Question About Simplified

Hey All,

I just read a neat article on here regarding learning shorthand using the Functional Method. I am curious in whether or not there are Functional Method books for the Simplified system? The article I read on here was referring to Anniversary. After doing some thinking I can see how using this method could possibly be the better way to learn shorthand. Not sure if it’s just coincidence or not, but since the last couple of lessons I’ve been doing in my Simplified manual are lots of reading passages that it seems like I’m comprehending more of it. Maybe because my brain is working harder by deciphering the written shorthand words?


31 comments Add yours
  1. Indeed there are Functional Method books for the Simplified system — two editions, in fact. (Much as there are two editions of the regular-method manual.)

    I bought all four, in order to have a larger number of passages for reading practice, since while some of the passages are the same in two or more books, there are some that only appear in one or the other.

  2. The key I sent you was from the second edition of the Functional Method manual. eBay has 4 listings of the first and second editions of the Simplified Functional Method manual. If you're interested, get the first edition (1949) of the Simplified Functional Method manual for additional practice. The lessons in the first and second editions are virtually identical, but the practice material is slightly different, so it will give you extra reading material that is graded.

  3. Ok awesome to know. I can't have enough practice material. It seems that the lessons that I am currently doing in my normal Simplified Manual are becoming more reading and I'm finding it to be really good practice studying the outlines and figuring them out. And after thinking about it and after the article I read about the functional method of teaching the more it seems to make sense that it could be a good way to learn Gregg. Once I get my dictionary in a week or so I will see if I can get the two functional books. Would the best way to search be "Simplified Functional Manual"?

    Thanks for the info.

    P.S. Reading seems to be getting a little more easier the more I read the practice material.

    1. "P.S. Reading seems to be getting a little more easier the more I read the practice material."

      That's how it's supposed to be 🙂

      Remember what it was like when you learned to read print? I don't… but I have a second-grader and I can see how she gets faster and faster the more practice she gets! Decoding unknown words is a bit quicker, there are words she can recognise at a glance without having to sound them out, and so on. Until you get to the stage most adults are at, where it's pretty much automatic – not because reading is easy but because you've done it over and over and over and over and over!

      I'm not at that stage with Gregg yet, but I can also see how repeated practice helps my reading speed.

  4. Definitely for me it seems reading is becoming easier than writing Gregg at this point. But, the one thing that piqued my interest with regard to the functional method was somewhere where I read why it works is because when your brain is able to look at the outlines and immediately be able to know what word(s) it represents then the hand has an easier time writing that outline. It kinda makes sense to me, hence why I am interested in perhaps getting a copy of these functional books.

    1. That is right. With the functional method, you don't write anything until Lesson 21. To compensate for the time you will not be spending in writing in class, they provide you with more reading material than the regular book. With the regular book, you are writing and reading at the same time, and have less material because some of the time in class would be spent in writing.

  5. I definitely found this out once I started referring to the transcript you sent to me Carlos. I notice that there are usually 1 or 2 additional sentences in the paragraph that is printed in the Simplified manual. Only twice I have had to refer to the transcript to look up an outline because I was just absolutely stumped. All the other times I am just using it to check my work to make sure I transcribed the paragraph correctly.

    I am still waiting for my dictionary to arrive. I can't wait. Hopefully it will arrive soon. The one I was able to find looks to be in very good condition.

    I also really really want to get my hands on both functional books for Simplified. I will probably have to wait a little bit. Don't want my other half getting mad at me spending all this money on eBay for shorthand books – LOL. 🙂

    I am just very curious as to how easy it can be to write shorthand after just solely doing reading material for 21 lessons.

    I re-did Lesson 7's reading material a couple more times. Lesson 8 is adding a bunch more word endings… "-tion", etc. Also I think it explains disjoined words for things like past tense. Should be interesting indeed.

    It's all still so enjoyable to me and having fun learning.

    1. Volume 1 and 2 sound like the Functional Manuals written for the Anniversary system. Any copyright date before 1949 will be Anniversary. If they don't say simplified somewhere on the cover, they're Anniversary.

  6. Darn it… I was going to find a link to what I saw on eBay last night but for the life of me I can't find it now. I guess I can assume someone must have bought it. I believe they were for Simplified. They were selling both volumes. Ugh, oh well… Maybe both volumes will show up again in the future and I'll be able to purchase them at that time.

    The books that come up with the link you posted, are they just for volume 1? It doesn't say on any of the descriptions.

    1. In Simplified and all series except Anniversary, the functional method manual is only one book: that two-volume FM set is for Anniversary. There are no two-volume Simplified Functional Method manuals.

      The only two-volume sets are the College texts for all series except Anniversary: Volume 1 is the regular manual, Volume 2 is the Dictation book that follows the regular manual. Volume 1 of the college text is equivalent to the high school text that you already have.

    2. I had started watching a lot on ebay that had the green Simplified FM manual 2nd Ed. and a Functional Method Part Two that I assume was Anniversary, but it was Blue w/ red instead of Black w/red.? There was also a simplified manual. The bidding started at $.99, but it all sold this morning for $3.25 + $4. shipping. (I didn't bid because someone else wanted it, and I don't really need it.)

    3. Thanks for letting me know about the link — I had added an extra quote where it was not needed.

      I have copies of the first printing of the FM anniversary manual, from Winifred Kenna Richmond's collection, in pristine condition, and they are a very dark blue: it looks like black but it's really a dark blue.

    4. Interesting. I had a feeling the "Is it black or is it really blue?" discussion was imminent. haha 🙂 I never detected a trace of blue in the copies I had, but I don't have them on hand for scrutiny. Is it possible that the first edition was bound with a deep blue and later editions were black? However that may be, it seems that at least some of the newer ones are of a brighter lighter blue that could never have been mistaken for black. I suppose it's possible that it could be due to photographic lighting issues, but it doesn't really seem like it to me.

  7. That link was SOOO helpful. I absolutely had NO idea there were so many books published for the Simplified (2nd Edition nonetheless). Maybe someday I will have a full complete library of all the Simplified books. That would be a fun collection to acquire.

    But anyway, the two books that I originally had seen on eBay that disappeared were the ones with the blue cover with red text. So I guess what I was looking at was the Functional Method for Anniversary and not Simplified.

    Thanks to whoever put that document together. I'm sure it took a lot of time and work… but I find it very helpful.

    P.S. Estimated delivery date for my dictionary is the 15th. That seems so far away – LOL. The dictionary I ordered looks exactly like the one pictured in this document so I'm glad I purchased the correct one.

  8. Yay – I got my simplified dictionary yesterday 🙂 It is in excellent condition. The cover is in great shape and absolutely no writing inside the book. The pages are yellow but crisp and no tears, creases, etc. I am very pleased.

    Had a fairly busy weekend so unfortunately I didn't get much time at all to study my shorthand. Hopefully tomorrow at work I will have some free time to do some reading.

  9. Another great source of books is It's a group of many smaller stores. Data entry for older books is often questionable. They find a title in the existing database that seems close and pick it, and for the few dollars they charge, it's a bit much to run to the warehouse to check, but the prices and shipping are usually good. Once you find the book, you can browse by store, to get better shipping.

  10. Yes, Abebooks is great. That's where I ended up getting my copy of Most Used Shorthand Words… book. At the time I could not find that book anywhere (eBay, Amazon, etc.) so I went ahead and ordered it as Print on Demand. It was a bit costlier, but end the end I think it was worth it to have that book at my disposal. I love how it follows the lessons in the Simplified manual with additional practice words & phrases.

    My next goal (or should I say purchase) is going to be the Simplified Functional Method book(s).

  11. I am excited that I will be starting my vacation in a few weeks from now. I will be off for just about 3 weeks. I am excited to have a lot of free time to do what I want and I plan on dedicating a bunch of time to my shorthand studies. I'm currently studying lesson 9.

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