Test your shorthand vocabulary and speed

I found the following letter in a Gregg Writer, and it’s full of words that can cause some difficulty. I decided to post it so that you can test yourself. Have fun!

My dear Sir:

Your query concerning the late football games brings up a question that is with us every fall. As a matter of fact, one of the arguments for the change from the monthly to the weekly form of The University News was that the weekly form would make it possible for us to get reports of the athletic events to the alumni at an earlier date.

I should like very much to get this material to our readers more quickly, but there are certain mechanical difficulties that, under our present organization, seem almost impossible to overcome. Your suggestion could only be followed if we were to omit any illustrations or diagrams and run our printing plant on Sunday.

We should also find it necessary to compete with the newspapers in giving a running account of the games rather than a more or less carefully reasoned review; which is the tone we try to give to our accounts of the games. We could not get the pictures back from our engravers in Buffalo before Tuesday or Wednesday morning at the latest, and the expense and trouble in running our plant on Sunday during the football season would be very considerable and might ocassion some difficulty in holding our present force together.

Of course, if this reorganization of our publication schedule extended over the whole year, it might be desirable to try to do it, but I am inclined to believe that, important as it might be to get the reports of the football games to the alumni at an early date, all the physical difficulties involved and the limited resources that we have at present would make it almost impossible, particularly since we should have to give a more or less inadequate review of the game.

Very truly yours,

(by Carlos for everyone)


19 comments Add yours
  1. Thank you, Chuck.   So far, I am still working on the first paragraph.   Sort of blending in with other discussions, I actually recording myself reading the paragraph.    This isn't an advertisement for Roxio, but it's the only recording program I have.  I use the Sound Editor program in Roxio Easy Media Creator package and an inexpensive microphone to record.

  2.   I recorded at the lowest quality, 8-bit mono, then saved as low quality MP3 in order to keep the file size as small as possible.   Anyhoo … it was very easy to do.   No fancy equipment needed.   We just need people with better voices than mine to record these.    Also, the composition of the paragraph seemed very odd — so I didn't know where the pauses and inflections were.

  3. Back to the discussion of software for recording voices, you can Google "voice recording software" to find packages that will do that.  I actually would not particularly recommend Roxio because their support is non-existent.  They don't even publish a telephone number.  Your only choice if you have a problem is to go through an automated questionaire kind of thing that really sucks.   Don't get me started on companies that don't allow customers to talk to real people! 

  4. That was pretty good. The reason I was asking was because I have a bunch of recordings that would like to transfer to MP3, and I want some good software for allowing me to do that. Next would be to connect the tape recorder to the computer, but that's no problem.

  5. Chuck   I've been recording from library materials into the Windows Sound Recorder, and using free download software called "Switch" to change it to an MP3 file. It works beautifully and hasn't cost me a cent.   The only thing you need to do is set up longer Sound Recorder files because the default blank is only 60 seconds.   Sound quality is excellent. You can download Switch from here:   http://nch.com.au/switch/index.html   NCH Swift sound is a reputable Australian company — I've used their free software for a year now, and never received a single advertising spam from them.

  6.   Is there a reference for common phrases?   I was wondering how to write "as a matter of fact" and "my dear sir."   I know that "dear sir" is D-S.   Whoever says "my dear sir" these days, anyway?   But, "as a matter of fact" is common.   That is one disappointment with the Simplified dictionary I have — it doesn't have a list of phrases. 

  7. If simplified doesn't have a pharse book, you may have to get an Anniversy one.  This letter is probably from the Anniverary era.   In my Anniversary phrase book it has as a matter of fact written as "as-mat-f" the t and f are slightly curved at the top, no point there, at least from what I can tell (it's very small). Debbi

  8. Good job!  This is not an easy paragraph to write, and it covers many principles.    You keep the proportion between the circle vowels very well!  The L and R are pretty good, same with the G and K.  Work on the other consonants: keep the T, S, and SH to about a 1/4 of the space, the D and CH to 1/2 space, and the J and TD blend covering the whole space. Same thing with the P and F (1/2 line), and B and V (top of the line).   Remember the common phrases: "that is", "that the", "which is the", "Wednesday morning", and "and the".   Some small suggestions:     1.  When writing the F and V, think of writing a comma, one starting at the middle of the line (for the F) and another from the top (for the V).  That's how you get the correct slant.   2.  When you finish a paragraph, you don't need to write the period symbol.  The paragraph symbol is perfectly fine.  Also, don't start a new line when you finish a paragraph.  You loose space and speed.  Start the next paragraph right after the paragraph symbol.   3.  Also, when writing on Steno pads, fill the first column first before going to the second column.  That's why the line is placed in the middle.  Some just fill the left slide of the page, leaving the right side for notes and corrections to the outlines.  If you go all the way across the middle line to the right side, your hand is traveling a longer distance when it starts the next line, so you would loose a little speed.   I'm very impressed!

  9. Chuck,  Thank you for looking at them, and the advise!   I wasn't sure about the middle line.     That's a great idea to leave the right side blank for notes.     Yes, the proportions of the p-b and f-v are something I need to work on.  I will think of the method you described.   My biggest bugaboo, even more than the multi-line tall words are A's that go back onto curves, such as care 'K-A-R'.    I hate those.   E's on curves don't bother me, but because the A's are large, they are hard to retrace on the curves.  Any advise for those would be most welcome.

  10. Your notes look pretty good to me, some of mine end up worse…   Writing between the lines – Link may help you with ideas on f and v and b and so on…   Center Ruled Pads – link will help you with the center rule and ideas on using it.    Debbi

  11. Yes, I know what you mean. Here is the advice: think of writing the circle on the back of the first curve, and not inside the second curve. In early manuals, Dr. Gregg wrote that "between two opposite curves, a circle vowel is placed inside the second curve." However, in subsequent manuals, he changed that to read "between two opposite curves, a circle vowel is placed on the back of the first curve." You may be thinking "well, what's the difference, they look the same to me". Although they should look exactly the same, the execution is slightly different. If you say that you need to place the circle inside the second curve, you will be thinking "first curve – start second curve – circle – rest of second curve". The result is that the potential of the second curve and the circle being out of alignment with the first curve increases because you are forgetting that a circle will be placed inside — you are thinking ahead. However, if you think "first curve – circle on back – second curve", you can make the joining between the curves tighter and the motion smoother, because you are writing the circle before the second curve. It is a slight modification that psychologically makes a difference, according to him. After he gave this instruction, he received comments that the errors in joinings went down dramatically.

    Give it a try. With practice, it will become second nature.

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