A Message for New Members

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If you have joined the group recently, please introduce yourself so that we know who you are and why are you interested in Gregg Shorthand. I have received many requests for joining in the last month or so, and although I have approved them, unfortunately I have seen very few new members participating in the discussion, or lurking in the posts. Be aware that inactivity in the group for a year (which means to have not even read a message) will get you dropped from the members list. Of course, you can always rejoin. Feel free to roam around.

Note: Starting September 2012, we moved from Multiply to the Blogger platform. As a consequence, only people that have registered with me through Multiply as explained in this post, or that have sent me a request to join by clicking on the “About, Contact” option on the menu, have access to the documents and can initiate posts.

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204 comments Add yours
  1. Hi! I'm Philip Newton and I'm an armchair linguist. I'm fascinated by languages and writing systems.

    A couple of years ago, I found a book on German shorthand lying around and caught the shorthand bug. I did a bit of research on German shorthand systems and ended up picking Stiefografie – in large part because, unlike the two main systems for German, it doesn't use stroke width/pressure.

    Then was the question what to use for English, my other native language – adapt Stiefografie myself (or try to obtain the long-out-of-print adaptation by the author) or find something else.

    Looking at "the big two", I initially discarded Pitman for the stroke width thing and considered Gregg but, after a short look, decided that everything looked too similar and I could never learn to distinguish the outlines, and a bit later settled on Teeline. Never put much effort into it, though, since – living in Germany – most of the material I have the chance to transcribe is German. So I've read through a couple of books but haven't practised much, let alone done speed drills or memorised abbreviations.

    Recently, however, I've decided to take a closer look at Gregg again (due in no small part to positive comments I've received from Cricket).

    I've tentatively picked Simplified though I'm unsure whether Diamond Jubilee might not have been better – I'm looking more for something relatively easy to learn that I can use for notes than for something that will let me transcribe speech in real time. (And, to be honest, I'm not sure I've got the motivation just now to devote enough time to become that proficient.)

    But I've already bought a couple of Simplified books and have ordered a couple more, so a switch to a different version is going to be less likely now 🙂

    And I found that with Stiefografie, I tend to write using the most abbreviated version published anyway (so I'm glad I ordered all three stages of that system), so Simplified might not be so bad after all – a reasonable compromise of memory load and abbreviation.

    So, that's about it! Feel free to ask other questions if you'd like. Or to contact me via email: philip.newton at pobox.com or gmail.com.

  2. Hello Everyone:

    My name is Barry; I am retired. I took Gregg shorthand and Typing in High School and Computer Technology in College but made shorthand and typing my main career objective. I used to work as an Executive Secretary, and loved it. My first word-processor was an IBM MagCard II. I went on and took courses in Machine Shorthand (Stenotype) and did Business Reporting. I like reading and writing shorthand codes. I read some of the Group's discussion blogs and found the entries quite refreshing. In regard to Shorthand, in High School I took Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee Series, Second Edition, Copyright (C) 1971. I still have my old High School Gregg Shorthand books and Gregg Shorthand Dictation records which I used often to take dictation, however, not at high speeds. Right now, Gregg shorthand is more of a hobby for me.

  3. Thank you for the welcome!

    I'm aware of that German adaptation; however, since I've already put in quite a bit of effort into learning Stiefografie, I'm not sure if I'll use it.

    But who knows, once I start using English Gregg I may find German Gregg useful, too! And less confusing and hesitation-inducing than juggling two different systems.

    We shall see!

  4. I'm Susan, and I live in northern New York state, about 75 miles south of Montreal. I studied Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee Series, in high school and college, and have tried to not completely forget it over the years. I find that while I can still read it, writing is slow. Last year I began working through my books again, and find that it's slowly coming back. I'm not working on speed, just want to be able to write shorthand whenever I want to make notes.

  5. mcbud, I don't recall too much about how it was taught in high school. I do remember the teacher saying that when you can think in shorthand you have learned it. We did a lot of dictation in class, but that's all I remember. In college we had to copy the chapter twice for our homework, and spend at least an hour a day in the lab, taking dictation. I usually spent 2 hours every day in the lab. I have my college books. I don't recall what books we had for high school.

  6. Welcome to the group, Philip! Simplified is a good compromise, and you can always add Anniversary principles later. There is a German adaptation of Gregg Shorthand (written in 1924) available in Andrew Owen's site. You may want to take a look at it. Although it was developed long time ago, I doubt it was ever put to good use or improved, so I'm not sure how useful it is.

  7. Yes, to me, the IBM Mag CardII Typewriter was a big time saver when it came to transcribing dictation from my Gregg Shorthand pad. For instance, if my boss had light or heavy revisions to his dictated material, the revisions were made easy because the machine had a lot of automatic features like: Dual Pitch, Paragraph Indent, Automatic Centering, Automatic Word Underscore, Format Feature and Reverse Index. This made it easy because all I had to do was complete my revisions on the typewriter and had it automatically retype the final copy at over 100+ Word per minute. It even did Mail-Merge that automatically merges information to create completely finished, letters-perfect documents, in addition, it had a Pack Feeding of fifty magnetic cards, with a storage capacity of 250,000 characters that can be stored in the card unit at one time. This pack feeding feature was useful in storing standard paragraphs and material for repetitive letters. I must testify that I have an IBM Mag Card II Typewriter in my possession that is still in good running condition, and I use it to this very day.

  8. I remembered the IBM MagTape Typewriter; that machine was something else. The MagCard came next and then the MagCard II. I had the opportunity to work on the Xerox, 820, 600, 800, and 860 and several other word processors. As a shorthand writer these word processors made transcribing shorthand a breeze back then.

  9. I can recall my shorthand and typing classes in high school, I guess my teacher made a big impression on me back then. In addition, from my shorthand class room window that overlooked John F. Kennedy Airport from a distance, I can remember my Shorthand Class started at 8:05 a.m. and just before class began, I used to turn my eyes out the window at 8:00 a.m. just in time to see the British Concord taking off from JFK en route to London Heathrow Airport. It was a sad day for me when they stopped flying Concord because Concord always made me remember sitting in High School Shorthand Class taking dictation.

  10. The Selectric II is a fine machine. Pity that I only meet up with one every five years or so. I learned on a couple of old manual typewriters (I think one of them was a Remington) that my grandparents had had.

    Three months here is still fairly new. I am self-taught as a result of poking around the library reading anything that looked interesting. I had wandered from calligraphy to cryptography and found shorthand in the neighborhood. I learned a mix of Diamond Jubilee and Simplified in high school, instead of the Series 90 that would have been in the classroom at the time. At college I found Anniversary and Pre-Anni books and decided the presentation made more sense to me. Taking notes gave me plenty of opportunity to practice, and shorthand made the note-taking easier — a happy cycle. It still comes in handy for notes of all sorts, except those intended for someone else to read. : )

    At that time I had not seen the French or German adaptations of Gregg shorthand, but phonetic spellings using the Gregg alphabet worked well enough for note-taking purposes. I've glanced over the German adaptation on Andrew's site and the summary of the French adaptation that someone posted here, and look forward to exploring them in more detail.

  11. Interesting. Since you took shorthand both in high school and in college, did you experience a difference in the way it was taught? Or did you take different courses in college than those in high school?

  12. While I was growing up, we had in my house at one point an IBM Executive that my dad brought home from his office. We also had a Sears electric typewriter, which I believe was an Olivetti, and it was great! I didn't like writing on the Executive at the beginning that much because of the proportional spacing (I wasn't used to the way the documents would come out), but once I knew how to work with it, it was very good. Now I have a Sears daisy-wheel typewriter that my aunt bought about 20 years ago and gave it to me. It has an extended keyboard with foreign language symbols, which I like, the autocorrect, and the variable pitch features. Unfortunately, I don't use it that often, but I keep it clean. It is very good for typing envelopes. I wish I could get a good correcting Selectric II with the extended keyboard at a good price — I love the feel of that keyboard.

  13. I'm Brandon from Seattle. They stopped teaching shorthand in high school long before I got there — before my parents got there even. I took Intro to Programming in C++. I've never owned a typewriter or a word processor. My first family computer was a 486. I took a Pentium 75 mhz computer to college.

    The day I learned that a friend-of-a-friend of mine had tattoos in shorthand, I spent a fevered afternoon digging up everything I could about shorthand on the internet, and having not gotten my fill by that evening I ordered a Gregg Simplified book from paperbackswap. I'm out of college, so I hardly ever take notes, and I work from home, so when I'm in meetings I'm almost always in front of a computer. When my friends ask me why in the world I'd be learning shorthand, my only answer is, "because it's something I don't know yet."

  14. I didn't have a IBM MagCard machine, but I did use the IBM Memory 100. I loved that machine. Does anyone else remember it?

    When the lack of enough document space became an issue, I got my first Wang word processor which I loved even more. I believe it was in 1980.

  15. I have an IBM Memory 100 that I purchased way back when I used to work as a Freelance Business Reporter. I still have it, and it's in good working condition. As I remember, there was an IBM Memory 50 which did not carry as large a memory as the Memory 100. Furthermore, the IBM Memory 50 didn't have an A & B Switch on the Memory Dial like the Memory 100 did. Those machines were the industrial Models and could take a pounding. These machines also had an acoustical filter hood to help reduce noise when the typing element was in motion.

    I have also worked with the IBM DisplayWriter, Wang 2000 and Wang Word Processor; those were the days.

  16. Yes, I still use my IBM Memory 100. Whenever I have time to take dictation from my Gregg records, I would use it to transcribe my shorthand dictation, store it and then go back and check my dictation for accuracy. For some reason, when I transcribe on a computer keyboard, my hands get cramps. I found the IBM Selectric keyboards a better posture for my hands when typing. It would be nice to find a good home for this IBM Memory 100 Typewriter.

    I remembered once I was sent on a freelance job as a stenographer by my agency. They just said that they had a stenography job for me. So I went to the job location and was shown to my work area. I thought I would be shown a desk with a regular typewriter; was I in for a big surprise? The head secretary showed me to a desk that had a Verityper … Yes, a Verityper! LOL. I told her right then that I didn't know how to operate such a machine. The head secretary said, "Oh, it's easy; I will show you." I had the biggest grin on my face. Sure enough I had the basic machine operations under my finger tips within a short-period of time. I was also required to typewrite all documents with justification. In order to give each document a justification format, I had to typewrite each typewritten line twice to get the full typewritten line justified. I felt lucky because this machine was completed electrically motor driven. This Verityper was called a cold typesetting machine.

    My Gregg Shorthand Diamond Jubilee Series really took me places. However, as the years went by, not too many bosses were interested in dictating to stenographers, and thus the Dictaphone became the norm.

  17. Yes, the Varitype was from the 1930. I used that one back in the 1980s. I was really fascinated by it and the way it produced professional-looking proportional spacing, justified documents; it was something else to see and operate. It had two big dials on the front to help with the justification, and it even had an automatic return key on the keyboard. Yes, IBM did introduce an Electric Composed and the IBM Electronic Composer came after. I operated an IBM Electronic Composer. It was like typing on air; it had memory for typing long documents and there was also another model that looked like the IBM Mag Card II with a big looking bread box with the Magnetic cards. The IBM Electronic Composer was a professional proportional spacing typesetting machine.

    Yes, the Veityper could hold two fonts and the font switched on the keyboard if one desired a different font style; it also had a series of fonts and could even type in foreign languages.

  18. In regard to your question >>>In the video I posted, the narrator was wondering how the corrections were made on the Memory 100, because that model didn't have a correction key. I was wondering the same thing, since I never used one.

    The correction was built into the "backspace key." You could use special editing keys to the right after the keyboard call (LINE), (WORD), (CHAR/STOP), (PAGE START), (PAR ADV), (LINE ADV) and (LINE/RET). These keys would let you move around anywhere in the machine's memory and by just hitting the backspace key, it would engage the Correcting Selectric Tape, and the character(s) would be simultaneously lifted off the page and deleted from memory all in one operation.

  19. Yes, it looks like a Selectric with a dial on the right that is used to store the documents. The 100 means that it can store approximately 100 pages in 100 memory banks. Here is a good video. It's a beautiful machine.

    When I was in college in the 80s, I remember the admins working with the IBM DisplayWriter that stored the documents in huge 8 inch floppies. They would have a Selectric nearby and go back and forth between the two machines.

  20. Cool!

    By the time I started office work, the letters were all being typed on a mainframe terminal or a pc workstation. The typewriters were (and still are) mostly used for manual checks, "for deposit only" endorsements, completing forms, and addressing envelopes. Not much call for really nifty correction functions, although I believe most of them did have those available.

    At least one of the manual typewriters I learned on had a correction ribbon. You would position the carriage at the point you wanted to make a correction, hold down the correction key, and retype the offending bit, which was then covered by a white letter. If you didn't position the carriage quite right, bits of the letters would peek out here and there. It was still much better than erasing!

  21. I remember the correction tape! It came in widths from a single line up to about six lines. I don't know if they still make the stuff. The last time I used it was in the '90s.

    I never had to erase carbon copies, although I did try it a couple of times doodling with the stuff. Worse than drawing charcoal. A kneaded eraser might have worked at least a little better, since you dab with it instead of rubbing . . .

  22. Or do you mean the kind that worked a bit like today's dry correctors, leaving a white coating behind, but not the ribbon itself? The ones I particularly remember were a white paper tape that you just stuck on the paper and typed over.

  23. Cool. The IBM Memory 50 could only take 50 pages. The A & B switch was for the two memory banks of 50 bytes each. So instead of using a dial with 100 numbers, the IBM engineers used the same 50-numbered dial as the Memory 50, but added a small dial on top for the A and B position switch.

    The early IBM DisplayWriters had a huge thick keyboard. They later changed to the familiar white IBM keyboards. The floppy disk drive unit looked like a toaster, with the two slots.

    In the video I posted, the narrator was wondering how the corrections were made on the Memory 100, because that model didn't have a correction key. I was wondering the same thing, since I never used one.

    Do you still use the IBM Memory 100?

  24. Wow! I've never seen one of those. The Varitypers preceded the IBM Selectric Composers by many years (I think they were introduced in the 30s), and they operated under the same principle. The typist would type the document twice: one for the machine to "calculate" the justification, and second to get the correct justification as they retyped. It's amazing those machines could do that, all by mechanical means — not a single silicon chip on those! Once IBM introduced the Electronic Composer, the need to type twice went away.

    If I'm not mistaken, with the Varityper, you could have two fonts at the same time on the machine, and could switch back and forth. And all done mechanically: amazing.

  25. I remember that there was a type of correction ribbon that came in a little box, to be used in typewriters that did not have a correction mechanism. You would tear a little strip from the box, place it on top of the paper, and type over. Or you could just let a portion of the strip out, hold the box and place the strip on top of the paper, type over, and push the ribbon back into the box. I don't remember the brand or the name, but I used those quite a bit in those days. I also used liquid paper, but those correction ribbons were quite nifty.

    How about erasing carbon copies? Those were fun, :-).

  26. Right, it left a coating of the tape on the paper. You could see the outline of the letter on the correction tape itself because the rest of the tape was white, except for the section that was used. I remember that the coating itself was somewhat airborne: it would easily come off from the tape if one mishandled it.

  27. My name is Bay from Pennsylvania…

    I'm learning anniversary shorthand. I am a writer and would love to write rough drafts and such in a speed comparable to typing. This way I'm not bound to technology and can write "on the same battery" until the paper runs out. I found a shorthand manual at the Goodwill and have been building my collection from there…been at it for about a year now and really wish there was a teacher for this sort of thing. I found this group and am hoping that by becoming a member, my learning will improve with so much great information being shared.

    (is there a shorthand pen pal system?)

    Shorthand wasn't taught in school for me, being born close to our country's bicentennial. So far, I'm completely self taught…mostly from the manual, progressive exercises, graded readings, and the good old dictionary.

  28. Awesome Bay. I'm also self-taught (with a few pointers from my aunt, who was a legal secretary and learned Anniversary in school), so don't be discouraged. Have you finished the Anniversary manual already? If so, you can read without much difficulty the reading selections in the blog.

  29. Greetings Bay! I also hark from Penna. and am glad to see signs of intelligent life in the Keystone State!

    In case you haven't run across the following resources:

    Key to the Anni Manual
    Key to Graded Readings
    Also, the key to the 1929 Gregg Speed Studies (even though the Third Edition is clearly superior.)

    I note that you don't mention the Functional Method in your post, which would otherwise be prominent. I think most Anni aficionados would agree that the FM is indispensable. Both volumes are readily available used, and the Teacher's Handbook is posted here too (which includes the key to the last two chapters.)

    The Fundamental Drills book is also readily available and features valuable reading material—and we have the key.

    Lastly, Direct-Method Materials has even more reading material, and we have the key for that one too.

    Of course, this is intended for the benefit of all newcomers. But I'm addressing it to you specifically, as a fellow Pennsylvanian. 🙂

  30. Hello, I am new to the group. Thank you very much Greggstudent for drawing attention to the above material. Do you keep all these things in one place for me to plunder?

    I originally learned Pitman New Era when I was at college. In more recent years I have taught Teeline. Now I have set myself the difficult task of learning Gregg. Outlines from previously learned shorthands are interferring and making it difficult to assimulate new material. However, I have purchased the Gregg shorthand for Colleges DJS, vol one and two. I wondered if there is a key available on here for them. I have also just bought vol one and two of Functional Method (1941, 42, so not sure which version this is?).

    I am taken by the beauty of Gregg, and the fact there are no thick strokes, and no need for lines.

    I am enjoying reading through the messages on here.

  31. Thanks for the info greggstudent … I have fundamental drills, graded readings, ordered a copy of functional method vol 1… I also have the American readings collection for anni reading material as well as sherlock holmes: sign of the four in the 1916 plates for when I'm ready to move on from anni into dangerous waters… The price was right so I bought them up. I am greatly appreciating this site and finding fellow intelligent Pennsylvanians… 🙂 I love that all of this is now public domain… I wish there were a class though to learn in a structured environment

  32. Hi Angie, and welcome to the group!

    With regards to the 4 books in your possession, they are from different series of Gregg. The Functional Method Vols 1-2 are from the Anniversary series. The DJS series was the second simplification of the system after the Anniversary series was introduced (the first simplification being the "Simplified" series, no pun intended). The DJS series was developed with business dictation at its core, hence further simplifications in word construction were introduced given the narrower vocabulary that the business secretary was exposed to at the time. In contrast, the Anniversary series includes word abbreviations and additional rules to expedite the writing of many words. As a consequence, the shorthand outlines in DJS tend to be longer than outlines in Anniversary, because you will be writing more of the word. In spite of this, I know of DJS writers that can can write 175 wpm because they can retain a lot in memory. Hence you can see that both series have their advantages and disadvantages: as you simplify the system more, the memory burden of rules and abbreviations is reduced, but your outlines will take longer to write in general. Lastly, since the DJS series was designed with the business office in mind, the reading practice is limited to business correspondence, while for Anniversary the selection of reading material is much wider. There are many members of this group who learned DJS but later add Anniversary rules to their own writing. While learning, it's better to stick with one series and later on supplement your writing with rules from the previous series, but if you learn one series first, you can always switch later.

    You can check the "Learner's Corner" section of the blog to find material for learning Gregg. Also, the "Reading Selections" and "Penmanship" sections are updated monthly with new material.

    We do not have a key for the DJS books posted here since they are still under copyright. What year is the edition of the DJS books you have?

    Let us know if you have any questions and good luck in your study of Gregg Shorthand!

  33. Hi McBud. Thank you very much for the welcome. I actually have a Simplified book too lol. I am looking forward to receiving the Functional Method books, but the DJS books do look fun. For now, I am working my way through the Simplified basics, and I am sure my efforts won't be wasted.

    I am off on holiday tonight, and that will be essential reading for the flight lol. In the meantime, I am fascinated by the posts here, and am working my way through these.

  34. Hello all,
    I'm a college student. I have been writing in Gregg in my journal intensively for the past 6 months. Before that I knew Gregg theory but wasn't all that fast or fluent, but I have found the journal-keeping to be immensely helpful and very fun. Before I knew Gregg I learned Teeline. Now I am eyeing Plover for writing out my papers and as a way of supplementing my Dragon Naturally Speaking software when I lose my voice. It should also help me transcribe Gregg. I take my notebook everywhere and it's been a surprisingly conversation starter. I also use Mouseless Browsing in Firefox with combinations of homekey letters. I guess I'm an all-around life-hacker.

  35. Hello,
    I'm also a college student, but unlike most from above, this is my first time learning a shorthand. After looking extensively into many different types of shorthands (and yes, I even tried to devise my own), I settled down with Gregg. At first, I hesitated with gregg because of the omission rules, prefixes and what-not, but on closer examinations I understood. I'm fascinated by the logic and efficiency behind each rule, the flow, and the challenge of Gregg. Moreover, I'm just really grateful there is a group devoted to share this steadily reviving art. Glad to meet you all

  36. Hello all,

    My name is David I'm currently working through the anniversary ed. (now more briskly thanks to all of your wonderful resources). I am in college and I hope to improve my note taking.

    I have compiled a pretty comprehensive set of digital flashcards based on the Ann. Ed. that can be used readily with the "Mental Case" or "Flashcards Deluxe" (<-my pref.) applications for iphone/mac/ipad. The cards consist of 2 facets. Facet 1 = Word written longhand and spoken (TTS) and Facet 2 = an Image of the translation into Gregg. It covers Units 1-36, with Units 31 & 32 omitted. I'm sure, however, that with a little manipulation of the raw .cvs or .xls files they can be adapted for use with other applications or programs. The image quality isn't so great, but its legible I hope. The audio is.. well a bit mechanical being that I used my macs native TTS (FC Deluxes TTS is better). All in all, I imagine it may prove useful to some, especially newbs such as myself. They took some time to make and I'm barely getting around to using it myself so we shall see if they are any good.

    My question is, would anyone be interested in giving these a test run/improving upon? If so, where do I upload them to? Keeping in mind they are about 100MBs of info, alternatively I can put them in a public Dropbox folder and share a link.

    Glad to be a part of this group, thanks again!



  37. Welcome, Dave and Guksung!

    And I’d be interested in seeing a copy of the flashcards, too.

    I’m slowly making a Gregg Simplified deck for Anki – perhaps when it’s a bit more complete, I can share it, too.

  38. Welcome to the group, Dave! I hope you find the resources here useful for study and keep you motivated in your study of shorthand.

    The flashcards seem like an awesome idea for studying. I would like to see them. You can email me directly with the link, and I can download them and make them available in the blog. Or if you prefer hosting the link, that would work as well.

  39. I have Android, so I'm going to see if Anki can read Dave's flashcards with minimal manipulations. The idea is to make them platform-independent if possible.

  40. Hi. My name is Sasha and I am shorthand enthusiast. I like to read a lot and I would like to remember a lot. That necessitates taking down notes.Yet I am lazy and don't like to write the slow way. So I started learning shorthand. Callendar's Orthic at the moment. Then I will learn some others (just for fun).
    I do have a ton of questions and I am glad that community exists where I could asko those questions. If I am allowed, of course.
    Thank you.

  41. Welcome to the group Sasha! In one of our old threads, we discussed Orthic Shorthand in comparison to Pitman and Gregg. You may want to take a look at it and give us your impressions. Other members in the blog write other systems besides Gregg, so you're not alone in that regard. I hope that you will find something useful here and I welcome your contributions as well.

  42. Hey guys. The name's Austin. Mainly picking up shorthand as a way to take notes in college. Considering my TA couldn't read my note-taking-cursive freshman year, the added benefits of being forced to learn correct proportions will be greatly appreciated.

    Starting with Centennial because that's all I could find at the university library (and only 1 book too)… but I am trying to utilize the angelfishy site for its Anniversary manuals. Just a few quick questions before I drive myself crazy:

    1. In the Anni manuals on angelfishy, the vowels all have different markers for short, medium, and long. In the Cent version, I've yet to see these markings. Did they get adapted out? and do they affect overall speed?

    2. Most of the outlines I can see how they would fit between the lines in my steno pad, but some seem cramped. In these cases, do you write the word over multiple lines similar to how the cursive letters q, y, p, f, j, and z all extend below the line?
    EX: "basketball" –> b a s k e t b l
    I got that outline from the 5000 most-used shorthand forms pdf that was on here somewhere…

    3. Simplified or Centennial? Any thoughts on the two?

  43. Hi Austin, welcome to the group!

    When you say, “Simplified or Centennial”, do you instead mean, “Anniversary or Centennial”? Or “Anniversary, Simplified, or Centennial”? (There’s also Diamond Jubilee and Series 90 to choose from….)

    In general, Anniversary is shorter/faster than Simplified, which is shorter/faster than Centennial, which is shorter/faster than Series 90. (I believe Centennial is roughly comparable in speed and concision to Diamond Jubilee.) Briefness comes from more brief forms and abbreviating principles which have to be memorised, so there’s a trade-off.

    It also depends on what you want to do with shorthand and how quickly you want to write with it.

    If you would like to read shorthand, then Anniversary is the way to go; a number of novels were published in Pre-Anniversary and Anniversary, while after that, there’s basically just the textbooks and a few columns in trade magazines for secretaries.

    You could also have a look at the “Common Questions” in the left sidebar of the site; a couple of them deal with choosing a version of Gregg Shorthand to learn, and they may help you in your choice.

    As for your question #2, yes, outlines can sometimes go above or below the lines and protrude into neighbouring lines.

  44. Wow. Thanks for the quick response. I'll need to take another visit to my library because I do remember a simplified book among the ~5 books in the textbook shelves. I picked up the Centennial book mainly because I remembered there was a post somewhere that argued how "bad" the Series 90 was and that Centennial tried its best to fix it… Oh well, back to the books 🙂

    and speaking of the "cut and paste" deal… YOU MEAN TO TELL ME SOMEONE DEFACED PRICELESS ARTIFACTS JUST SO THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO HIRE AN ACTUAL GREGG SHORTHANDER?!?!?!?!?!? … sorry for all the caps, but I couldn't figure out how to "yell"

  45. Hi Austin! Welcome to the group!

    Before I answer your questions, by now you're aware that Gregg comes in different flavors or series. The earlier series (Aniiversary and earlier) were geared towards general reporting and business dictation. Simplified was the first series which started to focus more on business dictation, and as such, the material in the book is almost exclusively business letters. With the release of Diamond Jubilee (DJS) in 1963, the system was simplified even more with a complete focus on business dictation. Series 90, which came about in 1979, was a further simplification of the system. The last iteration, Centennial, is basically Series 90, but with added and modified brief forms, plus a new presentation in the book including memos and to do lists as reading material, in addition to the regular business letters. But the core of the theory is Series 90. The other characteristic about Centennial with respect to the presentation is that the shorthand is written in lined paper; however, the paper ruling is Pitman, instead of Gregg, so the spaces are very wide! Also, if you notice carefully, the outlines in the book look uneven. The reason for that is that instead of hiring a writer for the shorthand plates, the powers that be at McGraw-Hill decided to literally cut and paste outlines from previous books and make the shorthand plates by piecing together words.

    Notice that as you move to the earlier series, the materials for study are much more varied and interesting, but at the same time, the earlier series are much more demanding from the student, because there are more rules, more abbreviations to consider, more things to memorize. So the choice of series depends on what you want the main purpose to be, and second, how much time you're willing to spend on studying. Personally, I was in the same situation as you: I learned Gregg just before I entered college so that I could take better notes. I had in my house the Functional Method manual for the Anniversary series, and I studied from it, and was writing shorthand in college. At the time I did not know anything about other series. That happened much later when I compared my shorthand with my secretary's shorthand and noticed that her notes were so wordy — she had learned DJS, read her book, and was in shock, LOL. But she wrote so fast, that it didn't make a difference to me anyway.

    About the vowel markings, those are used very sparingly because by context you will know which sound of the vowel is the correct one. They put the vowel markings on those word lists because they are just lists of words, so you don't have a context to determine which is the correct transcription. Starting with the second edition of the Simplified manual, the markings were completely dropped from the lessons, so that's why Centennial doesn't even make mention of them.

    Outlines can span more than one space, absolutely, just like in longhand. For example, the phrase "have been" takes two full spaces: one for the v of "have" and another for the b of "been." Sometimes, the outlines of one line can clash with the outlines of another. You will not see this often in the books, as they maintain some spacing between them, but in real life writing, this can happen.

    About Simplified vs Centennial, I think I touched the differences between the two. Is there anything specific that you want to know about each series? I always say that Simplified is a good compromise if you don't want to go full Anniversary: you have the simplification of the rules, the memory burden was reduced about 50%, but still have the flexibility of using Anniversary shortcuts or additional rules if you want to. But Centennial may be good for your purpose too. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

  46. They did worse. One of the group members worked there at the time, and had trained on earlier systems. They didn't listen to him.

    When a word wouldn't fit in the lines, they would photo-shrink that word. Basketball is supposed to take 2 lines. They shrunk that word to fit into 1 line, so the b's became p's, a became e, l became r.

    Gregg is all about proportion. You can write as big or small as you like. One person's P is another's B. It's like printed C and W — you need to see other letters to know if it's capital or lowercase.

    Standard Gregg ruling is 1/3 inch. Most people find that comfortable. One famous high speed writer wrote twice that size, on special large pads. Another preferred small. Normal North American college ruled is 1mm smaller, which cramps my hand. When I use college ruled, I keep the Gregg size and double-space.

    You don't need lines at all for Gregg (unlike Pitman), but they help when writing. In longhand, your eye can usually follow a line if it wanders. It's harder to do that in Gregg.

    There's another thread with a site where you can print your own Gregg-ruled paper. Here, bulk stenopads are Gregg ruled, but they're not labeled.

  47. Yes, LOL. They own the rights, so they can do whatever they want with their books I guess … :-).

    With Centennial, they tried to fix Series 90 with the additional brief forms, but the Centennial theory is still S90: they didn't add the DJS paragraphs that were eliminated in the transition to S90.

    Just as an aside, I actually like the organization of the S90 and Centennial books. The vocabulary of the letters, though, is very simple and leaves a lot to be desired. The material gets a little better in the ensuing dictation/transcription/speed building books.

  48. Welcome, Austin.

    S90 or Centennial should work fine for note-taking. Simplified is nice both for the good balance between speed and memory load and for the fact that the manual is still in print, making it readily available. I find the concerns about the memory load of Anniversary and earlier series to be exaggerated, but if you want to get up and running quicker, Simplified or later series are designed for that.

    Besides helping you keep things from wandering, lined paper is handy for helping you learn proportions. Wide-ruled notebook paper is pretty close to standard Gregg ruling, so that is another option. College ruled is usually reasonable. Unless your regular handwriting is tiny, steer clear of narrow ruled; it will feel cramped.

  49. Hello All,

    I became interested in learning shorthand after coming across the simplified manual in a public library many years ago. That interest didn't go anywhere until about 6 months ago when I decided I needed to either commit to studying shorthand or let go of the idea. I have been working at it since then, spending an hour or so a day most days. Progress is slow; I am currently on lesson 34, with 20 more lessons of new material and much review/practice ahead of me after that. I'm glad I didn't realize how long and arduous this trip was going to be. I probably would have stayed home otherwise. 😉

    I have started using it in my daily life, from notes at work to shopping and todo lists. I was surprised at just how much I have learned already, although I will frequently look up words to be sure I'm doing it correctly. I know I am missing many of the abbreviation principles and brief forms but I enjoy the practice and all of that will come in time.

    My family gives me a (good-naturedly) bad time about it. Most others just kind of shrug and politely change the subject. I don't know anyone else who knows Gregg.

    Writing in longhand has always bothered me. I've been typing since I was 10 and can type fast enough for my needs, but longhand is just so slow and uncomfortable. Even though I am just a beginner, I can see how much quicker I will eventually be able to write. The efficiency is astounding.

    My long term goal is to use it for writing rough drafts of fiction and other material. I love the feel of lead against paper, but the inefficiency of longhand has been a major deterrent. I also like that it is phonetic as I mentally hear the words when I write.

    Right now, I am using the Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified and the Most Used Shorthand Words and Phrases books. I have been using the Anniversary Edition of the Gregg Shorthand Dictionary as a reference, although it can be tricky figuring out the differences between that and Simplified. Perusing these forums, I noticed that there was also a Simplified Dictionary. I have ordered it and eagerly await its arrival.

    I chose Simplified because it was described as a good balance between time spent learning and eventual speed, although I'm pretty sure any version would have worked for me. I honestly don't want to spend a lot of time worrying about which is best. I just want to learn it and then use it.

  50. Simplified is a great choice. There are many other books to consider if you want to pursue studying once you're done with the basic manual. So you are on a good path! Good luck, and welcome to the group.

  51. Thanks. I had a lot of trouble getting started at first. Finding the Most Used Shorthand Words and Phrases book made worlds of difference. The manual by itself just didn't have nearly enough examples for me to really get it.

  52. Hi. My name is Phil. I've been on the old site and finally got around to signing up on this site. I took Simplified in high school and, encouraged by my teacher, converted to Anniversary. Having been a Gregg writer since 1958, I'm very pleased that there's still so much interest in "light-line photography". Carlos knows that I've also incorporated some pre-Anniversary prefixes, suffixes and shortcuts into my writing. Glad I could finally log into this site!

    1. Oui, c'est moi! So glad to finally be here although signing up to this new board following the migration was frustrating and irritating. Perhaps 'cause I'm an old codger (LOL) I resent not simply being able to log in without being asked multiple personal questions including my phone number. I must say, the shorthand plates posted here seem much clearer on my screens than plates on the old site. I particularly enjoyed reading "Mountain Men" and the official Jan & Feb tests from back issues of The Gregg Writer. Perhaps I need guidance to learn how to get into this board! (smiling happily as I enter my dotage)

  53. "Singe" may very well be the word to describe the irritating pop up boards one gets while trying to register for this site. Come to find out it's not using my gmail but an old log in I used last year when complaining about the lack of depth in current 3D movies as opposed to the "throw 'em in your face" 3D epics of the '50's. I found out why. Originally those golden oldies like House of Wax were shot using a wide view deep focus lens in each camera, hence the exaggerated illusion of depth placement. Ah, well, movie makers could accomplish something before they had computers. LOL

    1. Yes, clearly most film makers in 2013 feel it's a mistake to tell a story which has a beginning, then development leading into an interesting denouement. With respect to modern 3D, I feel Avatar is the best of the lot (followed closely by Life of Pi) but I'm sure most folk my age who saw "Natural Vision" on a movie screen through Polaroid lenses will agree that was in fact the very best way to exhibit 3D movies. (We loved to duck the stuff they threw out of the screen into our faces!)

    2. I watched "Top Gun 3D" at a local IMAX theater last week, and I have to say that I was very impressed with how the 3D technology has advanced. For a movie that wasn't shot on 3D at the time, it looked spectacular. The depth sensation was there, definitely.

  54. Hi! My name is Kevin and I'm new to the site. I've been interested in Gregg for a long time. I decided last June to really dedicate time to learn it. I chose DJS. I've been working my way through the textbook nearly every day since then (8+ months if you're counting). I'm still pretty slow, but I only have 4 more chapters in the book to complete before moving to Volume 2. It's been a great hobby. I get some weird looks at work when I take notes, but that's part of the fun. 🙂 It's great to know there are other people who are still enjoying this beautiful, practical writing system.

    1. Welcome. I, too, just reached my 6-month anniversary with my own self-teaching of Gregg simplified. It doesn't feel like it's been that long. I still have a long ways to go yet, but I'm enjoying it immensely. I still have 35 more assignments to go until I've covered the entire simplified theory. That's still a lot of ground to cover.

    2. Thanks! I really never thought I'd stick with it this long. I started to learn Handywrite years ago and kept at it for about a month and got discouraged (it was actually kinda ugly, imho). I guess I was pretty determined this time around. 🙂 Kudos for your hard work!

  55. Hello, Everyone! (This is the place on the blog for salutations, is it not?)

    I am at the mid-hump of life, a little ways into a study of Pre-Anniversary. This is a few years after I had started learning Simplified. Then, the version I'd "chosen" was only because the sole book I'd found was Simplified, but after I learned about the existence of other versions, I got interested in Pre… I'm interested in the version with the most devices, am undaunted by high memory load ( I'm semi-fluent in German and Japanese, illustrating how I must not know better than not to be daunted), sometimes have antiquarian tastes, and an appreciation of Lost Arts.

    But…why learn it at all? I reason: My native tongue is English; I write English; the most elegant form of written English is Gregg; I shall acquire it before I croak.

    The course I've knocked together… a 'unit' is writing everything from a lesson in the 1916 Manual, plus the matching lesson in the Speed Studies, and last the matching lesson in the Word and Sentence Drills. Such units progress 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4, etc. It happens that the present second do of IV takes me into the flip-over point of the second steno book. The WaSD book really has a lot. All this was preceeded by just reading, reading, reading until I could work out all of the nifty /Alice in Wonderand/.

    Any who wish, and are not Facebook-allergic, can see a small set of Gregg-including art graphics, experimentally whipped-up, here:



  56. Hello,
    My name is Ty and I'm learning Anniversary. Years ago I used Century 21 and Evans to take notes in School. I was adept enough at writing, but not as fluent at reading. Now I've taken up Anniversary. I've been using the main Anniversary book for a few months, and I'm now starting to read the Functional Method book(1). I decided this time around I'd like my reading/transcribing to be as fluid as my writing. Thanks for the add, Carlos!

    1. Excellent! Welcome to the group, Ty!

      There are many Anniversary writers here so you are in good company. If you have any questions, just post. I hope that neither Century 21 nor Evans come in the way of learning Gregg, as they all look very similar.

    2. Welcome Ty. I just found this wonderful place about a month ago and have discovered a wealth of information and expertise here. There are many many many pdf files to be downloaded… and that includes some keys to some of the books.

      I am retired and have decided that it is the right time to final learn Gregg Shorthand. I am just starting the 2 volume Anniversary Functional Method set… supplemented by Speed Studies – 3rd edition which Carlos and others highly recommended.

      There is ia pdf file for the Teacher's Handbook for the Anniv Functional Method books. The key is in the FM Part One book and the FM Part Two book has the key for part of the book. The remaining key for Part Two is in the Teacher's Handbook. The first 70 pages of the Teacher's Handbook are instructions by Mr. Leslie to teachers explaining why the Functional Method works and how to teach it in a classroom setting. I read that first.. before starting the FM Part One book and found it fascinating and very helpful.

      Good luck on your Gregg journey. Ask lots of questions…. everyone here is very helpful and Carlos and others know more about Gregg Shorthand than I will ever have time to learn !!!

      Another great site is Andrew Owen's site angelfishy.net. There is a link on the left I believe.

  57. Welcome Ty. Always nice to see new members. You'll find this is a great community of shorthand people regardless of which system you're studying. As Susan said, there are tons of resources on this site which should be invaluable in your studies. And yes, please do ask lots of questions! 🙂

  58. Hello Everyone from the chilly (today) State of Virginia!

    I recently found this site and am anxious to explore all the information available. I learned Simplified in high school and used it in my first 3 jobs routinely and then watched sadly as fewer and fewer calls for shorthand taking were made.

    I'm retired now and decided to start down the road to refreshing my skills simply to keep an active memory. I notice as I've gotten older I tend to suffer from adult-onset Attention Deficient Disorder and get side-tracked easily – you know – the "ohhhhh, something shiny" syndrome where you find yourself standing in a room wondering why you're there???

    Anyway, I look forward to checking out all the interesting things and the archive here. Thanks for the invite!

  59. Welcome JoyAnn !! I too am retired and have just started learning Anniversary with the Functional Method books (2 volumes). I, unfortunately, did not study shorthand in high school. I wish I had. It would have been Simplified in my day (early 1960s). This is a great place – tons of information and lots of kind and helpful people, so jump right in !!

  60. I forgot to add….. I also was looking for something to keep my mind active as I get older. As you say… it gets more and more difficult to stay focused and I figured that something like shorthand would help me do that !!!

    1. Thanks for the welcome. I'm finding as I go through the old Simplified book a lot is still stored in my brain from the 1960s but I had forgotten quite a bit. I'm finding writing the drills to be meditative as well, something like the Zendoodles lots of people are doing now. Very relaxing.

    2. Welcome JoyAnn. I am a Simplified person, too (that sounded funny). Carlos and everyone in this group is such a wealth of information. Do not hesitate to ask all the questions you may have.Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress and how much of the theory comes back to you.

  61. Just a quick note from a new member. I taught myself Gregg shorthand at age 11, using nothing but a Diamond Jubilee book found at the public library. In junior high school (now a distinctly distant memory), I even landed in trouble for writing my notes in shorthand. Today I write Anniversary, and I am trying to perfect my knowledge of theory.

    1. Excellent Scott. Welcome to the blog. Interesting that the teacher gave you a hard time for writing shorthand in Jr. High. Maybe the teacher thought you were writing something bad about him/her, LOL.

    2. Welcome, Scott! Your summary was really awesome. You reminded me of my own case–except you're about 1,000 miles or so ahead.

      My dream of being a shorthand writer started when I was in the fifth grade, about age 11. Only I didn't begin until I was 37.

      And I also started on DJS–for about three days until I found Andrew Owen's site and immediately switched to Anniversary. I wish I had thought to take the initiative that you did–great job!

    3. It's never too late to start.

      I do think that Anniversary is the best system to learn. (Pre-Anniversary differs only slightly, and actually I do use some of its devices, such as a few applications of the tr principle that were dropped in Anniversary because they offered only a small gain and applied to only a handful of words.) Diamond Jubilee sacrifices too much speed for the sake of simplicity.

      I started with Diamond Jubilee only because it was the only system to which I had access. Only as an adult did I even find out about the other series of Gregg. Fortunately, the various series are similar enough that a user of a later one can learn an older one with relative ease. The differences at the early stages are so slight that you probably did not even notice them when you switched to Anniversary after only three days.

    4. Yeah, I only remember studying the letter "s" in DJ before I made the quick switch.

      Anniversary supplemented by the pre-Anni rules and abbreviations–that's the plan here too! I've read the 1916 Manual but haven't made it a priority yet. Still working through Anniversary–plus some of those older features are re-incorporated in advanced Anni texts anyway. But eventually, 1916 becomes the vintage year. 🙂

  62. Hello, my name is Sasha. I used to member of the group on the old site. Previously I have finished Script shorthand manual but never used it to any practical purpose. Then I have learned Quikscript for the sake of noting pronunciation of English. Recently I got inspired again to start learning Gregg shorthand. I got Simplified manual. Haven't gone through it much. Still on first few lessons, just trying to get my dashes and squiggles looking decent.
    I realized that reading is very important in order to be good shorthand writer and that is why I am here for. Plus it is always good to have a place to ask a question when I get stuck.


    P.S. On https://openlibrary.org/ there are host of Gregg shorthand books to be borrowed. Among them Simplified, DJ, and Notehand manuals. I am just reading through Notehand.

  63. Hi everyone,

    My name is Erik and I am a student currently. I have been learning Gregg (Anniversary) on and mostly off for about two years now. I enjoy reading shorthand in particular and have begun practicing writing recently as well. I've been hanging out on reddit.com/r/shorthand and decided to join here because it seems like there are a ton of resources here to learn from.

    I'm also somewhat curious about orthic, but I figure it makes more sense to learn Gregg first since I am still struggling when working my way through Alice in Wonderland and the Diamond Necklace. It's great fun though!


    1. Great and welcome to the group, Erik! Reading shorthand is probably the most important activity that one can do to improve the skill. I think you will find plenty of selections here to practice.

  64. Welcome to all the new members here. I saw this email notification in my emails this evening and realized I haven't posted here in like FOREVER. I am glad to see there are new people in here.

    I hope everyone is doing well… (Carlos, Marc, Cricket, et al.)…

    The reason for my absence is that I decided to go back to school to become a CART provider and/or broadcast captioner. I am in school learning machine shorthand and I'm loving every minute of it! There actually are some theory similarities between Gregg and StenEd (the theory I'm learning), but learning to incorporate the real-time elements into your writing is a different ball of wax (ie. conflicts and sound-a-likes).

    But it's really nice to see people joining this awsome group for Gregg and seeing it active as ever. I'll try to peek my head in now and then and not be such a stranger.

    Later everyone!!!

  65. Hi everyone,
    This seems to be a pretty amazing site. I am really glad that there is a community that is still supporting the study of Gregg Shorthand. My name is Christopher. It has been a few years since I got started learning shorthand. I learned the Anniversary Edition, and can very slowly write in it. I am hoping to improve my speed and technique (a lot). What got me started was researching it on the internet and downloading some of the books off of the gregg.angelfishy.net website. As I got more into it purchased books off of Amazon. I found it interesting because it seemed to be only a chance that I would get what I was looking for. The book sellers didn't seem to know enough about the books in order to post them properly. It crossed my mind to buy all those books and then post them all the right way myself, maybe I will do that one day :). I think that the reason I am interested in learning it is so that I will write more. If I write faster, writing more will be easier. I am excited about this website because there seems to be a lot of resources available, and all of you to work with!

    Thanks everyone!

    1. Excellent Christopher! I'm glad you found us and that the resources here are motivating for you. The best way to improve speed is to read a lot of well-written shorthand. Since you learned Anniversary, there are quite a few reading selections here in the blog, plus there are many books for you to practice. If you have any questions, just post them here.

  66. Hello! My name is Ginny, and I am fairly new at learning shorthand – I've been at it at less than a week. I am learning the pre-anniversary version. I had found the 1916 manual online for free, and not knowing that there were different versions at the time, I started studying it. Now I have read that there are far simpiler versions, but since this manual is easiest to access, I will stick with pre-ann for now. 🙂 I already have questions, of course, but I will save them for a separate post.

    Thanks for having me!

  67. Hello! I am just now joining this blog and very happy to have found this site. I have been dabbling in Gregg Shorthand since 2001 when I randomly purchased the GS Simplified Manual (2nd ed.) at Barnes and Nobles! I only recently learned about all of the other versions out there and was so excited to know there are others out there who love Gregg Shorthand and hope to keep it relevant (or at least alive!). I am a criminal defense lawyer and have found GSH useful in my profession, but I have not been able to reach any real speed such that I could rely on my SH notes at trial!

    Mainly, I love the art of communicating with this underappreciated form!

    Cheers all!

    1. If the h sound is at the beginning of the word, the dot is placed first because that is the first sound you hear. Of course, if the h sound is in the middle, you write it afterwards.

  68. Greetings!

    I am just starting to look into Anniversary Gregg's Shorthand. I randomly ran across this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/yeah-i-still-use-shorthand-and-a-smartpen/373281/ ,
    which peaked my interest in learning more. I ran across this site when I was getting stumped by some phrases in "Fundamental Drills" and was looking for a key.

    I am currently working on a Masters in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Genetics at LSU. In my studies I have learned to compensate for a reading and writing disability. More or less coding and decoding to and from written language is slower for me than most people. With practice my longhand is at decent speeds (I have never timed it though), but I am looking forward to learning Gregg's as I feel it will allow me to function yet faster.

    I have found myself on a lot of committees and boards over time, and at meetings I have always wanted to be able to take better notes, but stay up with conversation. If for nothing else, I believe this will be the driving force behind me actually learning Gregg's. (Right now I am the Communications Officer for the Red Stick Fly Fisher's club here in Baton Rouge, in case you were interested.)


  69. Hello, everyone! I'm happy to be joining this site. Gregg Shorthand
    may be dead in the secretarial schools, but it seems to be pretty
    lively on the web, what with this site, the Proboards site,
    gregg.angelfishy.net, and Shorthand Shorthand Shorthand.

    I'm a mathematics professor and self-taught Gregg writer. I've
    studied and used shorthand for upward of 35 years. I'm not a really
    fast writer, though I use shorthand frequently for personal notes,
    class notes, committee minutes, and the first drafts of research
    papers. Sometimes it just seems easier to leave longhand behind and
    break into shorthand.

    I write Diamond Jubilee, albeit with some abbreviations I've
    introduced from other series. I've done a lot of reading in Gregg,
    from 1902 Pre-Anniversary onward.

    For me, the history and theory of shorthand are particularly
    interesting. I've read widely in them, and have familiarized myself
    (theoretically only, not for use) with a variety of systems. It
    fascinates me to imagine what shorthand inventors must have been
    thinking as they struggled to make their systems viable. (Gregg has
    told us his thought processes, but he's one of only a few that have.)

    The only system I can actually read and write is Gregg, though I have
    a recurring desire to learn Pitman and/or Thomas Natural.

    I'm grateful for the opportunity to post to this site, either with
    questions or help.

  70. Hello all,

    Another Gegg newcomer here. I started out with Teeline, then decided to jump to Gregg, which I've been at for 3-4 weeks, I think. No doubt it sounds like nothing to you long-time students, but I am pleasantly surprised at what I'm able to read and write already. 🙂

    I was inspired to start by a journal I wanted to handwrite. As a longtime IT worker I have fast typing skills but my handwriting has become awful and painful to write. Somehow I thought shorthand might help and I came across an article about Teeline. I like Teeline but it had some frustrations. I also liked the active Gregg community here plus a plethora of reading and study material available. So I took the plunge into the world of Gregg. (I was tempted by Pitman though!)

    I work in IT and I want to use shorthand at work, as well as see if I can write personal material quickly and comfortably, where longhand doesn't cut it.

    Although it's reputation isn't stellar, I found the Notehand book (1960 1st edition, with a blue cover) very helpful for its large amount of varied reading material and a key. It helped jumpstart me where just the Simplified manual — both books are from local libraries — would have had me give up.

    Generally, I am somewhere in between Simplified and Anni. The early lessons in both seem to cover the same material and brief forms, and I can read material in both without problem so far.

    Thanks for letting me join this group!

    1. Excellent! Actually, I like the Notehand books because of the reading material, which is better than the boring business letters from the regular manuals (although the Anniversary functional method books have more interesting stuff).

      Do you own any shorthand books already, or are you looking for a series to settle with? I recommend sticking to one series for learning because the principles within a series are interconnected — in fact, that's how you will be able to write new words, by applying the principles laid out in the specific series. Once you learn a series, then you can mix/match stuff from other series if you want. You're correct that the beginning of Simplified and Anniversary are very similar because you're learning the basic alphabet, which is the same in both series, but there will be differences that will be more noticeable as you progress.

    2. My first "shorthand" course in High School" was actually Notehand, in 1969. I still have my textbook, and love the layout and information it contains (even if dated). It was an excellent presentation of the practical value and usefulness of shorthand.

  71. Hi I am teaching myself Gregg shorthand ( Anniversary ). I am using books and the Gregg shorthand website and any other person, place or thing to help me. I have not been at it very long and every time I think I am doing ok I suddenly seem to forget the words. Very Frustrating. However I am bound and determined to learn it as I have always wanted to learn.

    1. Great Sherry. Motivation is important! Keep us posted on your progress and will help you along. If you have any questions, please post them here. Good luck!

  72. Hi everyone!
    I am so glad to find this resource to help with using/learning Gregg. I prefer to write longhand over typing on a keyboard, but that gets hard on my hand if I go too long. So I am learning shorthand to help with that.
    I started with the simplified manual, but hit a lesson that I was having trouble taking in. I am now using the S90 text kits and doing much better. They have an answer key and dictation at 40 and 80 wpm on cassette that matches the text in the book. It also has detailed instructions on how to practice and how to use the dictation tapes. Once I finish that, I will go back to the simplified manual and fine tune the brief forms.
    I am looking forward to the stories and exercises in shorthand that are posted here — the material in the text books is a little dry . . .

    1. Excellent Kathy! Since you're already on your way with S90, I recommend finishing the S90 theory before studying Simplified, as you are planning to do. That way you will have a good base to pick up Simplified later on. Which lesson of S90 are you in right now?

    2. I am on Lesson 10 right now. The taped dictation sessions are a big help because I can do them over and over until I can do the words without thinking and build up speed. I am also using a whiteboard that fits in my lap to practice the lessons. I write larger to get the letters and brief forms down.

  73. Hello everyone and thanks to Carlos for accepting my application to join. My name is Rich Harrison and I've had a lifelong fascination with languages, foreign alphabets, invented scripts, stenography, asemic writing, cryptography and so forth. I don't know why my brain is so strongly attracted to these things but it is, so here I am.

    I've just acquired a copy of the 1960 Notehand book and soon I will be receiving Simplified and Diamond Jubilee manuals. I've decided to go ahead and study Notehand for the time being and look at the other versions later. I hope that I will be able to contribute somehow to the vitality of Gregg in the future.

  74. Fellow Gregg Fans,

    I'm Kevin. I was a member of the old Gregg Multiply site, and just joined here. I became fascinated with shorthand several years ago while trying to find something to help with taking minutes at a local canine agility group's monthly meetings. Since then I've mostly been wasting time spinning my wheels trying to pick a system, and version. Along the way I've collected way too many books. I have books on Gregg, Pitman, Teeline, Thomas Natural, Forkner, and probably some others I'm forgetting. I even collected a couple of StenoType machines. I think I've finally decided to focus on Gregg Diamond Jubilee. I stumbled across this site while searching for online resources.

  75. Hi Kevin,

    What kinds of StenoType machines do you have? I am currently in school to be a broadcast captioner. I own a Stenograph Wave, but love seeing older writers.

    Welcome back to the group.


  76. Hi all! I'm new!

    I am sort of a Hobby collector, as in I collect hobbies. I knit (including designing knitwear), crochet, tat, spin, weave, embroider, cross stitch, draw, sketch, paint (watercolor), make cards, do bookbinding, collect fountain pens, read voraciously and play the penny whistle.

    Shorthand initially crossed my radar while watching an episode of Dr. Who, then again while watching an episode of Torchwood. I got curious and did a little research and learned that there were many different forms of shorthand and that the ones used in those shows was most likely Teeline. Since I live in the US and there was some question of the readability of Teeline after any length of time, I looked at Gregg and Pitman. The idea of having to pay attention to line width and spacial placement discouraged me (despite the ability to fuel my fountain pen hobby by adding flex pens to my list of 'needs'), so I researched Gregg and found the Angelfishy site, which led me to here.

    I know that my grandmother took shorthand because I remember her talking about it when I was younger and I feel a bit closer to her by learning. The idea of knowing a 'secret' code seems fun, but also that whatever I write will (hopefully) by decipherable by other who also know is neat too. And I like the idea of being able to quickly record what others are saying, especially at meetings, or while on the phone. (my short term memory kind of sucks, especially when clouded by some slight social anxiety)

    I've only just started my studies (I am trying to spend at least a week on each unit, and am almost done with Unit 1) I've downloaded the Graded readings and Fundamental Drills and am using them to supplement the main manual, I really like the feeling I get when I can easily read a passage written in shorthand. Right now my focus is on fluency and accuracy, but someday I hope to get good enough to work on speed.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Abigail. Reading lots of shorthand helps considerably with speed as the shorthand outlines become impressed in memory and you'll be able to recall them under dictation.

  77. Hi! I'm Rikki and I just started learning Centennial version. I have always thought shorthand would be interesting to learn, so recently (read Monday), started learning. I know my mom learned a version of shorthand, but she doesn't remember which type of shorthand. At first I thought it would be nice to be able to write song lyrics (I was about 12). Now, as I have to take training classes for work and sit in on meetings where notes are needed, I believe it would be an asset in addition to being really interesting to know.

    Plus, a part of me figures if I can learn the phonetic Kana of Japan, I should be able to learn a phonetic writing system for English. So far, so good. 🙂

    The only problem I've had so far, is trying to figure out proportions, but I'm hoping that all the interesting information I've seen in this blog will help with that. Not too worried about speed yet, as I've only barely started.

  78. Hi, I'm Adam and I have been learning Anniversary Edition Gregg for just over 3 months now. I got interested from an article in The Atlantic ( http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/yeah-i-still-use-shorthand-and-a-smartpen/373281/ ) and realizing that I write a lot of notes on books and could do with a speed up.

    I've joined because this looks like the biggest collection of Gregg materials and I'm looking for extra reading material now to speed up my recognition 🙂

  79. Hi everyone—

    I'm new here, and have been studying only about half-a-year, out of the Anniversary handbook and some reading material off of Archive.org.

    I have no real need for shorthand, but I do a lot of writing and don't like computer screens. It's nice having a quick way to get an idea down while on the go or sitting by a window instead of huddled up at a desk.

    Thank you to Carlos for the invitation, and I'll be prattling soon.

    1. Great Mitchell! There are quite a few people like you — learning shorthand because they like to sit down and write, instead of sitting down and type, :-).

  80. Hello!

    I'm an engineering student who's been looking into shorthand as a way to enhance note-taking (both in speed and privacy) and because it also seemed like a fun, esoteric project to undertake.

    Tried out Paragon shorthand for a bit but that wasn't the best for me, so I looked into Gregg and thought Simplified was my best bet. Currently have the FM Manual for Simplified on the way. Can't wait to get on track and start learning!

  81. Hi, I'm Teri from NC. I took one semester of shorthand (probably Diamond Jubilee) in high school, back in '84 or so. I haven't done much with it since, but I'm interested in picking it up again. I'm a homeschooling parent and I've been enticing my son, who's 13, to learn it with me. He loves the "secret code" aspect of it (actually, so do I!) I'm so glad I found this blog, and I love that there are people out there still doing shorthand! It seems the more I delve into the technological rabbit hole, the more a part of me wants to pull back and do things the good old-fashioned and simpler way (just good old paper, pen and my own brains).

  82. Hello I'm Lam. I became interested in shorthand some years ago from a television drama. One episode was about a guy who wants to apply as a office secretary and one of the tasks on the interview was to transcribe a piece of shorthand.

    I once tried to study Gregg myself but I find it difficult. Then I became busy with my work and I decided to work on Teeline instead, and I'm practicing 80-90 wpm at the moment. I've join this group because I can find a lot of learning resources about Gregg shorthand here and perhaps I can try again!

    Many thanks to Carlos for your invitation.

    1. You're welcome, Lam! Glad to have you here. Do you remember which series of Gregg you tried learning before you got your hands on Teeline? Also, what did you find difficult about it?

    2. I attempted the Anniversary edition first, and now I think I'll start again with Simplified.
      -Some exercises in the anniversary edition were too historic (price of grain etc.), made it hard to deduce the words.
      -Any tips on writing the "a" or "e" circles because I often see them elongated or change into some oval shape when they blend with other strokes, I haven't got a grasp of writing them confidently and properly.

    3. I can see some of the words can be obsolete, but that is just at the beginning, where they have to find words that use the principles that you have learned, which at that stage are very few. So they need to resort to words like "dray", that can be written in the first lesson.

      About the circle vowels, it is just a matter of proportion: a circle big (covering a third of the space between two lines), e circle tiny. Given that Gregg Shorthand is slanted like cursive writing, circles will naturally morph into ovals. As long as you keep proportion, there should be no confusion as to which one is which.

      Maybe a good way for you to learn would be to consider using the Functional Method manual (FMM) for Simplified. The regular Simplified manual makes you start writing very early and it does not have a key to the exercises. With the FMM for Simplified (which contains the key to most of the shorthand in the book), you don't write anything until Assignment 21. In that way, by the time you start writing, you will be very familiar with the shorthand strokes, will be able to read a decent amount of shorthand material, and penmanship questions like yours will be less because you have been exposed to a lot of shorthand to figure it out. The lessons in both books are exactly the same; the material may be slightly different. Also, while the regular manual states rules explicitly, the FMM does not — it shows "by example." So you could use both books together if you have doubts about a rule.

    4. Thanks for the tip, my copy of the Simplified manual includes the key in the appendix. Now I'll learn how to read the outline first before proceeding to writing. This is rather different from Teeline in which there are reading and writing exercises from the beginning.

    5. Hmm, now I wonder if you're using the 3rd edition of the Simplified manual by Gerard O'Kennedy that was published in the UK. What is the year of publication of your book?

    6. I'm reading the 2nd edition of the manual (year 1955).
      The local library also have the 3rd edition, and I've read an article about that on this site, I might look for it when I go there some time later.

    7. The second edition is perfectly fine. The 3rd edition introduced many changes in the system and it is different. Stick with the 2nd.

  83. Hi,
    I'm currently learning shorthand so that I can take notes quickly without being at a computer and getting distracted by reddit and other pointless sites every 5 minutes! Actually, I really like the feel of taking notes by hand, and I like the curves of Gregg.

    I learnt Notehand for a short while, as the book's free on openlibrary and it seemed like a good way of getting my feet wet, and now I'm learning Simplified. It's slow going, but every day I can feel things are getting a little easier.

    I'm really glad to have found this community, it's nice to know that there are other people also learning along side me!

    1. Wonderful Corva! I hope it motivates you to continue studying Simplified. Probably the most important thing in learning is not to go ahead in a new lesson until you can read the previous lesson like a book: "mastery before speed."

  84. Hello. I just joined the group. I began my study of Gregg shorthand for the purpose of notetaking. I learned from the 1888 pamphlet and Gregg notehand, but I have been indiscriminate in stealing outlines from other versions when I like them. I am looking forward to learning from the group here.

  85. Hello everyone I'm a new join. Carlos thank you for adding me! This is definitely a large following here! I am still in the process of choosing which variation to learn. I'm excited to learn!

    1. Excellent and welcome! If you have any questions, before making a final decision as to which series you're thinking of pursuing, please post it here.

  86. Hello, everyone!

    A relatively new learner of French Anniversary Gregg, I am currently in grad school studying French, so I decided to take up Gregg in order to take better notes in my classes (my mother learned [English] Gregg in high school, and I was always jealous of her ability!).

    I have been learning for just over a year, but much of the time I feel like I'm going largely uphill, what with the lack of resources in French (especially compared to all of the English Gregg resources out there). I have managed to get my hands on the manuals for Anniversary, Simplified, and Series 90 as well as "Vitesse progressive en Sténographie Gregg" as part of the Diamond Jubilee collection. I decided to aim high and settle on Anniversary, but I have continual difficulty discerning my own outlines for various words, often using the English Gregg dictionaries as a starting-off point for words with similar structures (I have yet to stumble upon a French Gregg dictionary). I will continue checking used book resources in the hopes of finding something which might help me along, if only a little bit.

    That is just a long-winded way to say that I have become very passionate about my learning of Gregg, and I feel very fortunate to have found this blog! Thanks to everyone!

    1. There is a pocket-"Dictionnaire Sténographique Gregg” by Soeur Marie-Ernestine, SSA (Alma Lamoureux) in the "Collection du 75e anniversaire", published by McGraw-Hill Canada in 1969. That information might help your search.

    2. Yes, that's the DJS dictionary. There's also the Simplified dictionary (Dictionnaire de la stenographie Gregg simplifiee) by Marie de Bethleem. If you're studying the Anniversary series, you should get a copy of "Études graduées de vitesse en Sténographie Gregg" by Frances Lippman. It has lots of reading and writing material and it is designed to be used along with the Anniversary manual. If you're interested in an electronic version of this book, let me know.

    3. That's great to know that in theory there are still dictionaries out there! I have been keeping a pretty close eye on all of the usual used book resources and have yet to come across any at all. But I'll keep looking, you never know!

      I have even tried getting "Études graduées de vitesse" by Lippman through my university's Interlibrary Loan, with no luck yet. Carlos, if you have an electronic version of the book, that would be absolutely fantastic!

    4. Getting the French Gregg resources is not impossible. They appear on Amazon and on eBay sporadically. That's how I've collected them through the years.

  87. Fascinating to read about everyone's history here. I took Diamond Jubilee shorthand in high school in 1971. They quit teaching it the following year. I've used it throughout my life to take notes, and to write cryptically so no one else can read it! I love different alphabets and languages. I have a Bachelors in Japanese and Spanish and I've studied Sanskrit a bunch. (It uses the same alphabet as Hindi). I also had a career as an IBM customer engineer and started out working on Selectrics I, II and III and Executives, later moving on to the DisplayWriter and PCs. It's been really interesting to watch technology evolve, but I'm a firm believer in hardcopy books, pen and paper, and cursive.

    1. Welcome to the blog Laurel! You got in the nick of time for your shorthand lessons, lucky you. I still love the IBM Selectric and its keyboard feel. I also used an IBM Executive, and remember that thing weighing a ton!

    2. I graduated from high school in 1970, and we had transitioned to IBM selectrics in typing class. A school district in our state disposed of a bunch of "Royal Standard" manual typewriters that were brand new, and my dad bought one for me. Still have it–but talk about weighing a ton! My wife and I are getting ready to move and I brought it up from the basement–could barely carry it up the stairs.

  88. Those IBM Executives did weigh a ton, but their proportional spacing made the most beautiful text. I had a Selectric III for years with a card-holding platen. Gave it away and now I regret it as it was the best for typing recipe cards. I guess I should bite the bullet and learn how to do that with software.

    1. You can still get nice IBM Selectrics on eBay! I'm lucky that I have a local office machine repair shop that sells beautiful refurbished Selectrics as well. I take my old typewriter there (a Sears daisywheel, which is also very good!) when it needs maintenance.

  89. Hello everyone, I've been following the posts for less than 6 months but have enjoyed it immensely. I was one of those students in high school who thought if I learned secretarial skills including shorthand, I'd be able to put myself through college using those skills. Well, it turned out that I was on the cusp of a great change in everything. I graduated from High School in 1973 with the ability to take shorthand (DJS) at 90-120 wpm. I only ever had two jobs where my skills were needed, thus I really only used it for taking notes in college and when attending any lectures with fast speakers.
    When I was 22, I took a refresher course at a community college and bought the DJS refresher course text. Then 30 years later, I dusted off my old texts (was I ever glad I had them) and began to refresh my skills. I am very encouraged knowing there are others out there who value this skill. Now I’m finishing my undergrad degree (just in time for my husband’s retirement) and enjoying the use of my shorthand once again.
    I’ve been reading some of the banter back and forth about the different versions of Gregg Shorthand. As one who has only studied DJS I’ve also found the reading material to be very dry. I downloaded “The Christmas Carol” in shorthand on my ereader only to discover it to be fairly unreadable. After buying some old shorthand texts at a garage sale and comparing the dictionary of the Anniversary edition to my DJS edition, it dawned on me that there were different versions. I realized that “The Christmas Carol” was probably written in the Anniversary version.
    Ok, so my question is, does anyone have a recommendation for being able to see what the major differences are between these two versions? Like maybe someone has written a little compendium of changes between versions. Wouldn’t we all like that?
    Of course, I could study the anniversary text, which I’ve been struggling with, but I can’t seem to get through the whole thing enough to read the Dickens’ book with any competence. One more question: I’ve been reading comments about Notehand—how much does that vary from Diamond Jubilee? Any discussion is welcome. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Debbie. I graduated from high school in 1970, and also studied Diamond Jubilee. I've looked at Anniversary and Simplified, enough to have a sense of how they're structured (and to be able to read them, although not fluently), but for me "shorthand" always comes back to DJS, so I stick with it because it feels right to me.

      Notehand looks on the page very much like DJS. It has fewer brief forms, and writes many more words out in full. I'd say if you have a good grasp of DJS, you don't need Notehand. Someone just learning shorthand might prefer it because it's easier.

    2. Welcome Debbi !! I can't help you with your question, but I just wanted to say hello.

      I graduated from high school in 1963, but did not study shorthand. If my high school offered any shorthand classes it would have been the Simplified version which was the "current version" from 1949 – 1962…. followed as you know by the Diamond Jubilee Series from 1963 – 1977.

      I had always wanted to study shorthand. I thought it looked delightful and the "secret code" aspect of it appealed to me also.

      So, here I am at age 70 just starting to learn Gregg Shorthand and thoroughly enjoying it. After much deliberation and excellent advice from Carlos and from members who faced the same question…. which version should I learn… I decided to jump in and learn the Anniversary edition which was the "current" version of Gregg shorthand from 1929 – 1948.

      If you haven't already, you should take a look at Andrew Owen's website


      He has wonderful descriptions of the various editions of Gregg Shorthand from the very beginning to the present.. and shows and describes many of the relevant Gregg Shorthand books for each version. Andrew is/was also a member here.

      Carlos has also created a pdf which shows the covers of the major books for each version. I don't have that link at the moment, but perhaps I can come back with it or Carlos can post the link.

      Have fun on your renewed Gregg journey !!!

  90. I found it…. the post is called "Gregg Shorthand Book Covers" and was posted on Dec 3, 2008. You can find it in the archives…. That has the link to the pdf of the book covers. I have found that to be very helpful.

  91. Hi everyone,

    I'm Sam. I found my Mom's old Diamond Jubilee books many years ago, and ever since then I have been casually interested in Gregg Shorthand. Recently I decided that I want to try to learn Gregg Shorthand well so that I can use it to easily take notes in grad school. I decided to try the Anniversary edition because I might as well go all out if I'm going to spend my time and effort on this endeavor.

    So far I have been using the original Anniversary book, but I just bought the two book Functional Method set because I have read a lot of good things about them. I also have a few issues of The Gregg Writer. Maybe I will try scanning them and uploading them here if anyone is interested.

    My mom used to be a secretary, but she hasn't used shorthand in years. Since I've become more interested in shorthand, I have gotten her interested in the subject again. Surprisingly, she still remembers most of the system after all of these years. She is now working through her old books as review.

    Anyway, this site appears to have a lot of useful material, and I hope to add to the discussions here when I can.

  92. Welcome Sam. I too have started on the journey of learning the Anniversary version of Gregg shorthand. At Carlos' suggestion, I started with the Functional Method books. I have not gotten very far yet, but I am enjoying it thoroughly.

    When I was in high school in the early 1960s, they must have been teaching Gregg Simplified but I never took any shorthand classes. I wish I had !!!

    Enjoy the journey. There is lots of great information here and Carlos and others can answer any questions that come up along the way.

    You'll also find that once you get started you will be looking on eBay for lots of other great Anniversary Gregg shorthand books to supplement your original manual and the Functional Manuals. For me, it has become a bit of an addiction and I have built up quite a library of them 🙂 For the most part, they are readily available on eBay and reasonably priced. I haven't paid more than $10 for any of them and most have been more like $5 or $6 or $7…….

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for the welcome. I am already finding myself addicted to looking for supplementary material on eBay. Already I have the original Anniversary manual, the two Functional Method books, the phrase book, Gregg Speed Studies, Speed Studies and Grading Readings combo book, and three issues of The Gregg Writer. I won't count my Mom's Diamond Jubilee books because I don't use them. I've promised myself I won't get any more until I've made some significant headway into what I already have. 🙂

    2. Hi Sam,

      You have made some good choices in books. I highly recommend 5000 Most Used Shorthand Forms. It is organized according to the chapters in the Anni Manual. There are several other books that are organized according to the manual – like Graded Readings and Speed Studies.

      BTW, Carlos recommends Gregg Speed Studies – Third Edition.

      I suggest that you look in the archives at the Dec 03, 2008 post that Carlos made called Gregg Shorthand Book Covers. In that post you will find a pdf that shows many of the most important books arranged by Gregg series i.e. Pre-Anniversary, Anniversary, etc.

      There are also some pdfs available for the keys to some of the books and for some books that are difficult to find used.

      There is a pdf of the Teachers Manual for the Anniversary Functional Method Manuals that I have found very helpful as I work through the Functional Method books.

      I can't remember where I found the pdf of the Teachers Manual, but I'm sure Carlos remembers….. or I can do a search and see if I can find it for you.

    3. Thanks, Susan. For now, I am going to use the online edition of 5000 Most Used Shorthand Forms on Angelfishy's site. I am waiting for a cheap copy to appear on eBay before getting it.

      Why exactly is the third edition recommended? I have the version from the Graded Reading and Speed Studies combo. One of my eBay orders gave me an extra copy of just the Speed Studies part as well. Is there really that big of a difference?

      Thanks for mentioning the teacher's manual. I will look over it when I get the chance.

  93. Hi All,

    Thanks Carlos for the invite and to everyone for adding to such a vibrant community!

    I am learning Anniversary for myself and because I want to teach it to my forthcoming child.

    For myself, I am a language buff and enjoy improving my proficiency in Chinese, Spanish, French, and learning new languages like ASL. Gregg falls into this category, and I hope it may even accelerate my learning speeds.

    For my family, my wife and I are expecting a child due soon, on September 1! I had been practicing Plover (stenotype), and was thinking about how and when we might teach the child stenotype. But then I had the idea that if I teach a very young child to read shorthand at a very young age, then they will also be able to write shorthand. I hope to teach the child (of surprise gender) Gregg starting from a young age, by reading to him/her from Gregg books, and using "Early Learning" methods. (e.g.: http://www.brillbaby.com/)

    Right now, I'm at Unit 21 in Anni, and have been following along reading the essays in the Fundamental Drills. I haven't started writing yet, I figure I'll start that soon, maybe after Unit 24 or so. I purchased the Functional Method book, I think I'll read through that before I start writing.

    I'm super excited to read all the materials. I tried to read a little of Alice in Wonderland without comparing it to a typescript copy – still way over my head! Confident I'll get there though!


  94. Hi everyone – I'm Connie. I am so grateful to you, Carlos, for this shorthand blog – it's just great! I studied Gregg Simplified – probably the last year that version was taught – in college and have used it every day since. The other day, two of my granddaughters saw me using it and were fascinated, so I taught them a few symbols. Just purchased the Refresher Course in Gregg Shorthand and am so glad I did – it is really helpful. Thank you, Carlos, for your work in the shorthand community!

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