Good grief: I can still read it!
Posted by C Scheftic on 2015/12/20
I can still read it!
This old Peanuts strip was reprinted in this week’s Sunday comics. I do wonder what its original publication date was. It did take a few minutes before all the necessary Gregg shorthand symbols came back, but I found it to be an interesting trip down memory lane.
(As soon as I realized that his notes matched her her words, I was able to use that to help me remember which was what; though I swear that he noted her request as a blue setter, not sweater, which could be very interesting!)
If my mother were still alive, I wonder how long it would have taken her to read all of it. She’s the one who insisted I take shorthand in high school. Not so I’d be prepared for the secretarial work that she had done (though having that as back-up plan was not out of the question) but because she believed it was a skill that was generally useful. (Then again, once I’d begun to learn it, she suddenly realized she could no longer hide notes from me by writing them that way!)
I used some shorthand in high school, but much more once I got to college simply because I found myself trying to take more detailed notes then. I didn’t take notes entirely in shorthand, mind you. I wrote out many discipline-specific words longhand, rather than try to sound them out in shorthand style. But being able to use shorthand for a lot of my notes did save time, better enabling me to keep up with the lesson while still taking notes. Sometimes I’d transcribe them back to longhand; but usually, if I did that, it was during a review-session before exams.
So it was funny, in college, when a friend who’d skipped a class would ask to borrow my notes. I’d usually just answer “sure” and hand them over without thinking. And the person would come back in just a few minutes with a puzzled-looking face, and that’s when it would hit me, “Oh, don’t you read shorthand?” Hmmm, it just wasn’t a class that the majority of academic-track students heading to my university had taken!
But now this has me thinking. I’m not a big fan of jewelry with words on it, but some shorthand symbols do have interesting shapes. (If you know Gregg shorthand, you will know whether or not to agree with my feeling that I’ve always enjoyed writing “after” that way. I’m less sure about putting that symbol on artwork, although this thought-exercise has me realizing that I’ve already used “before” on a number of pieces, as well as “great” and “correct” and even “rarity”!) Don’t hold your breath waiting to see any … but I may have to find an old shorthand dictionary at some point and just scan it for interesting shapes that represent words I might like to use. I’ve no clue how many I may ever end up making, but I think I have to at least try it!
If I were to do that, how many of you could likely read what the symbol said?