Teach Yourself Gregg?

Being a former Pitman student, I have noted that the Pitman people had quite a bit of success with a series of books called Teach Yourself Pitman; one could choose either Pitman New Era or Pitman 2000.

The teaching methods were exactly suited for self-instruction; other manuals, designed for classroom instruction, really don’t cut the mustard in this endeavor.

My question is–was there ever a Teach Yourself Gregg series? It seems that a lot of users of this forum have to struggle unnecessarily because they’re using classroom materials.

(by
georgeamberson1 for everyone) 

54 comments Add yours
  1. Any of the functional manuals – simplified, DJS, or anniversary – would be fine for self-learning as you have clear explanations, lots of reading material AND A KEY to the shorthand itself. What do other members of the group think?

  2. I personally think symbol shorthand is hard to learn in any way (classroom or self taught).  But maybe that's me.   I was finally able to learn it after taking a alphabetic type shorthand in a classroom (night class).  From what I can remember that was more self study except for an occasional real life dictation lesson (she had the master cassette tapes and made us copies, we paid for the blank tapes but she made copies for us using the same tape over and over).  I'm trying to think what we did in class… maybe she just reviewed with us or did some dictation… but anyway some struggled and some didn't.  So I also think it's more of a personal thing.  Someone who grasps languages and writing easily may have a more easy time.  And someone with time may be able to learn it faster. I thought I did see a manual on ebay once for Self Teaching Gregg, but it kept getting up in price and I didn't bother bidding. Debbi

  3. I had the impression from the introduction to the 1916 edition that it was produced for a general audience and not a classroom. I don't know whether it was produced for later editions, but I've found "Speed Studies" a great personal tutor.

    How would you describe the features and advantages of the Pitman self-study texts?

  4. Answering George's question, yes, indeed, there were Gregg materials prepared for self study, in particular, for military personnel and for home use. These were published by the Gregg Publishing Company, and were based on the classroom manuals. There is very little difference in the presentation. Additional workbooks and cassettes were also included.

    One difference of Pitman vs Gregg is that Pitman relies quite a bit on memorization of rules, whereas Gregg's "rules" are much more fluid. (Perhaps that's why the "teach yourself series" was needed for Pitman!) That, in addition to the fact that publication of Pitman materials was not restricted to one publisher as Gregg shorthand was, may account for the plethora of books in Pitman. So, in my opinion, the Gregg shorthand books are less wordy and use more examples — especially with the later Gregg series, there is less to memorize, because these rely more on the principle of analogy for outline construction and less on shortcuts, brief forms, word beginnings, word endings, and phrases.

  5. This morning I'm perusing a May 1929 issue of The Gregg Writer … John Robert Gregg, Editor-in-Chief; Charles Lee Swem, Managing Editor; and Louis A. Leslie, Business Manager. The magazine is jammed full of a variety of interesting articles, stories and stenographic tips, largely in shorthand butt also in printed English. I'm so pleased that I splurged and spent $11.65 for the magazine. It'll provide many hours of recreation and penmanship practice.

    I agree from the prefaces to all the various editions of the Gregg Manuals, that the shorthand itself was designed and laid out to be easily self-taught. I was hospitalized the first two weeks of my introductory shorthand class. However I was sent a message as to the homework assignments. We used the Simplified Functional Manual. Independently, I had no problem completing the first few lessons and rejoining the class 14 days later. I'm not a genius, so I figure if I could do it, anyone with a modicum of intelligence is able to accomplish the same thing.

    Years ago I was interested in learning Pitman and still have several texts. But after beginning to practice the introductory chapters I lost interest – the stroke thickening and position writing seemed unduly complicated compared to the Gregg concept of cursive writing.

  6. George   For DJS and S90, there were special kits, Gregg Shorthand 1, which contained a condensed manual, a transcript, a "self-check" pad of tests, and actual vinyl recordings.   As far as I can tell, my copy of the manual covers everything the regular manual covers.   Although it is clearly designed for independent study, it's labelled "Gregg Adult Education Series".   sidhe

  7. <>

    Point 1 is very true; the rules of Pitman are very rigid. This is meant to make sure that transcribing wasn't a problem. You aren't supposed to deviate from the rules at all!

    Point 2: According to the Preface of my edition, the Teach Yourself Series was aimed at people who either didn't have the time, money,or the inclination to attend classes; Taken at one lesson a week (an easy endeavor) speeds of 80wpm were expected by the end of the 36th lesson.

  8. <>

    Well, that's a hard question to answer, but the best thing about the Series is that you know exactly where you're supposed to be at each lesson.

    For example, you know that by the 10th or so lesson, you're supposed to be at 40 or 50wpm. You know by the second or third lesson in which words to omit vowels. Rather than a teacher telling you which strokes to practice over and over, the text itself does that in an exercise called "Facility Drills".

    I believe the angle of instruction to be the absolute best for the self-taught student–impressive enough to look for a Gregg version of the method..

  9. There is indeed a book "Teach Yourself Shorthand" for Gregg, published by the English Universities Press Ltd. (actually published by Hodder and Stoughton for the E.U.P.) in 1943, reprinted in 1944 and 1947.    The authors were Ernest W. Crockett and F. Addington Symonds.   There's a note on the title page:  "(This book is published by arrangement with Dr. John Robert Gregg, inventor of Gregg Shorthand, and with the Gregg Publishing Co. Ltd., Gregg House, Russell Square, London)"   It's actually a concise and fairly elegant presentation of the theory of Gregg shorthand in the Anniversary/pre-Simplified style.    If you're inclined to search for this book, be aware that there's a book by the same title and publisher for Pitman shorthand, as well.  Be sure you're buying the Gregg edition if that's what you want.   I think what's unique about this volume is that it's specifically marketed for people who want to study on their own.  Almost all the other Gregg materials, even though they can be used for self study, were designed and marketed with a commerical school clientele in mind, and then later for business courses in high schools and colleges.    Alex

  10. You know, those Gregg "kits" are kind of a mystery to me.  I don't know who the target audience was, how many were produced, or who they were actually sold to.  I suspect they were designed for adult continuing education programs.  But the ones I've seen seem untouched/unused, so I wonder what the whole thing was about.    The thing about the English Universities Press "Teach Yourself Shorthand" book is that is one part of a large series of "teach yourself" titles that was marketed to people very broadly.  They had "Teach Yourself" titles for Arabic, Hindustani (!), Polish, Malay, etc.; algebra and calculus; anatomy, biology, physics; air navigation; chess, fishing, sailing; bee-keeping, embroidery, photography; commercial law; etc. etc. etc.  Really targeted as small-format, easy-to-understand guides to a lot of different areas of study.  Gregg/McGraw-Hill never did that kind of mass-market attempt.   Alex

  11. Thanks, Alex. (Perhaps you didn't read all the posts, but I have the Teach Yourself Shorthand (Pitman New Era) book.)

    For what it's worth, I found some copies of this obscure book. It's a shame that this series isn't better known to Gregg-ites; I believe the method to be an absolutely superior way of learning Gregg. To wit:

    http://snipr.com/1nga8

    I don't know why I didn't think of Abebooks before–maybe a slip of the brain? 😉

    If anyone decides to buy this book, I would very much like to hear what you think of it.

  12. Yes, indeed I did read all the messages . . . I was just giving a "heads up" to anyone who might search for "Teach Yourself Shorthand" that it could be either Pitman or Gregg–the title is the same.  It comes up once in a while on E-Bay and sometimes the sellers don't identify which edition it is.    The prices for the 4 copies of the Gregg "Teach Yourself Shorthand" at ABE are a bit high, I think . . . this is a slim volume, and I'm not sure I'd pay $22 and up for a copy.    I agree with Chuck that the book is a bit wordy, but that's characteristic of all the E.U.P. "Teach Yourself" books–they were designed to be used without a teacher, so substituted with narrative explanations.  I personally don't mind . . . and a novel about Gregg shorthand would be just fine with me!  I love the two biographies of Dr. Gregg and the "Story of Gregg Shorthand" and they're all novel-ish kinds of books.    One interesting thing about the EUP "Teach Yourself Shorthand" book (at least in the first printing) is that the inside of the dust jacket is printed with "The E.U.P. Test:  Shorthand" which could be completed and mailed to "The English Universities Press Ltd., St. Hugh's School, Bickley, Kent."  All the answers were supposed to be written "on one side of foolscap paper."  You have to write words in shorthand to demonstrate Knowledge of Principles, transcribe a few short sentences written in shorthand, write words to demonstrate correct proportion, and then transcribe a business letter ("Practical Work").    Alex

  13. I think it's odd that while the Teach Yourself Pitman series lasted for decades, the Teach Yourself Gregg only lasted 3 or 4 years.

    Pitman is a by-the-rule system; apropos the Teach Yourself series, the idea is, you show the student once how to do something, and the rule is universally applied. To use an analogy, you only have to show a person once how to use a screwdriver. Not a lot of word examples are necessary to teach a person a particular Pitman rule.

    Is there something intrinsic about Gregg that makes this approach impracticle?

  14. Gregg is indeed more free-wheeling than Pitman. I'm so happy I bougght the 1902 manual with Gregg's own exposition of the system. He encourages the creation of the writer's own "brief forms" using the abbreviation principle. He also advises not going overboard on shortcusts. The 1902 manual is full of examples of omitting words or modifying words in common phrases. It also has numerous examples of omitting "ing" and writing the next word in that position. There are a couple of disjoined prefixes I'd never seen: "ultra" and "altra". Too cool but I can see why they were omitted by the 1929 manual. Dr. Gregg's exposition is very conversational and quite thorough.

    Essentially the Gregg system seems to have been designed to fit the writers and their note taking subjects. Through all editions of the manual I've seen up through DJS, the "rules" seem to be simply and clearly presented with loads of examples. Although the manuals were prepared for sale to schools and teachers, they can easily be used for self-learning.

    I'm seriously thinking of looking for the time to give Pitman a whirl again. But truthfully the more I read about the system, I believe Gregg's is far superior in terms of learnability and speed.

  15. JRGAnniversary:

    I see. Gregg's being more leniant toward rules is probably the reason that the Teach Yourself method didn't become more entrenched with Gregg writers.

    About learnability and speed? In terms of learnability, I agree with you completely; there's no doubt at all that Gregg's easier to learn. About speed? I don't know, JRG; Pitmanwriters have reached phenomenal speed. In fact, the fastest ever shorthand writer was a Pitman writer. Indeed, there's a book that I've read called "How to write Pitman 250 Words Per Minute". It turns out that 1000s of people have written at that speed. The issues of Pitman that make it so hard to learn, viz., position writing and shading, give the system a whole lot more opportunities for shortcuts than Gregg.

    Morris Kligman, who wrote the abovementioned book, believed that the two systems were exactly equal in terms of speed; he insists that it's the writer that counts, not the system. I tend to agree.

    If you do decide to take Pitman again, I'd strongly suggest the Teach Yourself Series; I believe it to be le plus ultra in terms of teaching methods. The difficulty of the system might turn you off, though…

  16. I think Gregg and Pitman used different marketing approaches, and by the 1940s Gregg was being targeted almost exclusively at business students in high schools and colleges, as well as the old business schools.  Pitman continued to be marketed more broadly, including to journalists (I doubt there's more than a handful of US journalists who know shorthand, but my understanding is it's still part of the course of study in Britain).    There may also be a U.S/Great Britain distinction in philosophy, too.  To my knowledge there was never really a U.S. equivalent of the E.U.P. "Teach Yourself" series.  Maybe British culture in some way encouraged this way of learning and Pitman found a sympathetic niche there.    Alex

  17. Alex:

    Well, I can tell you from my investigation of shorthand history that Pitman ruled (and still does rule) in the Commonwealth; in the UK, Pitman had 80% of the students, while in the US, Gregg had 90%. (It is still believed in the Commonwealth that Pitman was the superior method)

    The fact that there was more success in the UK with the Teach Yourself Series in Pitman is probably a reflection of that.

    In terms of teaching methods? You might be right; something intrinsic in the culture over there probably helped nurture the EUP series…

  18. Out of curiosity I ordered the EUP Gregg book which arrived today. I've had a chance to give it a thorough examination and am amazed at the clarity of the exposition. If I had a friend unfailiar with shorthand who wanted to learn Gregg from scratch, I'd heartily recommend this text.

  19. It was listed on ABE Books along with a couple of others early last week. For a mid-'40's book it's in excellent condition. I do admire the theory presentation … not that it's any different than the manual but the explanations are certainly very clear. It's difficult for me to judge since I'm already familiar with the abbreviating principle and anniversary brief forms, but I had the immediate impression this EUE text would be a perfect tool for someone with no prior experience to learn Gregg from scratch.

  20. JRG:

    🙂 It's nice that the method suits Pitman and Gregg equally well.

    The nicest thing about the method is that you know exactly where you're supposed to be at each point. Plus, it tells you which strokes need to be drilled for speed, etc.

    I'm curious about it enough to buy a copy for myself. If the book's no longer in copyright, perhaps someone could post a few pages to the forum…

  21. Congratulations on locating the Teach Yourself Shorthand book at abe.com.  I hope you didn't have to pay the outrageous price that several copies are listed for . . . It's interesting how different titles pop up once in a while out of the blue.    Alex

  22. The setup of the Gregg EUE may be slightly different than the Pitman. There are 10 chapters, each chapter comprised of 3 "units". Completion of the text, if you have followed all instructions, should ensure that you can write 50-60 wpm. "A Final Word" encourages you to read well-written shorthand to increase your skill.

    So, what's different from the Gregg publications?

    I've mentioned the clarity of the explanations. However, there's nothing extraordinary that one could not glean from sitting with a Manual. And I've said elsewhere, I believe for learning purposes the Functional Manuals with all the reading material are best … although I'm only familiar with the Anniversary and Simplified functional manuals.

    I believe the EUE text to be an excellent intro to the Gregg-interested who have no prior exposure, but be aware since it originated in the mid-'40's, it presents the Anniversary system. (I particularly enjoyed the succinct explanation of "omission of" and "indication of" the "r". But an astute reader has the same information in the official Manual.

    I should think any Pitman writer would have no problem learning Gregg from one of the Manuals, once making the mental adjustment to the different principles. I have thought of your recommendation and think that I will try to pick up a copy of the EUE Pitman New Era and give it a go. Inasmuch as Gregg is concerned, I do remember and am fluent in most of the brief forms and can construct "full" outlines quickily if necessary. There were some really cool pointers in the 1902 and 1916 Manuals which I will endeavor to assimilate, however my main problem is finding the time for shorthand as I have many other avocations to keep my mind and body active. Perhaps when I retire …

  23. Geez, I must have lucked out – I obtained the EUE Gregg book from ABE for $10 plus 3.50 postage. If anyone would like to purchase it from me I'll undersell the lowest ABE price by $1 – LOL. I was aghast to see it going for $40 and more! I guess I've been very fortunate with my recent purchases … only item left on my want list is Reporting Course in Gregg Shorthand and I am thinking of trying an interlibrary loan, making a photocopy and having it bound.

  24. I haven't followed this entire thread, but coincidentally yesterday someone ordered an old army field manual and in that department I found the four Gregg books listed below.  All were published in 1943 by Gregg Publishing Co. for the U. S. Armed Forces Institute of Madison, Wisc.  All have tan covers with brown lettering.  I suspect they were probably a reissue of civilian publications.  None has a Table of Contents nor Index.  There are statements to the effect that the contents are similar to that of standard civilian textbooks.  No mention of who wrote the shorthand plates.   1.  Shorthand, A Self-Teaching Course:  Textbook.  Stiff cardboard covers, 5 x 6 3/4 inches, which is small than the others; 122 pages, rounded corners.  Owner's name and a number written on the front cover; extensive pencil notations on page 3. The book includes 30 units and two appendices.   2.  War Department Educational Manual EM 720, Shorthand Workbook, A Self-Teaching Course.  Paperbound, 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches.    Frontispiece portrait of Gregg Champion (1923 & 1924) Charles E. Swem, former personal stenographer to President Wilson, pen in hand.  Two copies available:  one with "I & E Office, Hanau Engr Depot" stamped on front cover; the other with pencil entries for the first two lessons.   3.  War Department Educational Manual EM 722, Advanced Shorthand, A Self-Teaching Course.  Paperbound, 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches.  "I & E Office, Hanau Engr Depot" stamped on front cover.  This is a textbook, not a workbook.    My store prices for these range from $17.50 to $25.00.  If anyone on this list is interested you can have them for $12.50 each or all four for $40.  Shipping is $5.00 per order.   Best to all,   Don Ramsey, All Books Considered, Kensington MD

  25. JRG:

    Your post is interesting; in the Pitman version, after 36 lessons, a speed of 70-80wpm is expected. The student can take any pace he likes; if he decides on one lesson a day, 80wpm would be attained in just 36 days! However, a more moderate course is suggested. One or two lessons a week is better, in my opinion.

    If you do decide on Pitman New Era, I'd get the Teach Yourself Shorthand (exact title) book that was printed in the early 60s; later editions omitted important steps, in my opinion.

    One thing that crosses cross-shorthand students is the weaknesses of the other system; in Pitman, the student might be annoyed at the execution of the strokes, viz., shading and position-writing, while Pitman students studying Gregg get annoyed at the "wordiness" of Gregg. As one Pitman writer told me,"DJS is awfully long-winded." I had to remind him that, unlike Pitman New Era, DJS wasn't designed for court reporting. (He previously didn't know this.)

    Let me know if you do decide to do this–I'd be much interested in your progress.

  26. JRG:

    This is a little off-topic, but have you looked at the Preface of these books? There are many Teach Yourself books in a lot of varied fields; some of them look pretty compelling.

    I might get a Teach Yourself Handwriting book. This book will become more interesting with time since cursive is becoming obsolete. I wonder what Teach Yourself Ready Reckoning is?

  27. Yes, if I had unlimited free time and lotsa bucks, I'd probably purchase a lot of those Teach Yourself Books. Ah, well, being impoverished and having to work many hours to hold the wolves at the front door at bay, I can but dream!

  28. The original "Teach Yourself Handwriting" book was by John Le F. Dumpleton, and taught a very british version of what is generally called "italic handwriting".  Classic little book, very charming–the italic style it teaches is a little idiosyncratic, but in general the model is quite appropriate.  Italic writing with a broad-edge fountain pen was quite the thing in Britain for a number of years, thanks to the influence of Edward Johnston and afterwards Alfred Fairbank, then the Society for Italic Handwriting (which published a great little journal for a number of years, and which has now gone the way of The Gregg Writer).   There's a second edition of "Teach Yourself Handwriting" that was done by Rosemary Sassoon (I think–I'm in San Diego for a few weeks and far from my bookshelf).  It's much less charming and teaches some remedial handwriting skills, as well as proposing a simplified italic model.   I'd recommend the first edition if you can find it.  Since Gregg is a cousin of standard U.S. "cursive" monoline writing, the italic model isn't a good fit for writers of Gregg.  That's a bit of a dilemma for me, since although I don't write with a broad pen my normal writing is heavily influence by the Fairbank-style italic model.    Alex

  29. Perhaps a little off topic–and some of you may have some commentary:

    I'm working toward Simplified, and have 5 or so books (regular manual, functional, graded drills, dictionary, phrases, expert speed), but then, on a whim, I bought a Notehand book. The readings are great in that book. And, there are _lots_ of them. It seems to be very similar to Simplified or DJS. Of course, a lot more is written out; there are only 40-odd brief forms, but of these, only one differs from Simplified.

    The only differing rule that I have found so far is joining/disjoining past tense, and I think that changes for DJS also.

    Anyway, it looks like an easier way to get something working, outside of the support of a classroom/teacher, and with limited time. I don't expect it to be very fast, but it looks like jumping either way to DJS or Simplified or even Anniversary would just continue a progression, without really having to re-learn much at all.

    Has anyone else done this? Are there pitfalls I have missed?

    C Nix

    Thought I'd throw it

  30. Get ready for a novel!

    The differences on their own may look small, but when taken together, they make for a very considerable drop in speed/ease of writing. As an Anni/Simplified writer, when I looked at Notehand once, I saw so many ways an outline could've been made easier to write but wasn't for the pure sake of writing everything out, that I had to "translate" into Anni so I could read it… The further back you go in editions toward Pre-Anni, the *easier* the outlines get to write, to save time for the writer. What goes up is theory and things to learn.

    I didn't find Simplified particularly hard to learn… the only reason it took me so long was because I kept putting it off, and that can happen regardless of the system. There's kind of a rift between Simplified and DJS… The systems from DJS on are fairly homogenous, except for minor details. However, Simplified and Anni have many time-saving elements of theory that got dropped in DJS. That's why so many Simplified writers here (myself included) jumped to Anni without too much difficulty, and why DJS people who switched to Simplified have said how difficult it was. This is why going from Simplified to a post-DJS system isn't a very good idea: you've already started and already have many books, not to mention you'll have to unlearn a good chunk of theory and brief forms. That was my experience when I tried to do DJS instead of Simplified.

    And anyway, I think that what takes the most "study" time in Gregg shorthand anyway is not the theory/brief forms, but the application and penmanship+speed practice. I spend probably 5 minutes learning new concepts, then 20 just writing with it in use. So if you don't have those five/ten minutes for theory, it seems it'd be hard to find even longer times to practice writing legible and effortless Gregg, don't you think?

    The readings point is a good one… Simplified has only dry, dry business letters to read… that's why I eventually switched to Anniversary: to have more interesting things to read! But I amused myself on the way by translating poetry and comic strips into Simplified to read later. There's even an Interesting Things to Read thread going here for this very purpose.

    Hope this info was helpful and not too long-winded!

  31. I hear you about long outlines. I guess what I was thinking was that I could get something going sooner, that was at least faster than longhand, and then add the additional brief forms on the "second pass through," as it were, since there are no brief form differences, only additions.

    OTOH, are you suggesting that it will be hard to stop writing out and change over to the additional principles and brief forms in Simplified later?

    My use will be for my own business notes, and minutes of meetings–I can't forsee any need for my taking verbatim records. I'm currently doing this adequately longhand, with alot of abbreviating.

    That brings up another thought–I wonder what range of speeds people write with longhand. Maybe I should do a 5 minute writing test tonight and see………

    C Nix

  32. I learned Simplified in high school but there were a lot of Anniversary books (the Manual, the Functional Manual and Speed Studies) still around in 1958. I think it was in January or February of 1959 I started to work on the Anniversary books as well. Once learned, it's very difficult to make oneself write an outline in full. Ostensibly in second year shorthand I was reviewing Simplified theory but in fact I was mostly using the Anniversary brief forms and abbreviating principles.
    I believe it's easier to learn new brief forms and abbreviations once you know the system than it is to "unlearn" the shortcuts and write words and phrases out in full.

  33. I concur with JRG. It'd be easier to go from say Notehand to DJS or from Simplified to Anniversary than to bridge the gap between DJS and Simplified, since there it's a matter of unlearning and relearning established habits, like "jent/pent" and "dif/tive". It's possible though, as some of our members have done that 🙂

    And every self-respecting shorthand nerd has timed his/her longhand speed 😀 I think if I want to be legible, it's about 20wpm, and if I'm going as fast as I can, it's about 40wpm… and certainly not for very long!

  34. I am amazed. Erik has verbalized what I think are my subconscious reasons for not liking DJS.

    Essentially Simplified is Anniversary, with some of the shortcuts (word-signs or brief forms as well as much of the abbreviating principle) omitted. But it's still immediately recognizable and readable …. whereas DJS makes a big jump – too much is written out, some blends have been dropped and some of the penmanship (like the "o" hook in DJS "door") is different.

    Anyone who does not feel time is available to learn Anniversary but plans to learn it later is, in fact, much better off to start with Simplified than to begin with DJS … IMHO.

  35. HarpWeaver: I don't have any experience with Notehand or Gregghand, but like you said, any Gregg is better than no Gregg.  If you are already successfully taking minutes in longhand, you know for sure that Notehand will be fast enough for your needs; so, why spend more time learning a faster system?   I say follow your heart and go with Notehand.  That way you will be using Gregg sooner.  Then, if your interest is sufficiently piqued and you have extra time on your hands, delve into a more advanced system down the road.

  36. harpweaver, I'd throw my hat in with John. You're motivated to learn Notehand; that's the best advantage any system can have. I'm a 1916 student, but there are lots of times I wish I could use the simpler Notehand—as, for example, when I read those excruciating word lists, Chuck!

    A lesson in Speed Studies recommends making one's own list of "principle-heavy" practice words to review continually. These would serve the purpose well for anyone.

    By the way, what edition of Gregg Reporting Shortcuts is that?

  37. The only thing I will add to what it has been said is, echoing on what Erik said about what takes the most study time to master, is indeed the application of principles, in particular, writing derivatives of words.  You think that after you finish your first book of shorthand, you would "know" how to write any word.  In reality, although you are supposed to know, you have not developed at that time the ability to write words automatically, with the correct application of the rules.  The advantage of DJS and later versions is that a whole bunch of rules have been dropped, so you write more of the word and can probably write more words — however, the advantage of the previous versions is that if you know the rules, and can apply them quickly, no doubt you'll beat in speed the heck out of a DJS writer because the outlines are shorter.  Faulty theory knowledge leads to hesitation and a drop in speed; to avoid this, you need to study and practice.   For example, do you hesitate when you write the following words?  If so, you need to review theory and practice, practice, practice.  Check these out: abstinence, aeronaut, alienation, antagonism, autonomy, botanical, collateral, contradictory, demagnetize, diametrically, excentricity, extrinsic, fortification, gerrymander, hazardous, incandescent, kinetics, linoleum, luxurious, mysticism, officious, orthography, parallelogram, paraphernalia, quadruple, repertoire, thanksgiving, unreasonable, vegetarian.   The second component to speed is retention ability, which is independent of the version of shorthand.  This also takes time to develop.   This is a really interesting thread.

  38. Here's another test.  This one appears in the Gregg Reporting Shortcuts book (page 43):   Test 5Word Building Principles.  Have some one dictate the following list of 250 words which bring into use all the principles in the Manual. These should be dictated at about 50 words a minute. After the dictation is completed compare your outlines critically with the key and check up all errors. Deduct four-tenths of one per cent for each error.        Namely, allotment, earnings, prank, insultingly, admittance, pardonable, resound, dangerous, plunge, heroism, kingship, submissive, scarcity, outlay, careless, thine, torpid, salutation, broadest, comparative, erasure, cheerfulness, temperamental, foundation, mildness, frugality, electric, catastrophe, gratuity, misrepresent, expanse, successor, bewail, deducted, alternately, economy, unworthy, computation, literacy, beginner, congeal, vote, sour, trudge, discourage, granulated, majestically, foretaste, prevent, ostracize, partition, entirely, pathway, tropic, alum, unarmed, promise, hunted, nutritive, leaders, bequest, ornate, surgeon, captivity, fanciful, massive, collector, sling, difficulty, self-justification, piety, surname, perplex, influenced, materialize, starvation, combination, submerge, younger, thrush, forfeit, accident, politician, watery, festivity, observatory, transpose, canteen, perform, mattress, considered, alignment, agriculture, embody, condition, asbestos, intelligent, sofa, auxiliary, gust, specify, also, overshoe, ample, feebleness, trustworthy, admixture, fraternity, refuse, describe, supplemental, whiten, whiteness, patient, gull, economical, inflict, lament, fullness, exposition, directory, pave, proficiency, thirty, question, empire, frantic, progress, jail, capable, paternal, execute, circus, establish, attach, constant, amid, fruitless, constructive, aftermath, repute, arduous, reflection, require, telegraph, acquirement, likely, property, mail, proud, extremely, assume, practice, playfully, herself, impending, dome, music, ulcer, instructor, self-control, modern, bequeath, edition, uneasy, accuracy, speed, instead, distracted

  39. John, what you said was exactly what I was thinking.

    To express it another way: it seems that all of the manuals start with the alphabet and the more basic principles. I certainly understand that learning a principle, and then having to write out in full to write a later system would be painful.

    What I question is whether the opposite is true: If I'm now learning to write "post-" and "-ed" in full and joined, is it likely to be a hard transition to using disjoined p and d later on? Unlike DJS, all but one of the brief forms in Notehand are identical to Simplified–it seems as if I would be learning the 40 most common first, then picking another 100 or so later on, just as the transition from Simplified to Anniversary might be.

    Likewise, where I have checked, the principles in Notehand, where a principle exists, are exactly the same as Simplified (with the exception of disjoining -ed). I'll take another look at this this weekend and see if I can find any others.

    I can see where going from DJS to Simplified, where so many brief forms are not just shorter or longer, but just _different_, would be a problem.

    So, that's why I'm checking this out with all of you–it just seemed like an easy start, with no conflicts, just further principles and more brief forms to add later on when moving to Simplified–but nothing to unlearn/relearn.

    Does that help make my "thinking" make more sense?

  40. routine, the second wordlist is from the 1922 version of Gregg Reporting Shortcuts. The first wordlist is from The Stenographic Expert.

    harpweaver, adding principles and brief forms when you have already learned them one way is, in a way, unlearning and relearning. So be careful if you do that, because you will tend to resort to the first learned form under pressure. I would instead recommend you to do this: learn Notehand, but use the brief forms from Simplified from the beginning, so that then you don't have to relearn them.

    There is a table of brief forms and 100 most common words on the back side of the book. Rewrite those in Simplified Gregg and you should be all set.

    Also, if you will be planning to go to Simplified later, turn the o hook on the right side when you join them to r or l — in Notehand and DJS the o hook is always vertical.

    Incidentally, fearing that I will be thrown virtual tomatoes, there is a small difference between the two editions of Notehand. In the first edition (1960), the brief form for work is r – k (which matches Simplified Gregg), whereas it is u – k in the second edition (which matches DJS). A tiny difference, but if you're planning to go to Simplified later, it's worth noting.

  41. From your description of Gregghand, I'd say it is in between the two. I have compiled a complete chart of differences (as best I can do by reading the manuals, while still beginning to learn). That chart is at home, so I'll do the best I can from memory, and get back to you if you need more detail.

    Notehand has 42 brief forms instead of 181? in Simplified. All are the same except s-u-g-(-sh) for suggest, suggestion instead of s-u-j for both.

    Most of the more common prefixes and suffixes are there:
    per-, con-, dis-, be-, -tion. I'd say about 40% of those in Simplified. The Abbreviating principle is added in Notehand, though absent in Simplified.

    The blends are all there, except for pent-d, jent-d and dif-v.
    There is copious reading material, but only in the text itself.

    The emphasis is entirely on personal note-taking. Exact correctness of outline form and perfect penmanship are not enphasized at all, and even discouraged unless it prevents you from reading your own notes. The teacher's guide instructs teachers not to correct loops on the wrong side and the like, as long as the student can read it. They were clearly trying to eliminate the "fear factor."

    The only other outline difference that I remember just now besides having fewer predetermined principles is that the o hook is turned only before and after n and m, and not before r and l, as Chuck pointed out earlier.

    There are more principles, prefixes, and suffixes than what you listed for Gregghand in your other thread, but they're all the common and most intuitive ones from Simplified.

    I'll get you more information from home from my preliminary look at both if you want more detail.

    C Nix

  42. How do Anniversary and Simplified compare for lists out of context, like grocery and todo lists? (DJS is horrid; not enough vowel information unless you invent your own diacriticals).

    I see from earlier in this thread that Anniversary has more reading material than Simplified. (And then there's DJS, 2nd Cdn Edn; advice to new secretaries and a dunning letter in each and every chapter — how many ways can one ask for a bill to be paid!)

    It looks from this thread that if you can read Anniversary, you will be able to read Simplified with no problems; is this correct?

  43. I've used Simplified for years along with Anni for the past few months to make to-do lists and the like, and have never had trouble understanding what I wrote. It's a matter of knowing your system well and being comfortable with it that determines how easily you read it back.

    Anni has even less vowel information than DJS does (those extrta diacritics are extremely rare in practice), as more vowels are omitted than in DJS, and it still doesn't pose a problem for me 🙂 I remember it took some patience at first for me to get used to a small circle representing "eh", "ih", and "ee", but it's natural and easy to read the right one now. The lists of words illustrating principles in the manual are a perfect example.

    Anni does indeed have more (and more varied) reading material than Simplified… a major reason I switched to it!

    And all the systems from Anni down are essentially the previous version with more things removed… Anni writers can read Simplified easily. There's a much bigger gap between Simplified and DJS, but I can still read DJS without much difficulty… the only main difference is I see things spelled out that I expected to see written shorter.

  44. George: There was a programmed Gregg textbook which came out in the late 60's or early 70's. It was paperback and had a gold-colored cover. I used to have one. It would be great if you could locate one, as it would be a good tool to teach yourself the system. I think it is in Diamond Jubilee format. 

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