“The longer I write shorthand”

“The longer I write shorthand, the longer I write shorthand.”  The first time I saw this curious sentence, I must admit that I did not understand it.  Then after thinking about it I realized what it must mean (it’s sort of like Henny Youngman’s famous double-meaning “Take my wife….please!”), and then saw it another time in the Gregg Writer.  Apparently, the phrase was coined to show that even after mastering all the abbreviations and brief forms, veteran shorthand writers still write things out the longer way.  It sounds like a justification for the existence of “Gregg Shorthand Simplified.”   I wonder what others have thought when coming across this Gregg dictum for the first time.  Do you think it’s true?

(by jim for


2 comments Add yours
  1. I think this grew in part because shorthand moved from reporting to business, where you are not writing it constantly.  Since in this situation you are writing or reading less often, you tend to forget, especially the less common words.  Also, the longer you write shorthand, the more able you are to retain dictated words, so you can have the luxury of spelling more out without sacrificing speed.  Remember that on dictation, the first rule is to write down everything you can, no matter how.  You worry about theory and penmanship when you study, not at dictation time.

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