Slope and handwriting

One reason I liked Pitman, is that it is so much more suited to my modern Italic syle of handwriting.  I write my letters without a curcsive sland and have been doing that since highschool.
I think when John Gregg said that the Gregg shorthand system follows the natural slope, he was refering to the cursive handwriting used at the time.  I’ve ordered a couple of books on Spencerian script on Amazon (my first experiment with ordering abroad and having things shiped to Russia), to get my handwriting in line with my shorthand.  I think a beautiful cursive handwriting script and Gregg would compliment each other well.
Does anyone else have problems with their Gregg outlines not being slope enough because of their handwriting habbits?

(by wordsigner
for everyone)


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  1. PS I heerby solomonely swair that atfer tihs mesasge, any msesgae taht I post to tihs gruop, I will splel chcek.   Sorry for all the typos.  It's minus 15 outside and my PC is next to the balcony.  I've been sitting here for a few hours and my hands are cold and I was having trouble hitting correct key (if hitting them at all) :O)

  2. Maybe that explains my slowness with shorthand.  I just looked at my longhand and it's very straight.  I think I do that from my speedwriting days, you had to write it clear, just like any shorthand, to transcribe it.  And It hink most where straight, or maybe it's just me.. I practice, practice, practice to get my shorthand looking nice.  Some things that have been posted here have helped tremendously.  And just writing. Debbi PS:  I only noticed one typo in the first message and only a few on the second… since I made too many mistakes I don't look at others mistakes…

  3. Debbi, I had the same thing with Speedwriting.  I would draw out the letters real neat as the writing looked ugly at speed.  Same with Teeline and I guess Pitman, neatly drawn Pitman actually looks good.  I just realized this with your help – Gregg is the exact opposite, it looks ugly when written slowly or ‘drawn’.  In fact the only way to get a Gregg outline to look good is to write at speed with a sort of a flourish.  Hmm…  Can’t wait for those Spenserian books to arrive.   Mark, interesting, but from a continental European point of view (that is from the shorthand systems in use in Germany, Russia etc.) Gregg is 100% a geometric system.  It looks ‘cursive’, because its forms are derived from the ellipse – a geometric shape! – however, the principals are purely geometric.  What I understand as cursive shorthand, would actually use joining strokes between letters, like the German Gablevrasher-wathcamakalit system and the system commonly used in Russia.  The principal where one symbol ends where the other one starts is the same for Gregg and Pitman, so that makes them both geometric for me!

  4. I understand what you mean. Gregg shorthand looks cursive when you compare it to Pitman or the three French systems, but actually it isn't. The real cursive systems are all German or derived from Gabelsberger.
    Most European countries still use cursive systems, except Spain and Portugal (Marti), Great-Britain(Pitman), France, Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland (Duploy챕). Have you heard of the Intersteno meetings held annually in Italy? Russian stenographs usually take part in the conferences and contests.
    Let's say that Gregg shorthand is cursive enough not to fear the natural distortion happening at high speed.

  5. >In Russia, "cursive" is the only way to write. Even in forms.   Not really, today you would see more and more itallic blocky lettering springing up here and there.  People experiment widely with their handwriting, at least absolutely no one sticks to what they were tough at school.  And of course more and more forms are meant to be scanned, so you have to letter in boxes, not write cursively in them either.  I never really had a proper cursive hand, appart from that inspired by Speedwriting.  Can't wait to study Spencerian, even if you cant duplicate the shading (thick downstrokes) with some modern pens, it still looks classy, if written quickly, just like Gregg looks better if written with speed and no hesitation.  By the way, the back cover of the Spencerian book I've purchase on Amazon today says that Spencerian handwriting is designed to be 'fast' and that is why it's sloped at an angle of '52 degrees'.

  6. >Have you heard of the Intersteno meetings held annually in Italy? Russian stenographs usually take part in the conferences and contests.
    I didn't even know that there was still such a thing as a 'Russian stenographer' !   In any case, there is something about the 'real cursive' systems that I do not like, somehow I am attracted to geometric systems like Gregg and Pitman.

  7. >Gregg shorthand is based on parts of longhand writing.   I don't agree with that, Danger.  It resembles longhand, but I think if you asked John Gregg, he would agree that that might have been the inspiration, but technically we're looking at parts of two elipses the high and thin one and the long and flat one.  The examples in some of the books where the Gregg symbols are shown as parts of the letters they sound like are only mnemonics to aid in their initial memorisation.  I think Mark is correct, TECHNICALLY speaking Gregg is a geometric system, but with, as Gregg puts it himslef, curvilinear motion.  Aestheticaly speaking, though, Gregg looks better than any cursive system I ever saw.   , by the way, did you notice how this smiley guy has WORK written al over his face (notice the shape of the mouth)?  Hahaha!

  8. Handwriting is cursive. It is the only way to write! No pleasure or neatness comes from emulating a typewriter with your hand.

    Gregg shorthand is based on parts of longhand writing. (By longhand, I, of course, mean cursive). For instance, the stroke for ch, sh, and j is found when writing p. The u (and therefore the k and g) hook is found in writing the letter z. The r/o/l loop is found with almost every common letter. The angle between t and v is seen in the longhand letter j. Et cetera, et cetera.

    In Russia, "cursive" is the only way to write. Even in forms.

  9. If I may quote John Robert Gregg:

    "As explained in the first article of this series, the system is based, primarily, on the elements of longhand writing; and the bases of longhand writing is the oval or ellipse. The first thing to do, then, is to analyze the ellipse.

    "It is very easi to ascertain the elements of the ellipse. If you write the ordinary longhand letter o, and dissect it, you will see that it is composed of five elements—the downward curve, the turn at the bottom, the upward curve, the small circle or oval, and the connecting stroke.

    "Now write the entire alphabet in the small letters of longhand, and count the letters in which that lower turn (which expresses r in our system) is to be found. You will find that the lower turn occurs in no less that nineteen of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. The exceptions are h, j, m, n, p, s, and z; and you will notice that the connecting stroke after four of these is made with the lower turn. It is important to note that every vowel-sign in longhand contains that lower turn; and in one of them (u) it occurs twice. Furthermore, the connecting stroke after every vowel contains it.

    "Carry the inquiry a little farther, and you will notice that the first two elements of the oval or ellipse occur in combination in nearly every letter of the alphabet.

    "I do not think that I need to point out the importance of the facts disclosed by this analysis. In themselves, they furnish an acid test that may be applied to any system founded on the longhand-movement basis."

    Basically, Gregg is derived from the two ellipses, but the longhand alphabet is, also.

    If you are curious about Russian stenography, here is the keyboard to the Russian stenograph:

  10. When I learned to write longhand, most of the letters were only slightly slanted to the right — in the system they taught me.   For years I wrote "backhand" with the letters slanting sharply to the left — I write very round letters now, w/ a vertical axis.   I find it quite difficult to get the gently-sloping-to-the-right look that Charles Rader and most other "good" or at least published writers of Gregg seem to be able to do. And I am absolutely sure that is because I learned to write almost vertically, and still do. And my rounded characters (a, o, b, d etc) are very circular, rather than eliptical.   I'd welcome any suggestions on how to over come that, including re-learning longhand at a slant, if somebody thinks that will help.   Just FYI: after years of reading handwriting from all over Canada and from many age groups, I can often tell in which school system they learned to write initially. Others may have a similar experience.  The way we write (long and short-hand) depends largely — i would hazard — on the system used when we were taught to write.

  11. sidhetaba, Same here…I write rather vertically. I don't write cursive…I can, but never forced it into my daily writing because it just didn't look as nice as my "block script"…block is all capitalized though right? Maybe the term I'm after is "plain, dull alphabet font." Yaknow! The READABLE kind! While I won't push italics into my longhand, or cursive, I definitly think that Gregg looks nicer and is slightly more readable with a slant…and some combinations of strokes are almost awkward without it! So I've learned to do that…and it also kindof forces me into writing with more curve and grace…so there's more difference between a "BL" and a "JL" or "BM" blend. So vertical LH doesn't explicitly imply (explicitly imply? hmmm) vertical SH. The two can be distinct…it's just how you learn and practise.   Speaking of which…I wonder how identifiable various shorthand handwriting styles are? I can easily tell who wrote what among my nearer acquaintanceshipical society…but don't have as much Gregg around me in daily life…is there anyone out there that could look at a line of SH and say "Oh that's Dupraw" or "Gregg" or if you don't know…just say "Marx" and you have a 47.23% chance of being correct. UT, ./[tyler]

  12. Until I found 4 pages of a previous owner's shorthand in a book I ordered, I don't think I'd ever seen more than a few words of any one else's shorthand. I have two friends who write it, but I've never really read it, only seen it in passing.   And that guy who took over from Charles Rader, writing the shorthand for the Series 90 text — I can't tell the difference between his and Mr Rader's.   But honestly, how could you not have different shorthand writing style?   Billy (sidhetaba)

  13. TheDangerArranger

    I think we basically share the same views.
    What is usually called cursive shorthand is very different from Gregg, Pitman or the French systems. In "cursive shorthand", all the consonants signs are written at a slant and vowels are indicated joining the consonant signs differently. In some cursive systems, shading the following consonant sign changes the vowel sound.
    I tried to learn Stolze-Schrey, which is the cursive sytem the German-speaking Swiss still use. I was impossible for me to use it because it contradicted most principles of Duploy챕 or Gregg.

    Here is an example of cursive shorthand at work:

  14. Hi fellows!   For everyone who likes to see outlines, it doesn't matter what system is about, in Mr. Carlos Lima's site, we can find a "Historical Description" about the shorthand writers of the Representatives Chamber in Uruguay.   Some of those names have links that show shorthand samples. Mostly, they write (or wrote) Martí shorthand.  There are two women mentioned who write Gregg, but there aren't samples available about those one.   Even though, Mart챠 is a vertical system, it looks very slanted.   Look at people #59 Juan Carissimi, he created a shorthand system, easier to learn, which is very common among Uruguayan shorthand writers.   Good bye,   OSVALDO

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