Simplified Manual

I just spotted today the Second Edition of the Simplified Manual at Borders.  Price: $19.95.

(by Carlos for

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  1. really old copy of the second edition simplified manual at the used book store run out of the basement of my local library. price: $0.33   I don't know if its just my area or not, but shorthand books seem to be really easy to find in flea markets and used bookstores. And they've all cost me less than shipping would be on ebay, that 2nd edition simplified manual was the cheapest, the most expensive was $3.   And aren't the new centennial books really expensive? Why is that, if the new simplified is only $19.95?

  2. [climbs up on his soap box and begins to pound his chest] [rant mode ON]   Centennial was an attempt to "correct" the errors of the Series 90's ways but was too little too late.  Series 90 managed to kill off what interest business colleges had in SYMBOL shorthand as students struggled in vain to get over the 100 wpm barrier.  (Why spend all that time learning symbols when alpha systems can be learned more quickly allowing more time on speed building?)  The system was just too darned long to write.  Another problem was the "brilliant" idea to make brief forms stand for ONLY one word, which gave us the slow and awkward D-OO-R-ING dot combination for during since D-R just HAD to be doctor.   I did hear from one teacher who indicated Centennial was easy to teach, but the students taking shorthand had fallen to a mere handful and their English skills were beyond hope.   [rant mode OFF]   I realize this has nothing to do with the cost of books but I certainly feel better.   🙂   Marc

  3. In my area, some of the really common titles turn up at library book sales and flea markets, but not so often.  And the more unusual titles almost never.  I rely on e-bay,, etc. for some of those less frequent items.   For instance, I recently acquired the first "Refresher Course in Gregg Shorthand", written by Dr. Gregg himself (rather than Madeleine Strony, who wrote the later editions).  Also an interesting little book I'd never seen or heard of before, "Analytical Lessons in Gregg Shorthand" by Minnie DeMotte Frick–it's an odd-looking book, with a black and orange cross-hatched binding.  The date is 1924, so it teaches pre-Anniversary Gregg.   And I'm waiting for a copy of the Gregg Shorthand Junior Manual, which I've never seen but have heard of.  It was on e-bay, and no one else bid for it, so I got it for $3.00.  I think it was designed for younger students (e.g., junior high/early high school).    Alex

  4. The concept that makes the Centennial books so expensive is the idea of infotainment.  School boards eat it up.  With such a style of textbook, you see mammoth textbooks with hoards of pictures and waxy pages, with the information rather difficult to find.  Of course, that is the problem with the more extreme books, which you see in any public school in almost any classroom these days.  Centennial isn't as full of useless pictures, I should hope, but its waxy pages and paper size attribute to its weight, which apparently makes the book worth more money.

  5. It would be nice to see a "revival" version of Anniversary Gregg, with the glitziness of the Centennial Books.  The books are really nice — with the colored outlines on Pitman ruled paper  (yes, Pitman, go figure …).  They didn't get that one right either.  Would I ever see an Anniversary (or Simplified for that matter) book written on Gregg-ruled paper?  I'm not holding my breath.   (Boy, using one outline per brief form is really dumb.  I'm wondering as to why doing that.  Were there ever complaints of transcription of DJS being a problem?)

  6. No, Chuck, there were never any complaints about DJ and transcription of which I was aware.   However, "the powers that be" decided transcription could go oh-so-much faster if there were fewer or no choices for common words.  I am not aware of any research to back up this claim.  It's that same type of thinking which removed the word mysteries (which could be mistress as in the fictitious book title "Mysteries of the Old West") and beach (which might be read bitch) from all S90 books.  There were a few other examples but they're not coming to mind now.  (See why Preanniversary and Anniversary vowel marking was sometimes needed?)   For the record, S90 was never tested to make sure it had the desired speed potential.   Marc  

  7. My ideal new text book would be called "Gregg Shorthand Manual Not-as-simplified". I wish Simplified went into all the detail on principles and theory that Anniversary does. 300 something brief forms is plenty for me to memorize, since I am satisfied with Simplified's speed potential. I've joked before that Simplified is for those who want to learn shorthand, and Anniversary for those who want to make shorthand a way of life.

    My newest idea, once I've gone through the whole Simplified manual, is to go through Anniversary to learn principles and theory, but ignore the brief forms. If I see the Anniversary brief forms though, I'm afraid I might like them!

  8. Sounds more like fear of the neccesity to then learn the brief forms religiously…*starts chanting "enclose, write, I-have-been-able, enclose, write, I-have-been-able, enclose, write, I-have-been-able"*   It would benefeit me to be a bit more eternity-minded in my Gregg study…I won't even MENTION what lesson I'm on after 3 years of writing shorthand…it was kindof like "Ok…well I've learned enough to write anything I'd like…I'm too lazy to learn speed…so…let's play some piano!" (He he…which is written with the really funky EA vowel, btw…what a hoot! lol…so I just drank a little wine! Don't judge!)   Anyways, here's what I propose (kindof joking…kindof serious): For everyone that's still "learning," or just wants encouragment studying and improving, or needs help avoiding the temptation to learn Pitman (HAHAHAHAHAHA!! But seriously folks…) we should have a "goal page" where everyone can put up stuff like "Study 3 hours a week" "Finish the Simplified manual by the end of 2004" etc…then when they remain on track for the week…they GET A GOLD STAR!!! Lololol! We could have little icons popup with gold, silver, and bronze (depending on how faithfully you're keeping up) next to everyone's name that's a part of it!! No…but maybe tone it down a bit, and bring it up a couple years of maturity, and some sort of thing like that might be cool. Just a dumb idea…ok I'm gonna go work on Greggory…there's this STUPID error I'm working on in the font creator that just won't quit! ./[tyler]

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