Phillips Code

The Phillips Code is a shorthand method created in 1879 by Walter P. Phillips for the rapid transmission of press reports by telegraph.

The code consists of a dictionary of common words or phrases and their associated abbreviations. Extremely common terms are represented by a single letter (C - See; Y - Year); those less frequently used gain successively longer abbreviations (Ab - About; Abb - Abbreviate; Abty- Ability; Acmpd - Accompanied).

The terms POTUS and SCOTUS originated in the code and entered common parlance when newsgathering services (in particular, Associated Press) adopted the terminology.

Telegraph operators would often interleave Phillips Code with numeric "Wire Signals", to describe the article's priority or confirm its transmission. This meta-data would occasionally appear in printed newspapers, especially the code for "End of article" - 30.

see also: Morse Code

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