a ton of questions

plus or minus few kilos. That is how many qus i have in my head regarding shorthand.

Hello, my name is Sasha and I am rather new to the world of shorthand. I like to read a lot and would like to remember a lot, therefore I have to note down things that I want to remember. But normal writing slows me down and so here I am.
A good soul from this forum has posted a books on Callendar’s Orthic so I decided to start with it since it seems easy to learn and relies on common spelling for writing I assumed that it will boost my note taking down a bit.
But, alas, my mind started taking pleasure in all this squiggly, enchanting symbols and just craves for more and more input. Following my mind’s diction I raided the net only to find more questions like this:
Henry Sweet was planning some changes to his Current shorthand (I read it somewhere on the net). Does anyone knows what changes he wanted to make? Or could you make a wild guess what he would like to change in his system?
Is Melin’s shorthand a light-line system?
Are you familiar with some other light-line cursive shorthand systems that I could put my mind on?
On one bulgarian steno forum I found a mention about Oliver’s Stenoscript and link to a book but, alas, link is dead. I would so like to see how that Stenoscript looks like but there’s not a single trace of it on the net.

Finally, when I am learning to write shorthand should I be exaggerating size of symbols until I get familiar with proportions?

yours, Sasha

(by sasa for
group greggshorthand)


20 comments Add yours
  1. Callendar's Cursive shorthand is also a light-line system. There is a copy of the manual on the Internet Archive. I believe there was a link to the archive on the same post you mention.

    When you are learning to write shorthand you mostly want to pay attention to the proportions while you get familiar with them. Exaggerating the size a little bit helps some people, but exaggerating too much can be confusing. Practicing with guidelines for the proportions can help you get familiar with them. For a good description of the proportions of Gregg shorthand, take a look at the link "How does one write on lined paper?" under Common Questions on the sidebar.

  2. To the best of my knowledge, Gabelsberger is not light-line; like the German Unified Shorthand that developed (partly) from it, it uses stroke width distinctions to mark some vowels.

    Stiefografie is, though, and is the system I use for writing German.

    Helmut Stief supposedly made an adaptation of his system for English, but I have not been able to find it so far (just a mention in a bibliography); the book (or pamphlet or whatever it might have been) is long out of print.

    My main gripe about Stiefografie is the lack of a dictionary to show preferred/correct spellings of words – this is one thing I appreciate about Gregg.

  3. About Sweet's Current Shorthand, it never caught on as he did not market it to the business world. I believe there is a review of the system, written by Mike MacMahon, who heads the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas at the University of Sheffield in the UK. I'm not sure if this review is a re-exposition of the system, or just a critical review of the book. You may want to go to their website and request more information.

    Melin's system, like Gabelsberger, is a light-line system. It is the predominant system in Sweden (Melins Stenografi).

    About other cursive shorthand systems, if you mean light-line, there are many! Among them are Earnes, Thomas Natural, Beers, Century 21, Evans, and others in English. Likewise, in other languages we have Groote (Dutch), Stiefografie (German), Gabelsberger (German), Maron (Portuguese), Wang-Krogdahl (Norwegian), and many others.

    I haven't seen a sample of Oliver's stenoscript, so I cannot comment on it.

    Lastly, symbols should be written as they are shown in the book. It is not recommended that you exagerate the size, given that you want to develop the ability to write the outlines quickly, and it will be slower to write outlines that do not conform to size. A good guide about sizing characters is to write them as you would write ordinary cursive. If your cursive writing is big, you will tend to write the shorthand outlines big too. That's fine as long as it does not affect your speed.

  4. Actually, I am Croatian, living and working in Istanbul. I like, want and need to read a lot, all in English. I need shorthand to take quick notes while reading and I read quite fast. That is practical side of it. Now, there is aesthetic and intellectual side of it. I am enchanted with shorthand (how silly it may sound).
    I tried to contact Anton Lazarov for Dewey's General Shorthand and Oliver's stenoscript. Haven't got reply yet. Those books used to be on Bulgarian steno forum but it was long time ago (I found links through Internet wayback archive) and links are dead. By the way for those people interested in Dewey's Script Shorthand, I found this on Scribd (http://www.scribd.com/doc/81343031/Dewey-Script-Shorthand) . Hopefully not breaking any forum rules now.
    I read somewhere on this forum that there was re-issue of Orthic shorthand by W. Stevens. Where could I find those books?

  5. Regarding Gablesberger being light-line, I looked casually through some old books and I am not sure whether shading is employed or cursive script has been embellished like it has been written with fountain pen. There are ton of German Shorthand systems. Arend's and Roller's should be light-line (I may be wrong). I don't know about Stolze-Schrey's?
    Other interesting systems (in terms of visual appearance, for the moment) are Melin's and Groote.

  6. Stolze-Schrey, like Deutsche Einheitskurzschrift (German Unified Shorthand), uses distinctive stroke widths; for example, it's how the vowels "e/ä", "o/u", "i/au", "ei/eu" are distinguished. (The second vowel in each pair is marked by making the appropriate consonant thicker.)

  7. According to linguists, we have 40 vowel sounds, the typical English speaker will say we have only 10.

    Gregg uses 4 pure vowels, and optional diacriticals increase these to 12. There are 4 dipthongs and 2 tripthongs, for a total of 18 vowels if we really need them.

    English is very robust. We can (and do) mangle the vowels pretty badly before it's unintelligible.

  8. Some German systems make a nod to the spelling as well as the pronunciation, distinguishing especially pairs such as e/ä, ei/ai, and eu/äu. Such distinctions might not be needed for English if we don't want to represent spelling (e.g. a difference between "ee" and "ea" for "long E").

    But yes, English has more contrasting vowel sounds than German.

  9. Just to say that Maron System (created in Brazil) is not a cursive one. It is indeed a geometric system. All its characters come from Geometry (curves, lines, angles, etc…) That is the system I use and teach.

  10. That may sound inappropriate but could it be that they wanted a piece of market that Pitman was having?
    That may be oversimplification of the thing. I don't doubt the ingeniousness of shorthand creators of the days of yore but sometimes it seems they have been market driven (or something like that).

  11. In sources I've read, it seems obvious, that shading should be used as a method of symbolizing in shorthand. In XIXth and beginning of XXth century they perhaps could not imagine, that pen and pencil some day may be obsolete…

  12. Hi. Someone provided me with a copy of Oliver's Stenoscript several years ago now. It is a beautiful system of shorthand to look at in my judgement. Has anyone else managed to get hold of a copy?

    Kind regards

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