If you don't stay fresh with your own shorthand, just like your own source code, you can find yourself re-reading your own work and wondering what you were thinking!? That's kind of what this pen in the article semi-solves, by having an audio recording synched with your shorthand.
"After all, shorthand—at least my shorthand—isn’t foolproof. Even though, for short stretches, I can write 120 words per minute, the average American now speaks at more than 150 words a minute, so something is inevitably lost in the translation. With my trusty Sky smartpen, though, I don’t have to worry. Most of the time, when I get around to writing the story, I can rely on my handwritten notes for short quotes and background information. But when I need a longer, verbatim quote, I can use my notes as a kind of index to find the right part of the interview, and tap there with my pen to hear the playback. No more of the forward/reverse dance with a digital recorder when it’s time to transcribe. It’s an almost flawless system."
The article isn't just about a cool old technology (though he does spend a lot of time on it), but to demonstrate the novel combination of complementary old and new technologies.
Typing is slower than taking dictation, so you'd potentially have multiple typists typing up the same person's dictated letters at once.
I've found this process to be the best I've tried, and others who I share my notes with have voiced their liking.
Beethoven would disagree with you,
Beethoven left behind an enormous number of sketchbooks.
Yet he himself said he never looked at a sketchbook
when he actually wrote his compositions. When asked, "Why
then, do you keep a sketchbook?" he is reported to
answered, "If I don't write it down immediately I forget it
right away. If I put it into a sketchbook I never forget it, and
I never have to look it up again.
Journalists should not be losing details and if they are that's their failure to take correct notes, but not an expected feature of using shorthand.
In my experience, when I'm quoted, issues I have aren't so much that "I didn't say that" but that I said something longer and more nuanced which wasn't captured in the quote in question. It's one of the reasons you learn when giving short interviews to hit your key points precisely in a way that doesn't depend on a lot of context.
About the Livescribe: it's an okay pen but difficult to hold. and somewhat awkward because of the camera at the tip, but it could depend on the way you hold pens.
I found Teeline, for instance, much easier to get going with.
I wondered why nobody brought gesture-based inout to iOS this way. I don't care about 'handwriting recognition' of my own writing, I want a more efficient input method, even if I have to learn it and practice to be good at it. I'm not content with tapping one button for each character I want to record :S
There is a little bit of a learning curve to get optimal speed, but once you learn all the nuances and the shortcuts, it gets absolutely great. Typing long and detailed text is now reasonable on a phone, and quickly replying to something takes no time at all thanks to flow in my opinion.
You can actually turn off notifications from the app by:
1) SK settings
3) Uncheck the box
SwiftKey has also stated they are working on performance updates in the next release: http://swiftkey.com/en/blog/swiftkey-5-performance/
As far as the notification at the top of the screen this is a notification provided by the Android OS and cannot be turned off or hidden.
Community Manager @ SwiftKey
Only dig on it is that it leaves up a notification that you can't get rid of on some android phones. That's more an android issue from what I read though.
Spent too much time simultaneously playing/fighting with Swift so it's far from complete (only has shape definitions for a half-dozen letters, and some are more accurate than others) but pull requests are welcome.
It's available for android:
It would seem better to learn a stenography system so you don't waste time inputting actual text, which surely you would need to do anyway? (How is the time the author saves writing in shorthand not negated by the time it takes her to type it up afterwards?) I guess if you knew shorthand and steno, you could do everything pretty quickly.
I'd say any profession in which you're on the go and often have to take notes by pen and paper, shorthand is a necessity. This is doubly true in my case, as a partial disability in my right hand makes longform pen-writing a PITA.
Really good points though, it didn't occur to me that someone would be willing to go "on the record" but not be actually recorded.
There are some other solutions that use keyboards that wouldn't be as intrusive as a keyboard or tablet (and may be something to consider for you personally if you have a disability in only one side); things like portable one-handed chorded keyboards: http://www.handykey.com/ and http://chordite.com/
I like to reassure people that I record them for my own accuracy, and that it actually behooves both of us to do a recording. Even still, about 50-60% of people will decline. Younger people seem more likely to decline than older people, at least in my anecdotal experience, which strikes me as interesting. There might be something worth exploring there.
(Simple method: when speaking of tricky matters, twist your grammar and pepper with adjectives and adverbs. Always follow with a pullquote you'd like used. Use variations on your favoured quote a few times.)
Am I the only one that gets that feeling?
But on the other hand, why would I look at what I'm typing? I already know what it says- I hardly have to read it again. A good typist knows when they've hit the wrong key and should be able to correct for it without having to read.
I usually type mostly looking at the screen and then glance up and make eye contact or nod during pauses, to re-establish that I know the person is there and I'm paying attention to them.
I don't think it's so much a practical thing as purely social. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with looking at a person while you type. It just doesn't seem socially typical. It might be the normal thing to do at some point, in which case I'll adapt. It just doesn't seem to be the case now. It'd be interesting to do research on this, though ,and see if there's a significantly different perception between age groups.
I'd guess that most folks on this board are pretty proficient touch typists, and could look wherever they want while they're typing. Even if you're only reasonably good at touch typing, you're probably not going to mangle the words to the point where you can't run a spell check over it to fix most of your mistakes.
I'll personally probably stick to mostly looking at the screen for now, since it seems like more people are made uncomfortable by looking at them, than looking at the screen, but it's interesting to think about where it might go.
I say this as someone who can maintain eye contact and type while giving attention to the person I'm looking atit.
It makes people more uncomfortable than simply looking at the screen while you work and talk.
I'd actually really like something similar with a computer while I type and record.
It wouldn't be hard to throw something together, either. Really I just need it to pull a timestamp from the recorded audio after every word I type and associate some meta data and the timestamp with that word location.
Might be a fun after-work project. I'm sure there are already solutions like that out there, though
Almost all journalists start out at regional or local publications covering Courts. It is considered the apprenticeship of mainstream news journalism.
Learning shorthand does make stenographic typing easier to learn (and vice-versa), since it's the same sort of syllable-based contraction.
There is a similar fast writing system (速写）in Chinese. I tried to learn it for a year while I was in high school, but gave it up eventually. Other than the extra difficulties of logograms vs phonograms, another barrier is that one need to translate the fast writings back to "normal" ones for easy reads later. Many times it is so hard to tell what I actually scribbled down.
It doesn't look like it's meant to be used to copy written text, but to take notes that have already been spoken, which is exactly the opposite to what you're describing - When I speak and you take notes, you essentially turn sounds into spelling.
UK journalists still do teeline shorthand. I used to have to help upload practice dictations for a colleague who taught teeline.
Pitman's shorthand was the one used by secretaries when they took dictation. I was fascinated my my Mum's shorthand books as a nipper.
I stopped reading here. I can't take this drivel seriously.
Since `a` is pronounced as `ah` in German, just having `ba` would make the `a` sound like the one in `bra`, which would make it hard to distinguish between `ba(y)` and `ba(h)` when first learning the language.
Removing the y's would also leave one with seemingly strange words like `awa`, `ga`, `sla` and `sta`. Which quite honestly to me, look much more like mnemonics rather than actual English words.
"bah" is really only a sort of exclamation and the sound of a sheep, not something you'd really have appear in an interview.
As you pointed out, "awa(h)", "ga(h)", "sla(h)" and "sta(h)" aren't English words  that you'd confuse in context so "away", "gay", "slay" and "stay" are the only possibility for them. The "y" really is not necessary.
I really want to learn Gregg now...
1 "gah" like "bah" ends up being an exclamation, and "slaw" as a food... but I can't think of a case where it would be confused with "slay" in context.
EDIT: Clarification on gah, awa, etc
It may help to realize that John Robert Gregg was Irish - so imagine his somewhat British pronunciation of vowels.
Since Gregg shorthand is written phonetically, the words "father" and "farther" are written pretty much the same . That becomes a bit confusing to an American speaker of English.
I taught myself shorthand in high school. I love foreign languages and found it fascinating. A "Secret Language" like someone said above.
But I agree with one of the other posters, if you do not use it often, you will find it very difficult to do well.
The basics of Gregg shorthand are incredibly simple, but it is another thing entirely to master - to be able to write quickly and accurately takes practice. Still, it is not impossible and you use it quite readily only knowing the basics. Unfortunately it has become a lost art except to a very few.
It would be quite an undertaking to write OCR software for Gregg shorthand because the writer has a lot of freedom to construct abbreviations on the spot or join several small words together when convenient (rather like native Germans can come up with compound words you won't find in a dictionary). The other problem would be clarity. While Gregg Shorthand doesn't have rules like Pittman for placing certain strokes on or above a line, proportion is quite important because several letters share common shapes ("n and "m", "p and b", "t and d", "f and v" are all quite similar but vary in length or height).
So the writer would have to be consistent in their proportions and the software would need to be able to learn the writer's style.
For example, the vietnamese "chicken noodle soup" is spelled phở gà. It's pronounced something like fur gah. Every native English speaker I've heard (including me) that has seen that term written tries it out first as foe gah. If what the article was saying is true and the letter 'y' was irrelevant in such words, that first attempt would at least sometimes be foe gay - and I've never heard it that way at all.
Regarding 'sla', it's probably not going to be mistaken in context, but 'sla' is also a three-letter acronym that is moderately common - Service Level Agreement.
But yeah, the extreme form of gregg shorthand definitely seems, from the OP, to rely on lots of contextual knowledge for it's concision. That seems to be it's strategy, eliminate letters where contextual knowledge will suffice to reconstruct them.
"beau", "bi", "be", "bee", "bao", "boa"
For the original issue, "ba" pronounced with the actual letter names does in fact sound like "b-ay". Whether that's what Gregg shorthand does, I can't tell.
In this case, you have explicit phonemes in some cases (especially for digraphs), and context. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out which word was intended.
interesting link: http://zompist.com/spell.html
Well that's my point! I haven't found it useful to figure out or reason about whatever regular rules there are, because they are baroque to the point that I find it easier to just go by intuition, for the most part.