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Shorthand

Shorthand

Abbreviated symbolic writing method

Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand, a more common method of writing a language. The process of writing in shorthand is called stenography, from the Greek stenos (narrow) and graphein (to write). It has also been called brachygraphy, from Greek brachys (short), and tachygraphy, from Greek tachys (swift, speedy), depending on whether compression or speed of writing is the goal.

Many forms of shorthand exist. A typical shorthand system provides symbols or abbreviations for words and common phrases, which can allow someone well-trained in the system to write as quickly as people speak. Abbreviation methods are alphabet-based and use different abbreviating approaches. Many journalists use shorthand writing to quickly take notes at press conferences or other similar scenarios. In the computerized world, several autocomplete programs, standalone or integrated in text editors, based on word lists, also include a shorthand function for frequently used phrases.

Shorthand was used more widely in the past, before the invention of recording and dictation machines. Shorthand was considered an essential part of secretarial training and police work and was useful for journalists. Although the primary use of shorthand has been to record oral dictation or discourse, some systems are used for compact expression. For example, healthcare professionals might use shorthand notes in medical charts and correspondence. Shorthand notes were typically temporary, intended either for immediate use or for later typing, data entry, or (mainly historically) transcription to longhand. Longer-term uses do exist, such as encipherment: diaries (like that of Samuel Pepys) are a common example.

Yiddish Shorthand
History
Classical antiquity

The earliest known indication of shorthand systems is from the Parthenon in Ancient Greece, where a mid-4th century BC inscribed marble slab was found. This shows a writing system primarily based on vowels, using certain modifications to indicate consonants. Hellenistic tachygraphy is reported from the 2nd century BC onwards, though there are indications that it might be older. The oldest datable reference is a contract from Middle Egypt, stating that Oxyrhynchos gives the "semeiographer" Apollonios for two years to be taught shorthand writing. Hellenistic tachygraphy consisted of word stem signs and word ending signs. Over time, many syllabic signs were developed.

In Ancient Rome, Marcus Tullius Tiro (103–4 BC), a slave and later a freedman of Cicero, developed the Tironian notes so that he could write down Cicero's speeches. Plutarch (c. 46 – c. 120 AD) in his "Life of Cato the Younger" (95–46 BC) records that Cicero, during a trial of some insurrectionists in the senate, employed several expert rapid writers, whom he had taught to make figures comprising numerous words in a few short strokes, to preserve Cato's speech on this occasion. The Tironian notes consisted of Latin word stem abbreviations (notae) and of word ending abbreviations (titulae). The original Tironian notes consisted of about 4,000 signs, but new signs were introduced, so that their number might increase to as many as 13,000. In order to have a less complex writing system, a syllabic shorthand script was sometimes used. After the decline of the Roman Empire, the Tironian notes were no longer used to transcribe speeches, though they were still known and taught, particularly during the Carolingian Renaissance. After the 11th century, however, they were mostly forgotten.

When many monastery libraries were secularized in the course of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, long-forgotten manuscripts of Tironian notes were rediscovered.

Sun Guoting's Treatise on Calligraphy, an example of cursive writing of Chinese characters

Timeline

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

(原创)漢語速記的發展及三個高潮的出現 - 阿原的日志 - 网易博客

su_yi168,阿原

Web

(原创)漢語速記的發展及三個高潮的出現 - 阿原的日志 - 网易博客

su_yi168,阿原

Web

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