Doing the research

Greetings everyone!
I’m new to shorthand, so I don’t have much to contribute yet, but I wanted to say hello everyone and introduce myself. My first step whenever I have a new interest is to jump online and do a lot of research, so this is my first stop!
I’ve been intrigued by shorthand for a long time (it always looks so mystical!) and now that I’m doing meeting minutes each week for the big bosses’ planning session (2.5 hours straight) I’m feeling the need for something faster than just dropping letters here and there.
I like Gregg because of the looks and the specific locations and pressures associated with Pittman look difficult to master, but I’m also lefthanded so I don’t know if that’ll make a big difference. Any suggestions on what method might be best for me, and where online I might learn?

15 comments Add yours
  1. Thanks, Andrew! I was thinking that I might try it backwards like that. When I played guitar I condidered switching the strings to learn left-handed, but then realized that I'd have problems if I ever wanted to play with a group. With shorthand, though, the chances of ever having someone else who needs to read my notes are fairly slim, since as far as I know there isn't anyone in my company who uses shorthand at all.   By the way, are you the same Andrew who has a Gregg website? If so, thanks. Your site has been very informative in my early-stage research!   paula

  2. Thanks for the lefthand link, Chuck. I'll check it out. My main concern with the mirror version would be how much more difficult it would/will be to learn when I have to flip everything in my head while trying to duplicate the system backwards. On the other hand, if I learn it that way, and no one else has to read it, I guess it wouldn't matter as long as it's consistent. I'd rather be correct, though, just for the principle of the thing. 🙂   paula

  3. I saw the link to the lefty manual, and as I was looking at it, another thought occurred to me… As I learn, I'm planning to integrate Gregg into my regular notes where I'm confident  until I'm eventually writing entirely in shorthand. The problem is that I'd have to write this way ~~~~~> when I'm writing in standard, then jump ahead, leave a space, and then write the other way <~~~~~ and hope I don't run out of space before I switch back to English. As much as I'd love to be able to pull the pen for a change, I may have to go with one of the usual forms of Gregg.   The search continues… 🙂   Paula

  4. If you want, you can learn mirror shorthand! Lots of lefthanders have learned it. It is exactly like Gregg Shorthand, but backwards so it flows more naturally to the lefty. You can learn it from a regular Gregg textbook, minding to make a mirror image of it at all times.

    Else, you can try standard shorthand, which lefthanders usually write just as fast. Have fun! Welcome to the group!

    —Andrew Owen

  5. Welcome to the group, Paula.  Lefties can write shorthand as fast as right-handed people.  In fact, in some cases, you cannot tell whether the writing comes from a left or right handed person.  Click below for a thread on the topic of "best system for lefties":   IMO, "mirror shorthand" is interesting as a curiosity, not really as a method for shorthand writing.

  6. Paula, welcome! I too write lefthanded, but I do everything else righthanded or ambidextrous. As an elementary teacher with 20 years in the classroom and 15 years on staff with the teachers' union I write on a chalkboard with either hand quite precisely. When I began shorthand selfinstruction I used my left hand but felt constrained by some strong learned tendencies from cursive. So to my amazement although my right hand cursive is a disaster, I found it surprisingly easy to do Gregg with my right hand. It is more than just legible, it is good form! When in a hurry and I start shorthand with my left hand it looks okay, but feels awkward. The shorthand brain synapses have been forged with my right hand. See if this works for you. Otherwise I suggest you do shorthand lefthanded and not mirroring. The advantage we lefties have, I believe, is that our hand moves forward across the page (assuming proper left hand position), right handers and lefty mirrorers move their arms backwards. You have received lots of workable ideas, and I am confident it will not take you long to discover the most comfortable technique for you. Again welcome good luck and please continue sharing experiences and ideas with the group.    DOC

  7. Thanks for the welcome, Doc! I'm not a hook-hand when I write longhand with my left, so I should do alright. My right hand is definitely not as steady with fine motor motions, but I'll give that a try, too. Who knows, it may end up working well for me. Thanks for the tip!   Paula

  8. Yes, the site is mine; I am glad you like it!

    Mirrored shorthand isn't really a standard, but a book I read cites a man who learned shorthand reversed and writes around 250 WPM. You can write normal shorthand with the left hand surely, so long as you write it in a comfortable way (not that upsidedown position so common among lefties). Do what is most facile (and healthiest) to you.

    —Andrew Owen

  9. Andrew:

    That's probably true. My understanding is that Simplified wouldn't probably have 250wpm as a speed potential, although I could be wrong.

    BTW, I guessed immediately it was the third link that was left-handed. 🙂 Something was different about the execution of the strokes–cramped in certain areas, or something….

  10. George   I think after Anny, the series (except Centennial) had expert speed courses that introduced many of the expert short forms and abbreviation principles which Anny and its predecessors had.   So my guess would be that if someone wanted to they could get to such a speed, certainly with Simplified, possibly with DJS. They even updated the texts for S90 expert level, so it is conceivable that they would have been able to get a fairly good speed, as well.   I've never understood why we would want to get that high — I don't know anyone who talks faster than about 170.   Brian and Chuck will have better information, I'm sure.   Billy

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