Work my way backwards?


I just found and joined your group today.

Wanting to learn shorthand to write the old fashioned way (no keyboard), without having to wait for so long for my pen to catch up with my thoughts, I first looked at Pitman. My mother had a little old ‘Teach Yourself Pitman’ book and I started on that. Trouble is; Pitman is UGLY. I dare anyone to show me Pitman that looks good.

A quick look on the internet for shorthand and I saw an example of Gregg for the first time  That’s more like it I thought. It’s good looking…….like me. hahaha.

So, I’ve looked around, downloaded stuff, looked around some more and decided that Simplified Gregg would be good for me. I even found 38 pages of a book on the web that has started me off. You may know the book; It talks a lot about how well the store in Reno is doing and Mr Blair’s Polo playing neighbours! I’m fetting a bit frustrated as the pages I’ve got seem to tell me a lot but not about y’s or x’s (I’m guessing there’s no need for X but I cant think how we are going to hide Y’s under the rug!) so I’ll probably have to wait for a book L) I have a book on its way to me from Cali I found on ebay…


It seems I could have saved myself a lot of head scratching if I’d found this group first lol.

Now the question:

Given that I plan on making a thorough study of the book and will get used to writing Gregg as it describes (I hope it covers Y’s); will this preclude, make more difficult or impossible ‘adding in’ techniques and shortcuts etc from an earlier Gregg later?

I’m guessing that it wont be too much of a problem and the worst effects would be a mixing up of shortform from earlier Gregg when I remember to use them and Simplified longerhand when I don’t. Will what I produce if this happens still be legible to myself and others? Has anyone else had experience of doing things this way?

(by steve for everyone)

30 comments Add yours
  1. I learned the 1963 Jubilee edition. Then when I started medical school, I switched to the 1949 Simplified series. I had to do this because the 1963 version had no complete medical shorthand.   I didn't encounter any problems, although I wish that I had learned the 1949 version first. I've glanced at the pre-1949 versions, but I never studied them in any depth.   The only add-in's you will encounter would be if you decide to move into advanced shorthand. This would have been someone who took dictation in court or speeches in Congress. I moved into this arena out of interest, but I do find the extra forms very useful. Regular Gregg would be 1 or 2 high-school semesters. Medical and legal Gregg would be another 1-2 semesters, and expert level would be another 1-2 semesters–although at the college level.   Brian

  2. Welcome to the group!  It's great you want to learn Gregg.  In regards to the "mixing" of the forms, a lot of people do that when taking rapid dictation, since one wants to take down as much as possible, so that is not unique.  You can add your own shortcuts later:  the important thing is that you know and learn a system well before resorting to other speed expedients.    

  3. Not really.  I don't write Simplified — I write Anniversary Gregg — but I don't see it as a problem.  All writers have their own set of shortcuts.  Be diligent in learning your system well.  The rest will come with practice and experience.

  4. Of course there is no problem with having learned Gregg that way, Steve!  That is the way that I learned it.  I introduced myself to the system with Luke's scans at  Then, I upgraded to the 1955 second edition of Gregg Shorthand Simplified.  Once I had that version somewhat whooped, I took notes with it frequently.  Recently, however, I have figured I might as well learn Anniversary Shorthand, since it is so much more complicated and more effective in its purpose.  To me, it seems to be the truest form of Gregg Shorthand.   Collecting Gregg books has been a bit of an obsession recently. is a catalogue of mine humble Gregg library. 🙂

  5. I've done the same thing.  I learned Diamond Jubilee.  lately I've been learning the Anniversary Edition in the Function Method.  I also have a Simplified congressional speed building book that I've been looking through and it's not hard to read that either unless I haven't learned the BF in the Ann. edition yet.    Now, I think, if you want to correspond with someone or share your notes, they may not know which brief from you've used or not, but they could probably guess by the context of the sentence or text. Debbi

  6. Thanks for all the info guys. I think you've all confirmed and added to what I had pieced together myself.   Thank you for the link TDA. I'll take a look through the Anniversary book this evening.   Now I have to decide to go with Simplified (when the book shows up) or with Anniversary! I'll let you know when I do    Thanks again.   Steve    

  7. Hi all,   After a look through the Anniversary PDF last night I decided I may as well start on that. I like the facility to be more explicit with vowels if you want/need and I don't think Simplified teaches that (correct me if I'm wrong please). I don't really care about the difference in brief form numbers and I may even form some words with complete disregard to available brief forms.   But I have a problem already  and could do with some help.   In the Anniversary book in unit 1 section 13 is the first reading practice. I can't believe it but I'm stuck on the first line! I know it's sad.   So please Wise Gregg Guys; what are the last two words in the first line? Also what's the third word in the second line?   Are the dot marks for 'h' optional? In the book is it convention to introduce a form with vowel marks and the use it immediately without the marks!? Was Gregg Satan?   You get the idea. Any help will be very much appreciated.     Steve    

  8. Thanks guys.   I did have it correct it seems but you would think that in the small print the book might have said about optional 'h'   it does say about the vowel marks. (I'll stop moaning now I think)   Thanks for the help and the link.   Cheers guys,   Steve    

  9. Don't despair!   The last two words are "aid her".  The third word in the second line is "him".  "Her" and "him" are usually written without the dot.  The convention about the vowel marks is to use them when necessary.  You should be able to get the meaning by context — I agree that at the beginning it may be a little hard, but you will learn it by reading a lot of shorthand.

  10. Well, for the first three or so units, I typed mine Anniversary book into the HTML format.  In addition, I included a transcription for each unit for your convenience. 🙂   This quite unfinished project is located at  Because of its obviously unfinished status, I did not link to it from the main page.  For my transcriptions of the units, at the bottom of the page there is a link that says, "Transcription Key to this Unit".  H's are optional, indeed, for certain words for which it would be obvious to have an h.  Words like "had" and "her", for instance, do not require dots.  After Anniversary, the dots became necessary (except for that "Expert" Diamond Jubilee addendum that was recently reported here).

  11. I suppose I could add notes here and there in my XHTML documents.  I believe this textbook would be more effective with a teacher, of course, but you can still learn from this book.  It leaves you to figure out several things on your own…sort of an engrossing technique, maybe.   And the functional method is about as bad in terms of lacking explanations!  You don't really see many paragraph explanations past the early theory lessons.  However, since the functional method is still under copyright (©1936, mine was printed in 1943), I do not wish to scan it.   I think it would be thoroughly cool, though, for the Gregg Publishing Company to publish more material again (instead of McGraw-Hill publishing the three or four books it does on Gregg).  Even though the newer Gregg textbooks are hip and everything (and cost loads of money, new centennial books being around 40 to 50 dollars), they ought to publish a new a modern anniversary book.  Of course, such hopes are likened to Marc-André Hamelin premiering your set of compositions.  Honestly, the only places I see Gregg these days are on the front of stenography pads and reporter's notebooks.   This post has slightly hit a tangent.  Mine opinions often get in the way of my writing.

  12. Hi,   Good news   I managed to read the unit 2 practice with almost no errors. One interesting mistake I make almost all the time is to read 'Going' as 'Coming' which is odd as there is no short form for 'come'. It does make you think about how ones brain starts to soak up this stuff though (go and come)   Thanks for the help and advice all of you. I'm going to use my translations of the first two units to write back to Gregg now and compare with the book after (quite a few times I think). I guess that seems like a good idea before I move on to blends in unit 3.   No chance of a teacher 'DA; not here in the UK! Perhaps you're correct that having to sweat a bit over it at the start is a good thing. It's fun anyway.   Thanks again. When I have some practice at writing myself I'll break out the scanner and talk to you guys in Gregg I think. Anyone else got a scanner?   Steve    

  13. Thanks Chuck.   There is a prob though. The book one seller will only ship inside the US and I'm UK.   I'll keep my eye out for them though. One of the reasons I decided to learn Aniv' instead of Simp' was due to the messages in this group that mentioned that there was a lot more material avilable for Aniv.   Cheers,   Steve

  14. The functional method is anniversary, just a different way of learning (Functional Method? – link to info on it).  Just a lot more reading and writing practice involved.  So look for those books if you can.  I have all (mine in worse condition then the eBay ones).

  15. oops. I meant  Anniv': just a typo. I just won the copy I asked about above on ebay. I don't know if £7.50 was a good deal but I'm happy     I'm interested in reading the booklet 'Brief Forms in Gregg Shorthand' that was included.   Later,   s

  16. Yes, that's the book that Andrew scanned.   If you want to read more Gregg, you should get the two-book set of the Gregg Shorthand: Manual for the Functional Method (Parts 1 and 2).  These are listed in E-bay all the time.  Although it doesn't give you explanations as the regular manual, there are two good things about the Functional Method books  (1) it has the key at the end, (2) the amount of reading material is substantially larger.   Part 1 is up for bids here:   Part 2 is up for bids here:

  17. I agree.  Like Debbi said, the Functional method is just the way you learn it — by reading a lot first and then you write.  Those two books are written in Anniversary Gregg (I forgot to say that).   (Incidentally, the scanned manual is Anniversary, not simplified.)   Keep your eye open for those books — in my opinion, they are well worth it.

Leave a Reply