Today I had to cover this press conference for the Charles Taylor Prize and at the last minute realized my digital tape recorder was out of batteries, which meant I was going to have to take notes — good notes. The problem is, I don’t take good notes. I either scrawl everything so illegibly that I can’t read it afterwards, or I choose to write down the least important words, like “books good lots never make try,” which is hardly helpful.
Now while I’ve already greened my reporting in one way, namely taking smaller notes and using both sides of the page, I’m now determined to take it to the next level: I’m going to learn shorthand.
This will mean I’ll use even less paper, and I might not even need a tape recorder if I get fast enough at it, which means using fewer batteries.
I found this site, The Basics of Pitman Shorthand, which explains a lot. Pitman is basically the original shorthand, from what I can tell, and is purely geometric; but there’s also Gregg, which is American (why must Americans always have their own special versions of things?), and Teeline — these are both script-geometric. Not sure which one’s best.
I’m hoping it won’t take too long to pick up, although those diphthongs could be tricky (OK, really, I was just looking for an excuse to say diphthong…. Haha, diphthong).