal Office as a Train- 
ing School," we gave some advice which should be 
useful to the would-be court reporter. As therein 
stated, the majority of court reporters attain their 
primary experiences in legal offices. Legal testi- 
mony requires special training in the way of phras- 
ing, and unless the stenographer has these special 
outlines for the oft-repeated and rapidly uttered in- 
terrogations, he will never attain the requisite 
speed. In addition to taking verbatim a record of 
the evidence, it is important that the reporter should 
take complete notes of all objections and exceptions. 
He must also take full notes of the counsels' argu- 
ments as well as the remarks and rulings of the 



RUTHERFORD 3 PRACTICAL POINTERS. 129 

court. Many hours should be devoted to the prac- 
ticing of taking- down and transcribing testimony 
before venturing! into court. Every legal phrase 
given in the text-book or phrase-book should be at 
your instant command. If you do not hear clearly 
what a witness says, ask the witness to repeat it. 
This is a privilege the reporter has, as it is abso- 
lutely essential that the report should be in effect a 
complete photograph of the proceedings. If such 
a complete picture is not obtained the blame lies 
with the reporter. Never put your own construc- 
tion on what a witness said, but if he speaks indis- 
tinctly and you are not quite sure, have the testi- 
mony repeated. Insist, too, upon your seat being 
in such a position that you can hear clearly each 
witness. Practice reading every word that you 
write in shorthand so that when you are asked to 
read back any portion of the testimony you will be 
able to do so without the slightest hesitation or 
difficulty. 

Make good sense of your transcript. Don't be 
like the Irish would-be reporter, who, when re- 
quested to read what a witness had said, hesitated 
a moment and then read "The first beam fell last," 
instead of the "first beam fell lowest." 

HOW LONG? 

As has already been stated, the reporter's position 
demands many vears of persistent study and work 



13 RUTHERFORDS PRACTICAL POINTERS. 

to reach. There are, of course, exceptions, but some 
idea of the time occupied may be gleaned from the 
following extracts from a symposium entitled "How 
Long?" contributed to by some of the most eminent 
court and congressional reporters. 

Mr. Jerome B. Allen, of Petoskey, Mich., a re- 
porter in the Michigan courts, had five years of 
preparation. Mr. Charles E. Weller, of St. Louis, 
studied four years before he could report. Mr. Daniel 
C. McEwen, of Brooklyn, occupied about five years 
in preparation. Mr. W. Whitford, of Chicago, wrote 
and taught shorthand for five years before he was 
appointed official reporter. Col. E. B. Dickenson, 
of New York, practiced for five years previous to 
appointment. Mr. Theodore C. Rose, of Elmira, 
New York, was an assistant to a reporter for about 
thirteen years before he was appointed official re- 
porter. Mr. Adelbert P. Little, of Rochester, New 
York, began law reporting in 1871 and was ap- 
pointed court reporter in 1893 twenty-two years 
after. Mr. Frederic Irland, of Washington, D. C., 
became an official reporter to the court four years 
after he began to learn shorthand and official re- 
porter to the United States House of Representa- 
tives ten years afterwards. Mr. David Wolfe Brown, 
of Washington, D. C., became assistant note taker, 
U. S. Corps, six years after commencing to study 
shorthand and was appointed official reporter to the 
United States House of Representatives ten years 



RUTHERFORD S PRACTICAL POINTERS. 131 

after that. These records speak eloquently of the 
time and labor necessary to reach the top rank of 
reporting skill. Nothing can be accomplished in a 
few months; it requires years of training and prep- 
aration, but the reward is worthy of the labor. 

"Aim at the highest prize; if there thou fall, 
Thou'll haply reach the one not far below." 



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