New Member Intro/Looking for Suggestions

Gregg enthusiasts,

I just found this forum, or is it a blog system being used as a forum?  I thought I’d post an intro and ask for some suggestions. 

I’m Kevin.  I started exploring the shorthand world while searching for something to help with taking more complete minutes at monthly meetings.  I quickly became fascinated, and a little bewildered, by all the possibilities.  Since Gregg is the most popular system in the US I started there.  I read somewhere, but can’t remember where, that Gregg shorthand is meant to be transcribed shortly after the dictation is taken.  Is that true?  I’d prefer a system that can be read accurately long after the dictation is taken.  I spent some time checking out other systems such as Pitman’s, Teeline, and Thomas Natural.  I like some of the concepts of Pitman’s. For example, on page:

part way down it shows the outline for dreading and says:

It says “dreading”. Not “dr/g” or some dumb abbreviation like that, but “dreading”, clear as day.

While I like some of Pitman’s concepts  I’m not crazy about trying to write Pitman’s, especially with modern writing implements.  I have a small collection of fountain pens but none have a flexible enough nib for Pitman’s. 

I’ve now come back for another look at Gregg shorthand.  I’m having trouble choosing a version to try.  I think I’m leaning towards Anniversary.  I just discovered the functional method books a few days ago and have book one of the 1936 edition on it’s way to me.  If I decide to stick with Anniversary, does anyone have any other book suggestions?  Or, would it be better to go with another version.  I’ve already collected a few Simplified and DJS books.

Also, does anyone know of any active Gregg mailing lists?  I prefer mailing lists to online forums.

(by Kevin for group greggshorthand)

10 comments Add yours
  1. I agree with mcbud that it is all a personal preference. I have used Diamond Jubilee since high school – telling my age here. As far as being slower than Anni or older systems I still take offense at that – I feel I can take dictation as quickly as needed and that's what counts. If you get up-to-speed it really doesn't matter which version you use. Whichever feels best to you. I have books in Anni and before, Series 90 (ha ha – sorry, you'd have to know the joke), etc. but since I learned DJS I stick to it since it's the version I'm most comfortable with. I also have some books in Simplified and Anni – not textbooks but short stories, fables, and the like. Once you learn shorthand, regardless of the version, you can work your way through whatever you're reading. Sometimes you may have to sound it out, but it will come. Too many people are getting hung up on what version they learn and it doesn't need to be that way. Pick one, go with it and study hard.

    I also agree with mcbud regarding transcibing. Your penmanship is the key here. As long as you can read your own writing you can read the shorthand. I have letters/notes/etc that I wrote way back in the 70s and I can still read them today. Again mcbud is right in saying that while you learn, learn to write correctly so you can read what you've written and won't have to sit and wonder it that's a d, f, or what.

    Enjoy your adventure and welcome.

  2. I agree with all the above. Just wanted to weigh in, as an Anni writer, with the suggestion that — should you decide to go the Anni route (personally, I think it's a fantastic system, but I'm not familiar with post-Anni versions of Gregg Shorthand) — then I'd also recommend that you eventually pick up a copy of the pre-Anni manual (available, like all the other GS standards, on Ebay and Amazon). There are a lot of terrific phrasing principles in Pre-Anni that were eliminated in later versions. True, they raise the memorization load, but once memorized give one's writing a lot of added flexibility.

    Good luck!

  3. It's okay Chuck. I was just venting. I really think I am in need of a vacation away from everybody and everything – for at least three months. Since that won't happen, guess I'll just grab another Dr. Pepper…I do need to write some people though. One thing Kevin, that saying "if you don't use it you'll lose it" is very true with shorthand. So be ready for lots and lots of practice, get some pen pals and keep writing.

  4. Welcome to the group! Indeed, this is a blog system used as a forum: that's the "Mutliply-way." The links on the right may help you decide which version is good for you, as it is a matter of personal taste and what is your goal. In short, the earlier series (Anniversary and before) are the most abbreviated, and as such, require more study, but the speed capabilities are higher than later series (DJS, S90, Centennial). In the latter, abbreviations are reduced, many more words are spelled out, but learning is easier (because not much is needed to memorize). As a consequence, the writing will be slower. A good compromise is Simplified Gregg, which retains some abbreviations, but simplifies the writing of lots of words.

    With respect to transcribing, if your penmanship is good, you shouldn't have any problems reading your own writing. I don't have a problem reading stuff that I wrote long time ago. Transcribing right after dictation helps because everything is fresh, but it is not a requirement. The trick in Gregg is keeping proportions, since that is the base of the system. Given that there are no light vs shaded strokes, Gregg requires that your proportions are maintained for successful transcription. Hence your penmanship becomes very important.

    I'm not aware of other Gregg mailing lists. You may post questions here and someone will answer.

  5. Welcome Kevin,

    I see this as a forum. But I guess it's probably more complex than that.

    I enjoyed the Pitman link. Thanks. That's a very nicely done site. Given the amount of research and exploring you've done already I think you'll enjoy the adventure of spending time learning a shorthand system. Anniversary is great, with a little more investment required, though I will always have a soft spot for Simplified. To really get going, I recommend purchasing:

    1) the Anniversary Manual
    2) a Dictionary
    3) both volumes of the Functional Method

    Then Download:

    1) the reverse dictionary text file (see downloads section on this site).
    2) the Fables pdf file from for the penmanship exercises in the back.

    I recommend starting by scanning the manual to get an overview of the system. Then patiently and religiously work your way through the Functional Manual. Supplement all this reading with the penmanship exercises so that by the time the writing exercises come up you will be comfortable with the general flow. Once done with that, the sky's the limit; there are lots of speedbuilding suggestions around here for putting together a plan together to get _Really_ good. Since I'm not there yet, I won't comment on the best process there. Of course everyone's learning style is different, this is just my favorite approach.

  6. Thanks cj. I didn't mean to offend when I said that the later series are slower. I was just trying to make a general comparison, explaining a trend on speeds. An individual's mileage may vary! As a matter of fact, I know people writing DJS at 175 wpm — their word carrying ability is incredible. And I also know people that cannot write past 80 wpm in Anniversary. It all depends on how much time the person dedicates to study.

  7. Anniversary is the version I'd recommend simply because of the many inexpensive books from that era to provide additional reading and practice material. Best of luck, whichever version of Gregg you choose!

    Incidentally, I have a few notebooks that are 40 years old and have little or no trouble reading from those notes which were taken at business meetings long ago. If you're reasonably familiar with the material which was being discussed it's not difficult to read old notes.

    Also if you select Anniversary, you may enjoy reading both Alice in Wonderland and The Sign of the Four, which were published in Gregg editions, after you've completed the introductory texts and are comfortable with the theory of the system.

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