One more tired question about the different additions

OK, i would love to hear your guess as to how much longer it would take in terms of months to learn Anniversary than to learn Simplified if the student were to put in one hour a day?  Is the learning curve crossed by the time the student gets to the end of the first manual?

(by Ryan for
group greggshorthand)


Previous post:
Next post:
20 comments Add yours
  1. Do you mean "additions" or "editions"? I'm sure Carlos can answer your query more effectively than I. Were you willing to spend a daily hour and a half, the equivalent of a high school course plus daily homework, I'd guess one and a half semesters for Anniversary and probably one and a quarter semesters for Simplified. Various issues of The Gregg Writer contain detailed lesson plans for Anniversary and I believe the Teachers Manuals for a few Simplified books give guidance on how much work to accomplish daily. Whichever edition you chose, and I'm sure Carlos will confirm, it is very important to thoroughly master a unit or chapter BEFORE moving on to the next. And read, read, read. Reading is vital to cement proper outline formation in your pen hand as well as brain. Good luck.

  2. I learned Simplified over 40 years ago and have recently converted to Anniversary because in many cases its short outlines for frequently-used words are far easier to write than Simplified's longer outlines. Simplified improved upon Anniversary in a few points–notably in the introduction of the r-d blend and in its consistent treatment of "ort" and "ult." I believe that an edition combining features of both would be ideal; but, in balance, I would advise a beginner to learn Anniversary. The little extra time it would take to master Anniversary theory would be time well spent.

  3. Both series should take more or less the same time because the number of lessons in both Anniversary and Simplified (if using the functional method manuals) is roughly the same. However, the content in Anniversary is a little more "concentrated", so to speak. So it requires a little more study than Simplified.

  4. If you learn pre-Anniversary 1916 Shorthand, it will take a lot longer than Anniversary or Simplified to master, due to the excessive amount of shortcuts, prefixes, suffixes, and word signs (brief forms) that were added in 1916.

  5. I beg to differ.

    Pre-anniversary shouldn't take a lot longer to master than Anniversary. The original question was whether it took longer to learn: it never did when it was being taught in schools (book was taught in a semester course, 5 days a week). In fact, the number of lessons is greater in Anniversary! But since the content between the two series is very similar (with the number of brief forms being comparable in both series), and the differences between them are minimal, it shouldn't take longer to learn the additional stuff. In fact, I write a mixture of both, and it didn't take me a lot longer to learn the additional speed expedients. Also, since shortcuts are designed to be used with any system, once you know the abbreviating principle, it should be second nature to learn those. Both series require constant practice to master, and perhaps anniversary and pre-anniversary would require longer to master than other series. But mastering shorthand takes time in any series!

  6. Thank you for your replies. I have both Simplified and Anniversary manuals and about a week ago I began (again) to study. I am now working through the Anniversary Functional Method and am very glad to be doing so.

  7. People do learn differently, but from my point of view, it would take longer to master pre-Anniversary 1916 Shorthand than Anniversary Shorthand. Even if they push you through the lessons for both systems at the same rate, Pre-Anniversary has many more prefixes, suffixes, word signs, and shortcuts that were added for that system and dropped for Anniversary Shorthand. The 1916 system would be harder to retain if not used consistently. You would start to forget all of the word signs, prefixes, suffixes, and shortcuts.

    I started learning Diamond Jubilee in 1976 and took several courses. I was a secretary until 1990, but didn't use the shorthand that often. By the 80's, the dictaphone had replaced giving dictation in the offices where I worked.

    About 8 years ago, I learned Anniversary shorthand as I started to collect the Gregg Novels. A year ago, I learned 1916 Pre-Anniversary Shorthand so that I could read pre-Anniversary books. I found it a lot more difficult to learn and retain than Anniversary. I learned both of these system through textbooks.

    I find it interesting that I can read 1902 pre-Anniversary Shorthand and Simplified Shorthand, even though I never studied those systems. I have never tried to read Series 90, or later versions.

    I showed Anniversary shorthand to a friend who took Simplified in the 40's and worked as a secretary. She could read most of what I showed her without difficulty.

  8. I agree with you — people learn differently. In my case, I supplemented my instruction with the Pre-anniversary manual, so in fact I was learning both and comparing the principles in both systems while learning. So it became second nature to read both without difficulty.

    This reminds me that I should include more pre-anniversary material in the reading selections.

    A while back I compiled a list of differences between Pre-anniversary and Anniversary. The post is here. Also, at one point, I counted the number of words considered as brief forms in all series. The total number of words was 531, that is, 531 distinct words were considered brief forms in all series combined at one point or another. The breakdown for each series is: Pre-anniversary with 352 words, Anniversary with 440, Simplified with 227, DJS with 147, S90 with 131, Centennial with 160, and Notehand with 47. This is not counting the special forms, the extra words at the end of the Pre-anniversary and Anniversary manuals, which were 215 for Pre-anniversary, and 150 for Anniversary. The additional special forms in Pre-anniversary were not all gone in Anniversary: the majority were either reassigned as brief forms, or studied under the abbreviating principle in Anniversary. If anyone is interested, I can provide the spreadsheet that I created comparing the brief forms between the series.

    If someone wants a challenge, read the phrase letters in the 1907 edition of the Gregg Speed Practice book. The book is on Google Books, and the letters are on pages 35-49. I know that Philip (piqueroi) had fun doing that!

  9. Sure. Count the number of distinct words that are brief forms (not the number of outlines). If two words have the same outline, count them twice. Do that for each series.

  10. On a related note: When I met Louis Leslie, he told me that Simplified writers, when speed building begins, make larger jumps in speed which had not been seen with Anniversary and Pre-Anniversary; however, those jumps level off at a lesser rate. (I am an Anniversary with much pre-Anniversary thrown in.)

    But he also said that once speed was starting to blossom for the Anniversary and pre-Anniversary writers, their speeds zoom up and go much higher but only after considerable work. I likened it to getting the writing ability well greased first. In reality, I think it means knowing theory exceedingly well.

    Not sure what that's worth but I know he was referencing memory load and its effect on speed. Thought it might be useful to know. . . .

  11. pablo4theater wrote: "I showed Anniversary shorthand to a friend who took Simplified in the 40's and worked as a secretary. She could read most of what I showed her without difficulty." Simplified was only published in 1949. Are you sure that your friend did not study Anniversary? If she learned shorthand in the 1940s, she probably did.

  12. Perhaps Simplified is easier to write fast from the start because there is no variance in forms. If people don't second-guess their outlines, they will generally write faster. Kinda like how Esperanto is so easy because it lacks irregularities (so the form you come up with first is generally going to be right). But this can be accomplished with a more complex theory with just more time. Leslie's point makes sense to me.

  13. Thanks for all of your responses. I have a quick question. Does a document exist with a synopsis of all the rules for anniversary? I have seen the one on Andrew's site from the speed building for college front and back covers, but am wondering if there is one that is a bit more complete yet less so than the manual?

  14. Carlos, do you still have the synopsis of the rules of Anniversary?  I can't find it here.

    If so, could you please post it again?

    Thanks very much.  🙂

Leave a Reply