Gregg Biography by Leslie Cowan

I stumbled upon the Gregg biography in my library catalog and checked it out over the weekend.  It was a terrific read.  I would recommend it anyone interested in Gregg shorthand.

There were a few things that stood out to me while reading. 

One was the remarkable nature of John Robert Gregg.  It is amazing to me that a phonetic alphabet could be invented by a young man who struggled to (and ultimately did not) complete primary education because of a severe hearing disability.  Really incredible!

Two, I was gratified to see that my learning of shorthand just because it intrigues me is not so strange.  That was why JRG learned the versions of shorthand (yes! plural) he did and the reason he created a superior system.

Three, I am chagrined to see the timeframes that were considered to be normal for learning shorthand.  Four to six weeks of night school was the standard initial tuition.  Yikes!!   Just goes to show how soft I have become with my computer doing a lot of my thinking.  Heh!

The early story of JRG is at once painful and encouraging.  What a personality to look at the odds and push on anyway.  Not only once but numerouse times over a couple decades.  His persaverence and dedication give me pause and hold out a “gold standard” for me.  One thing it did immediately was give me a push to continue to learn shorthand.

Has anyone contemplated taking excerpts of this book and transcribing them to shorthand?  This is some great reading material.  I’d read it again in shorthand.

All the best,
Matthew

(by Matthew for everyone)

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