Gregg Shorthand Lives On

Hi all:  
I found this site by chance and find it very interesting, as it is an effort to keep shorthand alive, and that is a good thing.  Myself, I write Anniversary, with some shortcuts taken from pre-aniversary days (especially the tr- rule, which it’s a time saver for me).  I learned shorthand on my own while I was in high school, with the aid of my aunt, who was a legal secretary.  I use it in my daily work (I’m a scientist), so it’s fun to make notes from meetings in shorthand and have people wonder when you read back your notes, hehe.   Are there any other anniversary writers here?


Also, I have as a pet project to build a shorthand website, but I’m not so sure as to what is the best way to input Gregg characters into the PC.  I know I can scan my notes, but I was wondering if one of those pen devices is a good idea for writing.  My fear is that if I use a pen/tablet, the strokes will look jagged and thick (try writing shorthand on a Palm Pilot — not a pretty sight).  Any ideas as to how to do this?

9 comments Add yours
  1. Dear Chuck,              I, for one, was not happy with the sites I saw on the net. While they certainly aided me in better understanding Gregg from a historical and comparative perspective, I was dismayed at the fawning deference to Pitman, which seems to me an outdated (due to thickness requirements) albeit excellent form of shorthand.                On the eve of my freshman year (college), I'm trying to hit 150 wpm by September 2005 (I just started in August) and would love to see a Gregg site's incipience and subsequent burgeoning. Hell, I'll help you out if I can be of service (though it seems you'll need little assistance!) . I'm unfortunately a philosophy-cum-math student, so I can't help you with ideas for shorthand input or programming. But the least I can say is that I'm thrilled you're contemplating this page, I'll help you write stuff if you need any aid, and I believe http://www.greggshorthand.com is not in use at the moment.  ; ))

  2. Hi, Chuck, how great to have another seasoned Gregg user around (not meaning myself), and Anniversary at that! I don't know much about that version yet.

    You deserve a Nobel prize for your website idea. I can learn almost anything for free on the internet, but so far, shorthand has been an exception. It's a miracle that I ever broke down and actually paid money for my textbook, being a member of … whatever generation is my age these days. If a rare skill like Gregg is not immortalized online, it will rot away with the last century, I think.

    As far as inputing Gregg outlines into a computer, you may be interested to review the discussion entitled "A Text To Gregg Translator". While Tyler is still working out the bugs (*ahem*) in that software, you can still input your own attractive outlines without having to scan them. A quality graphics pad, like Waccom brand, will make beautifully smooth lines in a good software like Adobe Illustrator. Much better than the palm pilot anyway! The title graphic on this site sucks, I know, but I made it using just my mouse in Illustrator, and you can see that the line quality is good. I could even have made them much thinner, or varied in thickness from beginning to end.

  3. Yes, I'm familiar with the triple-shorthand site, and I like it a lot, but that's not what I had in mind.  I'm leaning towards an instructional site, with vocabulary covering other areas besides business.  Thanks for the suggestion though.

  4. Wow, thank you so much for the offer, seph.  I'll keep it in mind.  Part of the thing about vocabulary is that with the later versions of Gregg, though the memory burden is greatly reduced, speed is sacrificed somewhat.  Most of the speed comes from the brain — memorizing the outline — and the use of phrasing from the very beginning.  I don't want to start a war of the versions (far from it, I like Gregg, period), but part of the problem with the modern versions of Gregg is that they don't use phrasing as prevalently as the older versions.  For example, I automatically phrase "to+verb", with any verb, whereas if you read any of the later versions of the system, you will see the "to" separated from the verb, unless the verb starts with a downstroke (as b, p, ch, etc).  Simplified seems to be a good compromise (I like the -rd stoke in simplified, why didn't they think about that before?), since it still retains some of the phrasing characteristics of the older systems.   The good lists of vocabulary are available with simplified Gregg and before, and especially with the older versions because those were designed for court reporting.  I have compiled some of those, especially for the words that I use often.  You can basically write any word with the application of the rules and the abbreviating principle.  If you have any words in mind, let me know.

  5. Thank you for the tip!  I will definitely check the tablets out.  I'm impressed that you "wrote" the graphic in Illustrator, with a mouse nonetheless!!!!  Dr. Gregg himself would be proud of you!   I, like you, am frustrated that there are no free shorthand instruction sites — I find that unbelievable, really.  If any, shorthand is a great hobby — at least it is for me.  (It beats doodling, well, it is doodling with style, hehehe.)  The old books are fascinating in terms of the variety of material to practice (anything from the Gettysburg address to recommendations on how to dress for business).  I agree with you, I'm afraid that if this skill is not kept alive, it will go the way of the typewriter.  A shame, really, because it is extremely handy.

  6. Seph,

    On the note about greggshorthand.com, it is currently in use by a New Yorker with the last name of Parks. The WHOIS record on it expires in September of 2005.

    Since it is New York, it is a possibility that McGraw-Hill actually owns that domain and has no content on it. I doubt that notion, though. I suggest backordering it or going with another extension. 🙂

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