A concept in the missing technology of shorthand
Being a journalist, we start many interviews by supporting my pen and asking, “Have you ever seen one of these simple?” No body ever has.
It is maybe perhaps maybe not a regular pen, needless to say. It’s a Sky wifi smartpen, a bit of gee-whiz technology from the business called Livescribe. Fundamentally, the smartpen replaces all your standard reporter’s tools. The way I always have to start with, it’s an old-fashioned pen for old-fashioned paper, so I can still scribble my notes. The smartpen normally a top-notch recorder that is digital producing a sound file for the meeting once we get along. Finally, a small digital camera near the tip associated with the pen simultaneously takes photos of my records when I compose.
All that information is then drawn together by a microprocessor housed into the barrel of this pen. And as the smartpen is actually some type of computer, it is in a position to sync the picture up of my handwritten records using the sound file. This means I’m able to touch the end associated with the pen any place in my notebook, plus the pen will immediately replay the sound of whatever ended up being being stated once I took that note. And as it’s WiFi enabled, the interview that is whole file, records, and all—is immediately uploaded to my Evernote account. It’s a small as promised.
There’s an added function i love to explain. It’s feasible, I tell individuals, to have character that is optical pc pc software to choose the pen. In the event that you compose like an ordinary individual, the OCR will immediately convert your handwritten records right into a text file you could then duplicate and paste to your term processor. For most reporters, this is basically the feature that is best, obviating the painful task of transcribing long interviews. Nonetheless it does not work for me personally, we explain, because and even though I’m recording this meeting utilizing the latest model Sky wifi smartpen, I’m using notes employing a nineteenth Century technology called Gregg shorthand.
In several respects, Gregg is also more innovative compared to smartpen. And, although no electronic devices or gizmos were included, it absolutely was a tremendously effective and technology that is influential almost a century. Now, it is get to be the key to my workflow on the web age.
Gregg is really a real method of compressing language. You will be the equipment that does the decoding and encoding. Along with your mind may do it in realtime at really, really speeds that are high. To understand why, you should know only a little about how precisely it really works.
Gregg is actually a much easier and much more efficient writing system than longhand English. This begins with all the letters on their own. The Roman alphabet, which we used to write English, is a lot more complicated than is strictly required to distinguish one page from another. To print a lower-case “b”, for instance, calls for a lengthy, downward swing having a clockwise cycle in the base. Then, you must select your pen to maneuver to another location page, an extraneous action that occupies nearly the maximum amount of time because the writing it self. Cursive (whenever had been the time that is last heard that term?) might seem only a little faster, however it really requires extra shots, quick ligatures at the start as well as the end of every page. That’s a complete large amount of wasted movement, and that’s why cursive is obviously just about ten percent quicker than printing.
In contrast, Gregg’s “letters” are much easier shapes. Listed here is the paragraph that is first of article printed in shorthand:
Consonants are either shallow curves or right lines; vowels are either loops or little hooks. The Gregg “b”, for instance, can be a simple downward swing of this pen—a very very long, forward-leaning curve that faces off to the right, like a open parenthesis in italics. In the event that you gauge the complexity of writing within the amount of shots, the Gregg “b” calls for just one single swing set alongside the 4 or 5 that comprise the Roman “b.” Gregg letters require also no ligatures; each page blends seamlessly in to the other people. The long, downward curve of a “b” joins the short, horizontal curve of an “r” to form a sort of right-handed fishhook in the combination “b-r”, for instance.
right right Here, you can observe the Gregg page “b,” then “r,” and a mix of the 2, which may represent “bring” ( more about that abbreviation in a full moment):
In Gregg, the simplification for the types of letters reaches its apogee in a procedure called “blending”. The patient shots of several often combined page pairs are written with an individual blended swing. The quick, right, horizontal dash of a “n” together with long, diagonal, upward swing of the” that is“d in order to become a lengthy, upward curve that represents “nd”. This not just decreases how many shots, it eliminates the pause that is momentary to make an angle between your “n” additionally the “d”. This convenience of design—the absence of superfluous strokes—accounts for approximately ten percent for the rate of Gregg.
right Here’s “n,” hen”d the “nd” combination:
An additional benefit of Gregg is the fact that it is phonetic. The term “bay”, for instance, is written “b-a”—the easy downward bend regarding the “b”, completed with all the big, counter-clockwise cycle of a “a”, so your entire term, three letters in longhand, appears more or less like an individual sloping form of the Roman “b”. Gregg eschews the parade of quiet letters, just like the “y” in “bay” that produce English so hard to master as a language that is second.