Learning Shorthand

I am 14 years old and have a teacher at my high school that was somehow talking about shorthand one day. I became extremely interested and asked her if she can show me a couple of things. After showing me some basic skills, I took one of her old textbooks. After reading somethings online, I realized she was teaching me Series 90. It would appear that this is not the best system to use. I really would like to use shorthand for taking notes in class because I believe I could write alot faster then the person sitting next to me. I am about at lesson 12 out of 70. Why do people not like Series 90? Should I try to switch versions because of speed issues, or would it be worse to have no teacher? If so, what version should I switch to?

(by monkeynoze for everyone)

8 comments Add yours
  1. Welcome, Monkeynoze   We have been "gently disparaging" of S90, but I've recently had the wool pulled from my eyes. S90 and DJS are virtually identical except for a few things.   Please read does series 90 deserve its bad rap in it's entirety.   S90 is a good place to begin. We have a few members who use it regularly and it works well for them.   And there are a wealth of books out there for S90, starting at $1 on abebooks.com or for various prices on ebay.   Whatever series your learn, you'll end up writing much faster than the other students.   Good luck.

  2. I confess to bashing it a bit, but I try to be fair about it. It is not a bad version, really. It is just a bit too simplified for intense work, so it just takes a little more ink to write as many words as with an earlier theory. Unless you plan to use your shorthand in dictation or some sort of verbatim reporting, series 90 is fine. Good luck with whatever series you choose. 🙂

    —Andrew Owen

  3. I don't think there's any problem with learning Series 90.  If you have the book and are already well into it, I'd go ahead.  In my view, DJS, Series 90, and Centennial are all essentially the same, with minor variations in minor details.  As someone who learned DJS, these 3 systems all look "right" to me.  When I go back to Simplified or Anniversary, I start having to work harder to decipher shorthand texts, and pre-Anniversary becomes really laborious for me.    They're all on a continuum, and there's no objective criteria for selecting one system over another.    Alex

  4. Hey Monk: now that I read all the way down, I'll add my two cents.  If your teacher is going to tutor you in Series 90, then I would stick with it, as learning from demonstration makes any subject easier to grasp.  On the other hand, if she is not going to be guiding you through the book, why not go with a more popular system, like Diamond Jubilee or Simplified? 

  5. I appreciate everyone's different posts.

    I think I am going to continue to learn series 90, as she has a large library of series 90 textbooks and is quite fluent in it.

    I am also considering switching to an older version after a while to gain more speed. How difficult is it to switch systems?

    Also, I'm ordering a student transcript for the book she lent me. How should one use this transcript? How long should I look at one word before "cheating" and looking in the transcript?

  6. Read the instructions in the front of the book. It should say something like:   Read the shorthand outlines aloud until you come to a word you cannot read. Spell the shorthand symbols in that outline. If this spelling does not ieemdiately give you the meaning, refer to the transcript.   -Gregg Shorthand College Book 1 Centennial Edition, page viii   It won't be long before you'll be able to read the outlines without having to refer to the transcript. It is there for the difficult words, and especially for the spelling of proper names and those obscure outlines for cities and states.   Quite a good number of group members have switched versions. But unless you want to be able to take court testimony at 225 wpm, you'll probably be good with S90, especially if your teacher has all the texts, including the Expert Speed Building.   Good luck.

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