Numbers in Shorthand?

Do you write out your numbers in shorthand or in longhand?  I know with months and dates it’s easier to write the number in longhand (at least that’s what my book had last night), for example June 8.  But some numbers can look like shorthand.  The number 2 can look like “we are” in Diamond Jubalee, at least for me with my writing.  And 6 could look like “pay” for me… So if you were writing down something like “we need 6 pens” how would you write the number 6?  I can’t remember what I had learned and I know in translation it would be 6 not pay… but what’s easier for you? 

(by debbiavon1 for everyone)

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  1. Hello! I had that problem when I first started out…the numbers 3, 4, 5, and 8 can't be mistaken for shorthand (3 will sometimes look like shorthand, but you can't read it as shorthand as it defies the rules of Gregg strokes, and thus shouldn't have any difficulty with it) I, like many others, naturally cross my sevens, which takes care of that. Here's a picture of some ideas for numbers: (including my very own rendition of the comma!! Patent pending! he he)     As you'll never mistake a longer string of longhand letters in the midst of shorthand, and as I despise writing proper nouns (names) in shorthand, when I write "I went shopping with Alex yesturday" I'll write "Alex" in longhand. In the same way, longer numbers shouldn't pose any problem in natural readability like in the above example of "1949". For shorter numbers ("61", "9", etc) I just add a 'T' shaped jot at the front or end of it since you'll never come across this in Gregg. For "one" I just use the traditional twip at the top and underline below.You could even end 3 with a jot if it makes it more obviously a three to your eyes.   Oh, there's also my comma I included up top. I find the circled comma far to akward to write and too easily confused with the long I symbol, so I just made a double period my own comma. When I write in my diary I tend to use a ton of ellipses (…) and I just use "…" instead of " " as they can't be mistaken for Gregg and look nicer that way.   Anyways, I hope this helps. I wonder what other people've done to adapt their numbers and other punctuation? ./[psetus]

  2. I write my numbers in longhand 🙂 To distinguish between 2 and phrases like "we are", I write the bottom line with a little wave. The loops in my 6s and 9s don't connect with the main body, though I suppose that's a really subtle difference… like many things in shorthand, though, context makes it clear 😉

    For the comma, I just write a short downward stroke and circle it with a lighter pressure. The circle helps break up the deluge of squiggle and alleviates my minor shorthand dyslexia 😉 My long A, when written all alone, is more compact and slanted like it would be in the word "Bide", which helps distinguish it from a circled comma and the number 0 =)

    Interesting solutions you have, psetus 🙂

  3. If I suspect that a numeral could be mis-read as a shorthand outline, I place a ^ mark underneath it to alert me to consider a numeral and not an outline. Brian

  4. I've saw them in long hand… except the words one two… for example, "we'll have that in one or two days" but if there's more it's usually in longhand, for exmample "we'll have that in 1, 2, maybe 3 days"… but that's what I've noticed… Debbi

  5. The following paragraphs from "Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course" by Swem and Gregg explains how to write numbers in reporting.  Granted, it is for reporting work, but they are good suggestions anyway.  I hope that it helps.   Writing Numerals   The method for expressing figures should be learned with exceptional care. Figures have no context to help in the reading, and in court work, especially, are of vital importance. The arabic numerals should be used in writing all numbers up to 99. In many cases, the shorthand outline is shorter than the arabic figure, but it is desirable that the figures stand out from the shorthand notes both because they possess no context and because, so standing out, they will serve as valuable landmarks in reading notes in court. Many writers, however, find it useful to use the shorthand forms for one, two, and three.   The grammatical rather than the quantitative phrases, however, may be written in shorthand as follows:     In court work, comparative numbers frequently occur so rapidly that is impossible to write them with speed. Hence the following expedients will be found valuable:    Larger fractions and decimals can most satisfactorily be written as ordinarily:    In writing a date less than a century ago, only the last two figures of the calendar year should be written, with a dash below them, to distinguish the year from the day of the month. Other dates must be written in full.  

  6. Speaking of numbers, I had fun, yesterday, answering my coworkers question about writing them in shorthand.

    "So, here's a 7, right?"
    "Boom! Now it's 700."
    "I see."
    "But that's not all—pow! Now it's 700,000"
    "Wow, cool!"
    "Shazam—can I get $700,000?!"
    "You're a nerd…"

    I may be a nerd, but at least I can write $100,000,000 in a second or less; and in my line of work, that comes in handy (well, maybe not so much that particular amount).

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