From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Sep 18 2004 - 20:42:09 CDT
From: "Chris Jacobs" <email@example.com>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christopher Fynn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 12:08 AM
> Subject: Unicode & Shorthand?
>> Is there any plan to include sets of shorthand (Pitman, Gregg etc.)
>> symbols in Unicode? Or are they something which is specifically excluded?
Pitman and Gregg are common in English-speaking countries, but most of these
shorthand methods work well only with a particular language and are specific
Note that shorthand transcription is still not dead today, because of the
natural speed of writing with it (more than 120 words/minute, instead of
roughly 60 words/minute with stenotype or dactylography), and also because
the quality of transcriptions from magnetic tapes or audio records is still
highly discutable, notably when the audio environment is noisy (for
juridical applications, it can be a big problem when one answer by a witness
can't be understood clearly from the tape record).
One solution used today (because stenographs become rare and old) is that
the stenotypist or dactylograph that transcript a conversation must be
present when the tape is created.
> I don't know if it is excluded. A reason to exclude it would be if it were
> a cipher of something already in.
> The only set of shorthand I know something of, dutch Groote, follows the
> pronounciation of the words rather than the spelling.
> Can shorthand be seen as a cipher of IPA ?
Not at all. Most shorthand do not reflect the same level of precision found
in IPA, and the same sign represent several phonemes.
See for example the wellknown French stenographie "Prévost-Delaunay method",
with a small online presentation and initiation on
In this method, most signs have multiple meanings, and there are
abbreviations for phonemic elements commonly found at end of words, plus
specialized signs for common semantics or words that are specific to the
It's not impossible to create a rendering system for such stenographic
system, however the general layout is more complex than with traditional
alphabets, because the layout of characters is highly dependant of the
context of previous letters, and the system includes glyphic differences for
initial, medial and final forms, and special joining rules that alter the
glyph form, just to ease its fast transcription without holding up the
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