Monday, February 28, 2011

Shorthand-- Stenography

Whatever happened to Shorthand? Stenography, Secretary shorthand, tachygraphy, whatever you want to call it. It was a short, scribbly, artful way to take notes. Somewhat like the Japanese system of writing (In a way) it has a symbol or way to write everything. It's simple, quick, and somewhat artistic. So why don't we use it?

I would guess that most learned to type, but even in Bram Stoker's Dracula the titular character was confused by another's use of shorthand. This means it was likely never very familiar everywhere, but the idea was always around.

Perhaps, though, secretary shorthand has evolved to a near-universal level. Don't believe me? Think of the last time you typed "brb" (some time today, I'd bet). It's short for "Be right back". An extra eight characters, not counting spaces. You shortened eleven characters and two spaces into three letters. Interesting evolution, no?

Personally, I think I would like to learn a bit about Shorthand. It will certainly make taking notes far easier. Alas, it is late. I shall have to learn it another time. Maybe I'll expand on this later. It's late and I wonder if I still have time-traveler's jet-lag. ...Can you get jet-lag time traveling? I shall have to reflect on this later.

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