A List of Changes in the New Gregg Shorthand Manual

This booklet was published in 1949 to acquaint teachers of shorthand with the changes in the Simplified series and manual, as compared to the Anniversary edition. It details the changes in the areas of presentation of material, principles of the system, brief forms, phrasing, and miscellaneous rules. While the material may not be that useful for current students of the system, it presents a head-to-head comparison of Simplified with the additional nuances of Anniversary, and may be useful to those curious to find out what was changed and those who desire to switch at some point.

Although the conception of the Simplified series passed through many draft revisions, it is nice to have a publication that explains the changes and the authors’ reasoning behind those changes in the final product.

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  1. I have a question here but it requires a brief history in the obsessive mind of a shorthand version switcher.

    Since beginning to learn Gregg Shorthand I have gone back and forth between anniversary and simplified. Usually I find myself toward the end of the first volume of the functional method and feeling like I will never get it and turning to simplified. Over time I have purchased most of the recommended books for each system, anniversary and simplified. Part of this is out of a desire to collect and keep these books regardless of which version I end up using the most. Having these books seems to influence my urge to change. If I study anniversary, I reason, then I will never get to use that nifty Gregg Advanced Dictation Simplified, etc.…

    In the most recent swing I have actually finished the beginning manual of simplified and am moving into dictation simplified. In the back of my mind, however, I know that at some point in the future I would like to move to anniversary. So here I am writing at the 60 to 80 wpm range on practiced material and getting it (yes Carlos, now I can even name all the brief forms and principles). As I looked at Bowman’s dictation studies simplified the intro says that it is essentially the same book as the anniversary edition except for the changed shorthand plates. Hmm, so I decide to order the anniversary edition (1947 version) just for the fun of comparing. Then, upon receiving it I see that indeed, anniversary is much shorter! So what did I do two days ago? you guessed it, I started my way through the Anniversary Functional Method book volume 1. Two days is about how long it takes for the reality to set in that this is actually much harder.

    Then I get this document. Even before this, as I began going into the Anniversary reading, I already have on my shoulder the voice of Leslie telling me that longer strokes don’t equal more time, etc.. He even goes out of his way in the teacher’s handbook of the functional dictation anniversary edition to explain this concept even before he develops the simplified version. So, when I open this document I think, wow, 50 % less time. That is nice. Now I am stuck. I really do want to write fast. I realize that this is a decision I must make on my own. My question is this: should I continue in Simplified until my speed is really up and then someday, if I so choose, move to anniversary? Or, since there is this nagging desire to eventually study anniversary, just jump in now? Here is some logic I have used to favor the simplified version. If I go that route, the worst thing that can happen is I write fast but not as fast as I might with anniversary. If I go the anniversary route, then I might never write at all because it could lead to discouragement and seasons of no shorthand at all.

    I share all of this because I believe that I am not alone in this internal debate. Also, I really would like your thoughts. Thanks.


  2. The concise booklet was very interesting. Ironically when I was learning Simplified in high school and after several months fell upon a cache of Anniversary speed building books, it was the reversing principle to indicate "r" which caught my fancy and led me to study the complete Anniversary system. Now this booklet confirms that by 1949 Gregg management was aiming shorthand primarily for business use. Anyone who's comfortable with Simplified has my blessing but as I've been using Anniversary since 1960, I definitely prefer it – but like Leslie and Zoubek recommend, anytime I can't immediately write a shortcut, I automatically write the troublesome outline for the word or phrase in full. The booklet better explains why so many shortcuts were omitted with the Simplified revision and I appreciate seeing and learning the justification offered for the changes although it would have been nice if the Simplified manual had an "afterward" fully explaining the abbreviating principle. LOL

  3. I would stick with Simplified if I were you.

    You can always read Anniversary plates if you want to see how the words were written in Anniversary, and if you like the outline of a word in Anniversary as opposed to the one in Simplified, there is nothing to tell you not to mix the versions and borrow the outline. But make your base in Simplified. I wouldn't start formally studying Anniversary like you tried to do, because instead of being more comfortable and improving your speed in Simplified which would be the next logical step for you, you will in a way "regress" and unlearn what you have already learned and become frustrated. You should not fear that you will not write as fast as Anniversary, because if push comes to shove, you can always learn the abbreviating principle of Anniversary and all the extra brief forms if needed, while at the same time having developed your carrying ability in Simplified: the ability to retain words in the brain while they are being dictated. That to me is much more important to have than preferring to write a shorter vs a longer outline for the same word.

    Granted, Leslie pointed out that much of the simplifications came because of business language use, and like the foreword of the booklet says, most of the outlines that were lengthened occur in ordinary business dictation rarely, if at all. I understand that perhaps you will not be writing business correspondence. But Simplified is still good enough to do Congressional dictation, so you can go with it really fast — perhaps with the help of some shortcuts and loans from Anniversary — but regardless, the potential is there. (Heck, I know of a person that can write 175 wpm in DJS!) So don't fear, and stick to your plan.

  4. I learned Simplified years ago and have more recently studied Anniversary. I like certain features of each.

    An ideal version, in my view, would retain many of the Anniversary brief forms that were dropped in Simplified. "Sk" is much easier to write than "ask." "Esr" is much easier to write than "esersis." I can cite many other examples of easy to write, useful brief forms that were dropped.

    I think an ideal version would also add the RD blend but would retain the reversing principle in certain contexts–namely, BEFORE T, M, and N. The RT combination is particularly awkward to write. Such a version would, however, have dropped the use of the reversing principle at the ends of words. (R is just as easy to write as reverse-E, and RS is decidedly easier to write than reverse e-loop.)

    Some Simplified brief forms are better than their anniversary counterparts. PR stands for "present"; so "RPR" should logically stand for "represent." ESEK strikes me as a better sign from "executive" than ESKV. Writing "report" phonetically–RPOT–is just as easy as writing RPR to represent that word.

    Simplified's consistent rules for omission of R, its consistent use of use of UT to represent "ult," and or OT to represent "ort" are distinct improvements.

    Authorized outlines in both systems reflect arbitrariness about omission of vowels. Why should the vowel in the first (unaccented) syllable of "mysterious" be written while the vowel in the (accented) second is omitted? MSTERUS seems much more logical to me than MESTRUS. (The latter is the dictionary outline.) An ideal version, I think, would require that the vowels in all accented syllables be written (except in brief forms, which must sometimes be arbitrary).

    I hate outlines that extend far above or below the space in which the word begins. I have never thought of the disjoined T that is used to mark past tense as a T at all. I think of it as the "-ed" sign. I have tended in my own writing to use it where a joined D is prescribed. I THINK I might want to use it all the time except where the RD blend could be used. (I may be off the wall here, because Leslie writes that the disjoining takes as much time as writing another character. But outlines running through those on another line are very irritating.)

    I'm going to try using my ideal blended version for a while and eventually report on how it has worked for me.

  5. Maybe too many people were trying to squeeze it in at the end of a line, which plays hob with your proportions. The few days it took me to break this unfortunate habit will probably save me weeks, if not months, in reading time in the long run.

    'Represent/representative' and 'reply' are the AE pair that tend to throw me, mainly because in speech and in longhand the former is usually abbreviated as 'rep'.

  6. It surprises me that they dropped the word beginnings recl- and decl-, but kept incl-. Each of them really only has about three root words that use it, plus derivatives, and the root words are pretty much the same set for all of them. I had a lot of trouble remembering incl- until I started practicing the three together.

  7. Did you read the part in the booklet where they explained why they dropped the "r" in "large"? Because it was getting confused with "rich"! Now, how in the heck can you confuse the two words? I can see getting it confused with "rage", but "rich"? And it appears that it was an old problem! Oh well …

  8. I agree with you on the "port" ending. However, the word "report" has a specific problem in Anniversary, and it is the writing of the derivative "reporter." If we were to use an analogical ending -pot for -port, then according to theory in Anniversary it would be r – p – o – t – reversed e, which is much more complicated to write than r – p – r – r. And since "report" and "reporter" were very common words, I'm sure they would've preferred to keep the rprr outline for speed. But I see your point. In Simplified, you don't have that issue, because instead of a "reversed e" you will write an "r." If you regularize the -port ending, then you can use r – p – r for "represent." (The way I memorized "present" and "represent" is that the "r" from present is moved to the beginning of the word in "represent.")

  9. I see the authors point in simplifying the writing of those words with the omitted "r", but I'm scratching my head looking at some of the examples the authors posted for eliminating the rule. They cite "marsh" vs "march." Well, if you eliminate the "r" in marsh, it would read "mash", so the "r" needs to be there. The "r" was omitted in "reverse" but written in "reversion", of course, because if "reversion" did not have the "r", it would read "revision." Definitely it helps not having to memorize the rule!

    One thing about the -rd stroke that I don't like is the fact that it is hard to write it artistically, unlike the -ld stroke which looks beautiful when the end is swung upwards. You cannot do that as well with the shorter initial r curve, as it will tend to look like an -nd blend. So Charles Rader had to exaggerate the stroke and sometimes make a small backward hook at the end, which doesn't look nice. Further, the outline appears to end in a point, with a pause, rather than with a get-away stroke, something that can compromise your speed.

  10. That's a good point about squeezing the stroke. I didn't think of that.

    A good way to memorize the word "reply" is to memorize the phrase "In reply to your letter", which is written as n – r – e – p – u – l – e.

  11. I would definitely have kept the recl- and decl- beginnings–indeed, most of the analogical word beginnings and endings. I could do without the ending for -itic. Writing the anniversary outline for "politics" is hard, because you must remember to write the A with left motion in order to add the S. Writing the Anniversary outline for "political" requires replacing the disjoined A with a loop. The need for these alterations causes hesitation. With the disjoined K available for "-cal" we don't need these endings. What's hard about writing joined EKS or disjoined K or disjoined KE? We can write these with no hesitation. I would probably drop the -ology ending and write out joined -ol (as in Simplified). Figuring out how to write "apologize" in Anniversary is a challenge. (I would have to look it up.) Simplified's "-olise" is easy to remember. I would retain the
    -ograph ending, because writing out OGRAF quickly with correct proportions is difficult. Writing out "photography" and "geography" in Simplified is annoying.

    McBud: With regard to "march" and "marsh"–You point out that M-A-ISH stands for "mash"' but M-A-CHAY stands for "match." I don't think "marsh" and "mash" are any more likely to be confused in context than "march" and "match." Omission of R in a few frequently-used words not covered by Simplified's rules could be handled by treating these words as brief forms and the R could be included in others without causing any inconvenience.
    The editors' concern about too many brief forms was excessive. Brief forms for frequently-used words (if they are really brief) are easy to remember.

  12. As I recall, Jerry Edleman, plate writer for McGraw-Hill, came up with a hybrid of all the Gregg systems, taking the best of the bunch. TPTB took his ideas, never gave him credit, and out came Centennial to try to save the shorthand market. Nevertheless, I'm not familiar with Centennial but it may address many of these issues of consistency. Or am I way off base?

  13. I'm with you on the -itic ending, mostly, though I still like it for -atic and -etic.

    I don't think Anniversary's sideways-o-i-s is any harder to remember than Simplified's o-l-i-s, but it might be a bit harder to write.

    Marc, I'm looking into Centennial, but I'm not far enough along to try to answer that yet. So far, the only thing I can say with certainty is that the cut-and-paste method of creating the shorthand for the books makes for some ugly outlines when they combine pieces to make a new one.

  14. Parts of it were made public via the Gregg Newsletter. I thought I had posted this before but I cannot find the original post. I will rescan and repost some of the things they were thinking about.

  15. I never understood why they chose to have two different endings for -egraph and -ograph. In one of the adaptations of Gregg in Spanish that I've seen, they use the small circle for -graph (whether -egraph or -ograph). That leaves the disjoined o-hook as an ending for -ology. If I were to rewrite the Anniversary endings, I would implement that convention: use the disjoined o-hook for the ending -logous, a disjoined o-i for -logy, a disjoined o-k for -logical, etc. It makes more sense, and then I can get rid of the disjoined – sideways o hook, which is really hard to write.

  16. Centennial is basically a rehash of the principles of Series 90, but in a more colorful presentation. Theory is presented in 40 lessons (out of 52 total), as compared to 48 out of 70 lessons in S90. The Centennial book does not have "recall" lessons like S90 (there were 8 recall lessons in S90), so the number of lessons to introduce the theory is exactly the same in both series.

    In terms of the principles, Centennial reintroduces and changes some brief forms (and yes, "doctor" and "during" are written as dr, but "go" is still written as g – o!), and words formed according to the abbreviating principle that were not part of families are now added to the brief forms list. The word families that were part of S90 are gone, and they are now introduced as additional word endings. However, in terms of the theory, it is still Series 90. The -sume ending and the post- prefix that were lost in the transition from DJS to S90 are not there.

    From your story, I think that TPTB shelved Jerry's ideas more than likely, and created Centennial from what they already had in S90, as I don't see any new principles that were not already in S90. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like a hybrid to me: Centennial is in essence, S90.

  17. The ideal ending for -graph would probably be disjoined g, at least in terms of quick recall. The problem with that, of course, is what to do with -gram. I suppose one could be written above the end of the character, like the disjoined e for -egraph is written to distinguish it from -ingly.

    With post-/para- and -ingly/-egraph, the less common one is the one written above. I'm not sure there's that much difference in frequency between -gram and -graph, but on the plus side, both would be used often enough to remember.

  18. Exactly. If you have fewer rules to begin with, you have fewer opportunities for conflict. I guess Notehand or Greghand would beat out any of the fuller systems, including Series 90.

    I've never seen the book for Greghand (nor, because of its rarity, am I likely to), but from the description given somewhere on this site, it seems to be about as pared down as you can get, short of just using the alphabet to write everything phonetically.

  19. "Beat out" in terms of consistency. Somewhere in this tangle of threads is a comment to the effect that there are trade-offs between consistency and brevity. You illustrate the problem beautifully. : )

    By 'fuller', I meant more complete systems, not more complete outlines.

    Paragraph is an example of the word beginning para-, isn't it? Disjoined g is usually -gram. As for the problem of transcription error, you are absolutely right. Telegram/telegraph at least are somewhat related. You also have cases like monogram/monograph, both nouns but completely different animals.

  20. There was no issue in using the circle for -ingly and -egraph because by context you could deduce which one it was, as one is an adverb and another is a noun, so the transcription would be easy even if the placement of the ending is incorrect. If you use -graph and -gram with an disjoined e, a sentence like "I received it by telegram vs I received it by telegraph" may create a transcription problem if the placement is off. However, there is already precedent in using the disjoined -g for -graph in the word "paragraph."

  21. With Notehand and Gregghand you're writing everything. Literally. There are very few brief forms. The words "that" and "they" are not brief forms: they are written left th-a-t and left th-a, respectively. I'm not sure what you mean by "beat out", but Notehand is really slow and is fuller than S90 in terms of outline writing!

  22. I found the post I was talking about before. It is here. However, the link to the list of brief forms does not work, so I created a new post here so that you can take a look at the proposed changes in the transition from Anniversary to Simplified.

  23. As i am looking through this document more closely i noticed that on page 33, Leslie lists the word families for the GS abbreviating principle. I realize that those given in lessons 39 and 40 were not intended to be exhaustive, yet i wonder why the large difference. In this document he says, "The abbreviating principle is now used for ten word families and about twenty individual words. The word families are -ology, -iferous, -iverous, -titute, -titude, -side or -cide, -tribute, -quent, -itis, -iety." Yet in Lessons 39 and 40 the manual gives: -use, -titude, -cate, -gate, quire, -ntic, -ology, -tribute. What do you think the reason for this is?

  24. More than likely, it has to do with the frequency of those word families in business communication, although I'm not sure though why they left out in the booklet that they kept -ntic, -cate, and -gate from Anniversary. It's interesting that in the Spanish version of Simplified, they mentioned all those endings in the word families. Go figure.

  25. I have long wondered why "decision" in GS was written with a right "s" rather than left as in the word "decide". Certainly the ending "-tion" is not to blame. It was reading this document that revealed the answer to me. The authors give the example of the student's confusion in the outlines "decision" and "desertion" as a further benefit of no longer using the reverse circle to express r in GS. Can you think of any other reason to write "decision" with an awkward right "s" coming off of the d?

  26. I have exchanged offline messages with another forum member about the dictionary outline (Anniversary and Simplified) for "disadvantages," in which the right S is used. A right S after a D looks like an OO. If the left S were used, the V that follows A would stand to its left. But that happens in other authorized outlines, such as the one for "behavior."

  27. That's the only reason I know.

    Now, why is the word "such" written with a left s? Even if you include the u, a right s would make more sense, and If we write according to principle (eliminating short u before straight strokes), shouldn't it be a right s? (Incidentally, in Series 90 and Centennial, they write it with a right s!) I'm used to writing with a left s, but it is another one of those words that leaves you scratching your head.

  28. The right s in "decision" is actually according to rule (paragr. 51 in the manual): in cases of s + circle + consonant, treat the s as if it belongs to the following consonant. This would also apply in the case of "disadvantages."

    Being correct doesn't make it any less awkward, unfortunately. Penmanship practice can help keep the angle to distinguish it from d-oo, but context would still be the biggest help.

  29. Credit where it's due: Dr. Gregg did a very good job of arranging the alphabet so that awkward joins are less common. Most of the d-s-circle vowel-consonant combinations do call for the left s. Of the ones that have the right s, I have yet to see one that could be misread as d-oo-circle vowel-consonant and still make sense. It seems to be more of an inconvenience than a problem.

    1. Discussions of specific theory points like this are one of the great things about this group!

      Personally, I still have difficulty at times trying to figure out left-s versus comma-s, particularly after a d stroke. But time and study will surely resolve it.

  30. That happens in other authorized outlines (like "behavior"), because those outlines do not have an "s." Given that there are two kinds of s (right and left "s"), we need criteria to use one or the other. There are two special rules that only apply to the "s" (not to other consonants), that are explained in Paragraphs 49 and 51 of the Anniversary manual and apply in the "disadvantage" case. One says that when a circle vowel follows the "s", you treat the "s" as if it belongs to the following consonant. The second rule says that the correct "s" is chosen so that a circle placed outside an angle does not change the direction of motion. This explains why "disadvantage" is written with a "right s." In that word, the "s" belongs to the "v", not to the "d", because the circle vowel is between the "s" and the "v." Since the "s" belongs to the "v", the correct "s" to avoid a change in motion is the "right s." If the "s" belonged to the "d", the correct "s" would be the "left s" to avoid the change in direction (as in the word "days"). The word "behavior" is not a good example, because the rule only applies to the "s." If the only "s" stroke was, say, the "left s", then we would not need these two special rules, and the stroke would be written with a change in motion. and it would look like "behavior." (Lastly, if we write the "s" with a change of motion, it will look like a "ses" stroke, and that could create a transcription problem.)

  31. I'm glad I saw this article today. After reading the discussion about the reverse R, I was considering going go Anni, once I finished Simplified. (This was despite my promise to stick with Simplified.)

    It looks like Simplified definitely meets my needs better. Ease of reading and writing, especially with long gaps between uses, is more important to me than speed potential. Consistency and fewer rarely-used brief forms and phrases help.

    The article doesn't mention another difficulty with oodles and oodles of rarely-used brief forms and rules — hesitation while reading!

    Carlos, elsewhere you said you had an equivalent document for the Simplified to DJS move, but it couldn't be posted due to copyright. Can you send a copy to me at cricket@onebit.ca ? (My email is in so many places, one more won't matter.) Thanks!

  32. I read the list of changes document (in the original post for this thread) today and more than once, the reason given for a change was that students have trouble memorizing a form for a word when the form begins with the stroke for a letter other than the letter with which the word begins in longhand. (I know they weren't all kicked out for Simplified; for instance, pn is still used for upon.)  And then today, I encounter the brief form spe for experience.  What is worse, I already learned it the way it is listed in the Simplified brief forms in Andrew Owen's site, namely, esp.  I know rookies aren't supposed to be personalizing Gregg shorthand but I think I am going to have to make an exception for this one.

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