Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Shorthand is the name given to the abbreviated systems of writing which enable a writer to express his ideas in a much shorter time. The modern practice of reporting speeches in full, and the great increase in public speaking, are the immediate cause of the study of shorthand, though the employment of a system of shorthand was known to the ancients (a system being ascribed to Tiro, a freedman of Cicero), and in England in the 16th century. Most people who write much employ more or fewer abbreviations, but for professional purposes a general system is required, since others than the writer have to read what he has written. The system most in use is that invented in 1837 by Isaac Pitman. The whole system is too complicated and too long for any attempt here at detailed description, and books on it are so easy to come by that it is needless. Suffice it to sav that sounds are classified as formed by the lips, teeth, palate, throat, and nose; that lines and curves thick and thin are used to form consonants; that the vowels are rendered by dots and dashes; that phonetics are utilised; that there are many combinations; and that many words of constant occurrence are rendered by grammalogues. Other systems are Script, which many prefer to the Pitman system, and Oxford shorthand.