In my library awhile back I found my old green Gregg Shorthand book from high school. On a whim I decided to write my sister a postcard in shorthand, to see if she could read it. (She was a year behind me and had taken shorthand as well.) I was astounded at how much I'd forgotten. In elementary school we'd learned the Palmer method of cursive, another ancient practice that appears headed for obsolescence. Anyway . . . my sister called to say she received it and, amazingly, was able to read all but three words without consulting her own kept copy of the green Gregg book.
So we've been sending postcards back and forth in scribbled forms that nobody else can read, to keep our aging brains from calcifying.
I'm intrigued by language in general, and certain ones in particular, though I've never learned to speak them. What cryptographers and stenographers have in common is an ability to code (and decode)--in the case of S/H it's phonetic:
rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one
another in a spirit of brotherhood.
[Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] -- Gregg illustrations provided by Andrew Owen.
Practical Cryptography, if anyone's game to self-instruct. :)