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THOMAS NATURAL SHORTHAND is an English shorthand system created by Charles A. Thomas which was first published in 1935. Thomas described his system as "designed to meet the existing need for a simple, legible shorthand that is based on already familiar writing lines, and that is written with a minimum number of rules." The system has fallen into disuse with the decline of pen shorthand in the later 20th century, but the spirit of the system lives on in Teeline shorthand , with which it shares a number of characteristics (although the symbols used in each system are quite different).

CHARACTERISTICS

A sample of Thomas Natural Shorthand. The text reads as follows:

Dear Sir: Please give the proposition we are enclosing your most earnest consideration. We believe you will find our line a money-maker from the start. We shall appreciate the privilege of sending you samples of those numbers in which you are interested.

Mr. Jones, who has charge of our sales in your territory, will call on you about the first of April.

We assure you of our desire to co-operate with you in every way possible. Let us know how we may be of immediate service to you. Cordially yours,

Like Gregg shorthand
Gregg shorthand
, and unlike the older Pitman shorthand
Pitman shorthand
, Thomas Natural Shorthand is a "light-line system", i.e. a system which does not employ shading (light and heavy strokes) to distinguish symbols. Unlike earlier light-line systems such as Pernin phonography (which was based on the Duployan system), cursive rather than angular strokes are employed. However, Thomas Natural differs from Gregg and resembles Pitman in its use of positional writing—vowels are deduced according to whether a form is written on, above, or below the line of writing.

The system aims to be simpler to learn than competing symbol shorthand systems of the time, boasting "only twelve word signs and one abbreviating principle". Total mastery of the system could therefore be achieved much quicker than the major court-reporting systems, and although this simplicity did come with a loss of speed, the speeds achieved were still adequate for secretarial use.

The system's failure to achieve popularity came from its "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" position. Those looking for an easy to learn system were far more likely to choose alphabetic systems such as Forkner shorthand or Speedwriting ; those interested in developing serious shorthand speed were drawn to more established systems with a court reporting track record such as Gregg or Pitman. To the untrained eye, Thomas Natural shorthand bears a close resemblance to Gregg shorthand
Gregg shorthand
(despite being unrelated); it was necessary to actually undertake a study of the system to learn how much simpler it really was than Gregg.

COMPARISON WITH TEELINE

Teeline shorthand shares largely the same philosophy and approach as Thomas Natural Shorthand; it is however more accessible to beginners since the symbols used are themselves based on the Latin alphabet (although so abstractly that most would consider Teeline a symbol, rather than alphabetic, system). The Thomas Natural symbols, on the other hand, were chosen for speed rather than familiarity. Furthermore, Thomas Natural was published in the 1930s-1940s, at a time when alphabetic systems were just beginning their ascendency, whereas in the contemporary era in which Teeline is being promoted, the limitations of the alphabetic systems have made them less attractive than formerly, when their potential seemed greater.

REFERENCES

* ^ Thomas, Charles A (1937), Thomas natural shorthand; a modern, progressive system of shorthand based on natural, already familiar writing lines, New York, Prentice-Hall, inc, OCLC 18220117

* v * t * e

Types of writing systems

OVERVIEW

* History of writing * Grapheme

LISTS

* Writing systems

* undeciphered * inventors * constructed

* Languages by writing system / by first written accounts

TYPES

ABJADS

* Numerals

* Aramaic

* Hatran

* Arabic * Pitman shorthand
Pitman shorthand

* Hebrew

* Ashuri * Cursive * Rashi * Solitreo

* Tifinagh * Manichaean * Nabataean * Old North Arabian * Pahlavi * Pegon

* Phoenician

* Paleo-Hebrew

* Proto-Sinaitic * Psalter * Punic * Samaritan

* South Arabian

* Zabur * Musnad

* Sogdian

* Syriac

* ʾEsṭrangēlā * Serṭā * Maḏnḥāyā

* Teeline Shorthand * Ugaritic

ABUGIDAS

BRAHMIC

NORTHERN

* Asamiya (Ôxômiya) * Bānglā * Bhaikshuki * Bhujinmol * Brāhmī * Devanāgarī * Dogra * Gujarati * Gupta * Gurmukhī * Kaithi * Kalinga * Khojki * Khotanese * Khudawadi * Laṇḍā * Lepcha * Limbu * Mahajani
Mahajani
* Marchen * Marchung * Meitei Mayek * Modi * Multani * Nāgarī * Nandinagari * Odia * \'Phags-pa * Newar * Pungs-chen * Pungs-chung * Ranjana * Sharada * Saurashtra * Siddhaṃ * Soyombo * Sylheti Nagari
Sylheti Nagari
* Takri

* Tibetan

* Uchen * Umê

* Tirhuta
Tirhuta
* Tocharian * Zanabazar Square

SOUTHERN

* Ahom * Balinese * Batak * Baybayin * Bhattiprolu * Buhid * Burmese * Chakma * Cham * Grantha * Goykanadi * Hanunó\'o * Javanese * Kadamba * Kannada * Kawi * Khmer * Kulitan * Lanna * Lao * Leke * Lontara * Malayalam

* Maldivian

* Dhives Akuru * Eveyla Akuru * Thaana

* Mon * Old Sundanese * Pallava * Pyu * Rejang * Rencong * Sinhala * Sundanese * Tagbanwa * Tai Le * Tai Tham * Tai Viet * Tamil * Telugu * Thai * Tigalari

* Vatteluttu

* Kolezhuthu * Malayanma

* Visayan

OTHERS

* Boyd\'s syllabic shorthand

* Canadian syllabics

* Blackfoot * Déné syllabics
Déné syllabics

* Fox I * Ge\'ez * Gunjala Gondi * Japanese Braille * Jenticha * Kayah Li * Kharosthi * Mandombe * Masaram Gondi * Meroitic * Miao * Mwangwego * Sorang Sompeng * Pahawh Hmong * Thomas Natural Shorthand

ALPHABETS

LINEAR

* Abkhaz * Adlam * Armenian * Avestan * Avoiuli
Avoiuli
* Bassa Vah * Borama * Carian * Caucasian Albanian * Coorgi–Cox alphabet
Coorgi–Cox alphabet
* Coptic * Cyrillic * Deseret

* Duployan shorthand
Duployan shorthand

* Chinook writing

* Early Cyrillic * Eclectic shorthand
Eclectic shorthand
* Elbasan * Etruscan * Evenki * Fox II * Fraser * Gabelsberger shorthand
Gabelsberger shorthand
* Garay

* Georgian

* Asomtavruli
Asomtavruli
* Nuskhuri
Nuskhuri
* Mkhedruli
Mkhedruli

* Glagolitic * Gothic * Gregg shorthand
Gregg shorthand
* Greek * Greco-Iberian alphabet * Hangul * IPA * Kaddare

* Latin

* Beneventan * Blackletter
Blackletter
* Carolingian minuscule * Fraktur
Fraktur
* Gaelic * Insular * Kurrent * Merovingian * Sigla * Sütterlin
Sütterlin
* Tironian notes
Tironian notes
* Visigothic

* Luo * Lycian * Lydian * Manchu * Mandaic * Molodtsov * Mongolian * Mru * Neo- Tifinagh * New Tai Lue * N\'Ko * Ogham
Ogham
* Oirat * Ol Chiki * Old Hungarian * Old Italic * Old Permic * Orkhon * Old Uyghur * Osage * Osmanya * Pau Cin Hau * Rohingya Hanifi

* Runic

* Anglo-Saxon * Cipher * Dalecarlian * Elder Futhark * Younger Futhark * Gothic * Marcomannic * Medieval * Staveless

* Sidetic * Shavian * Somali * Tifinagh * Vagindra * Visible Speech * Vithkuqi * Zaghawa

NON-LINEAR

* Braille
Braille
* Maritime flags * Morse code * New York Point * Semaphore line
Semaphore line
* Flag semaphore * Moon type
Moon type

IDEOGRAMS /PICTOGRAMS

* Adinkra * Aztec * Blissymbol * Dongba * Ersu Shaba * Emoji * IConji * Isotype * Kaidā * Míkmaq * Mixtec * New Epoch Notation Painting
New Epoch Notation Painting
* Nsibidi
Nsibidi
* Ojibwe Hieroglyphs * Siglas poveiras * Testerian
Testerian
* Yerkish * Zapotec

LOGOGRAMS

CHINESE FAMILY OF SCRIPTS

CHINESE CHARACTERS

* Simplified * Traditional * Oracle bone script * Bronze Script

* Seal Script

* large * small * bird-worm

* Hanja
Hanja
* Idu * Kanji * Chữ nôm * Zhuang

CHINESE-INFLUENCED

* Jurchen * Khitan large script
Khitan large script
* Sui * Tangut

CUNEIFORM

* Akkadian * Assyrian * Elamite * Hittite * Luwian * Sumerian

OTHER LOGO-SYLLABIC

* Anatolian * Bagam * Cretan * Isthmian * Maya * Proto-Elamite * Yi (Classical)

LOGO-CONSONANTAL

* Demotic * Hieratic * Hieroglyphs

NUMERALS

* Hindu-Arabic * Abjad * Attic (Greek) * Muisca * Roman

SEMI-SYLLABARIES

FULL

* Celtiberian * Northeastern Iberian * Southeastern Iberian * Khom

REDUNDANT

* Espanca * Pahawh Hmong * Khitan small script * Southwest Paleohispanic * Zhùyīn fúhào

SOMACHEIROGRAMS

* ASLwrite * SignWriting * si5s * Stokoe Notation

SYLLABARIES

* Afaka * Bamum * Bété * Byblos * Cherokee * Cypriot * Cypro-Minoan * Eskayan * Geba * Great Lakes Algonquian syllabics * Iban

* Japanese

* Hiragana * Katakana * Man\'yōgana * Hentaigana
Hentaigana
* Sogana * Jindai moji
Jindai moji

* Kikakui * Kpelle * Linear B * Linear Elamite * Lisu * Loma * Nüshu * Nwagu Aneke script * Old Persian Cuneiform * Vai * Woleai * Yi (Modern) * Yugtun

* v * t * e

Braille
Braille
⠃⠗⠁⠊⠇⠇⠑

BRAILLE CELL

* 1829 braille
1829 braille
* International uniformity * ASCII braille * Unicode braille patterns

BRAILLE SCRIPTS

French-ordered scripts (see for more)

* Albanian * Amharic * Arabic * Armenian * Azerbaijani * Belarusian

* Bharati

* Devanagari (Hindi / Marathi / Nepali) * Bengali * Punjabi * Sinhalese * Tamil * Urdu * etc.

* Bulgarian * Burmese * Cambodian * Cantonese * Catalan * Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) * Czech * Dutch * Dzongkha (Bhutanese) * English (Unified English ) * Esperanto * Estonian * Faroese * French * Georgian * German * Ghanaian * Greek * Guarani * Hawaiian * Hebrew * Hungarian * Icelandic * Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) * Iñupiaq * IPA * Irish * Italian * Kazakh * Kyrgyz * Latvian * Lithuanian * Maltese * Mongolian * Māori * Nigerian * Northern Sami * Persian * Philippine * Polish * Portuguese * Romanian * Russian * Samoan * Scandinavian * Slovak * South African * Spanish * Tatar * Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) * Thai border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Algerian Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

FREQUENCY-BASED SCRIPTS

* American Braille
Braille
(obsolete)

INDEPENDENT SCRIPTS

* Japanese * Korean * Two-Cell Chinese

EIGHT-DOT SCRIPTS

* Luxembourgish * Kanji * Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)

SYMBOLS IN BRAILLE

* Braille
Braille
music * Canadian currency marks * Computer Braille
Braille
Code * Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8/GS6) * International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) * Nemeth braille code

BRAILLE TECHNOLOGY

* Braille
Braille
e-book * Braille
Braille
embosser * Braille
Braille
translator * Braille
Braille
watch * Mountbatten Brailler * Optical braille recognition
Optical braille recognition
* Perforation * Perkins Brailler
Perkins Brailler
* Refreshable braille display
Refreshable braille display
* Slate and stylus
Slate and stylus
* Braigo

PERSONS

* Louis Braille
Braille
* Charles Barbier * Valentin Haüy
Valentin Haüy
* Thakur Vishva Narain Singh * Sabriye Tenberken
Sabriye Tenberken
* William Bell Wait
William Bell Wait

ORGANISATIONS

* Braille
Braille
Institute of America * Braille
Braille
Without Borders * Japan Braille
Braille
Library * National Braille
Braille
Association * Blindness organizations * Schools for the blind * American Printing House for the Bl