I didn't know shorthand either. This meant I couldn't get a good job after college. My mother kept telling me nobody wanted a plain English major. But an English major who knew shorthand would be something else again. Everybody would want her. She would be in demand among all the up-and-coming young men and she would transcribe letter after thrilling letter. The trouble was, I hated the idea of serving men in any way. I wanted to dictate my own thrilling letters.
To say exactly what one means, even to one's own private satisfaction, is difficult. To say exactly what one means and to involve another person is harder still. Communication between you and me relies on assumptions, associations, commonalities and a kind of agreed shorthand, which no-one could precisely define but which everyone would admit exists. That is one reason why it is an effort to have a proper conversation in a foreign language. Even if I am quite fluent, even if I understand the dictionary definitions of words and phrases, I cannot rely on a shorthand with the other party, whose habit of mind is subtly different from my own. Nevertheless, all of us know of times when we have not been able to communicate in words a deep emotion and yet we know we have been understood. This can happen in the most foreign of foreign parts and it can happen in our own homes. It would seem that for most of us, most of the time, communication depends on more than words.
I shall not attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description (of pornography), and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.
The word 'Italy' is a geographical expression, a description which is useful shorthand, but has none of the political significance the efforts of the revolutionary ideologues try to put on it, and which is full of dangers for the very existence of the states which make up the peninsula.
Klemens von Metternich
I'm very interested in sublimation. I love the way Francis Bacon talked about the grin without the cat, the sensation without the boredom of its conveyance... I've always wanted to be able to convey figurative imagery in a kind of shorthand, to get it across in as direct a way as possible. I want there to be a human presence without having to depict it in full.
All I can say is, it's a sort of kinship, as though there is a family tree of grief. On this branch, the lost children, on this the suicided parents, here the beloved mentally ill siblings. When something terrible happens, you discover all of the sudden that you have a new set of relatives, people with whom you can speak in the shorthand of cousins.
It's exciting and it's thrilling and it's not particularly threatening, because they're not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that's a shorthand for all the feelings that they're not ready to deal with yet.
(1) Use mathematics as shorthand language, rather than as an engine of inquiry. (2) Keep to them till you have done. (3) Translate into English. (4) Then illustrate by examples that are important in real life (5) Burn the mathematics. (6) If you can't succeed in 4, burn 3. This I do often.
But wouldn't [the Spice Girls] have shown a little bit more solidarity if they had at least called themselves feminists? The feminist activist Jennifer Pozner was more dismissive, writing that it was "probably a fair assumption to say that 'zigazig-ha' is not Spice shorthand for 'subvert the dominant paradigm.
Lego was our fourth film, because we did two Cloudys, so yeah there's a little bit of shorthand that's involved and then you can anticipate things- because for me it's like, I get a script for a movie and I go, "Wow that's a pretty good script", then you sign on and a couple months later they show you the first cut and you're like, "Whoa, how did that happen?"
I find I like to work with a lot of the same actors, because I find that there's sort of shorthand there, and there is this unspoken trust, both ways. They trust me and I trust them. And I know what I'm going to get from them, to an extent. It's just fun, kind of creating this little family.
Beyond the formative effects of reading on the individuals composing society, the fact that they have read the same books gives them experiences and ideas in common. These constitute a kind of shorthand of ideas which helps make communication quicker and more efficient. That is what we mean when we say figuratively of another person, We speak the same language.
Charles Scribner IV
No, I mean, this is a problem that most people have. A problem of the human condition. We get ahold of some kind of shorthand in understanding people, and we think it works, and we use it to assess, categorize, and then, very often, dismiss people. It's the basis for stereotyping, profiling, and several other very sorry words that end in i-n-g.
If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
While eschewing emotion - and its companion, vulnerability - Obama should be careful not to sacrifice empathy, the 'I feel your pain' connection that sustained Clinton. This connection is the shorthand people use to measure their leaders' intentions. If people believe you're on their side, they will trust your decisions.
Dee Dee Myers
I tell my students that when you write, you should pretend you're writing the best letter you ever wrote to the smartest friend you have. That way, you'll never dumb things down. You won't have to explain things that don't need explaining. You'll assume an intimacy and a natural shorthand, which is good because readers are smart and don't wish to be condescended to.
I think it worked two ways. One, a lot of people writing about the movie used that as shorthand and it could either be a good thing or they could use it to dismiss the movie like we were a copycat movie or something like that. It's very much its own story. It is a young woman in a post-apocalyptic society, but after that it's just a whole different kind of story and a different journey that she goes through.
Sociopath is a word that has sort of become shorthand for psychopath and there's a distinct difference, it's interesting if you look it up. Sociopath if you look at the medical definition, the profile of a sociopath is that they are supremely intelligent people that are also pathological liars, they have no moral structure and there is one more, they have no compassion or empathy for other people.
For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured.
"Oppression" or "systems of oppression" operate as a shorthand terms in much writing and speaking so that we do not have to list all these systems of meaning and control each time (i.e. racism, ableism, xenophobia, etc.). I needed a term like that, but "oppression" implies a kind of top-down understanding of power that is at odds with the Foucaultian model I rely on in my work.
Imagine a poem written with such enormous three-dimensional words that we had to invent a smaller word to reference each of the big ones; that we had to rewrite the whole thing in shorthand, smashing it into two dimensions, just to talk about it. Or don't imagine it. Look outside. Human language is our attempt at navigating God's language; it is us running between the lines of His epic, climbing on the vowels and building houses out of the consonants.
Money follows mission, not the reverse. This is a shorthand way of saying that the stronger the congregation's relational characteristics, the easier it is to raise money. The stronger the congregation's mission, visitation, groupings, leadership, and decision making, the stronger the giving.
In the sixties, the recycling of pop culture turning it into Pop art and camp had its own satirical zest. Now we're into a different kind of recycling. Moviemakers give movies of the past an authority that those movies didn't have; they inflate images that may never have compelled belief, images that were no more than shorthand gestures and they use them not as larger-than-life jokes but as altars.
I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliche about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
David Foster Wallace
Mathematical economics is old enough to be respectable, but not all economists respect it. It has powerful supporters and impressive testimonials, yet many capable economists deny that mathematics, except as a shorthand or expository device, can be applied to economic reasoning. There have even been rumors that mathematics is used in economics (and in other social sciences) either for the deliberate purpose of mystification or to confer dignity upon common places as French was once used in diplomatic communications.
James R Newman
To my way of thinking, the concept drawings that Rembrandt did, the drawings he made that he used to model his artists, to work out the compositions of his paintings: those are cartoons. Look at his sketch for the return of the prodigal son. The expression on the angry younger brother's face. The head is down; the eyebrow is just one curved line over the eyes. It communicates in a very shorthand way. It's beautiful, expressive, and, in a peculiar way, it's more powerful than the kind of stilted, formalized expression in the final painting.
But the trouble with sainthood these days is the robe-and-halo imagery that gets stuck onto it." Carl got that brooding look again. "People forget that robes were street clothes once... and still are, in a lot of places. And halos are to that fierce air of innocence what speech balloons in comics are to the sound of the voice itself. Shorthand. But most people just see an old symbol and don't bother looking behind it for the meaning. Sainthood starts to look old-fashioned, unattainable... even repellent. Actually, you can see it all around, once you learn to spot it.
Hema thought of Shiva, her personal deity, and how the only sensible response to the madness of life... was to cultivate a kind of madness within, to perform the mad dance of Shiva, ... to rock and sway and flap six arms and six legs to an inner tune. Hema moved gently... she danced as if her minimalist gestures were shorthand for a much larger, fuller, reckless dance, one that held the whole world together, kept it from extinction.
Dad always warned that it was misleading when one imagined people, when one sas them in the Mind's Eye, because one never remembered them as they really were, with as many inconsistencies as there were hairs on a human head (100,000 to 200,000). Instead, the mind used a lazy shorthand, smoothed the person over into their most dominating characteristic--their pessimism or insecurity (something really being lazy, turning them into either Nice or Mean)--and one made the mistake of judging them from this basis alone and risked, on a subsequent encounter, being dangerously surprised.
People say, "I have heart disease," not "I am heart disease." Somehow the presumption of a person's individuality is not compromised by those diagnostic labels. All the labels tell us is that the person has a specific challenge with which he or she struggles in a highly diverse life. But call someone "a schizophrenic" or "a borderline" and the shorthand has a way of closing the chapter on the person. It reduces a multifaceted human being to a diagnosis and lulls us into a false sense that those words tell us who the person is, rather than only telling us how the person suffers.
By the 1920s if you wanted to work behind a lunch counter you needed to know that 'Noah's boy' was a slice of ham (since Ham was one of Noah's sons) and that 'burn one' or 'grease spot' designated a hamburger. 'He'll take a chance' or 'clean the kitchen' meant an order of hash, 'Adam and Eve on a raft' was two poached eggs on toast, 'cats' eyes' was tapioca pudding, 'bird seed' was cereal, 'whistleberries' were baked beans, and 'dough well done with cow to cover' was the somewhat labored way of calling for an order of toast and butter. Food that had been waiting too long was said to be 'growing a beard'. Many of these shorthand terms have since entered the mainstream, notably BLT for a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, 'over easy' and 'sunny side up' in respect of eggs, and 'hold' as in 'hold the mayo'.
The term terrorism is widely misused. It is utilized in its generic sense as a form of shorthand by governments and the media and is applied to a variety of acts and occurrences that approximate terrorism in form but not in substance or, worse yet, that have no real resemblance to terrorism at all. Terrorism, if nothing else, is violence, or threats of violence, but it is not mindless violence, as some observers have charged. Usually, when employed in a political context, it represents a calculated series of actions designed to intimidate and sow fear through-out a target population in an effort to produce a pervasive atmosphere of insecurity, a widespread condition of anxiety. A terrorist campaign that causes a significant threshold of fear among the target population may achieve its aims. In some instances, terrorism is potentially a more effective, especially from a cost-benefit perspective, strategy that conventional or guerrilla warfare, however, the goal of terrorism is not to destroy the opposing side but instead to break its will and force it to capitulate.
In my world, you don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and be against common-sense gun control - like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children... The term 'pro-life' should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth.
Thomas L. Friedman
Christians don't think that Dawkins thinks that they think that God really has a beard. "Old man in the sky with a white beard" is a figure of speech - shorthand - which neatly encapsulates various errors which lazy atheists and naive theists sometimes make, for example: 1: They imagine that Christians think that God is a human being of some kind and therefore ask questions like: "What does he eat?"; "If he made the world, what did he stand on?"; "If he doesn't have a beard, how does he shave?" and "How did he evolve?" (Three guesses which of those questions troubles Professor Dawkins.) Christians don't think that God is an old man. They don't even think he is a man. They probably don't even think he's made of atoms. 2: They confuse symbols with representations: they think that when Michelangelo painted God on the Pope's ceiling, he was making an informed guess about what someone would have seen with their eyes if they bumped into God on the Roman metro - as opposed to using pictures to put across theological ideas. 3: They imagine that Christians think that God lives in some particular place in space and time. They may not think that we think that he lives in the sky, but I think that they think that we think that if you had a fast enough spaceship you could eventually track him down. Dawkins doesn't commit himself on the question of God's facial hair; but it is pretty clear that he thinks that God lives in the sky - or at any rate, in some place in the empirical universe.
[A] creationist spy named Luther Sunderland snuck into a closed scientific meeting of the Systematics Discussion Group at the American Museum in 1981 with a hidden tape recorder... My friend, the distinguished paleoichthyologist Colin Patterson of the British Museum in London, was talking about pattern cladism and how he had abandoned many of the assumptions about evolution that he had once held, including the recognition of ancestors in the fossil record. He was now only interested in the simplest hypotheses that were easily tested, such as cladograms. But, of course, taken out of context, it sounds as though Colin doubted that evolution had taken place, yet he said nothing of the sort! Colin was speaking in a kind of "shorthand" that makes sense to the scientists who understand the subtleties of the debate, but mean something entirely different when taken out of context. I was at that meeting and was stunned to read afterward about Sunderland's account of what had happened because I remembered Colin's ideas clearly and could not imagine how they could be misinterpreted. For decades afterward, Colin had to explain over and over again what he had meant, and why he did not doubt the fact that evolution had occurred, only that he no longer accepted a lot of the other assumptions about evolution that Neo-Darwinists had made. Unfortunately, Colin died in 1998 while he was still in his scientific prime, unable to continue fighting these misinterpretations of his ideas that continue to be propagated by the creationists.
Donald R. Prothero
There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.' Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
In the City Market is the Meet Cafe. Followers of obsolete, unthinkable trades doodling in Etruscan, addicts of drugs not yet synthesized, pushers of souped-up harmine, junk reduced to pure habit offering precarious vegetable serenity, liquids to induce Latah, Tithonian longevity serums, black marketeers of World War III, excusers of telepathic sensitivity, osteopaths of the spirit, investigators of infractions denounced by bland paranoid chess players, servers of fragmentary warrants taken down in hebephrenic shorthand charging unspeakable mutilations of the spirit, bureaucrats of spectral departments, officials of unconstituted police states, a Lesbian dwarf who has perfected operation Bang-utot, the lung erection that strangles a sleeping enemy, sellers of orgone tanks and relaxing machines, brokers of exquisite dreams and memories tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness and bartered for raw materials of the will, doctors skilled in the treatment of diseases dormant in the black dust of ruined cities, gathering virulence in the white blood of eyeless worms feeling slowly to the surface and the human host, maladies of the ocean floor and the stratosphere, maladies of the laboratory and atomic war... A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum... Larval entities waiting for a Live One...
William S. Burroughs