Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stenography (shorthand) techniques

  1. Sep 2, 2010 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    When I was in high school, I picked up some stenography (shorthand) techniques:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shorthand

    My grandmother was pretty adept at the Gregg method of shorthand, and she taught me some of it. It was a pretty common thing for secretaries and journalists to know 20 or 30 years ago. It allowed them to take dictation or create transcripts quickly and efficiently. It was a fairly complex system, but sometimes helpful for note taking in my classes.

    I am curious if people still use these systems - or is it a lost art? I don't know anyone who even remembers it.

    Also, do you use your own invented shorthand systems for taking notes in lectures?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2010 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Shorthand

    At AT&T they taught us "compressed writing", back in the 70's. It was the original "txt spk". I still use it when writing personal notes.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2010 #3

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    That's interesting. I had not heard of that. Was it mostly vowel elimination and some phonetic spelling?

    The system I learned was phonetically based, but there were symbols that replaced the sounds. They were meant to be combined into more complex symbols, sometimes in odd (but quick) ways.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2010 #4
    Re: Shorthand

    tl;dr
     
  6. Sep 2, 2010 #5
    Re: Shorthand

    wish i had learned shorthand. would have saved me a lot of grief in college. and even american history in h.s. i'm not sure we even had it offered in school. there was typing, but it was mostly something girls took at the time, and i suspect shorthand would have been the same.

    in other news, is cursive the next to go?
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Educat...t-List-says-Class-of-2014-can-t-write-cursive
     
  7. Sep 2, 2010 #6

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Shorthand

    Mostly vowel elimination and acronyms. A sentence would be "sub ci, dnk, ret cl, ni, lw" meant "customer called in and denied all knowledge of the problem, I returned their call but they weren't in so I left a message."
     
  8. Sep 3, 2010 #7
    Re: Shorthand

    By the time I finished high school, I was typing 35 wpm, and in college that rose to more than 50. Wouldn't have helped much, though as we didn't have laptops back then, and the IBM PC portable was a clunker!
     
  9. Sep 3, 2010 #8

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Shorthand

    When I was in high school, I took a class in "notehand" which was/is a sort of simplified version of Gregg shorthand. After a while, I stopped trying to use "pure" notehand, but continued to use some of the symbols as abbreviations when taking class notes in college.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2010 #9

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    Wow - what a blast from the past. I checked out your wiki link, above. A couple of decades ago, I was in awe of a secretary of mine who could do this, and had actually finished writing, more often than not, before I had finished speaking - no matter how fast.

    On the wiki link, is a copy of 'The Lords Prayer' in shorthand. Here's what I found interesting about it (on a rough and ready calculation);

    The amount of symbols / material, appears to me to be no less than the amount had it been written in 'normal' hand. Strange, that - doesn't look too 'shorthand' after all !
     
  11. Sep 3, 2010 #10

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    I would abbreviate and condense when I took notes, so I could keep up without shorthand. I took typing in HS, though, knowing that if I could save and buy a typewriter, I could type all my papers, and maybe pick up a few bucks here and there typing papers for other students. I talked two other guys into taking the course, too, just so I wouldn't be the only guy in the course. The instructor was 5-foot nothin' and pretty as can be, so talking them into the course was easy. Because of us 3, the class exceeded the normal size, and we (guys only) had to use older manual typewriters while the girls got the electrics. Still, we usually came in 1,2,3 in the speed/accuracy drills. The instructor loved to give the girls a hard time about that.
     
  12. Sep 3, 2010 #11

    OmCheeto

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    I learned it when I was about 9 years old. But that was 42 years ago. So I guess that doesn't count.

    Though I think it had an effect on how I write. When writing out checks(the only time I use cursive anymore), I use no leading tails. For example, my lowercase i's and t's don't include the initial upstroke, so it looks like half of it is missing. The only exception to this rule would be lowercase L's. It also affected my printing. My uppercase printed E's look like backwards 3's or uppercase cursive E's. This so infuriated one of my supervisors in the past that he would go over all of my documents and square them all off. Talk about OCD.

    But as with everything you don't use, I've forgotten all of my shorthand. And that's why I purposely bought a digital camera that could record 8 hours of audio.
     
  13. Sep 3, 2010 #12

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: Shorthand

    I never learned shorthand. In fact, the most important part of note taking was learning how to decide what was important enough to write down.

    I was shocked to find out how few people today know how to write every letter in cursive.

    I wonder which is more common: not knowing how to write in cursive or not knowing the multiplication tables?

    Then vs. now:

    What was said:

    Then: Set mtg w Riley, CTMC for 2 Friday. Call Bradley, LC to cx mtg.

    Now: Meet with lawyer on Friday 2:00 PM to discuss sexual harrassment lawsuit. "Hey, sugar....";"Hey, hon.... I'd ... like to bang you over my desk"; "Hot, hot dress"
     
  14. Sep 5, 2010 #13

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    I think that's exactly how it would go, Bob! :)
     
  15. Sep 6, 2010 #14

    Ouabache

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: Shorthand

    Count me among those who took shorthand (Gregg style) in high school. It came in handy for lectures in h.s. and
    college. Yes it is phonetic representation of words. As such, it could be extended to use in other languages.
    I used a combination of shorthand, simple abbreviations and longhand for taking notes.
    Also, as BobG mentions, with experience you just learn what is important enough
    to write down and what is extraneous.

    Those who have mentioned typing, I learned typing on both manual and electric and typed 60wpm. in high school.
    Dad typed 100wpm in the service (US Navy). I found it interesting, to be able to carry on a conversation and simultaneously
    type accurately. Evidently the eye-to-hand neural pathway is separate from the ear-to-mouth pathway.
    Similarly when I am playing a song on the guitar, I can hold a conversation at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  16. Sep 6, 2010 #15

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Shorthand

    Same here, though for some reason, I have trouble doing a decent job singing while playing bass, though singing while playing lead or rhythm guitar was never an issue. Props to Jack Bruce and Sting for pulling that off. Maybe I'm just wired differently. I have never been able to do a decent job singing while playing drums, either, so there might be some linkage there. I CAN sing along with drums or bass, just not well enough to suit me.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook