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Key People:Peter BalesJohn Byrom...(Show more)Related Topics:Pitman shorthandGregg shorthandSpeedwritingTironian notesStolze-Schrey shorthand...(Show more)

shorthand, likewise called stenography,

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a system for quick writing that provides symbols or abbreviation for letters, words, or phrases. Amongst the many popular modern systems room Pitman, Gregg, and Speedwriting.

Besides being well-known as stenography (close, little, or narrow writing), shorthand is sometimes referred to as tachygraphy (swift writing) and also brachygraphy (short writing). Due to the fact that shorthand have the right to be written rapidly, the writer is able to record the proceedings of legislature bodies, the testimony of law courts, or dictation in company correspondence. In addition, shorthand has actually been supplied through the centuries together a cultural tool: George young name Shaw wrote his dram in shorthand; Samuel Pepys tape-recorded his diary in shorthand; Cicero’s orations, young name Luther’s sermons, and also Shakespeare’s plays were all preserved by way of shorthand.

History and advance of shorthand

Through the centuries shorthand has actually been composed in systems based upon orthography (normal spelling), top top phonetics (the sounds of words), and on arbitrarily symbols, such as a small circle in ~ a larger circle to stand for the phrase, “around the world.” most historians day the starts of shorthand through the Greek historian Xenophon, who used an old Greek mechanism to create the memoirs that Socrates. It was in the roman Empire, however, the shorthand very first became normally used. Marcus Tullius Tiro, a learned freedman who was a member of Cicero’s household, developed the notae Tironianae (“Tironian notes”), the very first Latin shorthand system. Devised in 63 bc, the lasted over a thousand years. Tiro likewise compiled a shorthand dictionary. Among the early completed shorthand writers were the emperor Titus, Julius Caesar, and also a number of bishops. Through the start of the Middle eras in Europe, however, shorthand became linked with witchcraft and also magic, and disappeared.

While he to be archbishop the Canterbury, thomas Becket (c. 1118–70) urged research right into Tiro’s shorthand. Through the 15th century, through the exploration in a Benedictine monastery that a lexicon that Ciceronian notes and also a Psalter composed in Tironian shorthand, a renewed interest in the practice was aroused. Somewhat influenced by Tiro’s system, Timothy Bright design an English mechanism in 1588 that consisted of straight lines, circles, and half circles. (Tiro’s technique was cursive, based on longhand script.) Bright’s device was dubbed Characterie: one Arte the Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete creating by Character.


The 17th century produced four crucial inventors the shorthand systems: man Willis, who is taken into consideration to it is in the dad of modern shorthand; cutting board Shelton, whose device was provided by Samuel Pepys to create his famous diary; Jeremiah Rich, that popularized the arts by publishing not only his system but additionally the Psalms and the new Testament in his an approach of shorthand; and William Mason, whose method was supplied to document sermons and to analyze the bible in the years adhering to the Reformation. Mason’s mechanism was later adapted and ended up being the official system of the british Parliament.

Several other systems were designed in the following decades, however most the them were short-lived. One of the many successful was that of the brothers stenographer Samuel Taylor, who created a mechanism in 1786 the was based upon that of one of his predecessors. Taylor’s technique was adjusted into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, and other languages.

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The Industrial change brought a demand for stenographers in business. Because the geometric solution then in use forced a high level the education and long training, a need existed for a method that would be less complicated to learn. The German Franz Xaver Gabelsberger (1789–1849) turned away from geometric methods and developed a basic cursive system. Gabelsberger’s system, which he dubbed “Speech-sign art,” was based upon Latin longhand characters and also had a neatness and also beauty of rundown that is unsurpassed. It appreciated a spontaneous success and spread to Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, Finland, and Russia. The system’s simplicity make it straightforward matter to interpret it into other languages, and also in 1928 it ended up being the Italian national system.