Non-Gregg letters or words used in Gregg

Several persons here have mentioned studying other shorthand systems. I’m curious if any letters, shapes, or principles have trickled over either deliberately or through habit into your Gregg. Has anyone invented any letters, shapes, or principles that aren’t found in a version of Gregg – at least the version you initially learned? Do you use raising or lowering or (ack!) thin vs heavy lines?

On my part, I’ve found that I continually revert to using a version of a question mark from a system I taught myself over 20 years ago whose name I don’t even recall (basically a squiggly Gregg period or XES). I also accidentally invented Gregg forms that don’t exist. I checked Gregg out a couple decades ago and over the years had practiced writing the Gregg ‘alphabet’ from memory, as I’ve done for the Arabic or Armenian alphabet, not a useless habit for a librarian.

Since Gregg shapes tend to come in three sizes (a la baby/mama/papa bear), I ‘remembered’ three rounded arcs rather than two: small for TH-S (?), medium for DEF/DIF/TEF/TIF, and large for DEV/DIV/TEV/TIV. The other direction was supposedly: S-TH, PENT/PEND, GENT/GEND. I still tend to write ‘devine’ larger than ‘define.’ I also ‘remembered’ three horizontal arcs, R, L, and LR(?); K, G, and KG(?) Since for years I believed there was a form for LR, I’ve found myself using it as an ending under pressure. More deliberately, ‘learn’ for me equals LONG-L + N, a useful shortcut in academia. For some reason I didn’t consider the O or U hook to be the starting point for either set, perhaps because they seem like parabolas while the DEF/PENT forms are more horseshoe-shaped and R/L/K/G are arcs.

Lastly, I picked up the form for INCLUDE from Centennial Gregg (revived from early Gregg versions) as raised E + disjoined D. When writing from a presentation that went back and forth between INCLUDE this and EXCLUDE this, I decided EXCLUDE should consist of raised left X + disjoined D, and I still use this.

(by johnnywyzxq for everyone)

12 comments Add yours
  1. You would not get a good outline if you tried to reverse a circle after "L".  The combination is very facile to start with.  You can reverse the circle if it's a medial vowel (for instance "lard") but you need to have a letter following the l and r sounds in order to make the joining.    In Anniversary, "learn" is "l-e-n," inserting the "e" between the "l" and "n" helps to avoid the the pen stop necessary to make the angle when joining the "n" to a previous curve. 

  2. No, there is no special way in Anniv to do LR. I'm not sure of the utility of an LR or a KG stroke, as I cannot imagine any word in English in which the two consonants are part of the same syllable. Besides, the strokes go in the same direction and have the same motion, so they are executed easily and quickly.

  3. Sorry for not being clearer. LR (long-L) for me was/is a LER-sound syllable parallel to MEN and DET, but my point was that I made it up by analogy using faulty memory, yet then found it showing up in my Gregg shorthand because I had written it before. I suppose not really knowing what a longer-than-G character really stood for should have clued me in that these two long characters didn't exist. My question was whether users have brought anomalies into their shorthand influenced by other shorthand systems or their own invention. Modifications other than shortcuts since we've probably all invented a few of those based on what lines of work we're in (as LIBN for librarian).   One of my reasonings is the discussion about copyright on the Gregg alphabet and a look at Century 21 Shorthand, the latter clearly taken lock stock and barrel from Gregg but with some modifications. If this could be published while Gregg was still being taught throughout the country in the 70s (if on the downswing), I'm wondering if Gregg with (or even without) token alterations couldn't be published again.   It doesn't seem there's a market for shorthand other than for individual use, and there is one for that given the speedwriting genre books out there. Old Gregg texts won't available forever (or maybe the used supply is actually increasing, I dunno). I've gotten plenty of odd looks when I'm seen using it, along with "I thought that was a dying art!" or "I didn't know anyone used that anymore." But when colleagues or students see me writing down whatever I want quickly, plenty have said "dang, I wish I could do that" or "I always wished I'd taken shorthand in high school."

  4. I haven't mixed characters or symbols from other systems, or modified the basic alphabet, because I haven't had the need to do so. In studying, my goal was to write faster with the fewer number of strokes: be more efficient. For that purpose, I not only memorized brief forms, but also incorporated other tools, such as shortcuts, phrases, and additional prefixes and suffixes. There are plenty of those tools available for the taking.

  5. I haven't adopted any thing from any other system or modified any of the Gregg alphabet symbols.  Gregg has pretty much got it all.  Like, Chuck, my focus has been working with outlines of simple construction, more advanced phrasing, and useful shortcuts for the words I use a lot.  I'm a legal secretary so my vocabulary is legal and technology related.  The reporting shortcuts are great for that kind of stuff.

  6. This is an old thread, but being new to the site, I'm reading everything from beginning to end, so . . .

    Years ago I taught myself DJS and Forkner. I'd mix and match as I went. For simple words I knew the outlines for I'd use Gregg, for harder words I'd use Forkner, and if I couldn't instantly think of one or the other, I'd use illegible, hastily-written longhand.

    To this day, I still write "with" using hospitalize: that is, a small letter c with a straight line across the top. And "without" using an s with a line on top. No matter how proficient I eventually become at Anniversary (which I'm just beginning), I'll never give up these two symbols.

    1. Actually, those abbreviations come from Latin, "cum" for "with" and "sine" for "without", and they have been used from time immemorial, way before Pitman. They have also been used in medicine since ancient times. (For example, in prescription writing, abbreviated latin was used so that laymen wouldn't understand what the doctor was prescribing.)

    2. Sorry to take a bit of space just for this, but as a writer it pains me that in my comment above I wrote hospitalize when I meant hospitalese. (An outline for hospitalese would befuddle a shorthand reader, wouldn't it.)

      Also, I knew those symbols stood for cum and sine, but forgot I knew until you said it, Carlos. Thanks for the memory jog.

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