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Shorthand

 Contents..

When I was a student, in lectures, students tried to write down notes about what the lecturer was saying. Portable voice recorders and similar devices let people record the audio of a lecture nowadays - and video it too. A fast typist could even bring a computer keyboard to a lecture and type the notes.

A shorthand system was most useful before that technology was common. One approach, in lectures, was to remove the vowels from much of a word so that it took less time to write. The skill is to leave in the vowels which are essential and strip out the ones which are not so that a re-read of the words still makes sense.

With my interest in memory techniques, I wanted a shorthand system which could also be used as a memory system for remembering quotes accurately in exams, etc. This article is the core of the shorthand system.

Typically, I am using 2 characters to represent words which are more than 2 characters long. These words tend to occur frequently in typical text. But what about words which are outside of this sytem? The alphabet images from an earlier lesson (People 00 to 99 article) can be used; so the Apple image can be stored at a mental location to prompt a word that begins with 'A' (such as 'appointment').; or you could use the 00 to 99 people images to convey extra information about the word; one of those people implies an 'A' followed by a consonant (person 71); and so 'A P-as-a-consonant -pointment' is slightly easier to recall.

why 0
how 1
because 2
what 3
for 4
where 5
or 6
when 7
and 8
if 9
a / an A
although A0
act A3
already A4
angle A5
around A6
also A7
anything A8
always AA
about AB
according AC
add AD
above AE
after AF
again AG
anyhow AH
aim AI
ask AK
all AL
anyone AO
able AP
arrange AR
as AS
at AT
order AU
avoid AV
anywhere AW
away AY
so B
best B0
be a B1
better B2
buy B3
before B4
bad B5
to be B6
to be a B7
to be the B8
be the B9
back BA
become BC
behind BD
be BE
because of BF
being BG
behave BH
big BI
below BL
bottom BM
been BN
both BO
borrow BR
bit BT
but BU
believe BV
between BW
her C
call C3
clear C4
change C5
cause C7
colour C8
carry C9
can CA
concern CC
could CD
correct CE
choose CH
certain CI
come CM
contain CO
compare CP
care CR
consider CS
these D
decide D1
do a D2
die D3
during D5
do the / does the D6
does a / did a D6
doubt D8
did the D9
day DA
direct DC
did DD
differ [maybe different also] DF
doing DG
difficult DI
done DN
do DO
depend DP
direction DR
Due [meanings: pending/due to] DU
down DW
they E
-ed to E2
either E3
ever E6
everything E8
each EC
enter EE
effect EF
enough EH
else EL
end EN
specially EP
easy ES
etc. ET
even EV
everywhere EW
exclude EX
every EY
this F
fear F2
find F3
fast F4
few F5
fair F6
favour F8
far F9
fact FA
feel FE
fine FI
from FM
follow FO
further FR
false FS
front FT
future FU
favourite FV
fix FX
something G
grow G3
great G4
general G6
gap GA
good GD
get GE
give GI
gone GN
go GO
group GR
got GT
guess GU
he [/him] H
hard H0
here H1
hardly H3
who H5
hold H6
high H7
happen H9
have HA
had HD
help HL
however HO
hope HP
hear HR
happy HY

(More of the shorthand...)

The shorthand system was adjusted in August 2007 to allow images which represent 2 words. This was done by considering that the images for 00, 01, 02, ... 98, 99 [00 to 99] could all represent a pair of words if the first digit occurs in a list of 10 words and the second digit occurs in another list of 10 words:


First digit represents these possibilities:

0 you

1 he

2 she

3 we

4 they

5 there

6 I

7 this

8 that

9 it


Second digit represents these possibilities:

0 is / are

1 has / have

2 want

3 had

4 can

5 could

6 will

7 should

8 would

9 were


So, 23 is 'she' followed by 'had': 'she had'.

94 is 'there / where' followed by 'can': 'there can' or 'where can' [deduced from the context].

Note: The Town 100 article lists 100 images which might be used to visualise those 100 word combinations.

Another adaption is to allow a digit and a letter to represent 2 words; the intention is to create an image library to represent 0A, 3D, and so on [a digit followed by a letter].

First digit represents these possibilities:

0 why / from

1 how

2 because / with

3 what

4 for

5 where

6 or / through

7 when / on / in

8 and

9 if / of / by


The letter represents these possibilities:

A a / an

B so / such

C she / her

D these

E they / them

F this

G something

H he / him

I I / me

J those

K that

L his

M my

N no / not

O other

P its / it's

Q any

R another

S some

T it

U our

V the

W we / us

X their / there/ they are

Y you

Z to / too


9R is 'if / of / by' followed by 'another':

'if another'; or

'of another'; or

'by another'

[deduced from the context]


Other Activities

Here is a switch of the options which could be represented by digits 0 to 9 :

0 is / are

1 has / have

2 want

3 had

4 can

5 could

6 will

7 should

8 would

9 were


And the second digit of a 00 to 99 number can come from:

0 you

1 he

2 she

3 we

4 they

5 there

6 I

7 this

8 that

9 it


eg. 00 could be 'have you'. Another 00 to 99 image system could reverse this so that 00 is 'you have'.


Since images for 00 to 99 now mean words, how would I represent the number 71 for it to actually mean 71? One approach would be to have a mental image which means 'interpret the next image in a different way to ususal' - imagine a phrase book for example to mean that. So, if you travel your mental locations and see a phrase book then the next mental location will surely be a number image which needs to be interpreted to be a number.

As long as you know a lot of mental locations in which to imagine each image, you could memorise a long piece of text quite reliably near the time of an exam. However, a memory system of mental locations, etc. is a big discipline to learn separately.