Although stenography is predominantly phonetic, not all words are written completely phonetically syllable by syllable. The most regularly occuring words often have shortcut ways of being written. These shortcuts are often just a single stroke of the keyboard for a word or phrase that may have otherwise taken multiple strokes. These shortcuts are called "Briefs".

There are no practice drills specifically for Briefs on this website because there are simply so many. Instead, the Practice section contains practice drills for the most common words in English, a lot of these words have brief forms which we advise learning over the phonetic versions.

Good use of Briefs will make your writing quicker and save you thousands (if not millions) of strokes over your steno lifetime.

Briefs are usually made to sound similar to the full word or phrase they represent. A good Brief will be easy to remember.

For Example: The phrase "as much as" can be written in a single stroke "SPHUFPS". This may seem nothing like the original phrase but if we dissect it, it actually writes "S-MUCH-S".

Other shortcuts exist, which aren't exactly briefs, but have a purpose (to make your writing quicker and easier).

Sometimes entire syllables can be stripped out of a word by using clever letter placement. An example of this would be the word "compression" (three syllables). This can be written as "KPREGS" (one stroke). The use of "KPR" as the initial consonants consolidates two syllables into one. Also notice the use of "GS" as "tion" which was mentioned in an earlier lesson. This removes another syllable.

Another example would be the word "belief" which can be written as "PWHRAOEF" ("bleef")