Writing on lined paper.

I have learned shorthand from books and not taken any classes. As a result, I find it confusing about how shorthand should fit into lined paper. None of the textbook are lined maybe as an attempt to accentuate that there is no position writing in Gregg.

If you were taught in a classroom, did you always write on lined paper with attention to where on the line your strokes end and finish or not. I can imagine it would be helpful in the judging of line length and development of good line length.
Also today most notebooks are 8mm ruled. How should Gregg Outlines be positioned in regards to 8mm ruling. I have compared the text in the “Gregg Writer” magazine and a Leslie textbook, and have gotten the impression that the “t” goes 1/3 of the line and the “d” 2/3. “p” and “b” is similar.
I know theres an article on the Gregg.Angelfishy site about line lengths but that is not informative. It only blabbers on about how you should write however big you want to, but nothing about using lined paper and positioning of outlines on it.

(by michael_lisitsa
for everyone)

 

44 comments Add yours
  1. Great shorthand!   I have found that if my lines are too small, I just skip a line if I have to. If they lines are too big, my B will not fit the entire line, and that's okay with me.  Of course that doesn't guarantee that my writing will be perfect, sometimes the G's end up down the page or my L will be below the line.  but as long as I can read it and if I have to I will cross it out and rewrite it.   Center Ruled Pads – link with more ideas, even if you don't use a "steno" book.  Also some tips on going from page to page.  And some thoughts on notebooks.  Message 34 has some ideas on notebooks, although I think it leans towards steno books.  But not necessary in this day and age.   Of course I don't think it matters which notebook you used, I've used what's at hand.  Although I do like steno books. Debbi

  2. I tried 7mm paper, standard college-ruled, but found it too cramped. There wasn't enough difference between B and P. The 1/3" works best for me.

    I find the lines help my proportions. Otherwise my B shrinks and P grows. I still need something to help my N/M/MM lines. I tried putting a rotated sheet underneath, but the writing rarely lines up to the vertical grid.

    I thought I read somewhere that the recommended proportions were 1:2:4, but I usually write closer to 1:2:3. My first edition was DJS, and I wish they'd taught TD with the rest of the T/D/TD sequence, same with TH/ND/MD and TH/TN/TM. There's no perfect instruction sequence, but even warning me that it's part of the sequence might have helped. I think the Functional method would reduce that sort of problem — by the time you start writing, you know about all three strokes, so you don't pick up bad habits.

  3. There are still steno books available (at least in the U.S.).  Why not use them?  Granted any lined paper where the lines are 1/3" apart will work.  The steno book allows you to write faster because you don't have to travel so far from right to left.  It can improve your speed a great deal.    If you'd been taught in school, you wouldn't have been allowed to use notebook paper or unlined paper.  At least we weren't.  If you're going to do this for any appreciable speed, adopt the steno notebook sooner rather than later.    Your size of your shorthand is a personal thing.  The main point to bear in mind is that "v" just about fills the space between the lines, "f" should be about half that size, and "right s" should be not much bigger than a comma.  Same thing going the other way.  The sizes are relative to each other.  T, D, and TED is the same thing.  There's no absolute "right" size for you to strive for.  D is half as big as TED and T is just a little upward stroke.  Whatever your comfortable size of stroke is.  The faster I go, the bigger I write, so my proportions have to stay the same, but my outlines are bigger.  When I'm not pushed, my notes are about the size of the notes in the texts.  What counts is that you can read it once you've taken it. 

  4. I have attached a copy of some live notes from a meeting that I took notes for.  You will notice that from the flow of the notes, I took some verbatim items while others I summarized.  I have been writing shorthand since the 70s.  My shorthand is heavily influenced by the Anniversary method even though I studied the Diamond Jubilee method (they are very close any way).  Also note that I miswrote some of the words but you can still figure out the meaning based on context.  My top speed for writing shorthand is 160 wam.

  5. Michael, your shorthand is well proportioned and I wouldn't worry about the size if that is the way you write when taking dictation. I find that both the neatness and size of my shorthand outlines vary when I am taking live dictation. Several things influence this: the mental state that I am in at the time, how the dictation flows from the speaker or speaker, and whether individuals dictate in complete sentences or not. When taking notes for meetings, I find that individuals some times fail to utter complete sentences and have many interruptions in their thought. All of this seems to be reflected in how well and how neatly I write. I write smaller when I have to think less about what people are mean to say which allows me to concentrate on making a record than following their thoughts.

  6. I find it hard to read your shorthand. Your angles are all a bit foreign to me. Maybe thats what happens after you write shorthand for 30 years.
    Maybe its cause you learned from a different book that was written in a different style from the one that J R Gregg wrote in the anniversary manual.
    On the positive side, it doesn't look like you spent too much time thinking about any of the outlines, they probably come pretty quickly to you after 30 years.

  7. You could be right there.  In my earlier years I was heavily influenced by the teachings of the time and learned to write closely resembling the style depicted in the manual.  As you have noticed, I simply execute outlines without having to think much about constructing the words.  I believe that I have taken control and don't pay as much attention to angles and curves any more.  However, the session does heavily influence how fluid my writing flows.  Hince, my point for sharing my writing in the first place.

  8. Sorry that you couldn't read it JRG.  However, I believe that I explained in another response that over time, shorthand becomes somewhat automatic and you don't pay as much attention to constructing outlines as you were taught when you were taught in the first place.  I don't understand your reference to the Pitman influence in that I have not studied Pitman at all.  But if that is what you see, then you have it.

  9. Perhaps I wasn't clear in my statement. I can read your outlines however with some difficulty because they're not nearly as cursive as the plates in the Manuals and associated texts. In his prefaces to the pre-1949 Manual, Dr. Gregg makes a big point of "cursive" vs. "geometric" shorthand. You'll note that when written at ease Gregg is like regular cursive penmanship. If you have or have had access to any Pitman manual, you will notice that the strokes don't resemble handwriting at all, they look like various small straight lines, light and heavy, headed for different angles, i.e., the "T" is a 90 degree downward light stroke, the "D" is a 90 degree downward heavy stroke.

    I had really made no attempt to write shorthand in several decades and was prompted by this site to practice again. At one time I could take verbatim minutes but after years of disuse, would be very surprised if I could do much better than 120 – 140 wpm. (I was surprised at how quickly all the brief forms and phrases came back to my memory.) When I used shorthand at work in the '60's and '70's I used the Anniversary (1929) edition although I had learned Simplified (1949) in high school. I've enjoyed taking up Gregg again because it is a pleasant and enjoyable task. The Anniversary texts I have contain a wealth of interesting reading material and I have acquired some of the literature published in the '20's and '30's as well as quite a few issues of The Gregg Writer from 1915 to 1948 which are fun to read … and the pre-Anniversary ones can be challenging as well since they employ many more shortcuts than continued to be systemically taught after 1929.

    Anyway, what difference does it make whether or not other people can breeze through a quick read of your verbatim dictation as long as you can read it and transcribe it? That's the true proof of the pudding!

  10. Michael: Your outlines look good whether or not you choose to use a lined stenography pad.  I was taught (in the 60's) soley using lined steno pads – as a matter of fact, if the teacher ever saw us writing on a legal pad or anything other than a steno pad, she would really freak out.  Ah, the days of formal stenographic training!!!  For the past 20 years, I have been ordering my steno pads from THE W.G. FRY CORPORTION in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  I order the traditional court reporter's notebook (Style #RG-63) which has the standard ruling for testimony dictation.  Ever since I starting using these particular pads, I find it difficult to go back to a "regular" steno pad.  RG-63 has a great paper quality, and the pages are numbered, which has always helped me out with locating a particular passage.  Because all my work is medical – having numbered pages is a real asset.  In any case, as far as you are concerned, you should be congratulated on your accomplishment.  I wish my nieces and nephews had one iota of your determination and ambilition.  –Joseph 

  11. I contacted the Fry Corporation and they informed me that they don't make the notebooks.  Though, a number of folks have mentioned this company before.  Could you post their contact information and I'll try again?    I've ordered RG-63 notebooks from Pengad.  The quality of the paper is quite fine.  It's very smooth and takes fountain pen ink very well.  I've been subscribing to a few court reporting dictation sites so now I get to use the testimony rulings.  It's not as easy as I thought it would be.  🙂  The thickness of the notebook takes some adjustment.  It's difficfult to find standard two-column notebooks with paper of a quality smooth enough.  I've found some that create a lot of drag on a pen.  These days I need all the advantages I can get. 

  12. Thanks. Its a good way of avoiding harder uni work. I've gone through two space pen cartridges in the last month, and those things last 3 times longer than a normal pen. I bet in a formal class progress is quicker with less hours. You can't have everything!

  13. I've been using Microsoft Word tables to print out my own lined paper on smooth-surfaced 24-lb bond. You can set the row depth to any size you like; a border color of 40% gray gives you an unobtrusive guide. At the moment I'm experimenting with very widely spaced lines. A space of 15mm gives me lots of room for outlines of generous size, with good legible small loops and hooks. Wide spacing like this also makes for easy reading and minimizes interference from the lines above or below.

  14. Hello all,

    I just joined this list and wished to say hello…

    I took GSH wayyyy back when I was in junior high school… Used it briefly
    while a secretary and that was all…. I always thought SH was interesting
    much as I think braille and morse code are… A different language if you
    will though not spoken…

    I've never dealt w/ Pitman SH though it appears some of you have…

    I found the group looking for a GSH font though I have yet to use the one I
    d/l'd from this group… I am a "font-a-holic" and thought it would be
    interesting if I could find one of GSH…

    I joined this group fearing at first that there wouldn't be many emails and
    that it would be near dead, I'm pleased to see it isn't and that I may
    actually have a chance to relearn this art… I see critiquing going on and
    intelligent conversations w/o flaming… Marvelous…

    Babs

    (usually my nickname online is BubblyBabs but MSN says it's in use so I used
    my "other" nickname of FractalFairy)

  15. My 2 cents. . .I learned DJS on the famous line,d green steno pads, which I still use today.  Pretty happy with 'em after 26 years of continuous use.  I'd like to get some in other, more girly colors, but I'd have to order them online.  Anyway, I've found the lines helpful but not absolutely necessary.  The lovely thing about Gregg is you can write it anywhere, even on an old envelope or a paper napkin. 

  16. This is really only in terms of comparison, but I think I read somewhere, and in any case I've found, that good practice is to concentrate on making the longest forms always quite long: L, G, B, V, J and TED, MEN, TEM, and MT. For example, the B, V, and J should be as tall as a height of Gregg-lined paper. The parallel small forms should be written really small, more like ticks (T, S/Z, SH, N, etc.). Then you try to make the middle set R, K, P, D, etc. as close to middle length as you can. Because two out of three of the lengths in a particular family, for example, SH-CH-J, are extreme, the middle length, perhaps the hardest to "hit" is unlikely to be confused with the others. This is the also proportion I think I'm seeing when I look at the best Gregg writers.

  17. Yeah thats what I've settled on. Every time I think of switching to another system, I reason that I'm not gonna have anyone to ask these kinds of questions to whether it be teeline or pitman. The community for those systems is absolutely tiny.

  18. I'm pretty new at this but when i write I like to skip lines, with the majority of my writing being in between lines. that way when i'm writing my longest letters i can make them go above the line or below the line and i'll know instantly "okay since that's crossing the line it has to be a TED" and when i just want a D or something i make it barely touch the line but when i want a T i just make it really short.

  19. I would not recommend skipping spaces in shorthand, as it can hamper speed at the time of dictation. Keep your proportions right, and you won't have to jump a line.

    Check my post (and others as well) on this thread about how to write on lined paper for a guidance.

  20. I can do the vertical and slanted lines just fine, but am way out with n/m/mn , u/c/g and o/r/l . The hooks are usually ok, but not always, and n is often too long. The mid and long? Ugh. Fortunately, the context usually helps, but I need to fix it.

  21. If you have problems with your proportions, find some of the penmanship drills that are out there.  The Third Edition of the Speed Studies has a great penmanship drill series.  It takes practice.  Concentrated and specific practice.  Usually, it's not the strokes themselves that are the problem, it's making them join to another curve or stroke that causes you to have difficulty.    I used them and it did help my writing immensely.  The penmanship drills give you little hints about what you need to modify when writing combinations as compared to just writing the primitive stroke.  For example, when writing the "t-r" or "t-l" combination, the t is struck with a bit more of a vertical direction.  When I read that, it made sense and I wrote those combinations much more accurately.   When practicing for penmanship practice, don't try to write your fastest.  Write each outline trying to improve each from the last, gradually increasing your speed while maintaining the correctness of the form.  And keep writing once you get it correct.  You need to impress the physical reaction into your mind as well.  By the time you are done, you will have added that word to your vocabulary of automatic words.

  22. It seems that this thread actually covered a number of subjects.

    But as for the original question, about where to write on lined paper …

    I am self-taught, but I am not a newby. I taught myself a hybrid of Gregg Simplified and Gregg Jubilee forty years ago.

    My practice has been to put letters like p and b on the paper so that the base of the letter rests on a line. I would do the same thing, probably, with j and ch and sh, and t and d. Curved letters like c and g would probably start and end on the baseline (or close). Also r and l would rest on the baseline or (more likely) would go just above it. This is really an issue of personal preference and convenience, and that is how I handle it.

    When you are dealing with really neat phrases like "I have not been able" (a-v-n-b-a) or "you have not been able" (u-v-n-b-a), you will have outlines sprawling downward (beautifully) to the space below.

    As for length of strokes (t vs. d, p vs. b and so forth), I have two things to say: First, practice writing them. Do it mindlessly on scratch paper. Also write them in simple words like 'to' and 'do'. Second, don't worry about it all so much. The world won't come to an end if you make a 'b' a little too short and momentarily confuse it with a 'p'.

  23. The text books all suggest line placement.  The line of text is considered the line of writing.    Generally speaking, the first down stroke should meet the line of writing (unless the first letter is actually "s").    I just read a Gregg Writer section that suggested that when writing "w" that you start the "oo" on the line so as to not confuse "way" with "say," for example.  After this long, I doubt I could incorporate that new position with any sort of regularity.  🙂

  24. I agree. The 's' is often higher, as in 'spade' (s-p-a-d). But that is not always the case. In 'so' I would have the s pretty close to the line, most likely.

    As for 'way' and 'say' … Like you, I doubt I would remember to put the 'w' on the line with any regularity. I would most likely put it in the middle of the space and bring the 'a' down to the line.

  25. I too am self-taught and very early decided to contain words as much as possible within the writing line, in other words, specifically not necessarily to rest the first character (except s) on the writing line. So my final n of "engine" sits on the line, not the first, and the final r of "represent" sits on the line, not the initial r. This was to avoid the large numbers of extenders into the line below which forced me to jump around these both in writing and reading on that line below. I know this is nowhere recommended but I have yet to notice any problems. In fact, I suspect it may have helped me keep the proportions of the middle-length forms like p, d, ten, about right. Even when I'm taking speed tests, which is dictation, it doesn't seem to cause me problems (though I have nothing to compare it to). Maybe it's because half of my practice has been to write individual words rather than sentences. Phrases are more commonly what I write down since I'm taking notes at meetings, lectures, seminars, or from my own reading. If I haven't written a particular word form before so can't immediately visualize (if that's what I do in fact) where the form is heading, I'll start it on the line as taught. I'm NOT recommending this since there are clearly good reasons why the standard was taught for a century, but thought it worth mentioning.

  26. (To JohnnyWyzxq, well said.)

    While I have generally thought that lined paper helped my
    pensmanship I find that when I used unlined paper there is only a
    slight decline if any. Perhaps it helped most when I was first
    learning.

    I suspect unlined paper ~used~ to be a lot less expensive. As with
    lumber for houses, as we humans deforest large areas of the planet
    tree products are becoming gradually more and more expensive. Many
    decades ago my Mom used to get large blank-paper newspaper rolls for
    us kids to write on. (She was always looking for ways to stretch the
    budget.) . Probably now the ratio of the cost of ink to the cost of
    the paper-pulp for paper manufacturers is a lot less.

    (Apologies if any of this is repetitive- I skipped over and deleted
    most of the earlier posts in the thread.)

    Richard Harper

    On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 6:37 AM, Gregg Shorthand
    wrote:
    > New Message on Gregg Shorthand
    >
    > Writing on lined paper.
    >
    > Reply
    > Recommend Message 39 in Discussion
    > From: JohnnyWyzxq
    > I too am self-taught and very early decided to contain words as much as
    > possible within the writing line, in other words, specifically not
    > necessarily to rest the first character (except s) on the writing line. So
    > my final n of "engine" sits on the line, not the first, and the final r of
    > "represent" sits on the line, not the initial r. This was to avoid the large
    > numbers of extenders into the line below which forced me to jump around
    > these both in writing and reading on that line below. I know this is nowhere
    > recommended but I have yet to notice any problems. In fact, I suspect it may
    > have helped me keep the proportions of the middle-length forms like p, d,
    > ten, about right. Even when I'm taking speed tests, which is dictation, it
    > doesn't seem to cause me problems (though I have nothing to compare it to).
    > Maybe it's because half of my practice has been to write individual words
    > rather than sentences. Phrases are more commonly what I write down since I'm
    > taking notes at meetings, lectures, seminars, or from my own reading. If I
    > haven't written a particular word form before so can't immediately visualize
    > (if that's what I do in fact) where the form is heading, I'll start it on
    > the line as taught. I'm NOT recommending this since there are clearly good
    > reasons why the standard was taught for a century, but thought it worth
    > mentioning.
    > View other groups in this category.
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  27. Yes and now cheap products are mass produced products.

    A common Artline notebook costs a dollar, but an almost identical accounting notebook which has a special ruling with money columns costs 5 or 10 times more. Its not like ruling those extra two lines would really raise the price of the notebook. Its simply that the accounting book is not made in such high volume. Plus accountants can afford to pay more money than students.

  28. oo-a vs s-a

    If you need the position to help read it, you're oo is tipped and the hook not deep enough.

    These days, it's easy to find cheap lined paper, but blank paper tends to be either printer-quality or too rough to write on, but I haven't looked that hard for other sources. Accounting paper tends to be higher quality as well. (I now go to art stores for fancy graph paper and good drafting equipment. Draftsmen and serious students now use computers, so the office stores only sell those cheap compasses that don't hold a setting.)

    If there's a "downward" outline in line one, I'll often skip line 2 and continue on line 3. If the outline is near the end of the line, I might use part of line 2. I find writing around the outline took more planning than simply skipping a line.

    Normal lined paper is 7mm, just over a mm under the 8.2mm (1/3 inch) of Gregg ruled. I found that cramped, but when I wrote "Gregg" size on the normal lines, B and V were too big and were on most lines, so I skipped lines.

  29. K-Mart in the office supply section carries a CPP International LLC productt made in India called simply

    Steno Book

    and it is Gregg ruled. Quite comfortable for writing with a pen of your choice. Only thing missing from the cardboard covers is a chart of brief forms!

  30. Skipping lines? Well. . . .

    As one who would go in for dictation and emerge an hour or so later with pages of notes for transcription–get those carbon packs ready!–I can only say that for me, skipping lines requires too much attention in actual practice.

    I frequently had outlines descending from one line mingling with outlines from the next line down and found, at times, it difficult to separate them. Somehow, however, one manages!

    One boss in particular made many, many changes upon read back. I wrote only on the left column and indicates the changes on the right. I got used to doing that without thinking.

    Marc

  31. I don't have the presence of mind to skip lines.  Frequently I will have decending outlines get written over by outlines on the next line.  I find that it's rather like reading badly written Chinese.  I count the strokes and follow the logical path given the context.  Hopefully, you are transcribing the notes shortly after taking them.  🙂   Skipping lines means having to turn the pages more frequently.  🙂

  32. I have also contacted W.G. Fry Corp. in MA. They do no longer make/sell the verbatim reporter steno pad. I was directed to Pengad, a company with which I am very familiar from ordering court reporting supplies. They do sell the RG-63 steno pads; however, they are sold in 12 packs only, and at $71-something. This is a bit much for me.

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