shorthand. literally.

i have already expressed my love for handwriting but i have not shared my love for something more expressive: shorthand. specifically, early examples. here are two, one from 1859 and the other from 1852. as a kid i practiced writing backwards, like da vinci. my best friend was left-handed so i also practiced writing that way. i so wanted to be like both of them. i loved writing as a form of expression. not as prose but as calligraphy. in high school my sophomore art teacher, gerald patrick, who i foolishly
was unable to appreciate and regret that i did not realize it at the time, expressed that handwriting could have a powerful voice whether in your signature or in your art. “do you know cy twombly?” he opened my eyes to so many things. thank you, mr. patrick, wherever you are. i have never gone to the trouble to have these two letters translated. is that the right term? would deciphered be better? it’s wonderful to see these marks. they are sounds, not letters. i often read the history of esoteric subjects but i have never read much about shorthand. i’ll add it to my list. i’ll keep sharing and i hope you keep visiting.

shorthand1014

i have already expressed my love for handwriting but i have not shared my love for something more expressive: shorthand. specifically, early examples. here are two, one from 1859 and the other from 1852. as a kid i practiced writing backwards, like da vinci. my best friend was left-handed so i also practiced writing that way. i so wanted to be like both of them. i loved writing as a form of expression. not as prose but as calligraphy. in high school my sophomore art teacher, gerald patrick, who i foolishly¬†was unable to appreciate and regret that i did not realize it at the time, expressed that handwriting could have a powerful voice whether in your signature or in your art. “do you know cy twombly?” he opened my eyes to so many things. thank you, mr. patrick, wherever you are. i have never gone to the trouble to have these two letters translated. is that the right term? would deciphered be better? it’s wonderful to see these marks. they are sounds, not letters. i often read the history of esoteric subjects but i have never read much about shorthand. i’ll add it to my list. i’ll keep sharing and i hope you keep visiting.

shorthand1b015

shorthand2016



3 Comments Leave us a comment

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  1. 1859. That’s amazing. I wonder how much it’s changed over the years. The actual notation, I mean. (Of course, I don’t know that it’s used now at all. I know my mother knows or knew it. She’s just barely 60, and I think she was using it in the 80s, maybe even 90s. Today? Where would it be used? Stenographers are typists at this point, aren’t they?)

    Comment by DN — 05/12/2009 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  2. oh, this reminds me of my son’s handwriting!(he’s 4)

    Comment by ieva jansone — 09/12/2009 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  3. this caught my attention. i love these discoveries and your collections.

    Comment by Paul PJ Cheng — 07/06/2010 LINK TO THIS COMMENT

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