A training within the lost technology of shorthand
As being a journalist, we start most interviews by supporting my pen and asking, “Have you ever seen one among these?” No body ever has.
It is perhaps maybe not a pen that is ordinary needless to say. It’s a Sky wifi smartpen, a bit of gee-whiz technology from the ongoing business called Livescribe. Essentially, the smartpen replaces all your standard reporter’s tools. The way I always have to start with, it’s an old-fashioned pen for old-fashioned paper, so I can still scribble my notes. The smartpen can be a top-quality electronic recorder, producing an sound file associated with the meeting once we get along. Finally, a camera that is tiny the end associated with pen simultaneously takes photos of my records when I compose.
All that given info is then drawn together by way of a microprocessor housed within the barrel associated with pen. And as the smartpen is truly some type of computer, it is in a position to sync up the image of my handwritten notes with all the sound file. This means i will touch the tip associated with pen any place in my notebook, as well as the pen will replay the audio instantly of whatever had been being stated whenever I took that note. And as it’s WiFi enabled, the entire interview—audio file, notes, and all—is immediately uploaded to my Evernote account. It’s a small as promised.
There’s an added function i love to mention. It’s possible, We tell individuals, to obtain optical character recognition pc pc pc software to choose the pen. Then copy and paste into your word processor if you write like a normal person, the OCR will automatically convert your handwritten notes into a text file that you can. For most reporters, here is the feature that is best, obviating the painful task of transcribing long interviews. Nonetheless it does not work in my situation, we explain, because even though I’m recording this meeting utilizing the latest model Sky wifi smartpen, I’m taking notes utilizing a nineteenth Century technology called Gregg shorthand.
In lots of respects, Gregg is also more innovative compared to smartpen. And, although no electronic devices or gizmos were included, it absolutely was a tremendously effective and technology that is influential nearly a century. Now, it is get to be the key to my workflow on the web age.
Gregg is just means of compressing language. You may be the device that does the encoding and decoding. Along with your mind can perform it in real-time at extremely, really high rates. To know why, you need to know just a little about how precisely it really works.
Gregg is actually a much easier and much more efficient system that is writing longhand English. This starts utilizing the letters on their own. The Roman alphabet, which we used to compose English, is more complicated than is strictly essential to differentiate one page from another. To print a“b” that is lower-case as an example, requires an extended, downward swing by having a clockwise cycle during the base. Then, you must select your pen to go to another page, an extraneous action that occupies nearly the maximum amount of time while the writing itself. Cursive (whenever ended up being the final time you heard that term?) might seem only a little faster, nonetheless it actually calls for extra shots, brief ligatures at the start additionally the end of each and every page. That’s large amount of wasted motion, and that’s why cursive is really no more than ten percent quicker than printing.
On the other hand, Gregg’s “letters” are much easier shapes. Listed here is the very first paragraph with this article printed in shorthand:
Consonants are generally shallow curves or right lines; vowels are generally loops or tiny hooks. The Gregg “b”, for instance, is definitely a simple downward swing for the pen—a very long, research topics in psychology for college students forward-leaning curve that faces to your right, such as an available parenthesis in italics. The Gregg “b” requires just one stroke compared to the four or five that comprise the Roman “b.” Gregg letters also require no ligatures; each letter blends seamlessly into the others if you measure the complexity of writing in the number of strokes. The long, downward curve of a “b” joins the short, horizontal curve of an “r” to form a sort of right-handed fishhook in the combination “b-r”, for instance.
right Here, you can view the Gregg page “b,” then “r,” and a variety of the 2, which may represent “bring” ( more about that abbreviation in a full moment):
In Gregg, the simplification associated with the types of letters reaches its apogee in a procedure called “blending”. The in-patient shots of numerous usually combined page pairs are written with just one blended swing. The short, right, horizontal dash of an “n” and also the long, diagonal, upward swing of the “d” join in order to become an extended, upward bend that represents “nd”. This not just decreases the sheer number of shots, it eliminates the pause that is momentary to make an angle between your “n” as well as the “d”. This convenience of design—the absence of superfluous strokes—accounts for about ten percent of this rate of Gregg.
Right Here’s “n,” hen”d the “nd” combination:
An additional benefit of Gregg is the fact that it is phonetic. The term “bay”, for instance, is written “b-a”—the easy downward bend associated with the “b”, finished with all the big, counter-clockwise cycle of an “a”, so the entire term, three letters in longhand, appears more or less like just one sloping form of the Roman “b”. Gregg eschews the parade of quiet letters, just like the “y” in “bay” which make English so hard to master as a language that is second.