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You may not know it but the infamous Samuel Pepys (pronounces peeps) was a shorthand writer, a tachygraphist who used what was called the Shelton method. Thomas Shelton was a stenographer in the 17th century and he developed the most popular “writing short” method of the day. Not only did Pepys use it in his historical diary entries, written between 1659-1669, but his contemporaries like Isaac Newton and Henry James, Master of Queen’s College Cambridge, also made use of the code.

Magdalene College in Cambridge said of Pepys:

“By using the shorthand system, Pepys was able to put a great amount of information to paper in a short space of time, and speed was his primary reason for using the system in his diary (although the secrecy aspect may have been an advantage too - his wife Elizabeth would not have had knowledge of the shorthand).”

A young Pepys diarised his life and eyewitnessed not only the Great Fire of London (about which there’s a great little series being shown on the Museum for London’s Facebook page at the moment) but also the Second Dutch War, and the Great Plague of London (aka Black Death, Bubonic Plague).

The article posted below in the Comment section, written approximately one month into lockdown in London 2020, features some snippets from the famous diary which may seem all too familiar in our world today.


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We are delighted to announce the rescheduling of the “From Court to Captioning” workshop and that it is going virtual, which means it’s much more convenient for folks to attend.

These live online webinars will now consist of 3 x 1.5-hour sessions, one on Friday, 10 July, and the remaining two on Saturday, 11 July (see pic for times). The sessions will be recorded so if you can’t attend all three, they will be available on demand shortly afterwards. The cost is £50 for all three sessions - we’d say that’s an absolute bargain considering the wealth of information you will take away from these three sessions.

The webinars are:
1. Introduction to Captioning - qualifications and bodies; writing and theory changes.
2. Software, platforms, equipment, working with others as a team.
3. AI and the future, what kinds of work is there for captioners, how jobs are priced, and working with MyClearText.

Just to remind you, “From Court to Captioning” is a workshop we are happy to be running in conjunction with the team at MyClearText. Not only are both the directors of MyClearText, Orla Pearson and Elaine McCarthy, BIVR members, but between them they have 50 years’ experience in managing and training reporters in transitioning from being court reporters to becoming captioners at the BBC and elsewhere, as well as being highly proficient captioners themselves.

This workshop is open to everyone, not just those in the UK and not just BIVR members.

1. CPD points are being offered for anyone needing them.
2. This is a business expense.
3. There’ll be some fun thrown in.

Please see the e-flyer for more details.

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The 2020 Internet Keyboarding Competition held by our friends at INTERSTENO - International Federation for info and communication processing has now ended, having the biggest participation ever with 1,502 competitors from 31 countries.

Congratulations to all those who took part!

🌎 🥇 🥈 🥉 🌎2020 Internet Keyboarding Competition has been completed with 1502 competitors from 31 countries which is wider than ever! 🌍 🏆 We congratulate all the competitors and teachers participated.
Final Results are on:

Unfortunately, we were not able to offer you the Latin version of the Japanese language as announced. The "Kenji" text can't be offered as well. The competitors of "All Japanese Typists group" competed in the usual 16 languages, but not in their mother tongue.

Some details by age categories of participants:
Children: 18
Pupils: 309
Juniors: 903
Seniors: 272

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