Share Your Gregg Inventions and Contrivances

Ok. Here’s something I think will be fun, informative, and helpful to most of us.

It’s not only good discipline and virtue, but a well bred parry of a tempting faux pas of the shorthand world to never skimp over brief forms, phrasings, and abbreviations on one’s path towards Greggorian enlightenment (so I’ve been told lies at the end of our journey); however, once learned, many rules and “shortcuts” may be bent and broken for one’s own purposes and asthetics as a pianist learns and drives scales and arpeggios into his head only so that once mastered, he can do away with them when the time comes (a frustrating, but immensly rewarding experience of my own). It’s the learning the rules before breaking them that makes the breaking them done properly and becomingly, and that’s just what this topic is about.
As we all know, Gregg was created in and for a different time period and a different use than most (all?) of us use it for. Court reporting and secretarial dictation require(d) words, phrases, and a gentlemanly terseness that we can often do better without in our journaling, note-taking, and “modern” shorthand uses. The curtailed punctuation, antiquated brief-forms, and other awkwardalities (*bows*) of the Gregg world often leave our personal writings hindered and blemished with a technical tint of spasmodic mechanicalness. Anyways, that’s whut diss here’s fer to fix ‘nd help ‘nd stuff! So share share share and include a brief (or not so brief) explaination for all your own little peculiarities and ideas about “optimizations” and personalizations of Gregg that others may wish to assimilate into their own writing…and lives…and souls…and I’m going to stop before the reading through Nietzsche I’m doing right now takes ahold like an unstoppable train of vain philosophical ramblings and jabs at German “culture” every other paragraph!! lololol…anybody?! I hate to “set down rules”…but it’d be nice if this topic could “keep on the track” and be a sort of clean, streamlined reference we can all go through without being bogged down by personal replies to replies to comments. (And of all people…me saying this!! lol) So please avoid too many replies that’re not pertaining to the topic at hand or degrades from its (hopefully) reference-like pur-i-tay! (But feel free to linguistically embellish in any informative or helpful post!)
Some of this was skirted around in topics like the old one about writing numbers from way back in the early days (he he), but I don’t think it got nearly enough attention, or a due formality that this can allow it. Anyways, I’ll start it off with a modest (and half already shared in prior posts) beginning…hopefully it’ll be something that can either help some of you, or at least inspire you to share some of your own gems:
Comma: The lack of a comma in proper shorthand and the awkwardness and possible misreading of the circled comma led me to develop my own. It’s simple, two periods stacked against each other in a similar fashion to the “capitalization” stroke.
As you can see…it looks nice, clean, and natural. And it shan’t be confused with any stroke, alphabetical or otherwise. Also you’ll notice that I included two exclamation points at the end…when I use a single exclamation I use a regular SH period with a vertical line over it…making a hybrid character that, again, is readily recognizable even by those seeing it for the first time without warning (using just one for me is rare anyways…because it’s either worth two, or it’s just too tepid and not worth saying as it’s probably not sincere…that’s what I say…!! (maybe that one wasn’t worth saying)) Anyways, when there’s two, I just use LH exclamation points…because nobody’s going to read it as “ching ching”…unless I’m writing a grocery store drama/romance I suppose…
Just one more…maybe I’ll add more later:
Who uses the word “inclose/enclose” all that often? Simple, but eternally more useful for me, is using the N-K brief form to mean “include.” One thing nice about this (which I try to incorperate for all my augmentations to Gregg) is that the meanings are similar enough, that even if they didn’t realize I meant “include,” nobody reading it would stare at it in confusion, as the traditional meaning fits into most any sentance that my meaning would without changing the meaning…only the “letter of the law.”
Anyways, remember, this is just personal stuff…and by no means a “new order and law.” Take or leave at your leisure! Hopefully this will prove a fruitful discussion…and hopefully this fruity, affected manner of writing won’t manifest itself in my speech when I stand up from the keyboard : )…homey.

(by psetus
for everyone)


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9 comments Add yours
  1. I don't think credit cards were around back when Simplified was published (I can't imagine), so I use C-intersect-C as a brief form.   An old customer of mine, who happened to know court reporting Gregg, showed it to me.     "credit card"   A pretty obvious one, I guess.

  2. Here are some of mine:

    "take care": t-a-k-a
    "increase" or "incline": e-nk (nk stroke, not n-k)
    "years ago": e-r-g
    "include": e (written above the line, since it is the prefix incl-)

  3. The clumsy circled comma always bugged me too, but I don't think it's necessary because I don't see it in any Gregg texts prior to Simplified. The official texts written by Georgie Gregg, Alice Hagar, Winifred Kenna, and both the 1917 and Anniversary manuals use conventional uncircled commas, semicolons and full colons.

    For those without these earlier texts at hand, the crucial feature for a legibly distinct comma is the definite "head" at the tip of the comma. Perfect form might be slower than you'd need for a comma in longhand, but it's a whole bunch faster than a circled comma.


  4. The purpose of the circle round the comma in the Simplified Manual is purely and only to draw the learner's attention to its position in the sentence; it not meant to be written with the circle. The relevant chapter (6) introduces the learner to correct usage of the comma for the purpose of transcribing shorthand to longhand. In the Diamond Jubilee Manual, a square serves the same purpose.

    1. The comma is really not usually needed, and when needed, it can be added without any circles or squares. The reason for the added instructions in Simplified and later series was that the English grammar of students was leaving a lot to be desired, and that was showing up in their transcriptions. So the authors decided to add English grammar instruction even in the basic shorthand books.

    2. I haven't seen a single comma in any of the 'Today's Secretary' uploads on this site – I'm treating these as 'official' since they were published when Simplfied was being taught). There are, however, semicolons. It does, indeed, seem that commas are left out in practice.
      Dr Gregg's "Qs and As of Shorthand Theory" has the following on page 5: "Is there a shorthand symbol for the comma?" "No, we use the ordinary comma, placing it below the line of writing, to avoid confusing it with the shorthand forms".

  5. My ongoing obsession with commas in Gregg Shorthand:
    Dr Gregg's "Gregg Speed Building – New, Revised Edition" shows commas circled as a device to aid students in learning how to use commas when transcribing from shorthand to longhand – a copy of this is in Clyde Blanchard's "Twenty Shortcuts To Shorthand Speed" (1939) on page 51.
    Mr Blanchard's book can be found on the Gregg Angelfishy site. I haven't seen Dr Gregg's book.

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