Carlos has been gracious enough to admit me to the group, so I thought I’d give a proper hello.
Who am I?
a thirty-year-old software engineer in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve been curious about languages and written scripts for as long as I can remember, once freaked out a German teacher by handing in homework written using Sütterlin
I picked up from the Internet, handwrite private notes using the Elder Futhark
at times to this day, and have utterly atrocious English handwriting unless I write painfully slowly: As a worst case, my high school art history lecture notes consisted entirely of bumpy lines, and reading them turned into an extended act of divination. (Transcription never occurred to me at the time, unfortunately.)
My plan is to use Gregg as an alternative to my handwriting that can keep up with my desire for speed without deteriorating into an indecipherable, nearly flat line. I prefer taking notes during meetings by hand, but handwriting is slow, and fast handwriting inevitably becomes unreadable handwriting.
I’m a new learner in the early stages of the Anniversary manual, near the end of chapter 1. What I’ve learnt already is enough for me to write meeting notes in shorthand already. As slow as I am at writing outlines, it still feels faster than longhand!
My main learning driver has been an Anki
flashcard deck that I’ve created using images from the Anniversary manual. If you’ve paged through Angelfishy’s Anniversary manual,
you’ve seen many images are actually tables of words in both Roman script and Gregg. I wanted one flashcard per word rather than one per table, so I had to slice those up. That proved a slow and tedious manual process, so I made it faster by creating an OS X app inventively named “Image Slicer”.
Now I’m finding it a bit easier to import the lesson content into my flashcard learning program.
My short-term goal is to keep plugging away at the Anniversary manual via Anki while using shorthand for note-taking at work. Once I’ve got through the manual, I expect I’ll be working on keeping my notes readable while building speed.
I have a fairly conventional (I think?) “write and then transcribe to a computer text file” workflow, so long-term readability isn’t truly essential, but being able to flip back in my steno pad to review notes from an earlier meeting will come in handy now and again, and I like the idea of not writing ugly shorthand, anyway – I’m learning shorthand so I can stop writing ugly and unreadable longhand whenever I exceed its operating parameters, after all!
Aside: Machine Shorthand
I’m also learning machine shorthand (steno) using the Open Steno Project’s free Plover app
on my laptop. It’s been interesting to compare computerized shorthand to pen shorthand, and I believe there are lessons to be found for those worried about long-term readability of pen shorthand in machine shorthand’s conversion from theories that depended on human transcription to steno theories adapted for completely unambiguous, real-time, computer transcription.
I’m excited to be able to participate in the knowledge sharing taking place here, and I look forward to learning a lot from all y’all over the coming years.