Expert reporting books

In a discussion concerning Pre-Anniversary Gregg, Chuck mentioned: “Have you considered studying from one of the expert reporting books? Those are really neat and you will learn many more abbreviations!”

My question: Where does one find the “expert reporting books”??

(by wordwrangler2 for everyone)

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  1. Thanks for that great and complete answer, complete with photos!  Tremendous.   I have a copy of "Gregg Reporting Shortcuts" copyrighted 1939, but I can't tell that there's any difference from the 1922 edition.    Also, I have a copy of "Gregg Reporting Shortcuts, Second Edition", copyrighted 1959 and published by McGraw-Hill.  It's in the larger format of simplified and DJS, etc.    There's a volume called "Government Dictation" by Foote and Strong (Gregg, 1944) that has lots of outlines of government-related words.    "The Stenographic Expert" by Willard B. Bottome (Gregg, 1922) has lots of specialized material, even a chapter on 'sermon reporting' (not much call for that these days).    "The Law Stenographer" (Gregg, 1937, 1946) is one of a series of books that continued at least through DJS dealing specifically with legal terminology.    Maybe a bit off track for the original message, but related materials nonetheless.   Alex

  2. They show once in a while in eBay, but you can get them from Abebooks and other online sources.  Here are some references:   Pre-Anniversary/Anniversary:   1.  Expert Shorthand Speed Course, by R.P. Sorelle (1910 and 1913): this is a collection of articles for the development of reporting speed.  No shorthand is included.       2.  Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course, by C.E. Swem and J.R. Gregg (1936): perhaps the most complete reporting course.  It covers medical, legal, engineering, and congressional reporting.     3.  Expert Shorthand Speed Course, by C.I. Blanchard and C.E. Zoubek. (1945)  This is a complete rewrite of the old book, containing a complete course (80 lessons). It covers congressional reporting and speeches, high speed shortcuts, and exercises to build speed.       4.  Gregg Reporting Shortcuts, by J.R. Gregg: a complete collection of shortcuts for high speed (1922).         Simplified: Expert Shorthand Speed Course, Simplified Edition, by C.I. Blanchard and C.E. Zoubek (1951): Material and high speed takes are similar to the Anniversary book, with slight adaptations based on Simplified.          DJS Gregg Expert Speed Building, DJS, by C.E. Zoubek (1968): High speed shortcuts and exercises to build speed are based on business dictation, and not on Congressional or speech reporting.       S90 Gregg Expert Speed Building, S90, by C.E. Zoubek (1985): similar to the DJS course, except that the book only contains 70 lessons.       There are other miscellaneous books, but these are the most important.

  3. I've found all the expert reporting books on Ebay.  — Vic


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    From: WordWrangler2

    In a discussion concerning Pre-Anniversary Gregg, Chuck mentioned: "Have you considered studying from one of the expert reporting books? Those are really neat and you will learn many more abbreviations!"

    My question: Where does one find the "expert reporting books"??
    View other groups in this category.

  4. Hey, Vic.   You're right–with a lot of patience most of these books can be located.  In all fairness, though, some of them are pretty rare.  "Gregg Reporting Shortcuts" doesn't show up very often, and neither does the "Expert Shorthand Speed Course" in either anniversary or simplified. Advanced Book Exchange has a few copies of the first, but the speed course isn't available there, and I think that's a pretty good measure of the market.   Going off on a bit of a tangent, some other titles that are extremely hard to find are the "Gregg Shorthand Junior Manual" (intended to teach shorthand non-vocationally to younger students), and a fascinating little book from 1924 called "Analytical Lessons in Gregg Shorthand" by Minnie Demotte Frick.  This book has a great orange and black repeating diamond design on its cover, something completely different from the "usual" Gregg product.   Also, the little "Teach Yourself Shorthand" (Gregg version) from the English Universities Press (Crockett and Symonds, 1943) is a useful, abbreviated presentation of the system that you don't see very often.  (The Pitman version seems much more common).    If you ever find the early theory books by Dr. Gregg ("The Basic Principles of Gregg Shorthand", 1923; "The Teaching of Shorthand", 1916; and "The Q's and A's of Shorthand Theory", 1924) grab them.  Don't hesitate.   There are many other rarities in Gregg shorthand.  The company was extremely prolific and produced all kinds of materials.    Alex 

  5. Thanks for posting all the information on these!   I have "Expert Shorthand Speed Course" (red book).  I didn't realize it when I bought it that it was simplified. I think I got it before this board was put up.  I was learning Anniversary and thought this wold be good to have.   I found it at a second store.    It's a lot of congressional material.  You have to work through it lesson by lesson as it uses the abbreviations from previous lessons (I found out trying to read a lesson by just opening it and couldn't).    Very interesting.  As I'm sure the others would be too.  Debbi

  6. In the afternoon mail I received Expert Speed Building DJS. Although the material consists of those tiresome business letters, I was pleased upon examination to see it restores shortcuts from Simplified and (egad!) Anniversary. Although I never really went through the DJ series, I found it very easy reading. I would heartily recommend this book to any DJ writer who'd like to prepare for Simplified or Anniversary. Incidentally I contributed a short message on phrasing (last item in Documents section. Is my writing legibl or should I work on my penmanship?

  7. On the cover of the last book, I see that the shorthand is only written in one column.

    Is that the norm? Write down the left column, then the right? The simplified manual never mentioned it. I've been writing straight across the whole page wondering what the line in the middle was for.

  8. When I learned shorthand, the most common steno pads were in two columns, the back cover contained a chart of all the Gregg brie4f forms and, yes, you were taught to write down the left colujmn then down the right column, always getting ready to flip the page as you neared the bottom of the right column. Come to think of it, I believe this was per the teacher's verbal instruction.

  9. Definitely down one column, then down the other.  The idea is that there's less time lost in moving from the end of one line to the next when the lines are shorter.    The center line wasn't put there just for decoration!   I'm pretty sure this is documented in some of the manuals . . . not just a "word of mouth" instruction from some teachers.   Alex

  10. WOW!

    Thanks to all, Chuck especially, for the wonderful info (and pictures!). I do have one of the books but wasn't acquainted with many of the others.

    This is one terrific resource group, and I am so grateful for your help and suggestions. Applause!

  11. The typical method of writing is to write down the left and then the right column.  When you get into "office style" dictation, if the dictator was the type that would make many changes while dictating, it was recommended to write down just the left column and save the right column for the various corrections and additions given in the oourse of the dictation.  Also, it's a good place to write any special notes regarding handling or method of mailing, copy recipients, enclosures, etc.   If you were recording a telephone conversation, it was recommended to use one column a piece for the participants.    I happen to be left handed. So I usually have several lines at the top that I don't write on because of the interference with the spiral bind.  That has always left me with a bit of room at the top to make the notations and special instructions. 

  12. Using any type of paper is fine.  Actually Anniversary books I learned is all on blank paper, usulaly in columns, but not even on lined.  There was just a standard size of lined used to have a closer to what the size of Gregg is suppose to be (but doesn't have to).   Actually it doens't take much time to turn the paper.  You are suppose to (although I have a tough time doing this personally) as you are writing down the second column, slide the paper up and so when you get to the last line, flip quickly and you're ready to start on the top.  With the shorter steno pads, you don't have much to go from a bottom to top anyway, so very little time wasted.   But again, whatever works for you.  I've written Gregg on different sizes of lined paper and even blank, etc. Debbi

  13. Chuck,

    Unfortunately, your listing of books has disappeared. Too many pictures, I guess. What is the name of the book that you said was the most comprehensive as far as shortcuts are concerned? You said it had shortcuts for engineering and some other fields, and I believe it was published in the '30s. I'd like to look for a copy, but I can't remember its name.

  14. The "Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course" is in the category of rare Gregg items.  I don't know its printing history at all.  My copy is copyright 1936, but the publishing note is "Nov. 1944-NP-2 1/2" (not sure what the NP and 2 1/2 is about).  Another fascinating thing is the format:  it's a large book, 8 X 11 inches, bound in blue cloth, with blue-tinted page edges.  So it's distinctly different from almost everything else Gregg published.    (Although the size is almost exactly the same as the classy "Office Training for Stenographers" by SoRelle, 1911/1916.  I also have a "Most-Used Medical Terms" book from 1943 that's the same size, in paperback, and something called "Direct Practice Units for Beginning Gregg Shorthand" from 1936, slightly smaller, also in paperback . . . Also "Graded Dictation" by Walter Rasmussen, 1909, is a large-format book.  So the reporting book wasn't absolutely unique.)    We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed for you that a copy shows up on E-Bay one of these days with a very low "buy it now" price, and that you're the first one to spot it.  There isn't a single copy listed with . . .   Alex

  15. No, it's still there. You need to click on "First", just below the opening thread. It will take you to the first page.

    The title of the book is "Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course", by CL Swem and JR Gregg. Oddly enough, the book doesn't have a Table of Contents! Nevertheless, here's a list of the discussion topics:

    1-3: Introductory units.
    4: Simple phrasing
    5: Root phrases
    6 & 7: The language of the law
    8: The language of the engineer
    9: Shortcuts
    10: Forcing speed
    11: Similar words
    12: Actual practice (by this time you should be writing from 125-150 wpm)
    13: New words
    14: Coordination
    15: Common sense
    16: "Fixing" it up
    17: Marking exhibits
    18: Medical language (this chapter was written by Louis Leslie)
    19: A first day in court
    20: Dictating your transcript

  16. Thanks to Chuck's listing, I launched a search for Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course by Swem and Gregg. Using a multi-listing search link, I found one copy on, of all places, a vendor with

    Although a bit pricier than many Gregg books, I thought it was a steal at $55, especially when it arrived in near-perfect condition.

    Not only is it a wellspring of really great shortcuts, it has some wonderful, vintage photographs of court reporters in high places that make it worth the price for the history alone.

    if you can find a copy, latch on to it. It would be a great investment for knowledge and as a rare find.

  17. Congratulations.  I'm frankly surprised that you found a copy anywhere, at any price.  $55 is a lot, but not outrageous for a scarce book in good condition.  Just out of curiosity, what is the publication date of your copy?    For my part, I just tracked down a copy of the Expert Shorthand Speed Course, Simplified Edition . . . also through an Amazon seller, although I only had to pay $10.50.    Enjoy your new acquisition!  I'm sure you have some people drooling with envy.   Alex

  18. Alex, I checked the Shorthand Reporting Course book and found that it bears a copyright of 1936 and is shown as printed in the United States November 1944-NP-2-1/2. I have no idea what the NP 2-1/2 means.

    I also have a copy of Gregg Reporting Shortcuts, which is also an excellent reference.

    This is one of the great things about this group. You learn of publications and references you might never have come across on your own. My thanks to all who are so willing to share.

  19. Oh, rub it in. 😛

    Does this book even have an ISBN? All I can find is a LOC call number. Perhaps if I had an ISBN, I could use interlibrary loan to check it out.

    I haven't tried just using the call number at ILL, but I will bet an ISBN would be more effective, too.

    —Andrew Owen

  20. I sent it through Interlibrary loan, and I now have borrowed a copy of Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course. Free beats any "buy it now" price, I say! 🙂 I love the book! It is great.

    Though one thing does stick out to me: why on earth is "through" represented in the special forms with "u"? That seems like it would cause a heck of a lot of confusion in transcription. (page 14)


  21. Actually, that's one of my favorite shortcuts — "oo" for "through".  It's not nearly as confusing as you'd think.  And, although it's a "conflict" with "yours truly" I use "oo-t" for "throughout."  Having it in the middle of a sentence avoids any confusion.    Peter

  22. I love how intense the material is. In just the first three units (out of twenty), one must learn more than 600 special forms. That doesn't even include court phrases. Just congressional reporting. Some of these phrases are just superb. The flexibility of reporting Gregg is fun.

  23. I don't phrase "whether the".  I hadn't even considered it — which is odd because I have a tendency to phrase a lot.  I started picking up the reporting forms when I was a courtroom clerk.  I worked with a court reporter who was a pen writer.  He passed along his reporting books to me.  The advanced short forms and phrases are great for use in literary/congressional record materials that tend to be denser than your typical business letter fare. 

  24. Andrew: I have had pretty good luck using the LOC with various books. For your pleasure:

    LC Control No.: 36013298
    Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
    Personal Name: Swem, Charles Lee.
    Main Title: Gregg shorthand reporting course, by Charles Lee Swem and John Robert Gregg.
    Published/Created: New York, Chicago [etc.] 1936.
    Description: 320 p. illus. (incl. ports.) 28 1/2 cm.

  25. A month after acquiring the 1945 Expert Shorthand Speed Course, I also purchased the 1951 edition with some outlines modified for Simplified. I was tickled to see that "farm" had been modified from F-reverse A-M to simply F-A-M, especially since one of the first features of Anniversary that caught my fancy was reversing the A and E circles to indicate a following R.
    Thanks to the generosity of Chuck I have a copy of the Teacher's Key to the 1945 book and am really enjoying studying and practicing the lessons.
    I do want to acquire Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course, either the book itself or a photocopy. Could any member of the group help me out?
    The additional phrasing shortcuts and "brief forms" in the 1945 book are really impressive. I don't pretend to have memorized all of them, but the reading material and reviews are designed to keep them fresh in your mind.
    I was pleased to see in another thread that a beginner has chosen (perhaps preforce) to learn Anniversary over the other versions. I am really surprised that some posters find the memory load almost overwhelming in Anniversary. The additional shortcuts may require more effort to remember, but once learned they seem comfortable and natural.

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