Principles of the Hong Kong Kitchen Shorthand

Lian Hee WEE, Winnie H. Y. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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