Is anniversary good enough?

Thats the question? Several of us have learned (or are learning) Anniversary yet we see from our results and even the results in the Gregg Writer, real verbatim proficiency was very rare.

I once read somewhere that there is no way to acquire verbatim shorthand without consistent and dedicated effort. It is quite obvious no matter how much we try to justify any other speed, that only proper verbatim — that is 160 or more, is the true test of someones shorthand. Until you can keep up with the speaker at that speed, until you can listen to any radio show or tv show and be able to write it out in shorthand word for word, then it is only a second best.

Do you agree? Should a shorthand system be designed with the verbatim being a realistic consequence of diligent study? A linking question: How much of shorthand’s demise is due to the lack of true verbatim speed.

(by michael_lisitsa for
everyone)

 

24 comments Add yours
  1. I think it depends on your goals. If you want that kind of challenge then sure, I wouldn't be satisfied either if my system could only get up to 120 or 140. If it's for diary entries or casual use, then it wouldn't matter if its top speed was 120 instead of 220.

    I think a lot of people fail to realize that getting up to 180+ takes A) a long time, and B) lenghty, daily practice. There are people in my court reporting program who've been at school for four years and are still in 140/160. The people in 180/200 have all been there at least three. I know our school is having troubles with discontent because of mediocrity in some areas, but most programs nevertheless take three and a half years average to reach the exit speeds (180 lit, 200 jc, 225 qa). Most people just don't have that kind of patience, especially for something that would just be kind of a novelty (verbatim shorthand) unless you get real work in the reporting field.

    I think Gregg can get you there, as evidenced by the thousands of working court reporters that used Gregg from its inception to its downturn. Most just don't have the knowledge how to become verbatim, the means, the time, or the patience.

  2. I agree, it's what you want, your goals.  Or like me, fall into it because you didn't realize there was different versions (the book said "Gregg Shorthand" on it :).    Yes practice and just writing helps.  I think a lot of people in the past who would get proficient at writing it started off with less.  There were Stenographers who would start at 120 and build from there.  I found old secretary books (since I'm a secretary) and the resumes would have the speed on it.  Some had more, but some started at 120 and built from there.  So then they would be taking shorthand everyday for their job and get more proficient at it.   Then they would go to the better paying jobs when they got better and faster (stenographers were a dime a dozen as that's what a lot of single young ladies did before they got married and stopped working).   I got a lot faster at typing when I did machine dictation and listened, because I wanted to type as fast as possible so I could finish and not have to rewind (always too far).  I'm not that fast, but I did build my speed that way.  Just doing it often enough.   I choose to stay with Anniversary becasue I wanted the additional reading material and I like it.  Plus since I don't write it fast, with the shortened words and rules, it does make it faster for me and I enjoy the challenge. Debbi

  3.  A linking question: How much of shorthand's demise is due to the lack of true verbatim speed. In answer to this question, I think also the lack of necessity also caused the demise.  Just about every secretary job does not require shorthand anymore. Or any other position.  Out of the 8 assistants in my office, I'm the only one who knows shorthand and don't need it (the director's secretary takes her laptop into meetings for notes).  And a few are old enough to have learned it, but just never did or thought they would need it.  I have used it on my job and found it extremely helpful, but again, there hasn't evern been a job I've had that required it and haven't found one that does (and I would have to build my speed nayway). Debbi

  4. If you examine the 1902 and 1916 editions of the Manual and the supplementary texts, you will see beyond the shadow of any doubt that Gregg designed his system for verbatim reporting usage. Anyone who is unhappy with phrasing from Anniversary on should look at how quickly phrasing is introduced in 1902, I have a couple issues of The Gregg Writer from 1915 and the abbreviating principle is carried to an extreme to say nothing about the omission of words or parts of words in phrasing. The Anniversary Manual was formulated from input by professional users of the Gregg system for 4 decades and, as such, really represents what verbatim reporters used … or at least an introduction to their methods as one really also needs the Reporting Shortcut books as wel as one of the "Expert" books to develop comfortable verbatim speed. It seems fairly clear that by 1949 the Gregg staff had recognized with the advent of stenotype machines that shorthand would become the province of the business office and that Simplified was an acknowledgement of that fact. Who could have predicted in 1949 that portable tape recorders would supplant a great deal of shorthand for office usage? I'm sure the reduced use of shorthand plus the burden on students learning much theory which could never be put to practical use lead to the "simplifications" found in DJS and subsequent editions. I feel confident that anyone who actually studies Anniversary and practices can attain speeds of 160 plus within a couple of years. 120 wpm should certainly result within one year's study. The disadvantage if you want to call it that of Anniversary is that if the practitioner does not use shorthand on a regular basis, some seldom-used outlines and points of theory will be forgotten. However, if the student has mastered the theory what is to prevent him from writing a word out in full or using the abbreviating principle? He who wants to can master verbatim reporting. Period.

  5. I once asked an older British-trained legal secretary what shorthand she used, and if she still used it. (She had recently retired, so maybe age 70 by now) She immediately answered Pitman, and said it was easy to learn — only a thin book — and then had to think about whether she used it. I got the impression she didn't use it much, since most of what she wrote had to be readable by others.

  6. Anniverysary is good enough.  But it depends on what your "enough" is.    The theory contained in the Manual is great for a good basic speed.  But if you want a verbatim reporting speed (over 175), it's going to take a lot of practice and it's going to take adopting a very advanced reporting style.  And it means expanding your phrasing principles with a great deal of modification of word forms in phrases.  "Preponderance of the evidence" = p-ith-e.  The shortcuts and additional briefs go a long way to simplifying the the writing of words:  "conduct" = con-d-oo, "investigate" = in-v-g.  But before you get to the point you do the advanced work, you also have to have automated at least the first 1,000 most used words (which are mostly brief forms and their derivatives).  The Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course also has a constant review of the basic principles in the manual throughout the course as well as intensive penmanship practice.    And did I mention a lot of practice?  Lots of it.  As much dictation practice as you can stand and then some.  And it takes tons of repetition practice.   That being said, I feel that yes, Anniversary is good enough.  There are principles in the earlier manuals that are picked up again in the reporting course (using the next word in the "ing" position as in "taking the" "giving you", etc.   There are, however, shining examples of current penwriting reporters who started learnng DJS and are working in court every day.  It's a good form of shorthand (Gregg as a whole in all of its iterations) for whatever you want to do with it.   That's my 2 cents.

  7. >>There are, however, shining examples of current penwriting reporters who started learning DJS and are working in court every day.

    Wow! Do you know what methods they used, besides maybe Expert Speed Building, to get up to those speeds with DJS? Or are you implying that they no longer use DJS but one of the earlier versions now?

  8. I would like to look over the shoulder of one of those shining examples taking verbatim courtroom testimony in DJS. I agree with thousandwaves (a fine coastal indian appelation) that such a reporter would of necessity had migrated to an earlier version of Gregg and learned many of the phrasing shorcuts which were thrown out with the baby and the bathwater in the DJS texts.

  9. I know one of the folk who is a working reporter is V-Lindsey.  And yes, it would be really cool to watch a reporter in action.  If there's CourtTV, why not ShorthandTV — they can devote some of the programming to showing us how they do it.  🙂    There was an instructional film out in the 40's called:  "The Champions Write" showcasing Dupraw, Swem, et al. writing.  My search on the web has come up bupkis.  I'd give my eye teeth for a copy of that baby.

  10. –What JRGAnniversary said–

    I would just add that the pressure from the
    machine stenotypes had already started
    in 1916. So the competition was an ongoing
    process. It seems that by the 1950s the
    machines had won a large enough market
    share that systems began to develop around
    on of the big remaining groups of shorthand
    users– students taking their own personal
    notes for college courses. The Gregg people
    responded to that with Gregg Notes, but
    that was (my opinion) never fully developed as
    a complete system. (These are just my general
    impressions. Feel free to amend or
    contradict.)

    Richard Harper

    On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 8:34 AM, JRGAnniversary wrote:
    > New Message on Gregg Shorthand
    >
    > Is anniversary good enough?
    >
    > Reply
    > Reply to Sender Recommend Message 5 in Discussion
    > From: JRGAnniversary
    > If you examine the 1902 and 1916 editions of the Manual and the
    > supplementary texts, you will see beyond the shadow of any doubt that Gregg
    > designed his system for verbatim reporting usage. Anyone who is unhappy with
    > phrasing from Anniversary on should look at how quickly phrasing is
    > introduced in 1902, I have a couple issues of The Gregg Writer from 1915 and
    > the abbreviating principle is carried to an extreme to say nothing about the
    > omission of words or parts of words in phrasing. The Anniversary Manual was
    > formulated from input by professional users of the Gregg system for 4
    > decades and, as such, really represents what verbatim reporters used … or
    > at least an introduction to their methods as one really also needs the
    > Reporting Shortcut books as wel as one of the "Expert" books to develop
    > comfortable verbatim speed. It seems fairly clear that by 1949 the Gregg
    > staff had recognized with the advent of stenotype machines that shorthand
    > would become the province of the business office and that Simplified was an
    > acknowledgement of that fact. Who could have predicted in 1949 that portable
    > tape recorders would supplant a great deal of shorthand for office usage?
    > I'm sure the reduced use of shorthand plus the burden on students learning
    > much theory which could never be put to practical use lead to the
    > "simplifications" found in DJS and subsequent editions. I feel confident
    > that anyone who actually studies Anniversary and practices can attain speeds
    > of 160 plus within a couple of years. 120 wpm should certainly result within
    > one year's study. The disadvantage if you want to call it that of
    > Anniversary is that if the practitioner does not use shorthand on a regular
    > basis, some seldom-used outlines and points of theory will be forgotten.
    > However, if the student has mastered the theory what is to prevent him from
    > writing a word out in full or using the abbreviating principle? He who wants
    > to can master verbatim reporting. Period.
    > View other groups in this category.
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  11. Hello JRGAnniversary and AnniversaryFan1 and thousandwaves,

    JRGAnniversary, you are correct. My shorthand of today is not true DJS;
    it's not true Simplified or Anniversary either.

    I took DJS in high school and college. After I left college, I worked
    in two law firms that required shorthand. I picked up shortcuts from
    the older secretaries who took Simplified. From there I started working
    with a penwriter doing depositions. She loaned me a book called
    "Reporter's Shortcuts." In 1987 I applied for and got the job where I
    am now. The retiring reporter was an Anniversary writer who showed me
    her shortcuts and still more books. At our state court reporters'
    meeting we had shorthand workshops where Vivian Spitz was always the
    speaker. Her shortcut worksheets and handout material are invaluable.
    My goal is to change to Anniversary, but when I get stressed, there are
    just some ingrained DJS forms I revert back to.

    So, all that said my shorthand is a mixture of DJS, Simplified,
    Anniversary, my own shortcuts. Since I have such a mixture and I don't
    use phrases as much as I should, my shorthand may be hard for someone
    else to read. But it works for me. As soon as I can, I'll post some of
    my shortcuts I use all the time.

    VLindsay

  12. Interesting … Since I learned Simplified and switched to Anniversary but had not practiced for several decades before finding this board, if I falter in taking notes I do follow that advice to write it out in full. But some time ago I acquired the "Expert" Anniversary book which is mostly reporting material with additional brief forms and using that with the Anniversary editions of Speed Building for Colleges, Reporting Shortcuts and a 1924 printing of Gregg Shorthand Phrase Book, just for fun I'm working at re-building speed. (In the '70's I often took verbatim minutes of meetings and can still in 2008 read my notes!). I'm also working on increasing my vocabulary so as to prevent those ghastly hesitations which occur when you hear an unfamiliar word. These days I use shorthand for personal notes and a mini-journal. When I took it in high school there were several other guys in the class and all of us put the system to very effective use in college. My base system in Anniversary but I have added shortcuts from pre-Anniversary which I think are (to date me) kinda cool! I look forward to seeing your shortcuts V-Lindsay.

  13. When you read the reporter pages in "Gregg Writer" (Theres always one page per magazine), you see they always modify common terminology – for medical field 'fracture' is written as an 'f' suffix, for court testimony plaintiff and defendant is written as 'p' and 'f'. That's why it is rare to be able to read with any ease these reporters notebooks.

    The other change they always make is some crazy phrasing, which makes you wonder if theres a systematic way of doing this or if they are simply culling all the small words as they go.

    If I were to dedicate my time to one of these, I would go for extra phrasing principles, because learning terminology for one field of work might be completely useless if you want to copy down a song off the radio, or write in your diary. Funny thing is I've always read that pre-anni has complicated phrasing but I've never known what this phrasing is. If I were to learn pre-anni phrasing, would this help a speed boost?

  14. The advanced phrases do follow the theory — it uses the omission or modification of word forms extensively.  The Pre-Anniversary phrases that aren't in Anniversary are the phrases for "we have your letter of the 9th inst." — forms we no longer use in correspondence.  There aren't any phrasing principles in Pre-Anniversary that are missing in Anniversary.  The principles are the same.  If you study the Anniversary phrasing prinicples, you will be pretty well armed for some time-saving phrases.  Phrasing is a large component of increasing your speed.  Two of the principles that are NOT included in Anniversary is writing two words very close together to indicate the omission of "of the" and the "ing" principle – writing the next word in the "ing" position, i.e., making the, taking the, going there.  This principle should not be used with "it" or "at" since it may conflict with the past tense.    The phrasing is extensively used in testimony (did you…., do you ….., I didn't…..") as well as some really good phrases for jury charge material.  I work in legal, so I use "p" for plaintiff, "d" for defendant and a lot of the simpler forms for legal terms.  I haven't focused on medical terminology (yet?), but the medical manual employs other disjoined word beginnings and endings.   There are lots of legal short forms simply because most of the verbatim reporting was done in a legal setting, either in court or in a deposition.  As the books say, the abbreviating principles and devising your own short forms depends largely on your familiarity with the terminology you are working with.  Things that I abbreviate may not make any sense to you or my abbreviation may conflict with something that uses the same outline and would cause you to reject what I may think is an absolutely brilliant form.

  15. I don't even know what some of them mean.  The 1916 Manual was very important to my understanding the forms.  I'm quite pleased that they are no longer in vogue.     I use the "f" for fact in phrases all the time.  It's one of my favorite phrasing conventions.  I'm using 2-voice, jury charge and literary for my practice materials, so the Reporting Shortcuts and Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course are full of easier ways to write that stuff.  I find that if the outline is too long (has too many strokes) I start to fudge.    Today I hit "psychosomatic" — I broke it up into two outlines:  s-i-k / s-m-a-t-e-c.  It is not, as it turns out, in the dictionary.  Just to check my work, when  I puzzled out the outline I came up with s-i-k-o-s-m-disjointed "atic".  In the end, I just left off the "atic" part.  Sure seemed like it was ripe for the abbreviating principle.  🙂   Discuss.

  16. Only if the phrases are well studied and come naturally, they will help improve speed. Phrasing requires repetition practice to get it down pat. If you're just using them once in a while, it won't help.

    Phrasing is not really complicated. First learn well the most common phrases and recognize how they are constructed: (1) pronoun + verb ("I am", "you are"), (2) pronoun + negative verb ("they are not"), (3) pronoun + auxiliary verb + verb ("I might be"), (4) to + verb ("to do", "to go", "to have"), (5) preposition + object ("for him", "by them"), (6) verb + object ("give me", "tell him"), (7) adjetive + noun ("large number", "great deal"). These are the first ones listed in the Anniversary phrase book, and they appear in the anniversary manual. Learn those well.

    Other than those simple rules, there's no systematic way of writing phrases. Stringing words as you go along is a big no no. The overriding principle is to make an outline that is distinct. While a great number of the phrases are just merely the combination of the words ("in the", "of the", "wiped out"), others combine the first and last ("one of the most", "sums of money"), others apply the abbreviating principle, writing in full the first part and abbreviating the rest ("point of view", "sheet of paper"), or abbreviating the beginning and writing in full the end ("sort of thing", "sum of money", "do you know"), or apply intersection ("petty cash", "red cross", "cup of coffee"), or by agglutinating outlines ("internal revenue", "Roman Catholic", "special agent", "all over again"). That creates the distinctness in the outline and helps in the memory and transcription.

    Incorporate phrases that you will find consistently in your writing. For example, there is no use for me to learn the specific phrase "will you state to the jury", but for a court reporter is useful to know. Likewise, I find useful the phrase "due to the fact that", even though it is not taught in the manual. Just choose those phrases that you will use and you should be fine.

  17. I would think this would fit into the "consonant after accentuated vowel abbreviation" that is s-i-k but obviously that whole branch of phsyc- words would have the same outline, so I would guess that a special prefix could be made maybe s[right]-i. This could also be used for other common technological prefixes like 'micro' 'physio'.

    I usually don't like deviating from the strict principles of the Gregg system (because I'm a huge fan of it and want to retain its natural form), but some of these could be useful.

  18. Psych is a prefix?  As I looked in the dictionary "psychic" is s-i-k-e-k; "psychopathic" is s-i-k-o-p-th-e-c.  It seems to me that it's not a prefix.    I have "devised" a disjoined word beginning for "micro" (m-i).  I adopted the Pre-Anniversary disjointed "ultra" prefix.  More and more I've also been usng the "o-s" disjoined prefix for "Austr, ostr-", "p-a" for patr and the "p-e" for petr and "aw" for alter.  I was sorry to realize so many useful disjoined word beginnings were dropped.    Anniversary is certainly a more coherent distillation of the theory, but there were some very good word building principles from the 1916 Manual that could have been included. 

  19. "Psych-" is a prefix, so one cannot use the abbreviating principle, :-(. Those words would need to be written in full for legible outlines. The prefix itself is not abbreviated in medical dictation: it is written "right s – i – k", and it is not disjointed.

  20. I'm not sure I'm following you. "Psych-" is an English prefix used extensively in Biology, meaning "related to the mind". That's all I meant. And in the two examples that you presented, you see that it is written as "right s – i – k". It's not an abbreviation, I agree, but gramatically speaking it is a prefix of a word.

  21. I'm not disagreeing with you; we've had a misunderstanding in use of terminology.  When I was puzzling on prefix, I was thinking in a shorthand sense, not in a true grammatical use of prefix.    I was really just deconstructing a recent experience I had had in encountering an unfamiliar word and having to construct an outline on the fly.  I was illustrating my process in hitting one of those words that the outline isn't right at your fingertips.  I wanted to see how others would have dealt with it.   It really showed me where I need to review my basic theory.  I went completely primitive when breaking the word up into syllables and writing EXACTLY what I heard with only the most basic of the Gregg alphabetic symbols.  I could have saved several strokes by using the correct disjoined word ending.    It was my mea culpa that all my preaching about reviewing was rather a "practice what you preach" situation. 

  22. In reading all of the posts about this prefix, I am
    not sure it is worth devoting effort to learning it as a prefix. I don't see
    that the word psych appears frequently enough to meritit being written as a
    prefix or shortcut. However I do realize that if a person works in the field of
    psychology it may occur more often. In that case, and it has been a natural
    process with me I have devised shortcuts for high frequency occurring
    words.  I would also suggest that no shortcuts should be learned outside of
    standard brief forms until one has to learned to write most any word with
    facility. Devising short cuts that are none standard should only come after some
    experience recording the spoken word.
     
    I am also reminded of a lesson that I was taught
    when I was learning shorthand. The story was told that the different between
    people who could really write effective shorthand was that if you were a
    scientific thinker you were more concerned with how things were constructed than
    their practicality. It is important to understand that shorthand is a practical
    application of writing words phonetically. There is no science to it. Therefore,
    learn to write shorthand according to rules and and principles before
    attempting to customize and modify to your own taste. Believe me, as you write
    more and more the system will almost readily adapt to your style and shortcuts
    will automatically suface.
     

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