Breaking the Code
The Gregg Shorthand® Fight Against
Two-time breast cancer contender
is celebrating her
The design represents the effect which breast cancer leaves upon the woman who contracts the disease; the pain of loss and the subsequent scars of surgery. The pin is inscribed with the Gregg Shorthand® word for breast, it also gives the outline of a breast, its shadow and the scar cancer leaves, actual or psychological. The design's shape also represents a calligraphic "W" for woman. The white circle symbolizes the feeling of wholeness to which a woman returns in coming to terms with her disease. The color red was chosen because that was the color the breast cancer movement was using at the time. This was just before the change was made to pink and pink ribbons became the symbol of best breast health. This pin is a status symbol for the survivor.
This pin was designed in 1993 and shorthand, a written language known mostly by women, is used to represent the silence, secretiveness, and struggle that defines a woman's life who has to learn the lesson of breast cancer which often lasts for many years beyond the actual event(s). The designer spent three years of her life in high school learning Gregg Shorthand® that she used afterwards only to write her Christmas lists to keep them secret from her children and to design this pin. She struggled to work up to speed on the speed tests. The two charms below represent the speed needed in order to get a job as a stenographer, which she never did. The text on the charms read, Gregg Shorthand® Speed Test. What have you done with your Gregg Shorthand® education?
She received the following two awards,
charms for a bracelet she did not own, her Senior year in high school for
her Gregg Shorthand® dictation abilities:
taking dictation at 60 words per minute.
taking dictation at 80 words per minute.
Shorthand first came into wide use
in the Roman Empire, with notae Tironianae ("Tironian notes"), a system
invented in 63BC by the freedman Marcus Tullius Tiro. Derived from cursive
See excerpt from a related article on Gregg Shorthand® Artist Interpretations here
Read an excerpt: "At the Henry: a fine focus
on some well-read topics"
Walk into the Henry Art Gallery and you may think you've wandered into a show of pristine, elegant calligraphy. In one of the largest galleries in the original part of the museum is a series of brown abstract symbols each centered on a handsome piece of white handmade paper. Too arabesque to be Japanese or Chinese calligraphy, they suggest the more rounded voluptuous strokes of Middle Eastern calligraphy.
But on closer inspection, it seems
the symbols are literally burns. They have been branded into the paper
with irons hanging from the ceiling nearby. And the language, though foreign
to most, should stir recognition in anyone who has ever studied Gregg shorthand®,
the standard shorthand language once widely used by secretaries. Those
are Gregg® symbols on the paper sheets, and they are beautiful. Viewers
could pass long moments simply admiring their spare design.
Breaking the Code ©Rhea Côté
Robbins, Two-time breast cancer contender is celebrating her
The Gregg Shorthand® Fight Against
Breast Cancer Pin is not for sale.
Male Breast Cancer information
Breast Cancer Information in French
Things You Can Do To Fight Breast Cancer
Purchase products which donate to research
Make a donation to a national organization which combats breast cancer.
More things you can do to ensure your best breast health:
Rhea Côté Robbins