Thursday, 16 January 2014

I dislike shorthand

I dislike shorthand....but there's an actual logical reason behind my dislike. Basically, it's a time saver right? A convenience. By learning it, it allows you to take down conversations, discussions, etc. in fine detail because having learnt it, you can write at like, crazy fast speeds and such....but here's the

We live in an age where you can record conversations, without errors or mistakes (because it's there, on the tape or hard drive or memory stick or whatever) and later transcribe them as needs be, and that's the problem that learning shorthand supposedly obviates. But it can be done so much easier! Yes, you can't take recording devices into courts (but you can take notes...which is weird, considering the point is accuracy? what I mean by this is that you're not allowed to alter shorthand notes you make in court, even if you make a mistake....yeah) and thats a bit of an annoyance, but honestly, does it matter? Is it worth learning what is effectively a new language (that has little to no practical use outside of itself) just for one aspect of a career that I hopefully will have no experience of at the end of my time?

It's just...annoying me...this is time that could be better served writing up stories, learning interview techniques (which, I suppose it is, in an oblique kind of way), working on the more academic side of the course, just...anything, you know, instead of copying down dictation after dictation after dictation....this is how education used to be in Victorian times, we moved on from that for a reason! (Or if you want a modern day example, fine, look at the Japanese educational system, it's based almost entirely upon retention of facts and systems, like shorthand is, no analysis or criticism allowed and they are suffering for it intellectually) 

I know, it's shocking, a student complaining about the work one has to do, but mein gott, it is dirge, pure and simple, and it is something that I simply cannot see where the benefit is. The only reward that I have heard of is that newspapers will not hire people without know, that news medium that is doing so well at the moment. I've heard the argument that "well, maybe the recording device breaks or doesn't capture the voice right/you can't hear it over background noise" and I don't know, but to me that just sounds incredibly...well....stupid, quite frankly. There are enough programs, even free ones, that can filter out sounds on audio streams. "Yes, but it's a back-up to your recording device." simply carry a second audio device...

I kind of understand it in the sense that academics love to complicate what are essentially simple concepts/practices. Why do something if it is easy, right? If anyone could do it...heavens forbid! No! We must make it long, drawn out and tedious enough that it dissuades the average person so that when we have mastered it we can lord it over folk, yes! 

I am, of course, going to stick at it. Because at the end of the day, I kind of have to, and there are things a person has to do even if they dislike it (and believe me, this is something I really dislike), but also, I just had to have a little rant about it. If employers in the United Kingdom are looking at shorthand speed though, I think I may have to go abroad to make a living though. I think learning an actual language would be more interesting anyway. 

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