Personal Shorthand in Use
November 30, 2011 5 Comments
Working off the last post where I introduced my shorthand, I figured I should follow it up with another about what it looks like in use. Below I have written Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Simple enough, and a good illustration of what a text in my shorthand would look like (Omniglot tries to use it for every language and script they have on their site). Below, I have the same text written in four different ways: my normal handwriting (which is awful), the “standard” version of the shorthand, my personal note-taking shorthand style (which is more cursive-y), and my calligraphic form with lots of flourishes. I apologize that I didn’t touch these up or make them all professional, but I tried using Illustrator to trace them out and pretty them up, and it was hell. Straight scans for you, instead.
Hopefully that illustrates how I use my own script. I use the third one, the cursive-y form, the most; the second style is used for labels or other lengthy texts I write to myself that demand some semblance of order; the fourth style is used for decoration or artsy purposes only. I pretty much never use the first style, actual English script, anymore.
In addition to writing notes and texts in this shorthand, I also use it to make sigils. Let’s say I want to sigilize the phrase “Planetary hours are so cool” (because I’m a total geek). According to the rules I was taught, you remove all vowels first from a phrase like that, then remove all repeated consonants. Given that phrase, this leaves us to work with the letters “P L N T R Y H S C” (I consider Y to be a consonant). To make a sigil out of this, I usually link up all characters, H, N, M, W, and V, since they all share the same basic zig-zag shape. I do the same for Y, L, and T, which share the same step-like shape, and B, C, D, P, S, and R, which all share the same wavy shape. Putting this all together, we get the following shapes:
However, I’ve recently gotten into the habit of forming some kind of “circuit” or closed loop for my sigils, so that there are no loose ends in the image. Plus, within the enclosed space formed by the sigil, I have some sort of monogram with the initials of the person(s) the sigil is made for. By linking the C, S, R, and P in a slightly different way and attaching the Y, L, and T differently, I can make an enclosed space as the following, with my initials inside.
Then, I’ll make the sigil mantra based on the visual sigil and where the letters appear in it. I take the letters as they appear from left to right and top to bottom. For the first sigil, the order of the letters becomes “C S R P Y L T H N”, which I might intone as “KASER PEEL TAYHEN”; for the second, the order is “Y H N R S C P T L”, which might be intoned as “YAHEN RAS KEPTEL”. The letters V and W might be used as an “OO” or long-u vowel or as a consonant, depending on where they appear, much how the letter Y was vocalized as “EE” or a long-i vowel in the first mantra above but a consonantal-i/y sound in the second.