A granddaughter sent shock waves across TikTok when she asked her grandmother to demonstrate her shorthand skills.
Now, much like the Victorian discovery a young couple made while renovating their 108-year-old home, this little slice of history is blowing people’s minds around the world.
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Shorthand, defined as abbreviated symbolic writing, dates back to the mid-4th century B.C. and has been used throughout history. Many forms of shorthand exist across many different languages.
In English, the most popular modern systems of shorthand are Gregg, Pitman and Speedwriting. While shorthand is still used today — most often by health care professionals — it was more widely used in the past and was once considered an essential part of secretarial training.
In @reaganjones176‘s case, her grandma learned shorthand when she worked as a legal secretary for a railroad company. “She won a lot of awards for her work and shorthand in school,” the TikToker explained in a comment.
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‘This isn’t a joke?!?!?’
Nearly 7,000 TikTokers came to the comments to express their shock at the unfamiliar writing style.
“I’ve heard the term shorthand but I think my brain always took it as abbreviations, not this 😳😅,” one user wrote.
“SO THIS IS WHY I COULD NEVER READ MY GMA’S WRITING!! She wrote in a mix of cursive and shorthand,” another user commented.
“I’m literally losing my mind trying to understand this,” wrote another user.
“This isn’t a joke?!?!? I’ve never seen or heard of this in my life,” commented one user.
“Never heard of this,” wrote another.
Thanks to TikTok, this unusual — but highly impressive — writing system might be enjoying a comeback!
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