1916 Reporting shortcut brief forms

Hey, I’m looking at the 1916 Reporting shortcuts manual that has been made available recently. I’m wondering if the 4 pages of extra word signs (brief forms) are worth learning if you have high aims for legibility as well. They are definetly very brief, but I have so far decided to stick with the phrasing shortcuts and avoid the word signs.

Has anyone had experience with these extra brief forms?

(by Michael
for everyone)


8 comments Add yours
  1. I don't have a copy of the 1916 Reporting shortcuts but I do have the 1922 Gregg Reporting Shortcuts in which Special Word Forms starts on Pages 83 through 85. I'd think if you're not going for verbatim court reporting, your practice time would be better utilized by memorizing the 100 Speed Shortcuts which are spoon-fed to you in the 1945 Expert Shorthand Speed Course, lesson by lesson. Interestingly Swem's 1936 Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course has detailed lectures and practice in each unit, concentrating on review of the phrases in Gregg Reporting Shortcuts as well as more special forms. I just got the Swem book and am halfway through Unit 1. Swem's lectures and speed pointers are terrific. I'm sure this book represents the content of the reporting classes the Gregg organization held for several decades.
    Since Expert Shorthand Speed Course introduces only 4 or 5 Special Forms per lesson, and by the time you've read the shorthand and taken the dictation material you'll have memorized each shortcut.
    The phrases in the 1922 Gregg Reporting Shortcuts are well worth study as there are many you could find general use for as well as in the courtroom. Of course, you don't want to try to learn too much quickly as nothing causes decrease in speed more than faltering on half-remembered outlines.
    Also, Swem stresses that you must constantly review — brief forms and theory. He advises you to take the Manual and look at it as though you'd never learned Gregg and practice reading and WRITING every word on every page anew as well as reviewing the original brief form chart so that you may immediately read them in any order — from beginning to end, end to beginning, or columns up and down — and take them at random instantly from dictation.
    The Special Forms in Expert Shorthand Speed Course are fairly easy to remember but you must consider that the outline should form immediately when you HEAR the word. For that reason, it's recommended that when practicing special forms and phrases you say the word or phrase aloud every time you write the outline.
    To keep all the "new" material fresh in your mind, all "expert" writers like Swem, Dupraw and Zoubek recommend DAILY study and practice. If you can devote 30 to 60 minutes a day, you'll find yourself zipping through the memorization … and two separate 15 minutes daily or three 20-minute sessions would be fine. After all you have a life to live and are unlikely to make your living as a pen court reporter. But if you treat Gregg as fun rather than drudgery, you'll have no problem learning new shortcut "tricks".
    I should add that generally the Swem book restores all the shortcuts which were eliminated in the Anniversary Manual. I've not been peeking ahead, I'm actually tackling it as though I were in a classroom. However, I did quite some time ago adopt the TR+vowel prefix and the "ing" dot as described in the 1916 Manual. For practice I keep a short daily journal and should anyone attempt to transcribe it after I go to my "great reward" which I hope unlike my 401k was not dependent on the stock market, they'll need to know a lot of shortcuts!

  2. Yeah its the 1922 Reporting Shortcuts, I just mixed up the date. Unfortunately the '45 expert shorthand course is rare and expensive on ebay, abebooks, amazon. At the moment, there's none so unless Andrew Owen is willing to push his luck a little further and scan it into his site as well, I'm stuck with the 1922.

    The phrasing rules are comprehensive in the 1922, and in combination with the -ing principle, I think when memorized, they will really put the SHORT into SHORTHAND. I don't have any qualms about memorizing. As a university student, there is ample opportunity to learn shorthand.

    I'm also on holidays for another month and a half so if I go at it hard, hopefully the assimilation of all the new rules won't take too long for me to get used to.

    Phrasing is one of the biggest expedients in shorthand, and I believe costs nothing in legibility because usually a phrase has only one variation, whereas a heavily shortcutted word (eg. against) which in 1922 is suggested a-g has the variations of: ago, I go, against.

    I though, will venture to make the assumption though that the 45 version doesn't have the -tr principle. The reason being is because it affects such a wide range of words which have already been different rules in anniversary, eg. material, literary, cultural, and it would cause too much confusion to alter such a big part of your vocabulary. We've all heard the stories on this site of writers who might've learned DJS or Simplified and then gone to Anniversary, often reverting back to their mother system shortcuts under pressure of speed.

  3. When it''s not listed on eBay, the 1945 Expert book seems impossible to obtain. But if you check daily, you're liable to be pleasantly surprised as I was a couple of years ago. This book would be ideal for you if you have the time to actually work with it as each lesson spoon feeds a small amount of "special forms", "new" phrasing, and variants of the preceding accompanied by a vast amount of reading and writing material IN shorthand. Anyone who works his/her way dutifully through the material IN SEQUENCE (no fair jumping around) will find the shortcuts absorbed painlessly. When the book comes up, and it will, it usually is offered at a reasonable price.

    It is the 1936 Swem book which is rare and often is listed at an insanely expensive price. Thanks to a notation on this forum that it was on eBay again a month ago, I obtained the volume at a price which was more than I would have liked to pay but still reasonable compared to other asking prices I've seen for Mr. Swem's collected lectures and practice material. If you keep searching daily — eBay, ABEbooks, or other sources you're bound to come across an affordable copy. Took me two years and once I received the book and examined it I could almost kick myself for not paying more a couple of years ago to add the volume to my library.

    If accurate verbatim reporting is your goal, the specialized phrasing with modification and omission of words is really the key to attaining great speed. If you can face the memory load of Anniversary and Pre-Anniversary without shrieking as you flee from the room, you'll find the shortcuts are really cool. However, as I cautioned, if you're not going to use those phrases ever, it may not be in your best interest to attempt to memorize them. Sure, try them out, but only retain the ones you're likely to be using. Best of luck. With the attention and interest you profess, I'm sure you could crack the 200 wpm barrier in a few months.

    A last word of advice gleaned from the "expert" books and the Gregg Writer … repetitive practice reading and WRITING will increase the legibility of your outlines. When you write shorthand, your goal should be to make your notes legible enough so that another writer could pick them up and transcribe them. That of course is why Mr. Swem advised to always take a few moments daily to accomplish a COMPLETE review of the Manual and another bit of time to READ well written shorthand. You'll find the legibility of your notes, even at high speed, will increase markedly.

  4. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I've adopted many of the forms in the special vocabulary — typically simplified forms for common words. I just got a copy of the 1945 Edition of the Expert Shorthand Speed Course. It was VERY hard to find. However, if you can find the Simplified version, there seem to be a lot of them, or even the DJS Expert Speed Building book, that has just about the same collection of frequently used short cuts.

    The phrasing in the testimony portion is really terrific, if you're going to do verbatim reporting. If you aren't going to do multi-voice, that would be a huge addition to your memory load. There are a lot of good and useful phrase families that can be used across disciplines. The As-As, "and" omitted, etc., types of phrases learned as a family will be easier to make automatic. Don't try to learn too many at a time and review them often and you should be in pretty good shape.

  5. Yeah in the last 2 weeks while practising from the reporting phrases, I am getting a sense of what I can actually take away and its less than half I think. Stuff like the as-as and 'find' being represented as 'f' is good, but it is really geared towards questions and answers, and I haven't got too much need for that.

    I don't think I'll revert fully to anniversary, nor will I go fully to court reporting, but I reckon once the less-used phrases get forgotten, what I'll have left is anniversary with a few extra phrasing principles that I would regularly apply.

  6. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Everything in the Reporting Shortcuts is not for everybody. Using "f" for "fact" in phrases (and using "f" for "floor" in other phrases) are good phrasing principles for general use. The "and omitted" and the like are also good. I work in the legal field so I tend to use a few more of the short cuts. You will find that you end up with a hybrid shorthand. My base is Anniversary, but I've picked up principles from the 1916 manual and the Gregg Shorthand Reporting Course.

  7. And here I find myself reverted back completely to anniversary. Maybe its because I've spent so much time learning it that I'm most comfortable with it, or maybe all the reading material I have is in anniversary, but none of the reporting shortcuts stuck to me.
    I feel for people who might've changed to an earlier system but have issues because their original system was so ingrained.

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