System for rapid writing that uses symbols or abbreviations for letters, words, or phrases. Employed since Greek and Roman times, shorthand has been used in England since the 16th century. Popular modern systems include Pitman, Gregg, and Speedwriting. Many are phonetic and call for writing words as they sound (e.g., in the Pitman system, deal, may, and knife are written del, ma, and nif). Shorthand has been used in reporting proceedings of legislative bodies and courts and in taking dictated business correspondence.
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