The Similarity Between Shorthand and Social Media

Posted on December 9, 2018 at 10:05 PM

It didn't take much to convince me as a student, that there was a lot of space between words and their meanings.

Having to write in long hand what my teacher dictated in a lesson, and then change the sentences to condense the meaning , developed my listening skills to hear the intended message. And so it was with a sense of relief that Shorthand was offered as a subject at school, and I enrolled as the attraction to the simplicity of the language seemed a progression of the written word.

Shorthand opened up a realm of possibilities for me, as longhand writing took away attention that could otherwise be used to listen to the order and meaning of the words spoken. Traditional longhand notes had previously kept me busy and sometimes missing the point, to keeping up with the speaker. I was not given the opportunity to think about what I was writing, as I was often behind the teacher's lecture to question their point of view (correcting spelling, grammar etc). However with Shorthand, instead of being left behind, I was able to think ahead to where the conversation was going. This is where Shorthand trains one to listen only to the sound and shape of a word. I could accentuate the strokes to indicate what was in bold and needed to be emphasized, and dependent upon where the word sat on the line or below it, decide how it was be to used to join the sentence.

With Shorthand, one could skip over the small injunctions to connect the greater message. I was hooked. Similarly to how Social Media uses a hook to get the attention of the reader. You may notice how short a heading is, and yet how it can successfully deliver the body of the message to its audience. Not all messages can encourage audience participation with the bare minimum of words. It is the note taker who is responsible for capturing the spoken word that ensures the message is given across accurately. Often the heading is accompanied by an image that can give the title more depth.

The beauty of Shorthand is that the written symbol represents the spoken message, without the need of unnecessary flourish. I am not saying that flourish is unwanted. Some stories are best written as novels, such as Shakespeare. The reader is engaged through the use of exaggerated and period wording as this helps to create the scene for the audience.

There is a duty to the reader when having their attention. Part is to keep the reader up with the story line, and part is to fill in the gaps that may otherwise have been spoken. To enable you to understand where the link between Shorthand and Social Media is, the following Heading may assist:

Longhand : Why Go Where No Man Has Bothered To Go Before

Shorthand : Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

The beauty of Shorthand is in its simplicity to deliver the message.



"If a Pen can change it's colour, You can change your style"

Posted on September 21, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Writing with a fountain pen was always one of my favourite memories of school. I could change the pressure on the nib to enable me to write thinner or thicker, I could change the ink to colour the mood and I could add a delicate or hard full stop at the end of a sentence to show how I felt. I was always intrigued with the power the pen gave to me. By using a particular style of writing I was able to either bring the reader in alliance with my message or create a debate. I could write in a Speedball style to give flourish to my words, or keep to a unified style of font, to keep the content flowing. The fountain pen is fluid, it relies on your hand to move it. You can change the direction of your hand to write in a left or right slant, to suit your message or audience. Pretty much like you can change your own style to reflect who it is you are giving the message to, and how you wish to either open up a conversation or end it without debate. It is with some thought that I have likened Salespeople to a fountain pen. Both rely on a style to suit their audience and both are effective through their ability to convey their message. The Salesperson's energy and the fountain pen can also be replenished. Each cartridge gives an idea on how much time was spent in relaying a train of thought. If my train of thought flowed, and I wrote non-stop to maintain the momentum of my message, then the fountain pen required refilling. However, if I stopped on occasion, whether to go back over what I had written, or just have a break to reflect, then the cartridge lasted longer, a little like a good conversation should. Sometimes when you are putting into words your thoughts to a potential customer, it is the moments that we hesitate to listen to the customer that we can change our style, to reflect the direction of the conversation. This ability to be fluid I give credit to my fountain pen. Not only did it teach me that presentation can be commanding, it also taught me the ability to change, recharge and continue from where I left off. Whether it be on the same page or a new page. Andrea