There are several considerations which are invariably overlooked by those who advocate the establishment of a course in phonography as part of the regular college work, and which are doubtless of great weight with the college authorities. In the first place the theory of the subject is very easily understood, and could be learned without difficulty by simply reading the introductions to any of the standard manuals upon the subject. The only way in which a course could be made useful would be to take up the study as an art, and have a perfect drill upon the rudiments, and, later, upon writing from dictation. Now it has always been contrary to the custom of the college to establish an art as part of the regular curriculum, and there is no reason to hope that an exception would be made in favor of phonography. Thus, while there are several courses in music and the fine arts, there are none in the art of singing or painting. Indeed, even if a course of such a nature should be instituted, it is very doubtful whether enough benefit would be gained to pay for the trouble of the experiment. Probably not more than one man in ten who begins the study ever perseveres, and out of those who do persevere very few become skilled enough to command a good salary. What is needed to insure success is not so much instruction as constant and hard practice. There are so many thorough and systematic textbooks that very little, if any, additional explanation would be required. For this reason, then, it would be a step of very doubtful expediency to make such an innovation as the establishment of a course in "short-hand" would require.
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