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Stenospeed Dictation
Andrew Owen

From an NSRA Speed Winner
Analysis by Andrew Owen

     This is the first page of Martin J. Dupraw's champion notes on material being dictated at 280 WPM in the annual speed contest held by the National Shorthand Reporters' Association in 1924.  The association is now known as the National Court Reporters' Association, and still holds their annual speed contest, at which there are tremendous competitors, each using machine shorthand.  The rules and speeds in the contest remain fairly unchanged since the days of Dupraw and Swem.  The NCRA still allows pen stenographers to try their hand at the contest.  This page is written with a quite advanced style of Gregg Shorthand, with a graceful and full style of writing.

Martin Dupraw's 280 WPM take. Page 1.


     Here, I have analyzed carefully the facsimile.  Each outline is dissected according to its meaning.  The transcriptions are a mixture of ASCII Gregg and the easier-to-read letter equivalents.  When it is not evident, "{" is a loop a, "}" is loop e, "ð" is the over th, "F" is the t-m blend, "S" is the left s, "Y" is the d-t blend, "D" is the t-n blend, "W" is the m-n blend, "č" is ch, and "þ" is the under th.

What is your name?
   čAls tomaS
Q. What is your name?
     A. Charles Thomas.
Do you live here in this city?
dle er nðsete
   no alen
   rečm va
Q. Do you live here in this city?
     A. No, I live in Richmond, Virginia.
What is your profession?
otprfes or bS
   am nð
   kmš bS
Q. What is your profession or business?
     A. I am in the commission business.
kmš bS
Q. Commission business?
     A. Yes.
Will you tell me your age?
luteme u aj
   am paS 60
Q. Will you tell me your age?
     A. I am past sixty.
How long have you been engaged in your present occupation? aulbn nga nu
preS ocup
    ð laS firS
Q. How long have you been engaged in your present occupation?
     A. The last five years.
And prior to that time what was your business?
h pra ðaF otoS u bS
   akpt h stor
   nðsete fnumerS
Q. And prior to that time what was your business?
     A. I kept a store in this city for a number of years.
What kind of a store? oki o h stor
   groSS mets
Q. What kind of a store?
     A. Groceries and meats.
Where was your store located?
ars u stor lok
   es 5s
Q. Where was your store located?
     A. 227 East Fifth Street.
Are you married?
Q. Are you married?
     A. Yes, sir.
Have you any grown children? vune gron čel
   tu boeS
Q. Have you any grown children?
     A. Two boys.
Have you any personal...
vune prs|n one oð|fs
   nun to
Q. Have you any personal knowledge of any of the facts in this case?
     A. None at all.
Or have you any personal...
or vune prs aka eð
ne oð aDes kekt
Q. Or have you any personal acquaintance with any of the attorneys connected with this case?
     A. No, sir.
While you were in business... il uE nbS Yukm|k
eð vars WbS oð
   ano h gWe
Q. While you were in business did you come in contact with various members of the police department?
     A. I know a good many of them.
Would the fact...
d ð|f ða ur aka
eððm nnua
nf u ks oðska
   t dn
Q. Would the fact that you are acquainted with them in any way influence your consideration of this case?
      A. It would not.
You could give...
ukd ge eč oðdS h
Q. You could give each of the defendants a fair and impartial trial?
     A. Yes, sir.
And acquit...
h aket ne or o
oðm efþs h rsd
o gt numi
   abe akd
Q. And acquit any or all of them if there was a reasonable doubt of guilt in your mind?
     A. I believe I could.

     I believe this specimen to be an outstanding example of several great abbreviations and methods for fast writing.  Of course, several of the proportions are a bit off on the part of Dupraw, but it is exceptional considering the fact that he was writing at a rate of 280 words per minute.  If written with ample time and with the same shortcuts, it could be written as it is the following image.

280 WPM Championship Testimony

About Gregg Shorthand
Editor's Note
A Talk with the Beginner
The Alphabet
Chapter I
   Unit 1
   Unit 2
   Unit 3
Chapter II
   Unit 4
   Unit 5
   Unit 6
Chapter III
   Unit 7
   Unit 8
   Unit 9
Chapter IV
   Unit 10
   Unit 11
   Unit 12
Chapter V
   Unit 13
   Unit 14
   Unit 15
Chapter VI
   Unit 16
   Unit 17
   Unit 18
Chapter VII
   Unit 19
   Unit 20
   Unit 21
Chapter VIII
   Unit 22
   Unit 23
   Unit 24
Chapter IX
   Unit 25
   Unit 26
   Unit 27
Chapter X
   Unit 28
   Unit 29
   Unit 30
Chapter XI
   Unit 31
   Unit 32
   Unit 33
Chapter XII
   Unit 34
   Unit 35
   Unit 36


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