It is day 7 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Texting". For me it was more like a test I didn't study for. Visit Nicky's page to see what the other long-suffering participants have written.
Way back in the dark ages before smart phones and home computers there was shorthand. The Gregg version was invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888. I took it in high school, (more recently than 1888) and it was probably my favorite class. All the letters and sounds of the alphabet are represented, but the key to shorthand are brief forms. Brief forms are words or phrases represented by one symbol, which increased efficiency.
After learning the alphabet and brief forms, we took dictation. This was the fun part. We started out at around 40-60 words per minute, and worked up. I think my max rate was 140 words per minute. We had to take and successfully transcribe 120 wpm to pass. The funny thing was that after taking it at 110 or 120, going back to 90 or 100 was actually harder. I think it was because we were used to the higher speed and had to recalibrate.
Thanks to modern technology, shorthand is a dying art. Now we have computers and automated dictation equipment. So how does all this tie in to texting? Although serving different purposes, the brief forms used in shorthand are similar to the shortened words and phrases used in texting. This new language allows us to convey our thoughts in 160 characters or less. That's important when we're typing with just our thumbs.
We've actually used abbreviations like these for years such as FYI, BYOB, ASAP. BTW, there are enough out there to MEGO. I'll leave you with this list of shortcuts so you can tune up your texting skills. TAFN. CUL8R.
PS - What are some of your favorite texting short cuts?
PPS - Did anyone else take shorthand?