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  1. I'm male. If I had to guess, I'd say that these days, the male-female ratio is about level in the Gregg world (I stress Gregg. In general shorthand, I'd guess females take the lead) It's interesting how when Gregg was invented, it were intended for "men" to transcribe quickly. Many books and articles from back then specify this (and not in the general "mankind" way). If you read the prefaces to old Gregg books that mention contests and transcription awards, every record and contest winner mentioned is male! Back then all the secretaries were guys! But, of course, by the time simplified came out in the late 40's, everything switched over, and now male secretaries are the oddity; you say "secretary," you think "female." I just find it interesting how in such a short time period, something like that can flip around so completely. ./[tyler]

  2. Male.   Did you know you can view any member's profile by clicking on his username?  Many have specified gender along with other interesting personal info.  To update your own profile, click the link on the home page.

  3. What I meant was that, I would wager to a balance of males and females that wrote specifically Gregg shorthand. However, as to shorthand in general, I would guess that the number of females that wrote in Pitmann, Gregg, Teeline (Tealine? Lime tea? Whatever), and every other speedwriting/shorthand variation (including those shorthand machines like in "Alex and Emma") outnumbered the males by at least a decent margin.   My reasoning is this: Gregg and Pitmann and other "traditional" writing methods are more of a hobby for the nostalgic, aspiring, and those that come across it in a life that is characterized by the soul-breathing ability and passion to learn. As far as such goes, I don't perceive any imbalance in gender ratios. However, when you add in all the other variations and methods (especially speedwriting, which, if neglected, wouldn't change my stance) these include many which are more common and practical to modern secerataries, minute takers, and other, predominatly female, professions. I hope my logic makes sense : ) I may be wrong. This is just a guess, not based upon any empirical evidence as, apart from my recent discovery of this forum, I have never met anybody that writes in any form of shorthand. ./[tyler]

  4. Male here. In an old copy of the Gregg Writer magazine was an article about a woman who had been called into action to take down Woodrow Wilson's acceptance of the nomination of his party. But of course when he was elected, she couldn't serve in the White House where all the staff around the president were mail, and ended up serving a MA supreme court justice or other high official.

  5. Male.  I'm actually a third-generation shorthand writer.  My grandmother studied Gregg in a business college, using the 1901 book–which I still have (rather tattered and torn–she must have studied really diligently!).   My father (now 84 years old) was a business major in college (Southwest Missouri State University), and still says that shorthand was his favorite subject there.  He taught business for a couple of years after graduating, including shorthand courses.   I studied Gregg Notehand in high school (in the 1960s), then went on to study the Diamond Jubilee series on my own.    Alex

  6. 1. Male here. 2. I've previously wondered in these pages about the sexual orienation of shorthand writers, but no one has taken up that up yet. 3. Both my parents wrote shorthand. 4. The woman who took Woodrow Wilson's speech also could not have voted for him because women didn't get the suffrage until 1920.  My paternal grandparents were married in 1912 and my maternal in 1915, so both my grandmothers were adult women with families before they could vote! Brian

  7. Poll answer and thank you note:

    Looks like it's a guy thing these days – But I'm sure far more gals use it than guys. Two years ago I polled our office (weekly newspaper); 2 out of 30 people wrote shorthand. Both 60ish gals. Both very sharp. I asked one to teach a class for anyone who wanted to learn. She made handouts from her high school book which she still had, DJS, '63. Class fizzled. Required far more time than any of us realized, especially during the work day.

    After our class folded I gave up, and a year went by before I found Marc Semler's web site and that got me going again. Thank you Marc. I still log in and re-read your delightful essays. Neither I nor our two SH writers, who, after all, where just happy-go-lucky school girls when they took SH — none of us knew what DJS was, much Anniversary and all the rest. I followed your advice, bought a pile of DJS books through Ebay and ABE books and got started. Without your site, I'd still be wishing and wondering. Later I found Andrew's site and found it a great help, too. Downloaded the Anniversary Manual. What a great service.

    And thanks to John for this stite and thanks to the many informed, enthusiastic people who post here. What a great help and encouragement you have been in what these days, for the learner, is a rather solitary endeavor.

    Last week I wrote a brief column about SH, asked if anyone still used it. So far, five have answered, saying they use it for note-taking, phone messages, notes-in-code around the house, grocery lists, etc. All women of a certain age and one 85-year-old military court reporter who guesed he was probably down to 140 wpm from 180+ in his prime. Think I'll invite him to town for llunch one day soon.

    Going through the mail this morning, I opened one letter, noticed the torn holes of a folded steno sheet and knew I had my first SH note. She was rusty, but readable. Thanked me, in SH, for bringing to her mind sweet memories of days gone by. She asked for a reply in SH which I'll attempt.

    Thanks again to everyone for your contributions. Wish I had something as useful to contribute.

    Clark

  8. That's female 3, male 6.   Brian: two of us took you up on the sexual orientation thing, but we were quickly censored. (Laugh, Mr Sapp, that was a tease.)   Charles Lee Swem   You might want to look at the last four posts on the above thread.   I only know about 5 women who take shorthand, 3 Gregg (an anomoly in Canada) 1 Forkner and 1 Pitman. I have one male friend who takes Forkner.   4 of the 5 women continued with their shorthand not because they wanted to use it for their future careers, but to make sure their brothers couldn't read their journals.

  9. Female.  Was taught Series 90 — I know — ugh!  So I have been going through the Anniversary version.  No wonder they could write 200 wpm.  What a major difference.  I still use shorthand at work and have kept my personal journal/diary in shorthand since 1982.  I find reading the old classics in Gregg a great help.    Andrea

  10. Off the subject just a tad–forgive me–but in terms of Shorthand, isn't it great to be over 40?

    ShorthandMarc just posted a job application for a stenographer. The company, based in Massachusetts, cannot find a qualified stenographer ANYwhere. Isn't that mindboggling??

    By contrast, in the 1970s, the Shorthand classes were always full…

  11. At the risk of sounding sexist, it seems like all the shorthand "greats" were male. The only one I can think of right off who was female was Emily Smith (sic?) who invented PitmanScript.

    I wonder if there's something about the wiring of the male brain that makes us predisposed to master speeds. Does anybody else know about the neurolinguistic aspects of this?

  12. I don't know about that.  There were a few female Greggittes who wrote extire textbooks, or story books, at least I thought.  And back in 1928 most office workers were male so most learned and stayed employeed long enough to acheive high rates.  Of course the first person to teach the "new" Gregg shorthand (in the 1920's) in my state was a woman. Of course I could be wrong here… Debbi

  13. Female – and if I ever get time to get back to review and practice it I may actually get those letters writen to all of you I said I'd write.  So sorry you haven't heard from me yet – I will get there at some point!

  14. Poll Question: Female

    Chuck, if you don't mind, I'd like to add the name of Vivien Spitz to your list of notorious Greggites.

    I met this delightful lady when she was a guest lecturer for our shorthand sessions at our state court reporters association. She is also the author of "Doctors from Hell," a book about the Nuremberg trials. This is only a small blip of the praises said about her. She has been honored by the national association and I think has received a humanitarian award for her work in the trials.

    "Vivien Spitz, the youngest court reporter at the Nuremberg Trials, has given more than 500 speeches on the lessons of the Holocaust to schools, churches, synagogues, and professional groups internationally. She has been honored numerous times for her work, including commendations from Bill Clinton, Al Gore, US Senator Christopher Dodd, and the state of Israel. She was the first woman to report on the U.S. Senate floor and has taken down the words of four presidents. She lives near Denver, Colorado."

    Thanks
    V-Lindsay

  15. Debbi:

    You might be right.

    The prominence of male "greats" might, after all, be an accident of commerce, not biology.

    The trend from male to female secretaries started in WW1 and went all the way until about the 1940s or so; I suspect that, when the servicemen went to the Second World War, and women stayed behind to run the nation (very well, by all accounts 🙂 ), there might have been a shift in paradigm. Women seem to have dominated shorthand in general since about 1950.

    By that time–if my theory is correct–Gregg had already been downgraded to Simplified, which was never designed to "court report" in the first place; Dr. Gregg saw the future eminence of machine court reporting–saw the handwriting on the wall. Whatever can be said about his disingenuousness, he was an Ubergenius in marketing.

    That there seemed few "women greats" might be an accident of history and marketing.

    Do you agree with this reasoning?

    Anyway, it's nice to realize that superspeeds in shorthand can be had by anyone. 🙂

  16. Yea I don't think women had a chance to get up there in speed.  Although the men did great with speed.  I'd love to get there (but don't have the time to practice). My Gregg Speed Sutdys (1929) is written by Winifred Kenna Richmond.

  17. I just received the 1916 Gregg shorthand book (had to add it to my collection) and it showed the top Shorthand writers of the 1910 contest and 2 out of the 3 winners in Gregg were women (Charles Swem obviously was top in all categories).  There were only 4 Gregg writers, the rest pitman or other. 

  18. "girls aren't good at math"    Hah!  I know a lot of accountants/bookkeepers/cost accountants, etc. – myself included – that do math everyday and, even if I say so myself, are good at it!  I've even had to straighten out male co-workers and bosses check registers.  Okay, so I've had to work on some females checkbooks too, but the point is….sorry,  it's a Monday morning and I've had a terrible weekend so I'm a bit snippy today.  If anyone wants a cold/sinus and sniffles that won't go away, no matter what, let me know and I'll see if I can send it to you over the electronic waves.   Have a good week and turkey day – I will make an effort not to bite anyone's head off today and then we'll see how tomorrow goes.  

  19. No problem, I understand.  I was sick last week and still have a bit of a headache… ugh… I think he said that because I wasnt' doing very well in math and thought it would make me feel better… it did… I stopped doing it… well… sort of… lol 

  20. "Girls aren't good at math"

    Yeah, I know that… I have a proof:
    my little miscalculation is playing beside me, right now,
    my little sunny boy, Daniel…

    well, she couldn't count correctly her days… you know… it was her birthday (cheers!!!)

    VALO KANG:
    We must move forward… not backwards, not to the side, not forwards, but always whirling, whirling, whirling towards freedom.

  21. "Girls aren't good at math" is a generalization, and it should be taken as such. Girls, in general, really aren't as good at math, but this doesn't mean much taken on an individual level. Some girls are geniuses at math.

    Here's another generalization–"girls are shorter than guys". Once again, this is meaningless taken at an individual level; how many Amazons have you seen? A lot!

    On the other hand, if you see an androgynous person who's over 8 feet tall, you can just bet it's a guy. 🙂

  22. Male. Age 51. Taught myself Gregg Shorthand in the mid-1990s while going to graduate school and working for a campus lecture-notetaking service. Wound up getting paid to go to lectures for ten years that way, usually for two or three courses a quarter. Have used it nearly everyday since around 1995. Have eight or so books and some tape recordings. (And by the way…Before going to graduate school I had worked for two giant accounting firms where the general trend seemed to be that professional-level accounting was becoming dominated by women. So- women certainly ~can~ count!)

  23. It's rather surprising to see so many males here. It's a pleasant surprise.

    In the late 70s, I took a second year typing course; I was the only male. The female teacher made it very clear that I was not welcome. Sexism works both ways.

    My goal, at that time, was journalism. Since shorthand was a prerequisite for journalism at that time, I would have had to take shorthand to get my credentials.

    But the attitude of that teacher soured me to that endeavor very quickly. It would have been Diamond Jubilee, but the attitude of that one teacher had long-reaching consequences–I had to look into another line of work. In retrospect, she changed the course of my life completely.

    Has anybody else had this kind of experience?

  24. I had a similar experience in nursing school in the late 70's. The obstetrics teacher followed me around trying to catch mistakes; two of the staff nurses made daily comments that men should not be working as nurses in obstetrics. The worst part was that even though all the female students in my group got one new mother and her child, my assignment was always two new mothers and their babies. It was a hellish 4 months, and I only just passed the practicum component.   Five months after graduating, however, I ran into the instructor who apologized and said that she realized she had made things difficult for me. Luckily I never ran into the staff nurses again.   George: my cousin did journalism in the late 70's. Even tho he is a practicing journalist, he still can't even touch type. I'm not sure he even knows what shorthand is. Could it just have been the particular school you wanted to attend?

  25. I think any guy who went into secretarial work in the 1970s had that kind of reverse sexism. I've related the story before about the interview for the executive secretary position where the first question was "Well, can you make coffee?" So much for those stellar skills.

    There was the legal firm which told me I'd have to sue them to get them to interview me. No, I didn't bother.

    Lastly, I had another boss who said, "Now that you're leaving, I'm going to hire a buxom blond and I don't care if she can type!" Less than 3 weeks after that, already in my new position, I got a phone call from him, "She deleted the employee database by mistake. Is there anything she can do?"

    "Yes, she can!" I answered. "She can start retyping." And I hung up the phone.

    🙂

    Marc

  26. Marc: ROFL! That was a funny story.

    That employer got what he deserved. Don't these guys realize that, by sexist attitudes, they're costing the company $$? It just seems common sense to me that a guy doing 140wpm Gregg and over 100wpm typing could get far more work done than some stupid bimbo who couldn't type and deletes databases. What could he have been thinking? It makes you just want to shake him.

    Sidhe: I don't know how to answer that question, except that my guidance counselor at that time (late 70s) told me that those courses were needed. I trusted his judgment.

    Whatever the case, it still strikes me that one single person (my typing teacher) could change a destiny so much by her attitude!

  27. I find it absolutely mind-boggling that both your teacher, George, and those employers who interviewed you, Marc, felt it appropriate to tell you their prejudice. Perhaps it's better that their prejudices are hanging out there for all to see, but you can bet that neither would admit to the prejudice if they were called on it by their employer or the justice system.   My God, have we learned nothing in the last 2 centuries?   On topic:   My guess is that a majority of the male members of the group are also interested in obscure languages and or codes or writing systems, and are in this as a useful hobby. (Are my prejudices hanging out there for all to see? Could that be true of the female members? Or is the divide less than 40 and greater than 40 years of age?   Do I need to start a new thread?   sidhe    

  28. SIDHE:

    "My guess is that a majority of the male members of the group are also interested in obscure languages and or codes or writing systems, and are in this as a useful hobby."

    That's very true in my case.

    I've been interested in secret codes since I was a teenager. I remember reading the book "Codebreakers" and enjoying every minute. Moreover, I'd gotten interested in "numbers stations", which was an absolutely unbreakable code used during the Cold War. The Soviet Union, Cuba, and US used to send groups of 5digit numbers to their spies via shortwave. The website http://www.spynumbers.com will tell you all about it.

    Whatever they were, they were eerie to listen to.

    Moreover, there used to be stations that broadcast just a single letter, over and over, in perpetuality–usually the letter "k" or "w". No one knows to this day what the purpose of those letter stations were.

    I'd been interested in linguistics, too. One professor invented a language that was supposed to be learnt only by women; it was a social experiment that never caught on. On top of this, I'd gleaned learning some very rare artificial language such as Volapuk, but I've never gotten very far in these endeavors.

    The gestalt of all this talk is that, for some men, the interest in shorthand ties very neatly with an interest in coding, etc. I think that's why we're so fascinated with shorthand. I agree with your premise.

  29. For me it's the ability to write as fast, or nearly as I can think. I'm not nearly there yet. As a writer I want to free myself from the tyranny of the keyboard. Notebooks are just so much more convenient. Even dragging around a laptop is a hassle. I sure wish someone would invent a PDA like device that can read your shorthand as you write it. That would be really cool.

  30. I have to admit that one of my goals is to be able to write as fast as I think, but it hasn't happened yet.   But I'm also quite interested in obscure languages and writing systems — the more obscure the better.   However, I also spoken with more than one female shorthand writer who wanted to be able to write secret notes so that siblings or parents could not read them.   I have to admit that is one of the reasons I write things in shorthand — nobody but me can read. When I worked with another DJS Gregg writer, we used to write notes to each other and nobody else could read them. Fairly often they were uncomplimentary notes about coworkers.   Marco: have you tried SHARK or one of its spin offs? They claim 90 words a minute, but so did FITALY. I found FITALY much faster than Grafiti, but never got past about 30 words per minute. Neither is "phonetic" shorthand, but just a quick way to enter characters and words with their English spellings.

  31. You are correct. I have always been interested in secret codes and handwriting. It started with the Morse Code and the sign language alphabet I learned in Boy Scouts.

    I'm also fascinated with languages. My latest craze is Latin. — Vic

  32. Another male here, though I'm just starting out.

    Re: sidhe's speculation about interests, I am a linguist by training. I know ASL as well as (wait for it…) Klingon. Not too many Klingon speakers around here to converse with, though.

    I like learning new things, and this skill seems particularly useful. Actually, I got the idea from reading "Mind Performance Hacks", which recommended learning something called "speedwords" (rapmotz). It was more another language than a writing system, so I found it completely paralyzing. You'd have to know the rapmotz equivalent for any word you wanted to write, and even then the vocabulary was too small to be really practical. So I started looking around, and decided on Gregg.

  33. Salve Vincere,   It's funny that you're latest craze is Latin.  I also decided to study it.  I found an guy at University of North Carolina who conducts on-line courses using Wheelock's.  I had a blast while I was taking it.  Had to stop because I got a little too busy to do the homework.  I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle again.   I thought your handle looked like a third conjugation verb.  🙂  (To conquer, yes?)   Vale,   Peter

  34. I'm female, but trained as an Engineer. So I don't necessarily count against the "male" trend here. I think it's like cooking was; many women do it because we have to; any men who cook do it because they enjoy it.

    Shorthand (think it was Forkner) didn't fit in my schedule the year it was taught. Besides, thought I, the arrogant over-achiever, if the bimbos can learn it in a year, I can learn it in a week or two. I tried Pitman, Gregg and Forkner, ended up with Forkner because it looked like it would be easier to read back later and the strokes were easier. I've used and studied it on and off for the last 20 years, but never got fast at it.

    I find it's great for minutes and sketching ideas out, but I need to get faster at reading it.

  35. Have to chime in as another female…though I've also had a fascination with codes.  As a high school chemistry teacher, one of my favorite units is writing chemical formulas and equations.  There's something elegant to writing H2O2 instead of 'hydrogen peroxide'…of course, much of chemistry is like learning a second language (much to my students' chagrin!)   I have to say that a strong motivator for me is being able to keep notes private at work.  Of course, many of my students have a hard enough time reading my cursive longhand (which I insist on using during lecture).  Not because of poor handwriting, but because they have a hard time reading script.  Interesting note: very few of my students have signatures.  They print their name when asked for their signature.  This is not in my curriculum as a chemistry teacher, but I address it anyway…

  36. How interesting about signatures, HVoltz… printing isn't a signature at all! The people I know, when asked for their signatures, just scribble some barely legible tangle of fake cursive. I subscribe to the idea that signatures reflect their writer, so I make sure mine is loopy and carefully written 😉

  37. Yes, many signatures are scribble.  As a matter of fact, a friend recently challenged me that my signature was not a signature at all because it was just my name written in cursive—"signatures are supposed to be more like a symbol," he said.  I love when forms have a line for signature, and a line for printed name.  I leave the second one blank.

  38. Gentlemen of the Neat Signature:   Many, many years ago, when I was a nurse, we had to write a full signature for every medication that we gave. As an RN, it was rare that I gave less than 200 medications in an eight hour shift. My signature, which was quite legible when I started as a student, became a fast scrawl — and so did all the beginning nurses I worked with over the years.   In the eighties we switched to more legible initials, but the damage was done. Now, if I wanted to switch — which I don't — I'd have to go to the bank and all the other places you need to have a signature on file and change my signature.   Too much trouble.   sidhe

  39. Sir Scribbly:  I forgot to mention that the premise of my friend's argument was that if a signature is written in neat cursive, it can be more easily forged.  I'd give my left toe to see folks these days try to write neat cursive!

  40. My lord Sapp   Even those of us who learned neat cursive in the 50's and 60's have fairly un-neat writing now.   Both my grandmothers, who learned to write in the 00's and teens of the last century, had almost illegible handwriting.   One of the skills one learns when writing cursive is deciphering other's handwriting.   sidhe, apparently AKA Sir Scribbly

  41. I certainly know members of the previous generation who have bad handwriting, but my mother and grandparents all have/had the most beautiful handwriting (even up to the end).  As a matter of fact, finding old letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother, and recieving letters from my grandmothers was a big reason for my interest in improving my own penmanship.  I want my writing to look like those cool old postcard notes!

  42. zEkiel:

    Unfortunately, the practice is dying out in the US. The schools who do teach it don't use it much after the third or fourth grade, and several municipalities have done away with cursive altogether.

    It's believed that cursive is irrelevant in this computer age of printing.

  43. Wow, that's weird O_o But as far as I know, I don't write "pure" cursive as in write it all in cursive. I actually write in cursive and then when the stroke suddenly gets awkward, I switch back to print then continue on cursive.It doesn't look bad and I think it actually looks like pure cursive.

  44. Another female here!  New to the group, too.  I just joined yesterday.  I am a Diamond Jubilee person who learned at Briarcliffe Secretarial School in Hicksville, NY from a teacher named Ms. Zicollela.  I also took a semester of Series 90 WAAAAY back in the early 80's when I moved back to Southern Calif..  I've used Gregg Shorthand in every temp or regular job I've had since 1982.  It's a handy skill and makes me seem somewhat mysterious to folks who don't know how to write shorthand.  Dare I say, sometimes they even seem to ADMIRE me?    I'm very glad to have discovered a group of fans here.  Thank you for the GREAT website.  –Alison   P.S.  I own a Spanish Gregg text but haven't really taken the time to learn.  When I take dictation in Spanish, I mostly use the outlines corresponding to the sounds of the words I hear.  That seems to work well for me.  One of these days I'll learn the Spanish version, perhaps when I retire.

  45. I have a couple version of the Spanish version.  One Anniversary and the other Simplified.  When I lived in Arizona, I found the principles in the Spanish Gregg to be very helpful when having to take Mexican/Spanish surnames.  For instance, "Gallegos" in the Spanish version they use the "ith" as the "ll".  Gay-a-"ith"-gay-o-s.  It came in handy for words like "calle" as well. 

  46. I too have the Taquigrafia Gregg Anniversary and hope to go all the way through the manual after I finish my "Expert" reporting book from 11945. I actually had the pleasure of using Gregg at work today, I took an advertising disclaimer for an ad much to the sales person's amazement and transcribed it. She asked several questions about shorthand as she'd never seen anyone use it before. Who knows, we may encourage youngsters to investigate "light-line" again, expecially those who need to take accurate (note I said accurate, not verbatim) notes either in classes or in meetings. I also was impressed with the use of the "th" for "ll" in Spanish Gregg, a convenience I've been using like you for names.

  47. Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!  I just looked on my bookshelf and I have TAQUIGRAFIA GREGG:  TEXTO BASICO and TAQUIGRAFIA GREGG:  DICTADO Y TRANSCRIPCION, TEXTO.  Both of these are "Series 90".  I also have a book called AUXILIAR DE TAQUIGRAFIA GREGG, which was originally published in 1927!  I bought all of these books at the Sunrise Mall on Long Island in the early 80's.   I've been reviewing my English Diamond Jubilee shorthand at work during lunch.  You've all inspired me to learn the Spanish version as well.  Since I'm a bilingual Admin. Assistant, it couldn't hurt.  I spend around half my time speaking and writing in Spanish, the other half in English.   I just found the workbooks for both Diamond Jubilee texts on my shelf, complete with some ANCIENT dictation and transcription, plus some handouts Ms. Zicolella gave us at Briarcliffe Secretarial School.  I remember having a bad time with all the different reasons to use541/11111111 (my Chihuahua just stepped on the keyboard) or not to use commas.   I was fascinated to learn from this site that there are some court reporters who are Gregg writers rather than machine writers.   When I lived on Long Island, Gregg helped me land a job making $200 more per week than I had before I learned Gregg.    I look forward to corresponding with my fellow Gregg enthusiasts.  Just to let you all know how nerdy I am, I am also a Notary Public.  B-O-R-I-N-G!  

  48. That's really good. The "Auxiliar" book is the Spanish equivalent to the "Word and Sentence Drills for Gregg Shorthand" book, published for the Anniversary and earlier series. It does not contain any shorthand whatsoever. As it corresponds to an earlier version of Spanish Gregg, I'm not so sure as to how it could be used with S90 (since S90 and Anniv are very different in Spanish), but some material may be worth practicing.

  49. Would you believe…when I ordered the "auxiliar" through the L.I. bookstore back in around 1981, I had no idea it would contain NO shorthand!  I suppose I could read it into a tape recorder and use it to practice taking dictation in Spanish.   Is the "Anniversary" edition of Spanish Gregg more akin to the "Diamond Jubilee" version I learned in English?   I don't remember too many differences between "Series 90" and "D.J." in English, but I had a whole year of D.J. and only one semester of "S 90" after that to polish up my speed.  (Maybe there were less brief forms???)  Since "D.J." is the one most firmly planted in my brain, those are the  books I'm using to review and practice.  Since I have the "S 90" texts in Spanish, I think I'll use those to learn the Spanish version.   Maybe I will grow new dendrites in my brain from all this activity.   I love this group, by the way.  I'm glad I'm not the last person on earth who uses Gregg shorthand!

  50. Female. I used to do Calligraphy professionally, about ten years ago, but stressed myself too much and ended up having to have carpal tunnel surgery in my right wrist (my writing hand).   Now, I'm starting to get back into Gregg shorthand, which I haven't used since high school in the late sixties. I have to be careful not to stress myself again, which would bring on another case of carpal tunnel syndrome.   I'm not into speed so much at this point, although it is faster to take sermon notes in shorthand than longhand. I want to be able to get the important points of the sermons I listen to at church and the meetings I attend at work.   At church, I have no desk, which is a real "juggling" problem. I'm open to your ideas on how to overcome this.

  51. Off the subject just a tad–forgive me–but in terms of Shorthand, isn't it great to be over 40?

    ShorthandMarc just posted a job application for a stenographer. The company, based in Massachusetts, cannot find a qualified stenographer ANYwhere. Isn't that mindboggling??

    By contrast, in the 1970s, the Shorthand classes were always full…   ——————————————————— I'm just reading back through the "male/female" thread, and I agree with the above, in terms of shorthand it IS great to be over 40.  I feel better now…I just turned 49 on Dec. 1.  At least my husband didn't sing "The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used to Be" on that auspicious day…–Alison   P.S. To those males who, in their youth, were in a shorthand class full of females, you had a bevy of beauties to choose from, so it wasn't ALL bad, was it?  Reminds me of the boys who took sewing and cooking with me in Jr. High back in the early 70's.

  52. Be sure to explore the web and elsewhere (start with the links in this group) for tips on how to hold your pen and move your body. Your forearm and even shoulder should get into the act, and the motion should be comfortable; Gregg was specifically designed so the most common moves are easiest for the hand.

    Half the people who have carpel tunnel surgery don't get proper retraining, so they go back to the same old motions that caused the problems in the first place! Surgeons are great at surgery, but not so great at prevention.

    If you can find an occupational therapist, even better, especially if they specialize in hands and shoulders. One specializing in kids might be best; I'm not sure how many adults need help with writing unless they've had an injury.) My son's OT had him do all sorts of strange things before watching him pick up a pencil, to make sure it wasn't a physical problem.

    A pen that suits you (the barrel size and shape, and the ink flow, and the paper the ink flows well on) makes a huge difference.

    Shorthand is great for reducing the amount of writing you need to do!

  53. I'm Cindy and new to the group (and a female). I learned shorthand in high school when I took two years of Secretarial Training in the mid-70's. I really enjoyed it and was one of the few students to get all A's. Ironically I never used it for any of the secretarial jobs I had (nobody even asked!) but it was invaluable when I worked as a newspaper reporter in my 30's and 40's! I would ask people questions and they'd talk so fast, I don't know what I would have done without it! I haven't used it in a long time but I think shorthand is "ingrained" in me. However, I do want to brush up and have recently been practicing with an old textbook I found at a garage sale, the same one I used in high school. Such memories! It is a fun and rewarding skill.   Cindy http://www.geocities.com/cindybin46  

  54. Male here.  Started shorthand classes in 1965 and have been writing Gregg since.  Gregg has always served me very well in terms of jobs.  I was always given preference because of shorthand skill.   It never mattered that I was a guy, they were all just too happy that someone could take dictation and transcribe accurately.  Still speedbuilding and trying to get over the 170 "hump".  I'm determined to sit for the state test – just to show the Stenotype people that they MUST REMEMBER THAT PEN WRITERS WERE THE ORIGINAL BACKBONE OF COURT REPORTING.  Also, still trying to work out the idea I had about giving shorthand classes, but family matters have taken the front seat for now.  Anyway, I love being a part of this site.   

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