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Keyscript Shorthand and other things

From: cassyjanek
Subject: Keyscript Shorthand and other things
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 01:22:12 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

Hi.  I haven't posted anything here before and I can't pretend I
understand the technical stuff.

It was in my mind at first to try to make Pitman Shorthand symbols to
be able to be typed into a computer.  Later, I wrote a course to teach
Pitman Shorthand, based on Pitman New Course, which is Pitman New Era
Shorthand.  There were four types of exercises in this course.  One
type involved writing from longhand to shorthand.  There was more to
it than that, but I had been told by teachers in the past that it is
better to write shorthand from dictation rather than from print.  For
some reason, my mind dwelt on this, and I decided to change the
longhand into a phonetic script.  (My tape recorder was not working
too well, anyway.)  This phonetic script ended up becoming Keyscript
Shorthand.  I never did change the exercises in the original course.

Keyscript uses only the lower case letters of the alphabet, and saves
on average 60% of the writing.  In English longhand there are two
words of one letter, 'I' and 'a'.  In Keyscript there are hundreds.
Does this mean that one letter in Keyscript can mean more than one
thing?  You bet it does.  But, as Rustom has pointed out, you can pick
the most frequently used word represented by that letter and assign it
to that letter when writing in, for example, Microsoft Word, using the
AutoCorrect facility.  Where there is another common word spelled with
the same letter, you can assign it to another letter.

This brings me to the next point.  If you computer engineers do come
up with the shortest and most productive system of keying in type,
will it be able to be used everywhere?  For example, AutoCorrect can
be used only on Microsoft Word (and probably on other Word programs in
Mac, etc., I wouldn't know about that), but it cannot be used when
writing emails and posts like this.  So could you make this possible,
seeing that this is how people write these days?  Of course, this
ability could possibly be built into the keyboard itself.  My husband,
Roger, was saying that there should be a key to type 'the' on a
keyboard.  This seems a very good idea.

I have never used a Dvorak keyboard, but I can see that it would be
more efficient and less tiring, with the most common letters in
English being on the home row.  My all-time favourite typewriter was
an old Underwood, that I used at business college.  It must have dated
from around the beginning of the last century (but I did the course a
little after that!).  I liked it because the keys were thin, not solid
blocks, and it seemed more responsive than the other typewriters.

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