Renewed Interest

Back in 1984, I attended a secretarial school, where I was the only male student enrolled in the program. I found it disappointing that a style of writing invented by a man in an era where most secretaries were men later became used almost exclusively by women, or so it seemed by steno classes. With mental-health issues and no car, I found it difficult rising at 4:45 a.m., walking 7 1/2 miles with books, and taking trains to school. This afforded me little time to practice.
I still have my book, Part I–Gregg Shorthand for the Electronic Office (Short Course), a Series 90, by Louis A. Leslie, Charles E. Zoubek, A. James Lemaster, and Gregg A. Condon, along with workbook and transcript book. Back at the secretarial school, the transcript books were delayed in arrival, which made life difficult for some of us. I got as far as chapter 8.
I know some will be critical of me if I pursue learning Gregg again–especially my father. He feels calligraphy is outdated in this computer age. (Calligraphy is another one of my interests.) I think my father would think I wasn’t spending my time wisely leaning steno since it is essentially obsolete in schools. (Perhaps you can tell that I worry too much about what other people think.) My grandmother had been a legal secretary for 20 years and could help me learn.
The two main advantages I can see of learning steno would be (1) I could write much faster, which would help me take notes whenever a computer isn’t available, such as in meetings and possibly in school if the professor doesn’t object to it and no one makes fun of me; and (2) it’s very therapeutic since it seems to give me pleasure.
What changes (in the later version) were made since the Series 90 was in vogue?
P.S.: Isn’t there a spell check for these messages we post?

(by ted_e——- for everyone)

6 comments Add yours
  1. 1st there are lots of men on this board who know and love shorthand.  Very few women.  Poll–Male or Female? – link with proof that there are a lot of males who write or want to learn.   What to say to those who object?  "I didn't know anyone still did shorthand." – link with some great responses…    gregg-shorthand-comparison.pdf  – link will show you the various gregg systems and what may have been after yours.  I think I have your book, I saw it on ebay and was interested in what it was.  I got 2 books.  But the one I have, I think, has the key in the back.  I didn't look at it much.  Looked easy and I liked that a lot of lessons had a variety of things to use shorthand for besides business letters.     Last there is no spell check, sorry…

  2. Ted,

    It's now 20 years since I first took Steno 1-Series 90 and Steno II-Diamond Jubilee in high school. I miss it so much I went to the university library and picked up the second edition dictation and transcript manual, DJ dictionary and now I'm looking for a very fine affordable everyday fountain pen.

    I still have my workbook, but I have my family looking in storage to send to me. My mom was happy for me, but threw my fountain pen bit in the trash instead of putting it away (she was afraid my nephew would put it in his mouth).

    I took my books everywhere, even on vacation. Now my when my roommate sees me practicing she wants to learn, and she's deaf.

    I'm having a great time getting reacquainted with Steno. Our church Pathfinders are taught this skill at a younger age then when I learned.

    So I encourage you to refresh that dormant skill of steno and watch how it comes back to you.

    Like riding a bike…

  3. I've noticed that even relatively calm and casual note-taking every day in shorthand builds speed. I stopped practicing when I was discouraged by my meager speed of 40wpm, then started to take daily notes in it for convenience's sake. Now I'm comfortably 60wpm.

    The moral of the story is, every little bit every day helps, even if you don't sit down and just practice.

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