Does anyone know shorthand?
November 20, 2008 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm working on a historical postcard exhibition and one of our postcards has some type of shorthand as the message. I was wondering if anyone could translate it? I don't know what type of shorthand it might be written in.

Here's a link to a picture:

posted by sweetmarie to Writing & Language (13 answers total)
It looks like it could be Pitman Shorthand.
posted by ktrey at 2:30 PM on November 20, 2008

I think it's Gregg.
posted by lee at 2:38 PM on November 20, 2008

Could it even be handwritten Hebrew? Hebrew can look very different handwritten.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2008

I think it's Pitman.

The little x's are full stops. The modifiers that look like quotation marks (might stand for hyphens maybe?), dots and carets, the structured forms and the different weights of stroke in the forms also look like Pitman to me.

I can tell you it's definitely not T-line. (Which is what I learned, but there were people who did Pitman in my class and we used to compare.)

Gregg looks more... flowing and the forms are sometimes wavy.

As far as translating it goes... maybe a secretarial college in your area could help if no Mefites can read it. You might have to ring around a bit though - not so many people teach shorthand now.
posted by t0astie at 6:08 PM on November 20, 2008

Best answer: It's Pitman. Maybe someone on this forum can help you out.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:35 PM on November 20, 2008

I recognize some Gregg characters, but it may share some in common with Pittman for all I know.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:31 AM on November 21, 2008

Coffee, please?
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:36 AM on November 21, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all of your insight, I'll see if the shorthand forum can help further.
posted by sweetmarie at 9:32 AM on November 21, 2008

While I have no shorthand knowledge, after poking around for a while, I agree with the Pitman consensus and think you should write to the guy who runs this Pitman site. He looks like somebody who would love to help.

Please report back--I'm curious!
posted by neroli at 7:40 PM on November 21, 2008

Response by poster: Good suggestion, I haven't had any luck yet but hopefully someone will be able to read it for me.
posted by sweetmarie at 2:22 PM on November 24, 2008

Response by poster: Hurrah! I thought I'd update that at last, someone was able to decifer the shorthand a bit. I'll have to update the exhibit with this new info.
posted by sweetmarie at 10:13 AM on December 15, 2008

I learned Gregg 45 years ago, and some of those characters I do recognize so it's no wonder everyone was confused. It's understood that generally only the writer can really decipher all of it, due to inividual variations, much like handwriting.

Anyhow, thanks so much for the update; now we can all stop wondering about spies.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:29 PM on March 9, 2009

sorry, multi-tasking laundry
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:32 PM on March 9, 2009

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