Gurney Shorthand

I noticed that Charles Dickens was a shorthand reporter before becoming the famous author we all know. It normally took a student of Gurney three years of study and practice to meet reporting standards of those days, 140 wpm. The article on Dickens said he met that requirement in three months! The Gurney method predated Pitman by 3/4 of a century. I looked up an online copy of the system book published in the early 19th century. Gracious! Examining the alphabet and wordsigns, Gurney appears to be incredibly difficult to learn let alone memorize. Is anyone on this board familiar with this method? Does anyone alive today use it? (Apparently Gurney was still used by reporters in the Old Bailey until the early part of the 20th century, despite the Pitman claim to being THE finest and most widely used English language shorthand system.)

One wonders, without "modern" typewriters or computer equipment in the early 1800's, how court records and transcriptions were kept and maintained. If only a speed of 140 wpm was required to be an official reporter, just how accurate could the transcripts have been?

When Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, the popular novel was in the format of selection from journals, letters, and newspaper articles. Jonathan Harker's diary was reportedly written in shorthand. Do you believe he used the Pitman or the Gurney system? LOL

(by Philip for group greggshorthand)

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