Teeline shorthand is a modern system of fast writing that follows longhand spelling. The English language has 26 letters and there is a Teeline symbol to represent each of them. Of these letters, five are vowels and the rest are consonants. Technically, the shape and positioning of these symbols are derived or modified from their longhand counterparts.

Teeline is a streamlined way to transcribe the spoken word quickly by removing unnecessary letters from words and making the letters themselves faster to write. Vowels are omitted unless they begin or end a word. Common prefixes, suffixes and letter groupings are reduced to single symbols which have been derived from the old cursive forms of the letter with the irrelevant parts stripped, leaving only the core of the letter.

Invented by the late James Hill in 1970, Teeline has become an invaluable note-taking tool for journalists, secretaries, administrators, professionals and students in many English-speaking countries throughout the world such as Great Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, among others. Today, Teeline remains the official shorthand system adopted by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) in UK and is a skill acquired by our local journalists as well.


The benefits of learning Teeline

Why do people learn shorthand? This is because the acquisition of the skill brings with it a number of direct as well as incidental benefits and they are:


Shorthand is especially useful in lessons, tutorials, interviews, conferences, meetings and telephone calls, and get down exactly as much notes as you need. Longhand will never keep up with the spoken word but with shorthand, you actually write less and focus more.   Recording mechanisms are inefficient and unreliable and take up too much time to transcribe.


Learning something unique and challenging brings huge satisfaction. Shorthand is just another new language and the ability to write shorthand is cool! Many acquire shorthand for personal use. When you draft, plan, record information, you may use shorthand because it is faster. Some students even use the songs’ lyrics to practise their shorthand!

Technically, shorthand is a skill, and like any other skills such as playing tennis or a musical instrument, soccer, swimming or dancing, among others, proficiency is gained through constant practice. Once greater facility is obtained, using it gets easier and easier.


Shorthand is very different from other academic studies. It is more like sport or fitness training. Using shorthand actually takes you on a racing mentality, not against others but to get all the words you want down on paper. In essence, it is an excellent mind-and-hand exercise that promotes fast thinking and fast writing and the mind never gets sluggish. And as shorthand is written according to the spoken word, the regime helps to cultivate solid concentration and sharp hearing too!

Another good reason to learn shorthand is that it stimulates creativity as writers are predisposed to inventing new outlines from time to time.


Designed and perfected over the years to decrease time and effort, and increase reliability, ease of writing and legibility, your shorthand stint essentially conditions you to pay attention to a multiplicity of small things. Ultimately, you end up with the same mindset and this attitude is carried over to your other activities.


Your shorthand notes are your secret language! There is a small chance that someone will understand it. This is especially useful when you are jotting down confidential information or penning thoughts in your diaries!


Shorthand enhances your job prospects. In effect, shorthand writers have invariably been assumed as people who are intellectual, detail-oriented and dexterous, have an insatiable desire to learn, possess good English skills and a longer attention span than the average, among others.


Teeline shorthand for Students

From an academic viewpoint, Teeline is a useful note-taking tool. Unless you have the memory bank of a super computer, you need to take down notes to remember things. Even if you are good at memorizing stuff, note-taking will relieve the mind of that extra task of recalling things.   Hence, your shorthand skill becomes relevant, especially when your lecturers speak at a fast pace that you are incapable of handling with longhand.

Another awesome thing about Teeline is that you can customize it to fit your needs. Whenever you encounter a huge word that you just keep spelling out over and over, shrink it and make a Teeline outline out of it.

Students will find learning Teeline to be one of their most challenging, exciting and rewarding learning experiences. Shorthand is undeniably a useful skill that brings personal gratification and rewards and any prudent student believes it is well worth investing time and effort acquiring it.

Find out more about Contemporary Teeline from our website!

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