Reading Speed

My gregg reading speed seems to approximate my writing speed — slow, halting and far from effortless. I find it a bit frustrating that even when I make the effort to write as much as possible in shorthand, the effort to use what I have written seems to negate the advantage of writing speed.

You folks with experience: do you find that reading your own outlines becomes a non issue over time? Or, am I destined to take notes like a wizard, but read them back like a second grader?

(by skousend for everyone)

7 comments Add yours
  1. My opinion only.   If you can't read them at 80 (or whatever) wpm, then you cannot possibly write them at that speed or higher.   The maxim that shorthand writing takes place in the brain applies — if you cannot identify an outline immediately, then you don't know it well enough to write it at speed.   Think how long it takes children to read and write fluently — they learn reading for at least a year before they learn to write. And I don't think they gain fluency in reading and writing until 3 or 4 years, my guess would be.   sidhe

  2. My views. . . .

    As I remember reading somewhere, reading speed is approximately double writing speed.

    If you force reading speed by reading the same passage over and over and over until it flows, your writing speed on that passage will be improved.

    My own initial experience was pretty much the same. My advice is to go back to Lesson 1 and read the material repeatedly until it is fluent (as fluent as if it were printed text). Do not advance to the next lesson until the one at hand has been mastered. The result is worth the time and effort. For the record, I topped out at writing 150 wpm.


  3. A huge boost to reading ability comes from writing yourself, and imagining the outlines for words or sentences you see in daily life.

    One tip I can give is to write down (legibly of course) a favorite passage of yours or poem of some length. Then, read through it at a comfortable pace and time yourself. Then read it again, trying to get down to 2/3rds of the original time it took you. Then do it again, getting down to 1/2 the time. Do it at each stage until it feels comfortable due to your increasing familiarity with the individual shapes.

    The purpose of that exercise is to illustrate that speed comes from familiarity with the material and common words, and to help you enrich your "vocabulary" of sorts for instant recognition.

    As such, when reading shorthand becomes natural, it's more recognizing the shape as a whole, rather than decoding the individual strokes. Some words become so familiar that they're read as easily as the printed equivalent. I've written and seen "become" so much that there's no way that shape could be anything else in my mind. But if I have to read my notes from my class on the psychology of foreign language learning, it might not be so effortless.

    In general also, I find that a lot of the tips in speed-reading books are also applicable to reading Gregg faster. Even following along with the end of a pencil at a steady pace as you read might help.

    Good luck!

  4. I agree with sidhe and Marc.  At the beginning, ease in reading well-written shorthand is more important than writing.  If you cannot read fast, you would not be able to write fast!  (In school, you learned to read first, before you started writing.)   About reading your outlines, that will become a nonissue later, because with practice, you would've learned how to write correctly.

  5. > If you can't read them at 80 (or whatever) wpm, then you cannot possibly
    > write them at that speed or higher.

    I have piles of notes from just a couple of years ago that have always
    taken me far longer to read than they did to jot down. The problem is
    *seeing* the difference between well-formed and poorly-formed. When I'm
    learning, I write what appears best to me, and only after maturing do I
    see what is wrong with it—often while trying to guess what was meant
    by it!

    Read more well-written SH. It's so much easier to imitate than to
    generate. "Graded Readings" and "Gregg Speed Studies" are full of plates
    for 1916 Edition; "Shorthand Dictation Studies" is great for Simplified,
    and the Functional Method texts are good for everything past Anniv.

    In general, the learning curve tapers dramatically for the simple
    and fascinating reason that for every common word you memorize, the
    next-most-common word occurs in natural language only half as often!
    The easier it gets, the easier it gets. Eventually, you won't think about
    composing the shapes to form outlines for any but the rarest of words.

  6. > I agree with sidhe and Marc. At the beginning, ease in reading well-written shorthand is
    > more important than writing. If you cannot read fast, you would not be able to write fast!
    > (In school, you learned to read first, before you started writing.)

    It also has to do with how much you practice them. I'm still learning, but I can actually read much easier than I can write. I do a lot more reading practice than writing practice, and when I write notes for my classes I tend to use mostly longhand with Gregg brief forms and outlines for words that come up frequently.

    So I would recommend going through and reading well-written shorthand a little every day; it works pretty well for me so far.

  7. I agree with rereading previous lessons.  I found that helpful in my reading, my outline comprehension and my writing.  Plus I felt more confident when I went onto the next lesson!  So if you feel at a stand still or want some extra practice, go back to lesson 1, like marc said, and just read. Debbi

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