The A.B.C. of Gregg Shorthand – London 1941

I have acquired a copy of “The A. B. C. of Gregg Shorthand”,
a small pamphlet of 40 pages, measuring 4 and a quarter inches, by a little
under 5 and a half inches; the cover is a dull orange. The price is sixpence.
The title is set out on the cover in this format:
A. B. C.
The Most Widely Used
in the world
Easy & Fascinating
10 Minute Talks
Inside the pamphlet, it is stated: “This booklet has been
devised and written by F. Addington Symonds (Editor of the Gregg Magazine), to
whom permission has been granted, by Dr John Robert Gregg, to draw freely upon
the material in the Anniversary Edition of the Gregg Shorthand Manual”
The copywrite is 1941; the print code is: W-D68-5.
The introductory page starts: “One Moment, Please!” and
ends: “Meanwhile, good luck – and good Gregging!”
Each “talk” has a title and covers the following
1. “As Easy as A B C”: how shorthand is based on sound, not
spelling; how the signs for shorthand are derived from oval shapes and lines
running through them. The author writes that: “[Gregg Shorthand] will enable
you to write from four to six times more rapidly than is possible with
2. “Speed From the Start”: the signs for P, B, F and V, then
R, L, K and G, explained as curves derived from the oval shapes. The signs for
A and E follow, and it is explained that a dot on the line represents “a, an”. Examples
of shorthand words are then given.
3. “Easier and Easier”: the straight line strokes, N, M, T,
D, Sh, Ch and J. The writer suggests: “Now try writing the short upward stroke
– the T stroke – with a curve; and the same with the little downward stroke
called SH. The first gives you the sign for TH ….. The second provides the sign
for S.” The alternative strokes are given for Th and S; SeS and XeS are also
explained, as are the H dot, the –ing dot and the suffix for –ings. Examples
are given, e.g. “heating”, “meetings”.
4. “More Signs for Sounds”: O and OO, the full range of
sounds for all the vowels (including the distinguishing dot and dash marks), -LY,
-INGLY, -ILY and punctuation.
5. “The Marriage of the Vowels”: the diphthongs, long I plus
another vowel, EA and IA, W (initially and medially), consonantal Y, reversing
the A and E circles at the beginning and end of words to indicate R, and how
the loop is used to express the plural of these at the end of words.  
6. “Blend for Speed”: all of the blends are introduced, as
are Ng and Ngk.  The author writes: “By
now you have probably lost count of the number of words you can already write
in shorthand”.
7. “Words We’re Always Using”: Brief Forms and simple
phrasing. Per-, -ble, -ment,
-shun. How to form the past tense.
8. “A Last Look Round”: the reversing principle in the
middle of words, vowels written consecutively when not forming a diphthong, the
dot used for A in A+H and A+W, a brief outline of the abbreviating principle.
The postscript introduces some other features of Gregg
Shorthand, e.g. the omission of vowels in prefixes and suffixes,
“word-building” e.g. con-, contr-, constr-, and compound affixes, and
concludes: “If you would like to know more about Gregg Shorthand and will drop
us a postcard, we shall be delighted to be of service”.

Attachment: ABC of Gregg.pdf

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8 comments Add yours
    1. I've got a few days' holiday, but when I'm back to work I'll have access to a scanner and will send to you. The pamphlet is in pretty good shape, but in places the type has faded; with any luck, the scan will be legible.

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