Where Did the Term “Minutes” Come From For the Shorthand Notes Taken at a Business Meeting?

The reason why the written records of a meeting are called the minutes is because, in order to keep up, the minute-taker wrote in a shorthand or abbreviation.

The word used to describe this condensed writing was minute (my-noot), meaning “small,” and because the spelling is the same, the minutes (my-noots) became minutes.

The same circumstances apply to Frederick Chopin’s Minute Waltz.

It’s really his small or minute (my-noot) waltz.

Shorthand is a method of rapid handwriting using simple strokes, abbreviations, or symbols that designate letters, words, or phrases, and is often used for minutes at business meetings.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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