Best Shorthand Text

Greetings to everyone.  I just this minute joined this group and look forward to interacting with many of you.

Since I’m new here, I was wondering if anyone would share with me his or her ideas of the best shorthand text available.  I have the one that deals with dictation/transcription, and I also have “Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified.”  What is the MOST RECENT shorthand publication available?  I also have the Gregg Shorthand Dictionary, but I’ve noticed that it does not incorporate all the strokes that are included in more recent textbooks.
I’m mainly interested in shorthand THEORY.
Also, how big is the ITH?  The “under” ith pretty much looks like a smaller version of the symbol for ND and AND.  It’s hard to tell, though, since often the shorthand symbols in textbooks are not written on lined pages.
And, if anyone has any suggestions for making shorthand even shorter than it already is, I’d like to hear them.  I sometimes omit the short “u” (uh) sound, such as in “cup.”
I know I’m going to have lots more questions, and I’m anxious to hear ideas to improve my shorthand skills.  If I think I have any info that might be of use to anyone, of course I’ll pass that on. 
PLEASE feel free to write ANYTHING you wish about this fun system.  I recently began self-teaching shorthand as a way of making notes that no one else could understand.  Even though I don’t ever intend to use it to take dictation, I wish I could improve my speed.  The basic symbols are all second nature to me now, though I haven’t yet begun to study the brief forms.  Actually, I’d really be happy if I could just learn to use the symbols at  a decent rate of speed.  I’ve tried to find a school that offers a Gregg Shorthand course, but I’ve not met with any success. 
Again, I look forward to sharing with all members of the group! 

(by nippersnick1 for everyone)

6 comments Add yours
  1. One important point is that "newer" isn't
    necessarily "better".  The Series 90 and Centennial editions of Gregg
    Shorthand came out when shorthand was disappearing from the educational scene
    and being replaced in business by other methods.  While the Centennial
    books have a much "flashier" look with lots of color, shiny paper, etc., they
    didn't provide any real advance in the system or in teaching methods.  And
    to me the Series 90 edition wasn't that different from the Diamond
    The Centennial books did re-introduce some of the
    older brief forms that had been dropped in DJ and 90, but it was too late for
    that to have any benefit.

  2. What you can do with your shorthand textbook is take a pencil and ruler and draw lines to see where the symbols are.  A pencil will help you if you ned to erase the line to see the symbol and will not be too dark to cover up the symbols.  So press lightly.    The ITH isn't very big.  I made mine a little smaller then the ND.   If you want shorthand shorter you want the older versions.  They used lots of brief forms, abbreviations, etc.  The Anniversary Edition seems the best for this.  but the memory load is a lot because of all the brief forms, etc.    There are also court reporting shorthand books out there that even offer more shorter versions of the shorthand.  Even more abbreviations.   One thing you need to remember is if you want to shorten anything, make sure you can read it later.   For example in the Anniversary Edition it says " the angle between the k and p is maintained in the word complete/complaint  to make a distinction between company and keep.  "  All are the c-p symbols, but the company/keep is more curved and the complete/complaint isn't, it has the "point" (or whatever you want to call it…) Debbi

  3. You said you have "Gregg Shorthand Dictionary" which version is it?  If it's an older version then it won't incorporate all of the strokes/symbols that the more recent ones have.   In the Documents  section there's a gregg-shorthand-comparison.pdf that you can see the various types of Gregg that is out there… Oh, is there a night school that offers shorthand for speed and or diction?  You may be able to take that class even if they use a different version. Blanchard's Pyramid Plan (link) offers an idea on improving your shorthand speed. Swem's Systematic Speed Course – link with ideas and refers to the document systematic-speed-course.pdf (in the documents section also). Those are just some of the posts here on the board.  Take a moment and read through them (VERY interesting and educational–I think I've learned more then I have in using Gregg [sort of] in the last 10 years).

  4. I agree with Alex.  I find that the older systems are much faster and more facile in writing than the newer versions.  Shorthand has gone through several revisions in its time, and they usually have been for the relief of the brain from actual information and principles.  The most recent shorthand publication is the college textbook for the Centennial edition of Gregg's shorthand, but it is eighty odd-dollars and it teaches a rather incomplete Gregg version.   The th is about a third of a line or even less.  It is true that it is simply a smaller version of the nd and the dn strokes, but the principle that goes into its invention is simply that it is a modification of the t.   As for making shorthand more facile, check out the 1929 Anniversary manual, which I have scanned in its entirety at  In the case of the word cup, it is best in any version to leave the u in there, since that outline could easily be mistaken for company, keep, complaint, or complete (the latter two use kp, but without a very smooth blend between them in Anniversary).  The best advice I can give you for making shorthand easier is to learn more brief forms such as those from Anniversary or before.   The more brief forms and phrases you learn and are able to conjure at the snap of a finger, the faster you will get.  The more practice (such as dictation from you get, the faster you will write.  Just don't give up.   —Andrew

  5. I echo what everyone else has already said.   As to what is the best book, that's really two questions. (1) what is the best system for your particular use?, and (2) how do you best learn a new subject?   There are many versions of Gregg, and also many books that emphasize a different presentation of the same principles.   Answering (1), for heavy in depth use, Simplified versions and before are better; for ocassional use, any of the newer versions would suffice.   Answering (2), if you want to learn theory and rules, then the straight manual is the way to go.  If you rather learn by doing, and deduce the rule from reading well written shorthand, then the functional method manuals are better.   So, for example, if you want to learn straight theory, but don't plan to use the system that much, then Gregg Shorthand Manual Diamond Jubilee would be fine.  But if you plan to use it a lot, but rather learn the rules by practice, then the Simplified Functional Manual or Anniversary Functional Manuals would be fine.   As to the size of the ith — this is a matter of proportion, as you pointed out.  As a rule of thumb:  md/mt and tm/dm go from baseline to top, nd/nt and dn/tn from baseline to middle, and ith from baseline to 1/4 of the line.  The trick about the ith is to make the upswing slightly more vertical than the other strokes, so that it doesn't get confused with the others:         

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