Additional Vocabulary Practice

Below are three links that I found which I consider interesting and useful for expanding shorthand vocabulary.  They refer to word lists that are either common in English reader texts (General Service List), or in academic texts (University Word List and Academic Word List).  Some of these lists have exercises with passages that employ the words, and are good for dictation practice (Academic Word List Exercises). It is a good practice to go over these words in shorthand so that there’s no hesitation in writing them in dictation.  The challenge is to write the words as fast as possible.

If there is interest, I will make the lists downloadable as well.

(by Carlos for everyone)

7 comments Add yours
  1. Chuck, word recall really has been key for me. Much to my shock, my dictation speed jumped from 50 to almost 80 wpm the past three weeks and I'm sure it's from forcing recall from lists of the most common words since I've done relatively little full sentence writing practice, though I did plenty of that last month. (Thanks to whoever pointed to the dictation files.) I've been writing out forms for the 3000 most common English words once or more per day. I also know my speed increase came from the forced recall practice happening from using the word lists because the words that tripped me up were all ones not on my list! Some of these were simple words like limp, retail, and unfit. Others were minor variants of words I definitely knew. For example, I flubbed the word "earliest" even though I'd written "early" and "earlier" a few dozen times. Because I've been reading from different versions of Gregg, my mind stalled at writing "insurance." I'd written the DJS full form many times, but during dictation thought "I should really be using the shorter Centennial brief form." That kind of conscious decision-making during dictation doesn't work! I retired some words off the list which I thought I should know perfectly by then like "Wednesday" but had trouble recalling it during the dictation. I've only been learning Gregg three months so not much is yet really cemented in my brain (hopefully that happens?).   I uploaded a practice file to the Documents section here that lists the 1000 most common words in English. It's formatted in four columns with blank space after each word and should print out with Gregg line spacing. Thanks for pointing to the word lists, I've started practicing on these. I can also upload a formatted 3000 word list plus separate instructions for how to randomize a word list in Excel and format it as a Word printout. Word lists get boring pretty quickly when the words are always in the same order, plus you start remembering what words are going to be next. I think the randomization forces you to recall individual Gregg forms from your brain at a moment's notice à la dictation. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this group. There's a gold mine of knowledge here that just doesn't exist anywhere else.

  2. Johnny, the list in Word is great! Yes, the 3000 would also be good.

    I'd love instructions to randomize the order. I tried with just Excel ages ago, with the vocab from the first six chapters, but ended up with one long column, with tons of wasted paper on the right.

    Pitman word lists often show the main word, then all the derivative. So the text would say "effect", and there would be 6 outlines, for "effect, effective, effectively, efficient, efficiency, efficiently". I'm not sure if there was a standard order. The outline often changed dramatically to make past tense, so that was included. For vocab drills, though, listing each derivative as a separate word works best.


  3. Learning derivatives is almost as important as learning the primitive forms of the words themselves.  Some words take a slightly different construction when modified and that can cause hesitation.  I have specially practice "inadvertently" all the time. 

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