The human body has many complex organs that are beyond our comprehension. Our brains have always been the most fascinating of all to me.
How can a brain, first of all, create such beautiful music that Beethoven and Mozart (to mention only two) created? Then how can someone else memorize it and play it flawlessly from memory?
What brought this to mind was when I watched a DVD of the late Victor Borge, known as the Great Dane by some. He combined comedy and an amazing skill at the piano — that is, when he stopped fooling around and actually played.
I have no musical talent, but I know how to type, having learned that in my sophomore year at high school. I am not comparing typing skill to playing the piano, but it also requires memory. The typewriter keys on which I learned to type were blank. We had to memorize where each key was and which finger to use when we typed, keeping our hands on “home row.” To this day, I cannot look at the keys as I type as it confuses me, so my memory is still intact after all these years.
I also learned Gregg shorthand that same year. That is a written, not spoken, language. It, too, fascinates me that someone’s brain could devise such a shortcut and that we could learn it.
I recently received an email that was called “Ten things that will disappear in our lifetime.” One of the 10 items read: “Cursive writing is no longer being taught in school.”
How will future generations sign legal documents? Furthermore, shorthand is based on parts of letters written in cursive. Will it be passe because no one is able to write longhand?
I was still in the workforce when computers, Dictaphones and copy machines came into being. Shorthand was not a requirement to obtain a position as a secretary. But I find shorthand is still a useful tool when I am reading books as I like to jot down favorite passages or words and learn their meanings. It’s a way of increasing one’s vocabulary.
At some future time when I am gone and my shorthand notes are found, will people think my scribbles are a form of Egyptian hieroglyphics? Poring over my notes, they won’t know there once was such a thing as shorthand.