Another Gregg Newbie

Thank you (ye unknown administrator) for approving my membership. 🙂

I just stumbled onto Shorthand about a week and a half ago, and it was like finding buried treasure that no one else knows about…

Of course I’ve heard the term “shorthand” before, but I never saw a writing sample and always pictured it as being abbreviations using the English alphabet (which apparently speedwriting is, but that’s a different horse). Naturally I was completely wrong, and have only my ignorance to blame for not checking this out sooner!

The question became which Shorthand? Gregg, Pitman and Teeline seemed to be the frontrunners… but it wasn’t difficult to come to Gregg. Pitman required shading which isn’t natural at all to me, and Teeline resembled letters too much for my taste. I wanted something that I could write relatively fast with *and* that others I know wouldn’t be able to easily read (and no one I know understands Shorthand, of any flavor).

And so Gregg it was. I started learning Gregg Anniversary with the freely available materials on angelfishy, but then I began wondering if that was the version/edition I wanted to start with. I studied a lot of online materials, including the two sites linked to from this blogspace as well as many of the entries here. In the end I decided that Gregg Simplified was the perfect form, and so I ordered the 2nd Ed Simplified Manual (which should be here tomorrow or the next day)… and now I wait.

I was really glad to find a group dedicated to Gregg Shorthand, because I plan on taking this through to mastery and will very much appreciate any help along the way. It’s surprising there aren’t more members to this site, or more people interested in this beautiful form of writing.

(by snickerfit for group greggshorthand)

16 comments Add yours
  1. Welcome to the group! You came to the right place for all things Gregg, :-). Hopefully by looking at this blog you will feel motivated to study and become good at it.

    Simplified Gregg is a great choice as it combines speed with less memory burden than in Anniversary. If later on you want to learn additional principles, jumping to Anniversary would be relatively painless. Many of our members learned (or are learning) Simplified, and some now write Anniversary because they wanted to learn extra tricks. Reading materials in Simplified are less abundant than those in Anniversary (or pre-anniversary), however, we post Simplified reading and penmanship selections in the blog as well. And of course, we will answer any questions you have, so you don't need to feel alone in learning shorthand.

  2. Welcome! I'm learning Simplified — probably the slowest learner here. It would help if I didn't … oooh, shiny! I tried a few versions, and decided to go with the middle one.

    There are also dictation files on the site. They're not great, especially the computer-generated ones, but good enough for drill and review. (At 10 minutes of use per passage, investing more time in generating didn't make sense.) They're tagged gsf2-dictation and gsm2-dictation. Many of the passages are the same for all the Simplified books, but the cross-reference page is incomplete.

  3. Thank you both, and for the welcome.

    One of the reasons I decided on Simplified is that the opinions I've read (here and elsewhere) really indicate that the last "good"/relatively-fast edition of Gregg was Diamond Jubilee (with Series 90 being a dismal failure and no one really using Centennial because Shorthand was dead by then). Further discussions and charts seemed to indicate that Simplified was comparable in speed to Anniversary, but packaged in an easier to digest format for the average person and adding/dropping material as was relevant by that time (from the suggestions of Gregg users and teachers).

    These opinions may not in fact be the case, but they've swayed me rather well toward learning Simplified 2nd Edition for my "hobby".

    I doubt I'll ever need to get extremely high WPM, but I know that with Simplified I would still be able to write as fast, or faster, than normal human speech. There's no scenario for me that I'd need to be even faster than that, so Simplified works for me all-around. I plan on using it primarily for "clandestine note-taking". =) If I had known Gregg a few years ago, it would've served me well in an administrative position where I did in fact take notes constantly, but I'll settle for learning it now for personal and possible future use.

    I'll have to check out those dictation files once I get my feet wet. Thanks again.

  4. Hope you have fun learning! I started off on Simplified Ed 2. Then I read about Simp 2 Functional Method so I got that. I found it really dull stuff and started to lose motivation. Just out of interest I got copies of both Series 90 and – ahem – Gregg Notehand. The presentation and pedagogy of Notehand suited me down to a T:) It got me used to the representation of the sounds without boring me with secretarial short forms (I am really learning in order to use Gregg with the Swedish language). Now that Notehand has got me actually writing and reading quite well I am back now where I started with Simplified Ed 2. I realise now just how good a book it is and I much prefer the pedagogy of it, compared with the Functional Method. Look forward to your updates! All the best.

  5. I'm very glad to know that I'm not alone in learning Simplified!
    It seems to me that Simplified and Anniversary (or Anniversary and Simplified) are the two top contenders for newbies.
    I look forward to your posts as well!

  6. I cannot understand why "they" and "that" are written in full in Notehand. The brief forms for those two words are so ingrained in all series that it is hard to justify not writing them as briefs. But I agree with you, I like the way the material is presented in the latter books, even though the content may leave something to be desired!

  7. Bleh. I'm still waiting for the manual. Walmart.com's shipping is so weird, the book was shipped from a state to the east and passed *through* my state heading a few more to the west just to be "sorted", so instead of getting here in a couple days I'm waiting until maybe next Monday or something. The intensity of my eyeroll can not be measured…

  8. I learned simplified forty-five years ago but recently decided to switch to Anniversary because its shorter outlines are easier to write. ("exercise," for example, is represented by "esr" in Anniversary; but in Simplified it is represented by "esersis.) Some Simplified outlines, however, are just as easy to write as their Anniversary counterparts and much more logically constructed. ('report," for example, is represented by "rpot" in Simplified and by "rpr" in Anniversary, even though "por" represents "port" in both versions, and "pr" represents "present." Simplified, quite logically uses "rpr" to represent "represent.") In some contexts Anniversary's reversing principle facilitates writing; in others writing R's and using Simplified's RD blend is easier. I wish the editors had revised Anniversary less extensively than they did. Something in between the two would be ideal, I think

  9. FINALLY got my book! Have been going through it and am having a slight problem with the curve of the letters like F and V. I was never a real fan of "cursive" writing, and tend to write cursive straight-up if I have to. Does it really have to look like that, or can I straighten them out so they are more natural for me to write? I mean SHOULD I? Or is there maybe an easier way to write it correctly, to get the slant right?

  10. The exact degree of slope or curviness isn't critical — but you should be consistent and it should be enough to have a margin of error. At speed, flat lines between loops often don't stay flat and slopes change. Stick to the samples until you've finished the theory.

    Try turning the paper or sitting differently. Move your whole hand, not just the finger-tips. Also change the size.

    Yes, the deeper curve at one end is important. It really does help with later outlines. The curve should be definite so a straight line that gets a bit of a curve at speed doesn't mess things up. There's also a blend of two curvy lines that becomes one line with less curve (G-L, as opposed to G-R which gets a hump), so you need a "middle" curviness.

    Try sticking B and V together, to form an ellipse, and draw the ellipse over and over. The V will be written in the wrong direction for this exercise. Then change direction. Repeat with P and F and the two S's. Repeat with G/L, C/R and O/U. Somewhere there's a short pamphlet with several exercises like that.

    Try reading ahead, without writing, to see how the entire system fits together. My first book didn't say there were three lengths in the T-D-TD series until many chapters in, so my D's were too long. (Hint: Every line and curve has three lengths — the longest is usually a blend.) Then go back and actually write. Don't give in to the temptation to skip writing each and every passage at speed — unless you have a teacher who knows when you can skip one. It's like learning long-division before you've truly mastered subtraction.

    Warning: If you read ahead without actually learning, some of the chapters will seem totally nuts. Trust the system. They'll fit in nicely if you master each chapter in order.

    Also read material from other writers, to see how much things can vary. The books are arranged so the most common sounds come first. You can read nine words out of ten after learning only half the theory, and make a good-enough guess at the rest.

    Lessons in Shorthand Penmanship is good.
    http://greggshorthand.multiply.com/journal/item/1325/Lessons_in_Shorthand_Penmanship
    I think it describes strokes in the order they're presented in Anni, but the strokes are the same as in Simplified (except the reverse–loop-R).

    Hope this helps! It really is worth the effort to train your hand early.

  11. That's great! As the book states, the F and V are commas. If you can write a comma, you can write both strokes. The slant is not absolutely required, but the curve is, because there are strokes that are completely straight that are written in a downward motion, and with speed, straight lines tend to curve. Also, slant makes the joining with other strokes much easier. There are writers that write very vertically, but keep the proportions very well, which is the most important part. Lastly, to write these strokes with ease and fluency takes practice, a lot of practice.

  12. Turning the paper really does help with the slant. Slanted writing is not essential, but some of the joins that feel awkward in more vertical writing are surprisingly smooth at the more extreme slant. By turning the paper, you can have the best of both worlds: writing at whatever angle feels natural to you, and the slant that makes the joins feel natural, too.

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