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  1. From the "Poll–Male or Female?" thread:

    > From: marcoleavitt Sent: 2/2/2007 12:40 PM
    > For me it's the ability to write as fast, or nearly as I can think. I'm
    > not nearly there yet. As a writer I want to free myself from the tyranny
    > of the keyboard. Notebooks are just so much more convenient. Even
    > dragging around a laptop is a hassle…

    I learned Gregg for the same reason—the speed of typing without the
    machinery, and so I've been meaning to post about composing with Gregg
    for a long time. I've had some surprises:

    1) Though I'd love a Gregg PDA too, I'm actually more comfortable
    drafting on paper—up to the penultimate draft even. I like
    proliferating this little article when I can:

    2) Writing with Gregg changes my style. Maybe it's the fact that it's
    phonetic, maybe it's that it can't be read by anyone. But it comes out
    more colloquially. I think this is probably a good thing.

    3) Fast as shorthand is, I'm now skeptical to what extent it's a net
    "writing accelerator". For me, composition is about 75% thinking, 23%
    editing, and only 2% "dictating" onto the page. So fast as I'll ever
    be with Gregg, it's technically only going to get me a 2% gain in time.
    However, I will say that Gregg makes it a lot *easier* to write, for
    various reasons; so maybe it helps with the thinking and editing too.

    How does everyone else find writing with Gregg as opposed to
    longhand, or with a computer?

  2. Composition was one of the reasons (excuses?) I gave to learn Gregg as well. But I'm still not "fluent" enough in it to know if it will be dramatically useful. The lack of fluency is a big distraction as I think more about my outlines and the look of my writing than the concepts that I'm supposed to be capturing.

    On the positive side: 1) I am more aware of how my sentences "sound" as I am writing them — because of the phonetic nature of Gregg. 2) Shorthand has the potential to put off my "inner editor" and allow me to crank out a first draft MUCH fasster. 3) Transcribing Gregg creates an automatic revision which has more depth than what my first shorthand draft contains.

  3. I find it useful when paraphrasing a talk, just putting down the essence of what the person has said, and shorthand enables one to use many of their actual words of course, and gives you the chance to copy diagrams as well. But, I find that if I need to REMEMBER stuff for exams, I need to have written it out in longhand or word processor so I can recall the picture of the page, with colours etc and underlines. Perhaps its too hard to translate the outlines and remember them at the same time, or perhaps it just takes more practice.

    Really, the concentration of writing down the gist of the talk makes you remember and understand it better, because you are not just sitting passively listening, you are really hard at it, and most often I don't have to read it all again anyway.


  4. My experience back in college was a bit different.

    I did all my notes (except for foreign language classes) in shorthand and never transcribed them. I studied directly from the shorthand notes and found that many outlines were distinctive and actually helped me remember the material better. I think I would have lost that added edge had I transcribed!


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