Some common shorthand symbols include a period for the word "the," a small dash or hyphen for "of," an inverted small c for "and," and a small circle for "a" and "an." Such abbreviations of common words help the writer significantly in taking down verbal passages because about 40 words make up to 40 percent of everyday speech. Other shorthand abbreviations include a long dash for the word "in" and a letter u for "you."
One hundred of the most common words make up to half of all words in everyday speech, so not very many of these symbols have to be memorized before a writer has the tools to transcribe verbal passages fluently. A person transcribing can practice by simply using the symbols he has memorized and not stopping to think of those he may have forgotten, simply writing out the word until the symbol is well-memorized.
Other shorthand abbreviation symbols include a mid-size diagonal line at a 45-degree angle leaning right for the word "that," a longer diagonal line at the same angle for "had," a short vertical line for "one" and a longer vertical line for "just." Other symbols are a little more complex, such as the one for "time," which is a long dash with drooping squiggle like a tail on the left side.