My Daddy’s WWII Journals

We have come across my late father’s WWII (unauthorized) journals, written in Gregg Shorthand.  He transcribed some shortly after he came back, equaling 10 typewritten pages, but the rest remain untranscribed.  I never took any sort of shorthand, but am relatively intelligent and love a good puzzle.  With the aid of the transcribed pages and a Gregg Shorthand book, am I going to be able to get anywhere at all with these journals?  Do I need to find a class in Gregg, assuming there are any?  Any advice would be extremely welcome.  Thanks.
Rhonda

(by allowaygirl for everyone)

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  1. Ooooh!! Did he learn Gregg in the army? (The military printed some Gregg texts.)

    You don't need a class, but there are some online if you're interested. Many here are self-taught. You should read the full textbook. The later chapters have variations on things you learn in the early chapters, such as when it's safe to leave out letters (and conversely, which letters to try adding in when transcribing). Texts abound on abebooks.com. There isn't a lot of theory, so it's a fast read, but you will find it worth the time to read each of the examples; it trains your brain to see words rather than squiggles, without throwing too many things at you at once.

    Don't buy a book until the experts here have seen a page or two. There are several editions of Gregg. They're all similar, but you may as well read the right one to begin with.

    Cheers!
    Cricket / Sandy

  2. Thanks, Chuck and Cricket!   I will try to scan a page and post it this week, but I have jury duty starting tomorrow and don't know how long I'll be away.   He learned Gregg at Commercial High School in Atlanta, GA.  He was a Chief Bosun's Mate on a mine sweeper during WWII, and used his office skills quite a lot. There is an Anniversary (50th) Edition of Gregg Shorthand with the notebooks, so I guess that's the one he was using.    Thanks for all the good advice – I'll start reading.   Rhonda

  3. Wow! What a find!

    I'd like to encourage you with the puzzle, but I'd also like to warn you, because shorthand isn't easy.

    I'm a proficient Gregg user (originally Diamond Jubilee and then Series 90), although I'm not at the level I once was when I was using it daily (top speed 130 wam, now +/- 100). Although I can read my shorthand notes from high school in the 1980s, I find it very difficult to read someone else's notes.

    If you find yourself getting frustrated and the project ceases to be a labor of love, you may find the need to get help.

  4. Thanks, Douglas.  I have no problem at all asking for help, and I'll sure do it when the going gets tough.  I'm under no illusions that this is going to be easy.
    Rhonda

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    From: Douglas29016

    Wow! What a find!

    I'd like to encourage you with the puzzle, but I'd also like to warn you, because shorthand isn't easy.

    I'm a proficient Gregg user (originally Diamond Jubilee and then Series 90), although I'm not at the level I once was when I was using it daily (top speed 130 wam, now +/- 100). Although I can read my shorthand notes from high school in the 1980s, I find it very difficult to read someone else's notes.

    If you find yourself getting frustrated and the project ceases to be a labor of love, you may find the need to get help.
    View other groups in this category.

  5. Sorry to hear about your Jury Duty.  Though, really, it's a pretty small price to pay for the rights of citizenship.  🙂   I'm really eager to see a page of your father's notes to see if they are readable to others.    I look forward to your post.  I love these kinds of things.  🙂   Thanks for sharing the material with the group.    Peter

  6. I read somewhere about a woman who reads old manuscripts. Not sure if it was Gregg or something else. Well worth looking seeing if you can google her or someone else. (I think she might be a present or former member here. Not sure. There are probably several people who do this sort of thing, but they're getting rarer.)

    One tip was a chart of words you've figured out. It'll show his individual quirks. I think she also made copies so she could scribble on them.

    Seeing as the manual is with them, it's worth reading it and seeing what you can identify from the transcription. Some of the words are pretty common. The edition agrees with the time frame.

    That manual is well-organized. It covers the most-used sounds and brief forms early, so you'll at least get the shape of a sentence, even if you don't know the exact words. (Like the poem Jabberwocky. We know borogove is a noun, but have no clue what it actually is.)

    Best of luck with jury duty!

  7. Cricket:

    You're probably referring to Dorothy Roberts, who's been mentioned here, and has posted on some rare occasions.

    She's an expert in Pitman Shorthand and can read some of the oldest texts.

    Unfortunately, as far as I'm able to discern, she can't read Gregg.

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