Principles of the Hong Kong Kitchen Shorthand

Winnie H. Y. Cheung, Lian Hee Wee

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    The Kitchen Shorthand (KS) has amused and bemused many Hongkongers but has hitherto not been systematically studied. This paper explains that KS principles are motivated by the imperative of efficiency and include redundancy removal, use of (near-)homophony, extraction of distinctive graphemes, use of convenient idiosyncratic symbols and strategic positioning of information on the writing space. Novel strategies like grapheme extraction and recombination speak to the cognitive properties that must underlie the Chinese scribe who despite possible low literacy may intuit the KS enabled by the sociocultural context of Hong Kong
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-142
    Number of pages23
    JournalHong Kong Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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