Shorthand  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed or brevity of writing as compared to a normal method of writing a language. The process of writing in shorthand is called stenography, from the Greek stenos (narrow) and graphē or graphie (writing). It has also been called brachygraphy, from Greek brachys (short) and tachygraphy, from Greek tachys (swift, speedy), depending on whether compression or speed of writing is the goal.

Many forms of shorthand exist. A typical shorthand system provides symbols or abbreviations for words and common phrases, which can allow someone well trained in the system to write as quickly as people speak. Abbreviation methods are alphabet-based and use different abbreviating approaches.

Shorthand was used more widely in the past, before the invention of recording and dictation machines. Until recently, shorthand was considered an essential part of secretarial training as well as being useful for journalists. Although the primary use of shorthand has been to record oral dictation or discourse, some systems are used for compact expression. For example, health-care professionals may use shorthand notes in medical charts and correspondence. Shorthand notes are typically temporary, intended either for immediate use or for later transcription to longhand, although longer term uses do exist, diaries (like that of the famous Samuel Pepys) being a common example.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shorthand" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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