For more than 2,000 years people have used shorthand to make note-taking quicker and more reliable. It’s a skill that has weathered being banned by a Roman emperor and associations with witchcraft, but could technology finally kill it?
To the uninitiated it looks like gobbledegook, an alien language with an indecipherable alphabet. But the squiggles and lines on the page are actually a version of English.
Shorthand is a method of quickly writing down information. It has roots in the Senate of ancient Rome and allows the annotation of more than 200 words a minute by top exponents. It enables secretaries to transcribe meetings and dictated letters. Newspaper reporters can get down details of court case proceedings or interviews.