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22-06-2020 | Review | Issue 4/2020

Cognitive Computation 4/2020

A Review of Shorthand Systems: From Brachygraphy to Microtext and Beyond

Journal:
Cognitive Computation > Issue 4/2020
Authors:
Ranjan Satapathy, Erik Cambria, Andrea Nanetti, Amir Hussain
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Abstract

Human civilizations have performed the art of writing across continents and over different time periods. In order to speed up the writing process, the art of shorthand (brachygraphy) came into existence. Today, the performance of writing does not make an exception in social media platforms. Brachygraphy started to re-emerge in the early 2000s in the form of microtext in order to facilitate faster typing without compromising semantic clarity. This paper focuses on microtext approaches predominantly found in social media and explains the relevance of microtext normalization for natural language processing tasks in English. The review introduces brachygraphy and how it has evolved into microtext in today’s social media–dominant society. The study provides a comprehensive classification of microtext normalization based on different approaches. We propose to classify microtext based on different normalization techniques, i.e. syntax-based (syntactic), probability-based (probabilistic) and phonetic-based approaches and review application areas, strategies and challenges of microtext normalization. The review shows that there is a compelling similarity between brachygraphy and microtext even though they started centuries apart. This paper represents the first attempt to connect brachygraphy to current texting language and to show its impact in social media. This paper classifies microtext normalization according to different approaches and discusses how, in the future, microtext will likely comprise both words and images together. This will expand the horizon of human creative power. We conclude the review with some considerations on future directions.

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