- Feb 2023
Are there symbols for 'supported by' or 'contradicted by' etc. to show not quite formal logical relations in a short hand?
reply to u/stjeromeslibido at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/10qw4l5/are_there_symbols_for_supported_by_or/
In addition to the other excellent suggestions, I don't think you'll find anything specific that that was used historically for these, but there are certainly lots of old annotation symbols you might be able to co-opt for your personal use.
Evina Steinova has a great free cheat sheet list of annotation symbols: The Most Common Annotation Symbols in Early Medieval Western Manuscripts (a cheat sheet).
More of this rabbit hole:
- Steinová, Evina. Notam Superponere Studui: The Use of Annotation Symbols in the Early Middle Ages. Brepols, 2019.
- Cappelli, Adriano. The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography. University of Kansas Libr., 1984.
- Coulson, Frank, and Robert Babcock. The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography. Oxford University Press, 2020.
- Lindsay, W. M. Notae Latinae. Cambridge University Press, 2013. https://archive.org/download/notaelatinaeacco00lindrich/notaelatinaeacco00lindrich.pdf.
- Bains, Doris. A Supplement to Notae Latinae (Abbreviations in Latin Mss. of 850 to 1050 A.D.). Cambridge [England] University Press, 1936. http://archive.org/details/supplementtonota0000bain.
(Nota bene: most of my brief research here only extends to Western traditions, primarily in Latin and Greek. Obviously other languages and eras will have potential ideas as well.)
Tironian shorthand may have something you could repurpose as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tironian_notes
Some may find the auxiliary signs of the Universal Decimal Classification useful for some of these sorts of notations for conjoining ideas.
Given the past history of these sorts of symbols and their uses, perhaps it might be useful for us all to aggregate a list of common ones we all use as a means of re-standardizing some of them in modern contexts? Which ones does everyone use?
Here are some I commonly use:
Often for quotations, citations, and provenance of ideas, I'll use Maria Popova and Tina Roth Eisenberg's Curator's Code:
- ᔥ for "via" to denote a direct quotation/source— something found elsewhere and written with little or no modification or elaboration (reformulation notes)
- ↬ for "hat tip" to stand for indirect discovery — something for which you got the idea at a source, but modified or elaborated on significantly (inspiration by a source, but which needn't be cited)
Occasionally I'll use a few nanoformats, from the microblogging space, particularly
- L: to indicate location
For mathematical proofs, in addition to their usual meanings, I'll use two symbols to separate biconditionals (necessary/sufficient conditions)
- (⇒) as a heading for the "if" portion of the proof
- (⇐) for the "only if" portion
Some historians may write 19c to indicate 19th Century, often I'll abbreviate using Roman numerals instead, so "XIX".
Occasionally, I'll also throw drolleries or other symbols into my margins to indicate idiosyncratic things that may only mean something specifically to me. This follows in the medieval traditions of the ars memoria, some of which are suggested in Cornwell, Hilarie, and James Cornwell. Saints, Signs, and Symbols: The Symbolic Language of Christian Art 3rd Edition. Church Publishing, Inc., 2009. The modern day equivalent of this might be the use of emoji with slang meanings or 1337 (leet) speak.
- manuscript studies
- note taking affordances
- Maria Popova
- Universal Decimal Classification
- annotation symbols
- ars memoria
- Curator's Code
- leet speak
- Tironian shorthand
- Tina Roth Eisenberg
- Medieval texts
- hat tip
- Evina Steinova
- Dec 2022
Potential links between Tironian shorthand and mnemonics of the 1800s?
Thomas Becket brought it back
Thomas Becket brought back Tironian shorthand after monasteries had stopped using it.
In the Admonitio generalis (General admonition), an important collection of legislation issued in 789, the most famous Carolingian ruler, Charlemagne, implored that schools be established for the learning of not only the Psalms, chant, and grammar, but also notae, or ‘written signs.’
monastic scribes in the Middle Ages who not only employed it, but expanded it to around 14,000 symbols. (!) Most of the documentation dates from the Carolingian dynasty in the 8th and 9th centuries.
No one can say how many symbols Tiro came up with — presumably he wrote it down, but no such key is known to have survived — but successors began adding to it until, according to Isidore of Seville writing around 630 CE, no less than Seneca himself had topped it up to 5,000 symbols.