Curiouser and curiouser

I don’t know if it works like this for anyone else, but I really struggle with recall charts and brief form lists. Seeing a word on it’s own usually gives me pause and I have to either sound it out or try to recall which form it is.

But when I read continuous shorthand, the words just jump out at me and I have very few problems recognizing things in context.

Does anyone else experience this?

14 comments Add yours
  1. One of Dr. Gregg's innovations in the teaching of shorthand was to emphasize the use of newly learned words in sentences given in dictation.

    But Marc is quite correct. Brief forms need to be studied in their own right until they are thoroughly mastered and become second nature.

    Reading them in sentences is certainly an important part of the learning process, and will facilitate their mastery. So by all means continue that! But it's vital to keep studying those charts. Each approach reinforces the other.

    1. Most: m-o
      Must: m-s

      You could probably think of the brief form of "must" as an extension of the rule that says that the u is omitted in words with the short oo sound as a way to distinguish it from "most." But be aware that words like "bust", "dust", "lust", and "rust" are written in full. So among those with the same sound, "must" is the only one that is abbreviated as a brief form because of the frequency.

    2. Paul, Dr. Gregg originally used the same brief form for both words–as previous systems had done.

      But one day he dictated a letter where he had to decline an invitation. He closed the letter, "I most respectfully decline." His secretary however transcribed it as, "I must respectfully decline"–which clearly strikes a different chord!

      That's when he decided each word needed its own brief form. 🙂

    3. Carlos,

      Just to clarify:

      For MOST it is written with a long horizontal (M) and the u hook (that stands for the o sound)? I think what is messing with my head is that the u-hook makes my brain want to think of the actual U sound in longhand and I keep thinking MUST.

      I don't think I made any sense just now – LOL – It's late.

    4. Yes, I got it. Two suggestions:

      1. Write the word "off" (or "owe" which is the same character) as many times as possible, sounding it out loud, so that you can associate the o-hook with the sound of o.

      2. If you know the brief form for "all" (the o-hook turned on the side), you can see that the word "almost" is written as o hook-m-o hook. That should make you remember that "most" is m-o.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I hit the recall charts frequently. Maybe it's different because I'm not doing any writing practice right now. I'm trying to read fluently and when I have a bit more time in a couple of months, I'll start working on writing Simplified, as well as reading it.

    Paul: I'm working on something that might be able to help you. I'll post some details soon.

  3. Drilling by writing the brief forms in isolation will help when you write. Otherwise, it's easy to write them out in full.

    Be alert for groups of similar brief forms and phrases. Let, let's, letter, letters. Express, especially, special, speech… I sometimes make drill pages just with words in a single group, to force me to pay attention to the differences. Gregg spread those words over several lessons, only one related word per lesson. That's faster for the first lesson, but it's like recognizing twins. If you only ever see Judy, it's easy to recognize her, but once Jane enters, you'll get confused. You need to see both of them together so you can identify the differences. Eventually, though, those differences will stand out even when Jane's alone.

  4. C. Tygesen, I too and learning using the Functional Method so I haven't written any shorthand since I discovered the FM method of learning shorthand instead of the standard simplified method. So far, I have to say, personally it's the better more effective way to self-teach Gregg shorthand.

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