Gregg Medical Shorthand Manual and Dictionary (1953)

I recently obtained this edition being an obsessive completist and find it a very worthy addition to the Gregg  books. It’s the Simplified edition of Effie B. Smithers’ 1927 Gregg Medical Shorthand Manual which is a wonderful book and has been in my library for several years along with the 1939 The Medical Stenographer.

Charles Rader wrote the shorthand for the 1953 and 1939 books, Winifred Kenna Richmond for the 1927. The more I see of Rader’s shorthand plates, the more i’m impressed by the quality of his shorthand … so easy to read.
If anyone were seriously interested in becoming a medical stenographer, I would think the 1927 and 1939 books used together would be perfect training material. However, anyone wanting to improve medical vocabulary would find the 1953 text immensely useful.
it’s most impressive to see the care and preparation that the Gregg staff utilized in preparation of the medical texts. How sad there are few folk left to appreciate their fine work.

(by Philip for


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7 comments Add yours
  1. It follows the same pattern as the 1927 version without some of the introductory paragraphs to each section. Because of that, I suspect there was a teacher's handbook with more detailed instructions on how to present the material. However as a reference for stenographers who have to deal with medical terms, it's first-class. Although "Simplified" does not appear on the title page or in the intro, the outlines include many R's which I would omit: example: N-O-R-M-L for "normal". I saw the book on eBay and couldn't resist. It was not expensive and it's in excellent shape.
    I should add by saying "completist" I'm referring to Pre-Anniversary, Anniversary, and only a few "advanced" Simplified texts. Although I have the 4 secondary school volumes of DJS as well as the "expert" book, I'm simply not interested in DJS or the subsequent revisions. Like many members of this group, I really believe the Anniversary version rules, particularly with the "advanced" and "expert" books.
    But for anyone versed in Simplified, this 1953 volume would be perfect for vocabulary building.

  2. Not according to the Anniversary Dictionary. "Nominal" is written N-O-MEN-L. "Paranormal" is disjoined P over N-O-M-L. For my limited needs Smithers' 1927 edition is fine.
    Thread drift: I was reading an article about Thomas Alva Edison in the February 1947 Gregg Writer which IMHO emphasized why READING shorthand is so important, I read "significant" from the outline with no hesitation without even thinking because it was the one word which fit the context. It was written S-G. Upon rereading the article I made myself go to the Anniversary Dictionary to receive immediate confirmation. As many years as I've worked with Gregg, I find reading from a book or magazine for only a few minutes a day reinforces brief forms and all the theory.

  3. My point, I guess, was that in order to distinguish "normal" from "nominal," a different outline is required. I know the dictionary and the texts drop the R but, in use, there are many sentences in which it could be either word, as in: "The normal/nominal change is to replace the committee with one member who has the authority to make the necessary decisions quickly."

  4. In actual practice I'd use the dictionary outline. Taking verbatim dictation you should write "nominal" the correct way using the elongated MEN stroke … although as was clear from the notes by the author of Raintree County one's outlines can diverge from theory as years pass. And to my eyes N-O-MEN-L is clearly "nominal". Is F-E-S-D-A "first day", 'feast day" or "fist day"? LOL

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