“Simplified” Greetings from Iraq!!

Hello there!!

My name is Bob, and I’m currently in the Air Force stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. All I have to say is thank god for the internet to have sites like yours!

I’m 27 years old and have a fascination for shorthand, both written and machine. I am currently learning Simplified, and just ordered a simplified dictionary to go with my studies.

One thing that is probably holding me up is the writing portion. Sometimes I stick my book in my cargo pouch when I go to work, and don’t often get a chance to do a lot of writing. However, I have read and completely understand up through Chapter 4 so far. I do plan on writing everything that I have read so far, but it’s just a matter of when I can get it all done.

I just wanted to introduce myself, and hope to be on here quite often within the next few months!

(TSgt Hull for any military guys out there!)

(by bob1106 for everyone)

7 comments Add yours
  1. Hello, Sgt. Bob —   Greetings and welcome to the Group.    The writing isn't the most important part when you are first learning.  The Functional Method uses only reading of shorthand for the first four or five lessons.  It is better to be able to read it early on.  The more you read, the better your shorthand will be when you do start to write.    Reading shorthand is one of the best ways to practice.  It will fix in your mind the outlines for the words before you put pen to paper.   I read a story by Louis Leslie where he told of how he came to devise the Functional Method of learning shorthand.  It seems his mother was always on him for not writing to her often enough.  He told her that if she could read shorthand, he'd be able to write more frequently.  So he sent her the manual and she read through it and learned the theory.  They corresponded for quite a while, he writing in shorthand and she responding in longhand.  One day he opened an envelope from his mother and she had written her letter is very well-written shorthand.  She said that she had been reading it for so long, she didn't think she's have too much trouble.    I'm sure I speak for many others when I say we hope and pray for your safety so far from home and we wish you a safe return.  You and our other soldiers have done so much for so long.  Be well and be safe.   All the best,   Peter

  2. Thanks both of you for the kind words, and I truly appreciate it!   To answer your question, I'm using the second edition of the simplified version.  I'm right at about Lesson 23, so I guess I should start to write more.  Also, I am left handed, so I have to kind of turn the paper so I get the same curvature as a right hander would.  Any suggestions?   Also, in the textbook, I don't really see where it emphasizes the 'writing'.  What should I really write–Everything in the lesson (new words, characters, etc…), or just where it is 'reading and writing practice'?   Another thing, I just ordered the dictionary, phrases of Gregg shorthand, and Gregg speed building (all simplified version) to supplement my textbook.  Did I do okay?  Obviously I won't be using all of them just yet, but I thought it would be good for my future studies.   Simplified seems to be a decent balance between speed and readibility.  Not knowing much on the differences between them all, I can't speak too greatly on the subject.   This is a great place!!  Finally some great information that I have been looking to get but have failed previously.   -Bob

  3. Welcome to the group, Bob!! I'm glad that you find shorthand studies fascinating, as we all do in this group. You can rely on us for posting any questions you have, and motivating you to study!

    With respect to the writing, I agree with Peter. The important part in the beginning is the reading. In fact, the way to study is to be able to read the current lesson without difficulty, and knowing the principles well before going to the next lesson. Mastery before speed. That is more important than the writing, because what you are doing at the beginning is training your brain to recognize and read the outlines, so that when you start writing, there is no hesitation whatsoever. It is often said that shorthand is written with the brain, not the hand, because of that reason. Hesitation is what causes lags in writing, and knowing the fundamentals well is very important!

    You can start writing around lesson 21, with very little loss, and at first, copying from the book with your best shorthand possible. Dictation will come later.

    You said that you're learning Simplified, which is a great choice. Which edition of the manual did you get?

    Lastly, let me express my support and wish you continued success, along with your fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Godspeed.

  4. You've bought the right books to learn the theory and develop your writing ability.

    When I took shorthand in high school, our homework was to study the examples and when we could read them, speak them aloud as we wrote the sample words and phrases five or ten times. After reading the connected matter so that we knew each outline, we were asked to write it again speaking aloud while we wrote. If you follow this practice, you'll find that the outlines come to your hand automatically when you think of the words later. It's very clear that shorthand is written with the brain rather than the hand, if that makes sense.

    Good luck, with your positive attitude I'm sure you'll do well. I also support the troops in Iraq regardless of my personal opinion of the circumstances that got you there. Best wishes for a successful tour of duty and safe return.

  5. Hello, Sgt. Bob —   I am also a left-handed writer.  I found that I compesated by moving the pad position so I wouldn't have to hook-hand.  People who see me write say I write straight up, my pad is almost perpendicular to me.  I do have some angle to the notebook, but I write forward way from my body in a straight line.    When I was a student, we would write the word lists for a couple of lines each, more if it was hard to execute for some reason.  Then we would copy the reading and writing practice.    Keep up the good work.  Shorthand in and of itself is interesting.  The speed challenge is also rewarding.    All the best,   Peter    

  6. Another benefit of reading it all first is you have a better idea of the entire system, both what's important and what's not important. The book I used only listed three lengths for T/D, so I made them too long. Then I learned about TD. Oops. Likewise with circles vs loops. On the other hand, there are likely things I thought very important to imitate exactly which, in hindsight, weren't important at all.


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