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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

86                   The Loom of Language

cut off from access to the written zecord when parchment, papyrus,
or paper took the place of stone,, wc% or clay tablets as writing
material In practice, the Braille sciipt, based on different arrange-
ments of raised dots, is more satisfactory, because it takes up less
space,

Within the narrower limits of the permanent iccord different types
of scripts may serve different ends Apart from cryptographic scripts

FIG 20  FACSIMII E NOFF IN PITMAN'S SHOKIIIANO BY BFRNARD SHAW
Mr Show has told us that much of his wnnn# has been done m trams, and
that practically all of it is written in shorthand for subsequent transcription
by a secreuty typist, Tlic specimen of his shorthand reproduced here reads:
"This the way I write I could of course substitute (here follows an abbreviation)
with an apparent gain in bievity, but as a matter of fact it takes longer to contract
Wntmg shorthand with the maximum of contraction is like cutting telegrams 
unless one is m constant practice it takes longer to devne the contractions than
to wnte m full> and I now never thmk of contracting except by oidinary
logograms/'
devised for secret inventions and reapes, political messages or military
dispatches, we can broadly distinguish two types In books, periodicals,
and correspondence, the convenience of the reader is the main desidera-
tum, and ready visual recognition is all-important. What is most impor-
tant about a script for habitual and personal use is whether it is adapted
to rapid transcription. For this reason an increasing proportion of
transcription m commerce, law-courts, and conference is taken down
m scripts which are not based on the alphabet, and have been designed
for speedy writing For such purposes ready recognition by anyone
except the writer 3s of secondary usefulness
Roman writers of the age of Qcero were alive to the inconvenience