Videos about shorthand

Searching in “You tube”, I have found many videos of shorthand: Waldir and Taquibras have posted some of them… that are very interesting.

Besides, there are some commercials using machine shorthand, for instance, watch this:


(by valo1969 for everyone)

87 comments Add yours
  1. I remember reading in one of my Gregg texts that films were made of people taking dictation in English in order to analyze what bad habits might slow a person down and what the good habits of fast Gregg writers were.  Unfortunately there is no mention of the name of the films or where to get them.  Maybe they are floating around on the internet somewhere.

  2. If I can figure out a way to set up my digital camera to record downward while I write, I'll gladly share some videos of me speed-building sometime 🙂 I can only write about 90-110wpm at the moment though, so it won't be very impressive :p

    Anyone else going to volunteer too? It'd be cool to see other people writing on the spot 🙂

  3. Cricket: that's because it should be effortless! I find that if I'm having a hard time writing an outline or phrase (like "very-carefully" in Anni), I produce the best version by just relaxing my hand and writing as though it were already easy and effortless. The shapes in Gregg are centered around the natural movements of a cursive hand (unlike Pitman!), so just doing what feels natural, at least for me, produces the best results.

  4. Should be, … Isn't yet.

    Yeah, I found my form improved tremendously when I started pushing the speed. My p/b and f/v have a really bad backslope when there's a shift in direction coming up, but keeping my hand moving concentrating on "natural movement" helps.

  5. I was finally able to look at the Gregg video (for some reason it didn't play on the Media Player like the Maron one did…), it was quite enlightening, especially after I tipped my computer and watched it upside down. I wish I knew Portugese; I would probably be further impressed!   I liked the ones showing slower speeds too, they were comforting.   That straight vertical line they use with Maron, I don't know if it's a stroke or a period, but it might be useful as a period in Gregg; I can get mixed up with periods and "a"s when reading.

  6. If you look down the page, there is another video. The UN Secretary-General is at a podium speaking in English, and there is a woman taking notes. After he finishes speaking we find out she was translating while taking the notes. After he finishes, she reads the notes aloud in German.    

  7. As an aspiring interpreter, I'd be interested to know too. It would be my guess that she was taking rough notes in English and summarizing and translating into German as she spoke.  Or it might depend on which language she was more proficient in.  

  8. Michael: Thanks for the videos.  I viewed them today and congratulate you on your beautiful outlines.  I hope you post more videos on YouTube.  Watching someone taking dictation so effortlessly is proof that Gregg (no matter what version) is a superior system.  Just wanted to put in my two cents. Kudos!!  

  9. Hey, very nice to see such clear shorthand being written in real time. I won't pull out a ruler and measure the length of your strokes because your demo clearly shows that as long as your t's and d's are proportionally correct it's easy to read. I also noticed you use essentially the same brief forms I use (which are mostly Anniversary with some pre-Anniversary thrown in). Keep up the good work!

  10. Well thanks for your compliments, I seriously have heaps of trouble maintaining nice forms. I care a lot if the writing is not just readable but aesthetically pleasing. Towards that aim, I still have a lot of work to do. I need to write more with my arm than my fingers, and keep working on confidence with more difficult words and proper execution. In anniversary theres heaps of principles that you must consider, so if writing unfamiliar words this can slow you down. Thats why you just keep on writing until you've come across words so often that the chance you get one thats completely different is slim.

    My dictations are from these two free websites,


  11. Its from

    In reply to JRG Anniversary, I do end up using a few pre-anniversary outlines because I read Alice in Wonderland (preanni) and I probably picked up a few from there.

    Some of the anniversary changes are actually quite pointless I think, 'Myself' in anni is much more imprecise to write than in preanni, although I try to stick with anni for consistency of system. 'didn't' i l always write in preanni. It just make more sense that all xxx'nt words would end with the -nt stroke, and its no harder to write. I would probably move to pre-anni if not for the fact that I already bought an anni dictionary, manual and graded readings.

    On the other hand I'm not too sure about missing out 'of' and 'of the' or instead of the dot putting the next outline really close. Does anyone find these shortcuts to be of benefit.

  12. Hi Michael!!! I have watched your videos, and I know that they help to spread the knowledge of shorthand throughout the net. I've got one video, made by myself, and I uploaded it to Youtube but something doesn't work well… I have an account there, etc. Could you upload it for me, please? Regards,     VALO

  13. Why do you not use a steno pad when taking dictation?  It really is a better medium for the writing of shorthand.  There's a great deal of energy involved in moving the hand back and forth and the momentum and become a problem.  Writing in the 3" column cuts down on the movement necessary to get from one line to the next.    You may even see an increase in your writing speed as a result.    I was just wondering.

  14. That's 90wpm? I have the sound turned off, but it seem so slow and calm. (Compared to my own at 50.) The pen is moving a lot slower than it does for longhand.

    Thanks for putting this up. I've been thinking how rushed that speed must feel (and not thinking of faster), but now I know it isn't.

  15. Yeah it sorta makes you appreciate how short the system actually is. Of course that gap between every word is what really affects speed.Its easier to see on a video than when you're actually writing the shorthand, since expectedly when you're writing your minds too busy trying to think of the next outline to notice the actual length of the pause.   I'll try ruling a line in the middle for my next dictation to make it like a stenopad. At this stage in learning I guess little things like this need to be considered as important.

  16. Michael, I have an idea that might help develop your shorthand speed.

    I have been "shadowing" an author, i.e., coping in longhand his prose. The intent of this endeavor is to improve style; I consider myself an adequate writer, but am capable of improvement.

    Copying in longhand is hard, tedious work, but I have noticed a side effect: after a few hours of doing this work, I noticed my longhand speed has increased to a marked degree.

    I think this approach might help you attain better shorthand speed. All you have to do is copy a book–any book–in shorthand. Do this for a few days, and I think you'll notice an increase in speed…

    Apropos this, I remember reading in The Factors of Shorthand Speed that one of the shorthand greats–a Mr. Ireland, if I recall–developed phenomenal speed without taking a single word of dictation; he gained all his speed by copying.

    I hope this has given you some food for thought.

  17. I'm really amazed by the number of folks who don't actually use steno pads when writing shorthand.  I suppose that the importance is only significant if you're taking dictation.    In the Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course, Dr. Gregg and Mr. Swem write:   A double column notebook is recommended; that is, the oprdinary sized notebook, approximately 6 inches wide, should be ruled off in two columns as shown in the shorthand pages of the course.  Each writing column is thus approximately 3 inches wide.  The principal advantage of writing in a narrow column is the added control thereby afforded the hand.  In rapid writing the hand develops a great deal of momentum in sweeping back from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.  If the column is wide, this momentum becomes excessive, with the result that the hand not only is thrown out of control for the moment but frequently is carried beyond the margin of the writing and misses the book entirely.  By using a narrow column, this momentum and lack of control are to a great extent obviated. I admit to being a bit of a shorthand purist.  🙂  I can understand someone who is a self-didact wouldn't have the benefit of the training had by one who was trained in a shorthand class for vocational use of shorthand.  Much of the shorthand literature also goes on about using a fountain pen for the writing of shorthand.  I do have one of the Whal-Eversharp Gregg Shorthand fountain pens and use it.  But I do find that when the pedal hits the metal, I'll use a ballpoint.  I read an interview with Martin Dupraw where he copped to using a ballpoint in the autumn of his career.  I figure that makes it okay.  🙂

  18. AnniversaryFan1,

    For many years I used the Shafer pens with the replaceable ink cartridges, always preferring black ink, and lived with the inevitable finger staining one got from regular usage of those pens. (I don't believe those inexpensive ink pens are available any more. They had a transparent top so you could see how much ink was left in the cartridge and you could "refill" the cartridge if you couldn't afford new ones from a bottle of ink.)

    These days I use a Pilot G-2 07 ball point which is very comfortable to employ and like it quite well.

    Guess I'd be a disapointment to Mr. Swem and Dr. Gregg as in all other ways I'm inclined to adhere to their rules. Trruthfully, it's much more "comfortable" to use a steno pad for writing shorthand. Guess it depends on whether you had formal classes or not.

  19. JRG,   I still have one of the cartridge Shaeffers.  They are no longer available.  The Whal-Eversharp I have is nearly 80 years old.  And for a pen that old, it writes very, very well.  It does have the occasional blob problem.  That's why I go for the ballpoint when I'm writing vocationally.  The Whal will express a great deal of ink in one location and it's pretty messy when it does.  I've taken to using a kleenex to clean the neck of the barrel before using the pen to write.  Sometimes, I'm just not sure where the ink is coming from that I find on my fingers.  🙂   I'm using Pilot Easy Touch pens at the moment.  For variety, I'll use a Pilot "Better Retractable".    I'm sure I'd be a disappointment to Messrs. Gregg and Swem for more reasons than my choice of pen.  At least I've never used a pencil. 

  20. I've been using Pelikan inks for my fountain pen.  I like the blue shade because it does tend to dry very quickly.  I'm a southpaw, so I bring a number of complications to the table.  🙂   Sometimes I can tell the line is getting a little wet.  When that happens, I use a tissue to soak up the drop that is collecting on the back of the nib.  Other times my "to go" comes out looking like some sort of Rorschach test.   Where can you get Private Reserve?  It must be a good ink, it sounds like it should be some sort of very expensive scotch.   

  21. AnniversaryFan1 wrote:

    "I'm sure I'd be a disappointment to Messrs. Gregg and Swem for more
    reasons than my choice of pen. At least I've never used a pencil. "

    From personal experience, a pencil will work if that's all that's
    available. I keep extra pens on my desk in the courtroom and extra pens
    on my table in chambers. Unfortunately during a recent criminal trial
    in a chambers proceeding, I didn't notice my pens missing until the one
    I was writing with (had a new cartridge, too) just quit. I kept writing
    pressing harder with the pen to leave an impression on the book. At the
    first lull in talking I immediately interrupted with, "Excuse me, Your
    Honor. My pen seems to have quit and my back-up pens are missing." The
    clerk handed me a pencil and we continued. I don't like writing with a
    pencil, but I was surely glad to see that one.

    Oh, by the way, some of my pens reappeared after lunch. As long as I
    don't leave my pens on the table overnight, they stay where they are.


  22. What a nightmare.  I like how your extra pens reappeared.  I hope someone has a guilty conscience about nicking your pens.  The rat finks.   Okay, I admit that I'll use a pencil if I'm doing something on the fly.  I just don't make a habit of it.  I'm usually caught in the boss's office when she wants to dictate something quick to me.  I'll grab what I can and write on the back of whatever is handy.  🙂    When I was a clerk, I'd sometimes misjudge how many pages I had left in my notebook to find that at the end of a hearing I was writing the order on the back of the front cover. 

  23. Most of the problems with leaking pens is the ink, not the pen. A lot of the inks in the market are very thin and run easily. For my pens, I use Private Reserve, which is a little thicker than your regular fountain ink, and it has given me excellent results. They are a little pricier, but they are well worth the money.

  24. I think word got around about the pens. No one bothers my pens finally!

    I know what you mean about the notebook. It's a sinking feeling when you know you're reaching the end and do not have time to get the new one out of the briefcase! Thank goodness there is always stacks of steno paper left around. I have written on the steno paper and transferred my shorthand to my notebook later. At least with pen shorthand you can write on what you have handy.



  25. Dr. Gregg was (if reports are true) always open to suggestions for improvement in shorthand teaching and usage. Could he see and handle today's modern ball points, I suspect he would have become an enthusiastic endorser of these writing implements. I really like the Pilot I mentioned earlier.

  26. I would imagine that Dr. Gregg would be tickled with all of the very reliable pens that have been developed.  It is true that the fountain pen requires very little pressure to leave a good line on the page.   V-Lindsay, I bet word got around about the "pens incident."  🙂  You're quite right about the absolute portability of Gregg.  Certainly a point in its favor.  If we could only be able to use CAT with shorthand.    The only thing working in my favor when I had to write on the back of the notebook is that usually the rulings from the bench aren't incredibly long. 

  27. Okay, so I just reread my posting about going to the doctor and stopping on my way.  I am such a dolt.  Sorry about the mixed verb tenses in the sentence.  I hate when that happens.  🙂    I wasn't able to stop on the way either to or from the shop, but today I'll make the effort.    I'm just worried about what else I'll walk out of that store with.  I'm very partial to the Omas line.  Now we will see what kind of self-control I can manage.     

  28. Hey VLindsay you need one of the Fisher Millenium Space Pens. They are rated for 48km of skip free writing versus the usual 2 km. You'll hardly need a backup pen with this beast in your hand. They manage this because its a space pen, and the ink is pressurized. They claim that its a lifetime of average use, but even for a stenographer, it will last you at least 5 years.  

  29. I don't loan people my pen(s).  Anyone who's survived to adulthood has enough sense to bring along a writing implement.  I just say "no" when people ask to borrow, and people who know me know better than to ask.   Cleanliness is one thing, but my worst irritation was when people would borrow my pen and play with the clip, bending it back and forth.  I've had people actually break the clip off, and act like it was nothing.    So when someone asks I just say, "No, sorry, I don't loan my pen."  There's no obligation to take care of people who didn't prepare . . .   Alex

  30. Mr Lisitsa — you must have some unbelievably well paid part time job to afford 204.938  USD for a pen. I don't know any uni students who carry around pens worth that.   48 km, though, is a lot of writing.   I have to admit, though, that I get bored with the same colour & style of pen very easily, so I always take four or five pens into meetings with me, just in case it's fuschia, cobalt or mahogany day. You never know.   sidhe

  31. Thanks, Michael. Does it write smoothly? Where do I find one of these
    pens? How about waterproof ink?

    Some years ago we had a civil hearing, and the judge I was working for
    that day wanted to see the offending trailer involved in the accident,
    so we went to the parking lot for him to look. Wouldn't you know it
    started sprinkling rain! Believe me, I was worried more about my
    notebook than my hair!


  32. ". . . you must have some unbelievably well paid part time job to afford
    204.938 USD for a pen"

    Whoa, sidhe, 204.938 USD for the pen? With gasoline prices they way
    they are, I'm not sure that would fit in my budget. I know my court
    administrator wouldn't order one for me either. Still would like to see
    it though.


  33. You wanna see the pen (and me) in action well I just posted a lightning dictation on youtube:   120wpm! From the website. I'm on a bit of a high. For some reason my hand is just walking really well today. I've usually stuck with liquid inks for writing shorthand, but theres something about ballpoints. Maybe the extra friction of the pigment-based ink helps to control your hand movements and you don't 'spin out of control' as much. Also I finally used the 2 column steno pad layout which I really think made a difference.

  34. Impressive, Michael.  🙂  I'm glad that the use of the steno pad format worked out so well for you.  The right tools make the job easier.    It's interesting to watch someone take dictation.  When you're writing it it seems like there's so much going on.  Watching it makes it look fairly easy.    Good job.  🙂

  35. Valo1969, I just watched your video on youtube. I for some reason didn't get a good look at it when you posted it, but I was gonna say its really good. You have amazingly smooth and readable outlines (well I don't really know Spanish). And most of all, there is barely any time between the end of one outline and the beginning of another. Its as if you're using longhand.

    Good work (heres the link to the video again)

  36. Thanks! Michael: Aboutl my "cinematography"; I took it with my cell phone. I was writing with my right hand while the "other right hand" was holding it, so it was a difficult task; anyway, I'll try to improve my shooting. 😉     Valo

  37. Michael: For writing faster, one of the most efficient tricks is to reduce the space between outlines, and to lift the pen just enough for writing a new word.   This last trick was discussed time ago, but I don't remember the English word for that… even though, I don't know how to say it in Spanish. But the idea is that when you go for one outline to another, you should lift the pen a little bit, and that's noticed in the final stroke of the first word, because they almost look connected eachother.   Chuck, could you help me, please?   VALO

  38. The dictations are good for when you look back and can see how much you've improved. The 80s and 100 are around 4 months old now and its crazy how much time I took between outlines — thats probably what I'll say in another 4 months as well.

  39. Michael, if you don't mind my asking, do you have a specific speed goal?

    If you develop a fast-enough speed, you'll be able to write your own ticket; shorthand experts are becoming very hard to find, but there's still a demand for them…

  40. I think I'm striving to the same standard as everyone else. Be able to write verbatim most utterings and read it back with equal confidence.

    You might say that while the trend has been for simpler and slower systems over the last 100 years, now its only useful to learn the fastest system because no one will purposefully dictate to you, and your shorthand will come into its own only on candid takes where no one is aware of how slowly or quickly they talk.

    Of course there is some demand for shorthand in secreterial and administration positions but I would hardly fit this profile. I can't be stuffed putting on a smile for strangers, and would hardly be able to keep my mouth shut in a meeting since I am perfectly capable of making decisions myself, and am not gonna be relegated to a note-taker. Of course if I could find chances to use it in my engineering career, I'll pounce on them.

    Of course that classic Charles Dickens profile, of political note-taker for presidents and politicians is a quite charming position.

  41. Michael, those are very good. If one thing would help in the speed is to practice your phrasing. I see from the videos that you were writing some phrases in full. For example, in the 90 wpm video, the following could have been phrased: "members of the board", "It is a great pleasure", "to let", "for many years", "last year", "we have taken", "sums of money". Do you do a preview of the material before it is dictated? A preview should help, especially when you're in the learning phase.

  42. Are you sure those things should be phrased in anniversary? Maybe those are pre-anniversary forms. Some of them I recall seeing in phrase form — for many years f-mn-e-r-s and last year yes I see that one all the time and should start using.

    Did I miss something when I was learning? Where is the rule to join "it is a great pleasure" and "sums of money". Are these all arbitrary phrasings or part of some principle?

  43. Some of them are reporting shortcuts (sums of money) , some others are in the regular manual (to + verb, great pleasure: gr-p, last year: l-a-left s-e-r). I was just pointing out that some of those can be phrased. That's one of the reasons the preview is important. Though if the phrase is not on the tip of your fingers, it's not worth it!

    Also, did you finish the study of the regular manual? If so, you should be taking up one of the Gregg Speed Building books (I like the College edition), so that you can learn more phrases and also get introduced to some of the reporting shortcuts. Those books are full of dictation practice and reinforcement of theory.

  44. Any of these three are good:

    1. Gregg Speed Building – One-Year Course: this one was written for high school students. (c) 1940
    2. Gregg Speed Building – College Course: same as the one-year course, but it has more material in the Congressional reporting section. (c) 1941
    3. Gregg Speed Building for Colleges: a revision of the previous book with new material, though the presentation is very similar. (c) 1943

    Before these three, there were two previous editions: the first one (Gregg Speed Building) in 1932 and the second one (Gregg Speed Building, New Revised Edition) in 1938. These are interesting, but not as good as those three above.

  45. Oh another phrase I noticed you not using, during the past, it may be an anniversary phrase, I'm not sure.   It's d-r-p-a-s.    Phrases are hard for me to remember, I know the basics.  I even have the Anniversary pharse book but don't really use it, occassionally I read through a few phrases.  Mostly writing them helps me remember. Debbi

  46. Michael, you'll find lots of uses for it in engineering. My job was to write procedures based on the conversations, and it was nice to be confident I remembered customer's comments correctly. (I was only 50wpm back then, but it was still useful.) I didn't advertise the skill. Young female engineer in 1992, didn't want to be secretary with engineering skills rather than engineer who doesn't need to wait for the secretary. (Turns out I enjoyed the secretary parts more. Go figure.)

    It's also great for your "customer quirks" book. I claimed it was info about their requirements. Partly truthful. Just make sure you use longhand for things your coworkers need to read.

  47. I have uploaded a file named "perseverancia.3gp" in document section. It's an exercise wrote by myself at 100 wmp (where one word is equal to one word in Spanish). Also, I uploaded it into Youtube, but it's shown in slower motion. Regads,

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