sequence of teaching the Gregg alphabet in various versions

Apologies if this has been done before. I put together a little chart showing the sequence in which the symbols of Gregg are introduced to students in the textbooks of several different versions.

Attachment: order_of_presentation.pdf

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  1. Thanks Rich. This is very good! I'm hosting the file now. Would you be able to also include the 1916 edition on that list?

    Also, Google Books has the 1898 edition of Gregg's Shorthand (their copy was printed in 1902), as well as the Revised Edition of 1902 (their copy was printed in 1904), so if you so wish to examine those, it will be a good comparison as well. In case you didn't know, the 1898 edition was the first one to be published as a single bound book — the previous editions were published as two separate pamphlets (Part 1: The Elements, Part 2: The Reporting Style), as shown here.

    1. A few thoughts about the various sequences of presentation.

      Leslie and Zoubek stuck with the s-f-v opening sequence for a long time. If I understand correctly, their rationale was that the s resembles a longhand comma and students feel confident that they can write that symbol correctly. Building on that confidence gradually would supposedly help students overcome their trepidation about learning a whole new writing system.

      They also believed that some students tended to confuse k with r, f with p, and to a lesser degree g and l, b and v. So they felt it was better to spread those groups out rather than clobbering the student with them all at once.

      (Sources: chapter II of Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified Teacher's Handbook and page 57 of Instructor's Handbook and Key for Gregg Shorthand for the Electronic Office, Short Course.)

      The opening salvo in Centennial College Book 1 is a-e n-m t-d, which I personally feel is an even better choice for the first lesson. It's a combination of easily written, easily read and extremely frequent letters with which one can immediately start writing a lot of common short words.

    2. I don't think the kind of consonant is as important as the number that is presented at a single time. I could make arguments for and against each group, but what I think is more important in the first lesson is not to overwhelm it with so many strokes. I think that at most a set of two pairs of consonants with the circle vowels used with simple one-syllable words should be sufficient for a first lesson.

  2. It’s interesting that, in the Centennial series (1988), they chose n, m, t, d to be the first consonants to be presented in the book; this was the same choice made in the New Rapid Course and Teach Yourself [Gregg] Shorthand books, both from the 1940s. History repeats itself!

    1. In case you didn't know, the New Rapid Course (NRC) and the Shorthand Self Teaching Course (STC) are basically the same book, save for a few differences in some of the outlines; for example, the STC has outlines for "shrapnel" and "grenade", replacing "man" and "black" in some word lists of the NRC. The STC, the NRC, and the Teach Yourself Gregg Shorthand book have the exact same shorthand plates for their reading and writing exercises and the examples (save some minor changes, as described), even though the Teach Yourself book is wordier. So it's no wonder they all start the same way.

    2. Thanks for the info on the books, Carlos. As you know there was a great workbook made for use with the Self Teaching Course; were variants of that workbook produced for the NRC and the Teach Yourself books?

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