Do people still use shorthand?

Does anyone here use shorthand? Or know anyone who does?

I do. One of the most useful skills I ever learned. In grad school I used to take copious, detailed notes in shorthand, then I’d type them up and sell them to other students who’d missed class. Or even to students who’d been in class but were daydreaming. Had a nice little business going there for awhile. Nowadays, I still use it when I take minutes of a committee I serve on.

OMG LOL @ UR post.

Seriously, though the only person I have ever seen use shorthand was a substitute high-school teacher I had for typing class. She was retired and in her younger days was a court stenographer, or something. One day she demonstrated shorthand writing to the class. I found it . . . puzzling.

Forgive me for the leetspeek, I was using it to illustrate a point.

My dad’s secretary knew shorthand, so she could transcribe meetings and such. She was also a notary, I believe.

I know a woman who uses it all the time for taking notes in meetings and whatnot. I must say I’m kind of envious of her skill.

My MiL uses it. I’ve been thinking of having her teach me for notetaking purposes.

A woman I used to work with knew it and used it for taking notes at the office. She would be in her mid-40s now so she wasn’t any relic of the past or anything.

A girl I sat next to in one of my college classes last semester wrote all of her notes in that text messaging/AOL leet speak shorthand. Mind you, she was writing them all by hand.


My mother was a Kelly Girl during collage and learned shorthand for the gig.

She still uses it today.

I had her show me how it works and it’s kind of cool. If I ever wrote lots of things on paper I might bother to learn it.

Err. College rather.

My mother never was part of a collage (although she did make a few during her late 70’s arty-farty period).

Careful. You may have to forfeit your membership if you use that kind of language.

I’ve learnt it my rarely use it. I studied journalism at university so it seemed like a smart idea.

My sister learned it and I think she still uses it occasionally. I never did, and I’ve never had a job that made me regret not learning it.

I wonder if you actually can take a shorthand course anymore. I think it’s probably like tribal language. You have to learn directly from an elder and then take an oath to pass it down to the next generation. :slight_smile:

I took it in college as part of a secretarial science course. I love things like calligraphy and languages, so I took to it like a duck to water, and was teacher’s pet.

I’m a legal secretary and still use it today, constantly. I take down phone messages and hurried instructions-on-the-fly from any of my five bosses. One of my bosses saw the value of being able to dictate a letter to me just about anywhere, and even though he’s ten years younger than me, we still do the boss/secretary “take a letter” thing just like it was thirty years ago.

It’s really a very efficient way of doing things. No machinery is needed, no instructions are forgotten because they weren’t written down. I’m glad I learned it.

I’m 50, BTW.

Interesting answers, all.

The only person I’ve known personally who knew it was an old boss of mine, who’s probably be 80 or so today. My personal system of abbreviations is pretty elaborate, so I can get 95% of a lecture or whatever – but it’s definitely not verbatim.

My mother was a secretary and knew shorthand. She’s been retired for several years now however and I don’t know how if she still remembers it.

I’ve seen some secretaries at work taking minutes of a meeting in shorthand so the skill is still in use.

I work in a newsroom. The reporters use it all the time.

I really need to learn it. Writing things out takes forEVER.


My secretary, and several others at work, use it. It truly is awesome, because I can dictate a letter to her without slowing down. I wish I knew it; it would make my note taking better during meetings, and it would also be a way for me to take notes in court or depositions without (most) other people being able to tell what I wrote.

I know and use it, mostly for writing down things that people tell me to do while I’m in the middle of something else.

Bh. Shrthnd. Wh th hll nds shrthnd?

I learned it in a high school course and used it a lot in my first job, but not much after that – or at least not in the traditional way. Dictating machines sorta took over. Makes sense to dictate to the machine while the secretary is working on something else.

Wasn’t early dictation equipment pretty bulky? I never saw one of the things that you’d talk into, but the transcribing machine we learned on was as big as a typewriter, and the plastic (?) tubey things couldn’t have been easy to store.

I wonder if there’s an office machine museum somewhere, with spirit duplicators, mimeograph machines, switchboards, and those big clunky floor model adding machines they used in banks.