Gregg Serves Its Users Well

We had a general information meeting at work today and, just for the exercise, I took notes in Gregg – not verbatim, but I was surprised at how easy it was to accurately transcribe my notes and relay the essence of what was actually said. My point being, that Gregg does the job well.

My eyes have been opened by this panel and message board as to the superb job JRG and his staff did in marketing the shorthand. I cannot argue that there may exist more accurate systems, but what really matters is that the Gregg system once learned produces the desired results. And isn’t this what one would want from any shorthand system?

On one of the older boards it was mentioned that Simplified was developed by Leslie himself. Does this mean that JRG was aware of the simplification and endorsed it? Once one uses Anniversary, IMHO it seems odd to write the broken circle instead of the “a” circle in words like “my” and “life” which were mentioned as having been adopted to reduce the memory load. Perhaps I practiced those Anniversary shortcuts too much in the ’60’s but in truth I find most of the brief forms, prefixes and suffixes come readily to mind and hand when writing.

Incidentally, I took the notes today on 8.5×11 paper folded lengthwise as I did not have a steno pad handy … so no rules on the paper, using the line of writing I experienced no difficulties with length of consonants or blends. Of late I’ve made the effort to read articles from the “Expert” 1945 book for at least 15 minutes daily, so the outlines are fairly fresh in my mind.

But keep in mind that I had the advantage of learning Gregg is a classroom for four high school terms, so doubtlessly all that repetition and practice has made it easier for me to retain the system in my memory. If I had to study the method today without benefit of an instructor and class drills, I might find it much more difficult to remember. Although I am interested in Pitman, a cursory start with the “Teach Yourself” book, failed to spark my interest as looking into “advanced” Gregg texts did. Guess it really boils down to what you’re used to. (I still prefer 5-speed auto transmissions to automatic!) 

(by jrganniversary for everyone)

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4 comments Add yours
  1. JRG:

    I'd been wondering what you thought about the "Teach Yourself Pitman".

    I have noticed that cross-"platform" students don't usually like the target system; the disadvantages of the newly-learned system begin to irritate them.

    With your experience–and good training in the 60s–I can see why you're happy with Anniversary. Even from my own Pitman point-of-view, Anniversary is the apogee of the Gregg system; I respect it quite a bit….

  2. Hi JRGAnniversary, Welcome to the new world of shorthand! I have lived your experience in taking notes in Gregg in a meeting, but my experience haven't been so great. Because, when I begin to write in shorthand, my colleague next to me starts to get amazed of my writing and comments it with his next colleague and so on. Finally the comment is heard by the conductor of the meeting, and obviously he doesn't like to have another "point of interest".   Once, a friend told me: "I don't like my son gets seat next to you in church, because he doesn't pay attention to the preacher…" he paid attention to my notes.   Valo

  3. George Amberson,

    So nice to know you were concerned about my Pitman adventure. I haven't given up but I seem to lack the motivation to do it hastily. How long have I had the book? 4 or 5 weeks? And I've only gotten through the first couple of units before I ran back to the Gregg Expert Shorthand Speed Course which, frankly, enables your speed to increase because it provides many more shortcuts – only 100 more brief forms, but lots and lots of phrases which drop words or parts of words. It really is designed for political and Congressional reporting, so maybe with the election year coming up the warring candidates will offer me many opportunities for practice.

    Someone, was it Debbi, remarked that she listens to the radio a lot for practice dictation. If you're a fan of OTR this is excellent practice, as radio actors were hired based on their quickness at assimilating a script and speaking clearly relaying emotion. You'll find in the '30's and '40's it was essentially the same group of actors on both soap operas and night-time drama because they were quick, spoke clearly and conveyed emotion appropriately. They probably spoke at the average rate of 150 – 200 wpm which makes them excellent for dictation practice.

    I'm not at all sure Gregg is the "best" system of shorthand, but it sure works for me! LOL.

  4. Valo, tell your friend maybe it's time his son learned shorthand, you could teach…   I love taking minutes in shorthand.  Even with a tpe recording.  I found in one job when I took them in shorthand I didn't need the tape and could by pass any chatter that I would have to listen to again on a tape.  So I would tape the meeting (they had a great setup, with 4 or 6 {can't remember now} mics on the ceiling and 2 tape decks so there would be no breaks to turn over a tape), but I would transcribe from shorthand and have the tape as back up (didn't need it after a while, but kept it anyway just in case). Debbi

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