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  1. Very excellent work. The marking of vowels is a trick that I have adapted to my use of Congressional Simplified.   Has anyone looked at the manuals written for the teachers of Gregg? I find these very interesting, and they provide an additional insight into the Gregg method.   Brian

  2. I have the exact same book as your PDF file (Gregg Shorthand: A Light-Line Phonography for the Million; Anniversary Edition; John Robert Gregg; (c) 1893, 1901, 1916, 1929; Nov. 1944-D-75)   That manual has a section at the end, pages 155-159, with "a short vocabulary." Those words look like special forms to me (e.g. abstract, accomodation, accompany, etc.)   Anyway, since the manual lacks solutions to the exercises, I prefer learning from this other book (Gregg Shorthand: Manual for the Functional Method; Anniversary Edition; Louis A. Leslie; (c) 1893, 1901, 1916, 1929, 1936; Feb. 1948-D-30).   The strange thing is that the books have pretty much the same content until you get to page 79 (Assignment 16) in the Functional Method book. Then it introduces some special forms (dearly, daily, nearly, merely, likely, names, letters, families) that do not seem to be in the Gregg manual.   Why is that? And what do you call these words in the "short vocabulary"?

  3. Well, the absence of the transcriptions of the files seems to work well for me, since the book teaches how to read each one. If you want me to transcribe one, just ask! Page 32: "The public in this section of the country is against publishing the matter in its present form until the figures have been thoroughly studied.  To fix the tax at this rate will mix matters and will not appeal to the people.  Once the material of the campaign is placed before the public, the risk will be very great and everything should be thoroughly ready before such action is taken.  I hear that everything is ready for the big parade.  Dear sir, when you visited me in January you said you would be back again between the middle and end of next May and that you would present in brief form a History of Business you were going to publish.  There is still another month left that can be given to finishing this piece of work.  It is history that is much needed at present.  I shall be happy to hear from you soon.  Yours truly," The short vocabulary at the end is just that, a short vocabulary.  It merely is used as a guide to show how to execute the abbreviation principle, which is the biggest selling point of Anniversary Gregg.

  4.   What, then, is the difference between brief forms, special forms, and words written according to the abbreviating principle? At first, Marc Semler makes it sound like they are three different things. Then he makes it sound like brief forms and special forms are the same thing. And then your message makes it sound like special forms and words written according to the abbreviating principle are the same thing.   Marc writes:   1) "Being the first Gregg system intended for business purposes, Simplified Gregg discarded some of the esoteric rules which covered just a few words or sounds.  It greatly reduced the memory load by having students write out many words which had, in Anniversary, been brief forms, special forms, and words written according to the abbreviating principle."   2) "There were hundreds of brief forms and hundreds of “special forms” which were merely brief forms (for longer words) with another name.  The abbreviating principle gives rules to shorten words so that only enough is written to recognize a word.  However, application of the abbreviating principle could be disastrous if not learned well and practiced."   Maybe we can collaborate on a glossary of terms, once I figure out what I'm doing 🙂

  5. Assignment 16 in the Anniversary Functional Method Manual corresponds to Paragraphs 82 and 83 of the Anniversary Manual (Unit 9).  In assignment 16, you should study those forms as well as you study brief forms, because they will come back over and over again.  Pay attention to the odd joining of the s in the word "letters".   Actually, I like the Anniversary Functional Method Manual for learning/teaching better than the regular Anniversary Manual, because it gives you more examples and makes learning gradual.  I use the regular manual as a reference.  Be sure to get both parts for the functional method manual, and not to do any writing until Assignment 22.   The short vocabulary are indeed the special forms, which are the application of the abbreviating principle.  Beginning on Assignment 35, a group of words from the short vocabulary is presented.  They are presented at this point because at the beginning you are busy learning the brief forms, and at the end of the book you don't want to memorize a long list of words.  So by learning in small installments, students can do it with much less trouble than all at once at the end of the manual.  These special forms will be drilled and redrilled throughout the book, derivatives will be formed, and believe me, by the end, you would know these forwards and backwards.   I have seen the key to the Anniversary Manual in E-bay.

  6. This is a great question.   The Abbreviating Principle states that words should be abbreviated by writing no more than what is necessary to transcribe them.  The way the principle is applied is by dropping the end of the word.  The key to the application is knowing what to drop.  For example, for the word "singular", should you drop "-gular", "-ular", "-lar", "-ar", or just the "r"?  In some words is obvious, but in others it is not.  But no worries, because you will learn that.   A "Brief Form" is an abbreviation of a high frequency word in the English language.  The abbreviation itself may or may not follow the Abbreviating Principle, since for some words it is not formed by dropping the ending.  For example, notice that the brief forms for the words "life" ("l-a-f"), "above" ("a-b-v"), "part" ("p-t"), and "determine" ("reverse e-mn blend") are not formed according to the Abbreviating Principle.   The "Special Forms" are less frequent words in the English language (but they come up from time to time) that originally appeared as "A Short Vocabulary" at the end of the Pre-Anniversary and Anniversary Gregg Manuals.  Louis Leslie took those words and renamed them to "Special Forms" and integrated them earlier in the text (as I said in a different post).  A great number of those words are written according to the abbreviating principle; others are not.  They are not technically brief forms because they are not common words, and they are somewhat longer words.  That's the difference.   There are also "reporting shortcuts".  You won't learn those in the first manual, but if you take on the study of shorthand reporting (especially Congressional and Legal reporting) you will encounter these as well.  These are words whose outlines have been shortened to increase speed even more.  They usually belong to a specific subject.  For example, the word "analysis" can be written as "a-n-ss" as a shortcut (instead of "a-n-a-l-ss").  Don't worry about those for now: you won't see them for a while.   Incidentally, "singular" is written "s-e-ng-u hook".   I hope this helps.

  7. Those of you who learned Anniversary Edition:   How long did it take you to get up to normal conversational speeds (200 wpm)?   I am studying the Manual for the Functional Method at a rate of 2 assignments a day, so I should finish in about 30 days. But I'm not sure how long it will take to get up to 200 wpm, or what the best methods will be to get there once I'm done with Leslie's books.

  8. Thanks for all the great advice. I always print it out for reference.   So Chuck, what are your plans for starting a shorthand website? You have already written a lot of material here that could help new students. Also, I thought it would be good to include some photos of the different books out there, along with descriptions and recommendations, in order to help people who are trying to figure out what shorthand books to buy.   I may buy a digital camera in the near future to assist with this goal, as I have several anniversary and simplified books.   Then there is the question of hosting. Geocities is a good temporary site, since they don't charge. Good servers without popup ads are generally going to cost $7 / month or so. Maybe you know all this already so I'll stop here.

  9. I'm working on it.  I'm organizing the materials in a logical sequence.  Also, I got my Intuos3 tablet a couple of weeks ago, but now I need one of the writing pens made specifically for that model, so that I can see what I'm writing (Wacom told me that they will be available within a month or so).  I noticed that when I started writing on the tablet, the outlines are not coming as nicely as with regular writing: more than likely it's me trying to get used to writing without seeing .  I could also scan my notes, but that would be kind of a pain.   I have a pretty nice collection of books — I obtained a good chunk of these while trying to piece together this website project.  That's how I noticed that there is so much good stuff out there.  Showing pictures of the books along with recommendations is an excellent idea.

  10. At this point, I have to admit I was wrong.   I thought I could do 2 assignments a day and finish both Functional Method books in two months. However it turned out my brain just couldn't absorb that many brief forms. I would try to cram them all in and rush to the next assignment. Then the next day, I got frustrated because I couldn't do the Drill on Previous Assignments.   That reminds me of the "7 plus or minus 2" rule. There is a psychological theory that you can only remember about 7 things at a time. That is why phone numbers are 7 digits long – if they were much longer, your short-term couldn't contain it long enough for you to dial. During your sleep, short term memories are encoded into long term memory. That is probably why it helps to put a night of sleep between assignments.   I guess Marc Semler was right:   "It is better to write ½ hour a day than to cram a weeks’ worth of practice into one 3½-hour session.  Your mind needs to absorb the work and it needs to rest between practice sessions.  Certainly, more than 쩍 hour a day is desirable, but with our busy schedules. . . ."

  11. My practice comes with school.  I spend one block to write down as many words as I can from the history teacher.  It has improved my ability dramatically.  Right now, I write with a mixed version of Simplified and Anniversary.  As I learn the brief forms from the manual that I scanned, I replace the Simplified brief forms with the Anniversary ones.  For some reason, I am writing tons faster now.   In terms of creating a Web site, I was bored last Saturday and threw together a small site on Gregg Shorthand just for fun.  I might add some things as time goes on.   http://gregg.angelfishy.net/   -Andrew Owen

  12. When I was in College, I used to do that in lectures, but I wouldn't write verbatim, just the important stuff.  The interesting thing is that I never transcribed a word .    In your "spare" time, learn the analogical word endings/beginnings from Anniversary, and the rules for the R (which to me is one of the coolest things about this version of Gregg), and you will be writing Anniversary sooner than you think, .   By the way, your site is very elegant.  What happened to the link for the simplified version of the text?

  13. Re: Message 18

    Chuck, which software are you using? Illustrator will smooth chicken scratch into natural and beautiful curves. You can even control how much or little it smooths. Probably not easy to use for writing a whole page of text, but for creating some graphics, its right handy.

  14. I downloaded Illustrator (still have 15 days to go for the trial …).  The smoothness is not so much the problem.  Is more that I'm not able to control the proportion, and the strokes come up with a slight slant.  The k-r blends are coming too exagerated and the circles are not closing right.  Perhaps is some setting in the software.  I'm using the pencil tool.   If you have any ideas about settings, could you please let me know?

  15.   I had another look at the manual you scanned, Danger, and it has inspired me to complete another lesson in Simplified.  Let's see…that'll put me at lesson 47!  I especially like the following part, in the "Talk With the Beginner" section.   "Think of [shorthand] as the highest form of writing, which is itself the greatest invention of man.  Be proud that you can record the language in graceful lines and curves…for it is not only a practical instrument in commercial work, but a much-prized and valuable accomplishment and a means of mental culture."   I am proud, Papa John!

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