Shorthand is a well proven way to make accurate contemporaneous notes of any conversation and is particularly useful for pensioners who have to talk to lawyers, doctors, Jehovah’s Witnesses or teenagers.

The most commonly used form of shorthand is Pitman, which was invented by the national hunt trainer, Jenny Pitman, to help her decipher conversations with Irish jockeys and Arab owners.

Alternative forms include Gregg, in which all of the symbols are in the shape of a sandwich; Weedsprite, invented by the Oxford don, William Spooner; and Midget Digit, a Cockney form of shorthand used exclusively for transcribing rhyming slang.

Perhaps surprisingly, shorthand has often featured in films and music, with Eric Clapton famously nicknamed ‘Shorthand’ because of the copious notes he produced on his guitar, Paul Newman gaining an Oscar nomination for his nuanced performance as the troubled hero in the 1967 film Shorthand Luke, and seventies art-rock collective, The Shorthand Curlies, providing the unwitting inspiration for the Sex Pistols’ album Never Mind the Bollocks.