Unicode & shorthand? Background

From: Kenneth Whistler (kenw@sybase.com)
Date: Mon Sep 20 2004 - 18:41:22 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Unicode & Shorthand?"

    Incidentally, for those interested, the website of the National
    Court Reporters Association has a brief history of
    shorthand (skewed of course to the English language-based


    A summary of the development of the Stenograph machine that
    largely displaced shorthand in professional contexts:


    And a discussion of Computer Assisted Transcription (CAT),
    the technology which has since displaced the Stenograph
    in almost all contexts:


    CAT is what most courtroom reporters now use and what
    makes realtime captioning for TV possible, for example.

    In part it is this trajectory which makes shorthand encoding
    in Unicode a matter of historical anachronism, and why
    there are no real application vendors battering down the
    Unicode Consortium doors for a Unicode encoding. All the
    serious users of shorthand long ago abandoned it for a
    computer-assisted technology that combines rapid keying
    systems with dictionary lookup for realtime transcription
    into normal text. In such systems there is no need to
    "encode" shorthand as Unicode characters.


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