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  1. Im on the simplified system as well, I have the 2nd Edition Manual, and I have been looking at other materials to buy; I have the dictionary as well.

    I am wondering what the college volumes are all about, as well if the dictionary and manual are the only two I really need?

    I mean are the rest of the books just for pleasure or would they really make a difference in speed or practicallity?

    Also, how long does it usually take to become proficent in this system? How often does everyone practice?

  2. McGraw-Hill published two sets of books: one for high school and another for college. Although the lessons of the Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified Edition and the Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges Vol. 1 are the same, the material may be slightly different. The material in the other books is different.

    For high schools, the following were published:
    1. Gregg Shorthand Simplified 1st & 2nd Ed
    2. Gregg Shorthand Simplified Functional Method 1st & 2nd Ed
    3. Gregg Dictation Simplified 1st & 2nd Ed
    4. Gregg Speed Building Simplified 1st & 2nd Ed
    5. Gregg Transcription Simplified 1st & 2nd Ed

    For Colleges:
    1. Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges Vol. 1 – 1st & 2d Ed
    2. Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges Vol. 2 – 1st & 2d Ed
    3. Gregg Speed Building for Colleges Simplified Edition – 1st & 2d Ed

    Additional Books:
    1. Gregg Advanced Dictation Simplified
    2. Expert Shorthand Speed Course Simplified

    Vol 2 of the College book corresponds to the high school dictation & transcription books. As far as I know, a specific College Simplified transcription book was never published.

    The course of study of Gregg Shorthand depends on what your goals are. It is expected that after you finish the first manual, you should be able to write comfortably at least at 60 wpm. If you want to improve your speed, you will need to (1) increase your vocabulary, (2) reinforce word building principles, and (3) take dictation constantly at forced speeds. The speed building books should help you with those goals. I recommend the college version of the speed building book, because the selection of material and lessons are much more comprehensive. In addition, I recommend Shorthand Dictation Studies Simplified Edition, by Wallace Bowman, for additional vocabulary.

    Once you achieve a speed of at least 100 wpm, and finish the Shorthand Dictation Studies book, you can add the Advanced Dictation Simplified book, which will give you additional vocabulary practice not related to business.

    Most shorthand students should derive good benefit from the thorough studies of those books. It is expected that with constant practice, you should be able to achieve speeds of up to 140-150 wpm after finishing the speed building and advanced dictation books. For speeds beyond, the Expert Shorthand book should be helpful, as it introduces high speed shortcuts and gives additional high speed practice.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that there are two supplementary books that are very good for introductory shorthand. The first one is the Most Used Shorthand Words and Phrases Simplified, which is correlated with the lessons of the manual, and presents additional words using the principles presented in the manual. The other book is Graded Drills in Gregg Shorthand Simplified, by A. E. Klein, which provides additional reading practice correlated with the Simplified manual.

    Since introductory shorthand classes used to be taught five times a week, I would expect that a student will practice initially at least one hour daily. After your initial shorthand course, and depending on your goals (especially with speed building), you may decide to increase the time, but reduce the number of days. It all depends on what your goals are. If you want to become a verbatim reporter, the time dedicated to study should increase considerably.

  3. I have appreciated this chart and have read over it several times. As i am completing the first manual, Gregg Simplified Functional Method 2nd Ed, I am looking at the next step. I am currently on lesson 62 and am able to take dictation at 60 wpm on practiced material.

    I have Dictation Simplified 2nd Ed, Gregg Speed Building for Colleges Simplified 2nd Ed, and Shorthand Dictation Studies Simplified by Bowman. What makes this confusing is the difference in versions. I don't have Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges either volume. According to what you have written here, the normal course of action after the first volume would be to move to the Dictation Simplified volume (since i don't have the College volume 2), is this correct? It appears that your advice is to move from the beginning manual to the speed building books. My inclination is to begin with the Dictation simplified book and then to the Speed Building for Colleges afterward. Do you agree? If so where do you see me using the Bowman book?

    I know i may be over thinking this but i feel that without a clear path it will be too easy to meander and never build up to the speed i would like to reach.

  4. Yes, that would be correct. You go from the first book to the dictation book (or college book #2) or the speed building book — or wait to take the speed building book after you go through the dictation book. In any case, you should also take Bowman's book at the same time, as it will supplement either dictation or speed building book.

  5. I've only just joined this group. Forgive me if this is covered elsewhere and I haven't come across it yet:

    Are there any here who are Gregg bilingual? I mean who are comfortable writing, say, Anni and Simplified? Or does it get too confusing trying to use more than one version?

    I am a Simplified kind of guy, but wish I could read novels, etc in Anniversary. Anni, however, taxes my brain. Wondering if I want to exert the effort to get comfortable with it.

    1. Actually, this is a good question. You can write predominantly in one series and read any other series. That is completely doable. However, to do that fluently and without effort, you need to study the series you want to be able to read as if you were studying shorthand for the first time, because you need to know the rules, brief forms, and phrase expedients that are particular to that series.

      The advantage of knowing Simplified is that the learning curve to Anniversary is really not that steep. But reading an Anniversary text with just a knowledge of Simplified can be daunting depending on the material — I believe that is what is happening to you. The Anniversary material in the reading selections assume a basic knowledge of Anniversary, and just jumping to the Anniversary reading selections posted here can be frustrating! Some of those selections also have very challenging vocabulary! If you want to be able to read those selections, my recommendation would be to take the two-volume Functional Method Anniversary book set, and start from there. If you do that, your Anniversary reading ability will be developed gradually. More than likely, you will be breezing through the first assignments because you already know shorthand, and that would encourage you to keep at it. The two volume set has some very nice reading selections that cover many topics, not just business dictation as the Simplified manual. Another source of Anniversary reading material is the third edition of Gregg Speed Studies, but that book assumes that you know the Anniversary rules.

      Let me know if this helps.

    2. Also, Anni has concepts that don't appear in Simplified, such as reverse-R. (Remember wondering why the loop in "may" has to be in the right direction? That's the answer. Writing it in the wrong direction gives "mare".)

      Once (if?) I finish Simplified at an acceptable speed, Anni is next on my list. Every so often I cringe at writing out something in Simplified when I know (from two months study) that Anni does it faster, and they have better reading material.

    3. I know I still have a long ways still to go with learning Simplified theory but even very basic beginning Anniversary text I still find quite difficult to read. Maybe it's just me LOL.

      P.S. But Marc's been doing a darn good job at deciphering my aweful Simplified writing even tho he's an Anniversary pro. He laughs at how long some of my outlines are (ie. manufacturers) hahaha.

    4. Paul, Anni uses some principles and outlines that aren't in Simplified, such as the reverse-R. It's not just leaving out more letters and memorizing more brief forms. Not a lot more, but enough that I'd be surprised if you could read Anni without reading the text book. Anni readers can decipher Simplified one letter at a time. It doesn't work the other way around.

  6. I have a sad confession to make. My self-taught Gregg, I now realize, is probably not Simplified, but Diamond Jubilee. I learned it years ago from a book I had picked up in a thrift shop.

    I used smatterings of it (and Forkner, also self-taught) when I worked as a newspaper reporter.

    I decided recently to get serious and really and truly learn Gregg, which is what led me to this blog.

    After looking things over, I believe what I learned was DJ. (Look at me using Anni and DJ, like I'd known these abbreviations all along.)
    Anyway, I think I'm going to go whole hog and learn Anniversary, since there are PDFs of the books on line.

    By the way, the only other group I'm a member of is an AlphaSmart users group. AlphaSmarts (I use a model called the Neo) are battery-operated word processors that are the absolute cat's meow.

    For me when it comes to writing, the only thing nicer than a Neo is a steno pad. No batteries required.

    1. Get the two-part "Gregg Shorthand Functional Method" set by Louis Leslie. Those are the best books to learn Anniversary from. The online stuff is good for referencing, but learning from the regular manual can be discouraging. The functional method books are available for cheap on eBay and Abebooks. Click here for current eBay listings.

  7. Carlos, I tried to take your advice. Through my local bookstore, I ordered Book One of the 1936 Functional Method. When it came, the seller had sent the Simplified Functional Method instead.

    I was anxious to get started, so rather than go through the hassle and delay of returning the book, I kept it and dived right in. I feel a little like a wimp not learning Anniversary, but Simplified, no doubt, will do me well.

    I'm enjoying the functional method a lot.

    1. Keeping the book and studying it would be a good thing for you. I have a feeling that you will be breezing through Simplified, so this intermediate jump may be a smart thing to do, because you will be learning a lot of the principles and brief forms from Anniversary that were kept in Simplified. Later on, if you want to jump into Anniversary, it wouldn't be that difficult.

  8. I can't access the pdf file at the beginning of this message. It says that I need permission.

    How do I get that? And are there other documents on this site?

    Susan B.

  9. Looking on eBay and at the used books at Amazon, I see various dates for the 2 volume Gregg Shorthand Functional Method (the dark cover with red lettering). Some say 1936, 1942, 1943, 1946 and 1947… with 1936 and 1947 being most common.

    Are they all the same? and just different reprint dates? Or would I need to buy a Vol 1 and a Vol 2 of the same date?


  10. I don't know if it is cool for me to post to an old thread. In some Internet forums, they don't like it.

    So I've been wondering about the different pre-Anniversary editions. My friend and I have been working with 1916 5th Edition, but I've been wondering about the earlier pre-Anniversary editions, especially 1903 because I've been looking at some pre-1916 supporting material that I'm not yet using, but might be interesting to use at some point in the future. Since these things were published before 1916, they obviously depended on 1903.

    Some of these were mentioned in Carlos' 2008 post on "Gregg Shorthand Book Covers". Just one example of this would be Walter Rasmussen's "Graded Dictation" of 1909. I don't need these yet as I have more than enough material to study for now, but I am curious about some of these for the future. About half the books under the Pre-Anniversary category on Carlos' book covers list were pre-1916.

    1. You can comment on any post you wish.

      I have on my plate to write a post about the differences in all of these "pre-anniversary" editions, but let me give you a small summary. The principles in the 1898 and the 1901/1903 manuals are pretty much similar. During that time, the use of Gregg Shorthand was just beginning, and slowly schools started to teach Gregg. Reporters were also trying Gregg Shorthand and some of them became fervent adopters of the system. As more reporters became Gregg writers, they wanted additional expedients to match what Pitman and other shorthand systems already provided, so these new innovations were added to the 1903 manual starting around 1906 — they would appear in The Gregg Writer first, as an article or announcement by Dr. Gregg. As new printed copies of the 1901/1903 manual would come available, the manual would also be updated. Hence, the culmination of all of these changes to accommodate the demands of high speed reporting is the 1916 New and Revised Edition. So if you have a 1901/1903 manual, you have to check the publication year, because some of the principles may different from the first publication of that manual. This means that a 1901/1903 manual that was published say in 1915 would be very close to the 1916 New and Revised Edition in terms of how the outlines would be written and the rules.

      With respect to anything published before 1916, remember that it was not until the appearance of the Anniversary series that Gregg Shorthand versions had a name (before that, you just wrote Gregg, the difference would be in the manual you learned from). Further, other than the manuals and other miscellaneous books (such as Gregg Speed Studies and Graded Readings), most of the "pre-anniversary" books were written in print, other than vocabulary lists at the end of the books (or in the margins) with shorthand outlines (in particular, all of the dictation books were written in print). Because of those two reasons, you can technically use any of those other books in virtually any series, so a further classification of whether the book aligns with the 1898 or the 1901/1903, or the 1916 manual is for the most part moot and not necessary (in fact, I have selections from those "before 1916" books and transcribed them in other Gregg series).

      1. Thanks Carlos. Your very detailed response to my question was helpful. I do take your point about the question actually being moot though!

        As mentioned, I won't be starting on these other materials for quite awhile. I need to get the basics down with the manual.

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