What Version Should I Buy?

I was wondering, which vesion of Diamond Jubilee or Centennial should I buy. I can only find the college version of Centennial, and I am a beginner, and there are so many versions of Diamond Jubille, I do not know where to start. I was thinking, If I choose Diamond Jubilee, should I start with the Functional Method? I have to idea. Thanks in advance.

(by slowshorthandlearner for everyone)

32 comments Add yours
  1. If you mean there are lots of different manuals, there are really only two ("vanilla" and functional method), but lots of transcription and dictation practice books for after you learn the theory to help you build speed and good habits.

    I definitely recommend the functional method out of the two, though. I recently purchased the functional method for Simplified out of curiosity (I learned from the plain old manual a while back), and was delighted to find more letters for practice, more varied reading materials, more review lessons, and a complete transcription in the back in case I got stuck.

    I'm not sure how many differences there are between Centennial and DJ, I just know that DJ seems to be one of the editions of choice around here (in a trinity with Simplified and Anniversary). We don't see too many Series 90, Centennial, or Notehand writers!

    Wait for someone more expert than I to give you more info 🙂 Congratulations on discovering this useful albeit somewhat esoteric skill. I started learning it four years ago and use it daily now.

  2. There are two versions of the first Centennial book, and six versions of the introductory DJS book (two high school and one college, in two editions).  Here they are:   Centennial: The two books are identical, and have the key in the back of the book.     (High School version)       (College version)   Diamond Jubilee Series: The high school books are identical, except that the Functional Method book has the key in the back.  If you choose a book other than the Functional Method, you will need to get the key separately.  The college book is slightly different, but covers the same material. McGraw-Hill published two editions of the books.   First Edition     (High School)     (High School, Functional Method)       (College Book 1)   Second Edition       (High School)       (High School, Functional Method)       (College Book 1)   With respect to Centennial vs DJS, both are good series for learning. There are slightly more principles to learn with DJS, but if you choose Centennial, you will not be loosing much. I believe that the DJS books are cheaper and perhaps more readily available than the Centennial books.   I hope this helps.  Let us know if you have more questions.

  3. Hi Chuck.  I learned from the blue high school DJS and would like to get a copy of the blue h.s. fuctional method.  Any ideas where I could find one?  Your picture was the first I've seen of that version.   Thanks, Joanne

  4. If you want a copy of the Centennial, I have one I'd be happy to send you.  It is the high school version I think.  I'm not sure why I bought it but it's just collecting dust so if you'd like to try that version send me your address at [email protected] and I'll slip it in the mail.   Joanne

  5. The theory taught in the high school and the college books is identical.  If you learn from either one, you'll learn exactly the same thing.   Aside from the obvious differences in binding, there are some typographic differences in the text itself.  The chapter introductions are different–the college material is supposedly written for an older, more mature group of students.  The photos are different, and the shorthand connected material is different.  They're more than just the same book in different covers, but the order of theory presentation is the same.    I personally prefer the "look" of the high school text (DJS first edition, the "yellow book".)    Alex

  6. Yes I got it but I didn't read it until this morning.  I am packing on the weekends (trying to sell my house) and yesterday I spent the entire day at the courthouse during jury selection – I wasn't chosen thank goodness – but they didn't tell us that until almost 4:45 so I didn't turn on my computer until this morning.  I will go home at lunch and get the book to mail today.  Don't worry about shipping.   I did glance through the book Sunday afternoon while packing other books and I think it will be a good textbook to learn from.   Take care, Joanne

  7. Charles, I have sent the same email to your other address so you could read this asap.  If you've already read this here's a repeat.   I was stuffing the book into an envelope to mail and noticed it said "Dictation and Transcription" so I pulled it back out and really looked at it this time.  This is a book that you will want after you know the basics of shorhand theory.  It is still a great book and has lessions with the brief forms and phrases, words with the sound Sh, words ending with -tion, -sion, etc. just to name a few lessions.  I sat there for awhile reading it (the letters are already in shorthand, you transcribe them) and it will be a great help – again, after you get the basics down.   Do you still want the book?  You will need to get a textbook at eBay, abebooks, alibris, amazon.com, etc. to learn the theory but if you want to learn the Centennial version I will be happy to close up the envelope and send it your way.   I'm so sorry I didn't look at the book properly before and got your hopes up.  Let me know, Joanne

  8. I agree–DJS seems like a natural for you, since you have teachers available who know that system.    I wouldn't even worry about Series 90 or Centennial . . . they don't add any practical value, and they're only interesting if you want to look at the full history of Gregg shorthand.  Series 90 is honestly indistinguishable for me from DJS, and Centennial was sort of a "last gasp" attempt by McGraw-Hill to market shorthand texts to schools, when the demand was really gone.  The Centennial texts even fail to mention Dr. Gregg's name as the inventor of the system . . . they did add color and slick graphics, but that's all superficial.  Centennial did re-introduce some older brief forms.   Alex

  9. I've mentioned before that I have the Series 90 "Instructor's Resource Notebook", a huge plastic binder stuffed full of all kinds of interesting stuff . . . so McGraw-Hill pumped some energy and resources into putting all this together.  It must have made a real business teacher drool to see all of it.    Series 90 also was published in the "Individual Progress Method" boxed kits–textbooks in a top-spiral bound format, transcripts, and self-check tests.    I guess the really amazing thing is that McGraw-Hill even decided to try with Centennial . . . those materials were not inexpensive to design and produce, and you kind of have to wonder where they found the people with the expertise to pull it off.   Alex

  10. I was reading through some old issues of _Today's Secretary_, specifically, those those of the last volume, 1978. On a full-page ad on one of the last magazines, they were advertising the Series 90 system. It was quite impressive, with a huge image full of Series 90 materials, including records, filmstrips, several books, etc., etc., and at the top they had interesting things to say about the system. They said something to the effect of, "Gregg Shorthand has gone under several different editions in its lifetime, and this is the latest refinement in its history. This is a new system that is easier to teach, and easier to learn!" And it goes on. It was interesting.

    It is also ironic, since that "coming soon" advertisement occurred about three or so issues before the very last issue of the magazine.

    The last advertisement (other than an ad for white-out or something) was for a new model of Dictaphones.

    Sometimes it causes me to wonder.


  11. Likewise.  I've ordered through ABE books for years (www.abe.com) and have never had a bad experience.   They are not a reseller.  ABE Books is essentially a "clearinghouse" for sellers of used and antiquarian books.  They provide a mechanism for listing, searching, buying, and paying, and I consider it a hugely successful service.   I never buy from Alibris, but that's only because the prices there always seem higher to me.    The Amazon.com sellers are also a reliable source, however.  I do agree that the price you paid for a DJS book is too high; you should have been able to find a copy in good condition for under $5.00.  If the copy you get is in pristine, "like new" condition you might want to keep it, but if it's anything less I'd consider returning it.    Usually the book condition descriptions at abe.com are quite accurte.  "Good" means the book may be knocked around a bit; "very good" should be essentially without any serious defects, and "like new" should mean that.    Alex

  12. Well, I read all the reviews about abe.com, and am frankly surprised.  I've purchased books through abe.com for years, and have never had a single problem.  And many times the books have actually been in better shape than described.   A couple of thoughts:  some of the "reviewers" are from outside the U.S. (Sweden, Russia) and there seemed to be a theme about books not arriving rapidly enough.  International mail is always a little unpredictable, and if books come by surface rather than air it can be months rather than days before they arrive.*   Second thing is almost all the reviewers talked about buying "from" abe.com.  When you use the service you have to realize you're purchasing from an individual bookseller somewhere, not from a giant company called "abe.com".  And if you know used-book stores, many of them are one-person store-front operations.  You can't expect perfection.  And there are bound to be some bad apples out there.   Alex   *My best story about international mail:  a couple of years ago I was teaching a summer course in Vermont, and we had ordered about 500 euros worth of reference books for the students, mailed surface from the Netherlands.  (That's a chunk of change).  A short time before the course started, the school received an envelope from the US postal service with a tiny corner of a package enclosed, and an invoice list.  They said that was all that had arrived at the local post office processing facility.  It remains a mystery what happened to all those books–did they fall off a boat on the way to the U.S.?  My guess is that the package was opened at some facility here in the U.S. for inspection and wasn't securely sealed, then fell apart somewhere en route.  I have a couple of friends who work at our local post office processing facility, and they say there are hundreds of lost books every month from packages that are destroyed. 

  13. Glad you got your book – and glad you chose DJS.  Study hard – I'm back to studying myself and practicing so I can answer pen pals that have sent me letters and I've not answered yet.  You have probably heard "use it or lose it" and that's the truth with shorthand.  If you don't keep practicing and using it you will forget parts of it and have to re-learn how to write it (I can still read it, it's the writing that I have to work on).  That's what quite a few of us here in the group are doing.    Hope you understand all of that – this has been a very hard day.  The last few days before going on vacation it's amazing what everyone brings to you to buy or pay (I'm the school bookkeeper) before you leave.  In fact, I'm only getting one week instead of two-my boss decided I needed to be here most of the last week of the month in case there are any emergencies – June 30 is our fiscal year-end.   I will be taking my books and steno pads with me to keep up the practice.  Take care everybody.    Joanne

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