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Does Anyone Keep A Diary In Shorthand?


ISW_Kaputnik
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I ask this out of idle curiosity. Personally, I don't know any form of shorthand, and don't intend trying to learn. The train of thought was set off by contemplating all the notebooks I've filled with things that have little lasting value, even for me. Then I was reading how Samuel Pepys, whose 17th century diaries are now considered historically significant, kept them in a form of shorthand which was well known in his time, Shelton's Tachygraphy. That saved paper, and gave them a measure of security from people who hadn't learned that form of shorthand.

 

So, does anyone keep their personal journal in shorthand, say Gregg or some other known method? Do you find a fountain pen (or dip pen) better suited for this than a ballpoint or rollerball? Does it save a great deal of paper?

 

Just curious.

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."

 

- Benjamin Franklin

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I don't keep a journal in shorthand, but I did take Gregg Shorthand Diamond Jubilee version in high school. A fountain pen was mentioned as being the preferred writing implement in the text book. Of course, that was about four decades ago when fountain pens were still ubiquitous.

 

Also, I'm a little vain about my handwriting, so I prefer to write in longhand. :blush:

"Don't be humble, you're not that great." Golda Meir

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My partner does, with the odd unusual word in longhand. He taught himself shorthand - T-line - and can do about 100 wpm. I learnt it at college to the same standard, and can still take notes quickly, but he's a lot better at reading his back than I am with mine!

 

He uses a Pilot Vanishing Point I bought him a few years ago, which is now very battered and held together with glue and Sugru. In the back of the Moleskine diary he uses he's fixed a bit of brown paper which is regularly needed to smooth the nib, which has also suffered over the years.

 

It goes with him everywhere and is used to makes notes too. Every so often he'll read me a few entries, and it's very entertaining.

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)

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There are a few websites where people do blog posts in various types of shorthand- cannot seem to remember them at present time.

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As the joy of writing and spending more time writing is more my purpose in journaling, I would personally not use shorthand when I journal.

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I don't know shorthand, but for encoding purposes I have written the occasional sentence in Russian, which no one around here reads. I've occasionally thought about learning an "exotic alphabet" to use as a substitution code, but all that I've seen have more complex letters than the ordinary English alphabet, and I don't want to be slowed down.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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I don't write in shorthand per se, but I do use some of my own abbreviations along with a few I learned years ago as a unit clerk. I have also studied off and on a kind of shorthand called Rapid Writing. It's said to be much easier than traditional shorthand systems but since I have no real call to use it I tend to forget it soon after I start.

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I wish I knew it. My mother (just departed last month, quite the gal) was an expert in Gregg shorthand. I found her old practice books and since hers were the advanced, I couldn't make head nor hair of them. You have to drill, drill drill. She worked as a secretary when she was out of high school, then many years later, worked with my dad's consulting business. I'd see her taking a letter on her steno pad in shorthand. I wish I had learned it for school. I did take her suggestion and my sister's to learn typing really well and that has served me well, but shorthand could be so useful for meetings.

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I don't know shorthand, but for encoding purposes I have written the occasional sentence in Russian, which no one around here reads. I've occasionally thought about learning an "exotic alphabet" to use as a substitution code, but all that I've seen have more complex letters than the ordinary English alphabet, and I don't want to be slowed down.

 

 

I do that once in a while in German (no shorter, hahah) or for really short, an occasional Japanese kanji, generally the numbers.

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I wish I knew it. My mother (just departed last month, quite the gal) was an expert in Gregg shorthand. I found her old practice books and since hers were the advanced, I couldn't make head nor hair of them. You have to drill, drill drill. She worked as a secretary when she was out of high school, then many years later, worked with my dad's consulting business. I'd see her taking a letter on her steno pad in shorthand. I wish I had learned it for school. I did take her suggestion and my sister's to learn typing really well and that has served me well, but shorthand could be so useful for meetings.

 

Ha! A Rapid Writing book is still available but is not the same version I have. Amazon is selling the one I have for an absurd price. Although I don't think this is considered a true shorthand I imagine it would serve you well and is much easier than traditional shorthand IMO. Gwyneddd would you like my copy? I would be happy to send it to you free of charge if you like. (It's a small, light paperback) PM me if you're interested.

Edited by stonezebra
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I do that once in a while in German (no shorter, hahah) or for really short, an occasional Japanese kanji, generally the numbers.

 

I've been known to toss a kanji or two into my notes, but some of them have more strokes than the equivalent English word.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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I actually do use gregg shorthand for journal/note taking. I break out one of those cheap gregg ruled notebooks that you can find in Target or Office Depot etc., and just go at it! It's less stressful on my hand (the tendons and ligaments etc.) than taking notes longhand, I think mainly because you can do gregg shorthand with little pressure on the pen (either gripping it or pressing the nib against the paper) while doing it.

 

It does save paper in the sense that you can write the same sentence with less pen strokes and much less space than if you wrote it out longhand or in cursive; and it's also faster to write in shorthand than longhand but for it to be useful you then have to transcribe it (like into the computer) from shorthand back to typed out words; so in using shorthand in this manner (note taking and then transcribing later) it allows you to practice both the writing of shorthand and the reading of it also.

 

Ball point pens or rollerballs or pencils are fine for writing shorthand because their points are usually pretty thin. If you're going to use a fountain pen to do it, it's easier to use a fine nibbed pen (as opposed to a broad) because its easier to make smaller strokes with a finer or smaller nib tip. I've done gregg shorthand with broad tips but sometimes it'll "blob" out the details and realistically speaking legibility is more important than nib width if you're writing down something that you're going to have to read back later. So, generally speaking the best nibs to do gregg shorthand are just normal (that is, unmodified) fines or thinner.

 

If you're interested in learning how to read or write gregg shorthand for free, check out this website (they have lessons you can take just simply by reading them and then practicing on your own)...:

 

http://gregg.angelfishy.net/

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I actually do use gregg shorthand for journal/note taking. I break out one of those cheap gregg ruled notebooks that you can find in Target or Office Depot etc., and just go at it! It's less stressful on my hand (the tendons and ligaments etc.) than taking notes longhand, I think mainly because you can do gregg shorthand with little pressure on the pen (either gripping it or pressing the nib against the paper) while doing it.

 

It does save paper in the sense that you can write the same sentence with less pen strokes and much less space than if you wrote it out longhand or in cursive; and it's also faster to write in shorthand than longhand but for it to be useful you then have to transcribe it (like into the computer) from shorthand back to typed out words; so in using shorthand in this manner (note taking and then transcribing later) it allows you to practice both the writing of shorthand and the reading of it also.

 

Ball point pens or rollerballs or pencils are fine for writing shorthand because their points are usually pretty thin. If you're going to use a fountain pen to do it, it's easier to use a fine nibbed pen (as opposed to a broad) because its easier to make smaller strokes with a finer or smaller nib tip. I've done gregg shorthand with broad tips but sometimes it'll "blob" out the details and realistically speaking legibility is more important than nib width if you're writing down something that you're going to have to read back later. So, generally speaking the best nibs to do gregg shorthand are just normal (that is, unmodified) fines or thinner.

 

If you're interested in learning how to read or write gregg shorthand for free, check out this website (they have lessons you can take just simply by reading them and then practicing on your own)...:

 

http://gregg.angelfishy.net/

 

Thanks for the link. Just out of curiosity, can anyone shine some light on how long it takes to become reasonably proficient? How many semesters in high school, for example?

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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Thanks for the link. Just out of curiosity, can anyone shine some light on how long it takes to become reasonably proficient? How many semesters in high school, for example?

As I recall, it was two semesters. My high school class lasted the whole year. The first semester was for actual theory, learning the outlines and brief forms. The second was for reinforcement and speed building.

"Don't be humble, you're not that great." Golda Meir

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As the joy of writing and spending more time writing is more my purpose in journaling, I would personally not use shorthand when I journal.

+1

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While we're on the subject, does anyone know why steno notebooks have the margin line running down the middle of the page? I've always wondered about that.

Until you ink a pen, it is merely a pretty stick. --UK Mike

 

My arsenal, in order of acquisition: Sailor 21 Pocket Pen M, Cross Solo M, Online Calligraphy, Monteverde Invincia F, Hero 359 M, Jinhao X450 M, Levenger True Writer M, Jinhao 159 M, Platinum Balance F, TWSBI Classic 1.1 stub, Platinum Preppy 0.3 F, 7 Pilot Varsity M disposables refillables, Speedball penholder, TWSBI 580 USA EF, Pilot MR, Noodler's Ahab 1.1 stub, another Preppy 0.3, Preppy EF 0.2, ASA Sniper F, Click Majestic F, Kaweco Sport M, Pilot Prera F, Baoer 79 M (fake Starwalker), Hero 616 M (fake Parker), Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands M . . .

31 and counting :D

 

DaveBj

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While we're on the subject, does anyone know why steno notebooks have the margin line running down the middle of the page? I've always wondered about that.

 

It's a speed thing. Write down one side of the page, then down the other side. The shorter the distance one has to move one's hand horizontally, the faster one is able to write. In addition, we were taught to use only one side of the paper going from front to back. When we got to the last page, flip the steno book over and write from back to front. I have a shorthand text that's printed that way, top bound with the lessons on the front side of the page, then flip the book over and the book continues on the back side of each page.

"Don't be humble, you're not that great." Golda Meir

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I took shorthand in high school, recommended to help take college notes. I got up to about two hundred words per minute. Later on I studied machine shorthand and worked up to about three hundred words per minute, but it was like hitting a wall, and I couldn't build up to the higher speeds required of court reporters. Then I gave all that up to spend my career in computers, which I really liked. The high school teacher of shorthand had us use pencils and ballpoint, because she thought they were faster than fountain pens. I think she was correct. Less likely to run out of ink also. I knew a couple of court reporters who used shorthand instead of the shorthand machine. They were awesome. They didn't use fountain pens. In court or in a deposition you couldn't afford to risk running out of ink. Yeah, I know that they could have used a case of forty fountain pens, but they were not pen junkies.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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