Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baybayin Expanded

In the past year or two, I've looked at Baybayin and how elegant its letters are, how enjoyable it is to write... but also how truncated it is for English. I've come up with ways to represent R versus D, looked at historical letter-orderings, thought about how to use ancestor scripts (including the Nagari) to split out more vowel sounds, and looked at historical samples of Tagalog to see how certain letter clusters are handled.

Now I want to put it all together. Several times (because I expect to do poorly the first couple times, then get better results as I re-try). To extend Baybayin in ways that do the least harm to it.

I'll be needing to see how others have done it. Anyone have suggestions?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

HandyWrite - the Ultimate Shorthand System

It's time for an app that understands shorthand. It's time to bring shorthand back.

Check this out:


This guy designed what looks like a near-optimal shorthand system:

1. He started with Gregg shorthand. Note that just using Gregg letters alone you'll speed up your note-taking significantly. The downside is that the notes themselves are often abbreviations, so you have to transcribe soon after you've taken the notes or else it becomes a bit opaque.

2. He extended it to represent the full range of English pronunciation. Now you have 1:1 sound-correspondence to English. You can read back what you wrote years later. i.e. It's a full writing system.

3. He then added a symbology for just 100 of the most common English words. Not at all as extensive as classical shorthand, but all you need is to be able to record notes as fast as they're spoken.

Ok, the best thing about it in my opinion is that it honors and re-uses prior art in simply extending Gregg shorthand. That alone is worth something in my book -- and not just for sentimental reasons: Gregg is a thoughtful and elegant system.

I've jotted down the letter forms, and will be practicing them little by little as I have time. My goal is to be able to record meetings with it.

Actually, my real goal is to write an app that will let me take notes with it.