From Dictation to Transcription

Finally finished working my way through Gregg Dictation Simplified 2nd Edition. Two lessons into Gregg Transcription Simplified and I’m noticing that it is quite a different book from the first two. There’s no real instruction or fluff, just lots and lots of material to practice with, which is exactly what I need. I like that it promises to cover every abbreviating principle in each chapter, rather than focusing on only a few principles with each.

My only real complaint is that the copy I am working from has a lot of writing in it. Several outlines (or even just parts of them) on each page are circled, while others have the words written next to them. It’s not unusable, but I am debating ordering a new copy.

Overall, I’m mostly happy with my progress. Onward and forward!

20 comments Add yours
    1. Annoyance at how slow writing in longhand can be 🙂

      I've been typing since I was 10 and I like how quickly I can translate thoughts to words via the keyboard. I also enjoy the act of writing by hand, but the slowness of longhand always frustrated me.

      Simplified hits the sweet spot for me, of being fast enough but not as difficult to learn, and I'm glad I did a little research to help guide my choice. I don't plan on taking dictation (although I occasionally use it in meetings); rather I prefer to use it for writing rough drafts of my game and fiction writing.

    2. I stumbled across one of the manuals (possibly Simplified, but I'm not certain) in the public library many years ago and the idea just wouldn't leave me. It wasn't until I had finished college and was a few years into my career, though, that I decided to go back and really work at it.

      I am one of those people who suffers from way too much curiosity about the world and have a pretty long list of things I want to learn and do. It is my blessing and my curse to live in a time with so many resources to learn these kinds of things 🙂 Also, if there is some kind of addiction to that feeling of accomplishment you get when you succeed at things after a good struggle, then I'm sure I have it.

  1. This is awesome! Also, the speed building books follow more or less the same style, with much more practice.

    (BTW, are you still not getting bored with the business letters?) 🙂

    1. Long, long ago…

      On some level, it is fun to have this window into the past and to see just how much (and how little!) things have changed. But, yeah, there are only so many sales and collection letters one can take 😛 At least Dictation had the Secretarial Pointers to shake things up.

      Regardless of the content, finishing each book is a bittersweet experience. Eventually, of course, I will complete the series, and I'm sure I will think fondly on them after that happens.

    2. I'm glad you stuck with it. This would be the equivalent of a "third semester" for you. You should be proud of your accomplishment — not that many people that study on their own reach this level.

      Which edition of Gregg Transcription Simplified are you using? Also, do you know your dictation speed? Have you "tested" yourself?

    3. I tried to order all 2nd edition books, but the Transcription that came in was 1st. Between that and all the marks I have decided to order another copy, which should be here in a week or so. (Hopefully my luck with it will be much better.)

      I haven't tested myself at all for speed. My focus for speed isn't so much on a number as it is about keeping up with my thoughts, although it would probably be an interesting exercise to see just where I'm at. Right now I'm still delayed by having to think too much about the outlines (have I missed an abbreviating principle?, can I phrase this better?, etc) to really test myself.

      In the beginning I was more concerned with making the strokes perfect and went pretty slow. At some point, I realized I didn't have to do that so much anymore and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could form the outlines fairly quickly and accurately (when I know what I'm writing, that is). By comparison, my print and longhand are atrocious, so this is a first for me. The more I practice, the faster and more accurate my output becomes.

      My development is a little hampered by the on-again, off-again nature of my studies. I would probably be further along otherwise, but I'm still pleased enough that I am progressing and gaining familiarity little by little.

  2. I got part-way through creating sound files for the Anniversary Functional Manual. The project stalled when other interests took over. From a text file, I can easily create a range of sound files from 40 to 120 wpm for dictation practice. It's just that there are a lot of them in the book! I can't find the links to the existing files on the site, but they're probably somewhere.

  3. So far it's entirely Simplified (but some of the files are much faster than stated — temporary glitch in the program, but I didn't finish making and uploading the corrected files).

    You might need to send me your gmail so I can give you access. Not sure about copyright, so not wide-open.

    Read the Notes section to start. If you want more, or corrected versions of the too-fast ones, give me several weeks notice. It's a busy season for me. I can also do any other text file. Maximum 5 minutes per file, preferably 2 or 3.

    Quality is good enough for drills, but not quite good enough for cold dictation. Since drills are important, it's not a problem.

  4. By maximum time per file, I mean maximum length of the finished recording. All I have to do is push a few buttons and all the text files in the folder are read at whatever speeds I listed. (I love being able to program!)

  5. The 2nd edition book just came in. I didn't realize it would basically be a completely different book. It is very much like the Dictation book (which was also 2nd edition), with a theme for each chapter and lots of secretarial pointers. So, I guess I'll continue on with the 1st edition Transcription and then move to the 2nd edition once that's finished.

    1. Yes, they are different books. When you are ready for the Speed Building book, get the first edition instead. The second edition is a little less impressive in terms of thoroughness in the review of the principles.

    2. A couple years ago I tried to order both a 1st and 2nd edition of Speed Building (so I must have been aware that those were different books…) but ended up with two 1st edition copies, so I'm covered 🙂

      Either the sellers on Amazon aren't very good at differentiating the editions they're selling or Amazon does a poor job of making it clear how to categorize the books.

  6. Older books are often entered incorrectly. The junior inventory clerk copies the first description that has a few of the correct words. They even copy the typos.

    I've received several old books through AbeBooks for free because I receive the wrong one and shipping back was more expensive than it was worth. Except for the junior inventory clerks, AbeBooks is a good site.

    When buying older books, ask the seller to double-check the exact title and edition, or even send you a picture of the cover and copyright page before buying.

    1. In my experience, when I buy used books from small-time sellers on eBay they usually post a photo of the exact item they're selling. (Verbal descriptions of the book's condition may not be very reliable, granted.)

      Just look at the number of feedback points the seller has gotten and avoid dealing with booksellers who've had tens of thousands of transactions. Those tend to be the sloppy ones.

      You can apply the same principle when buying from used book sellers on Amazon. The ones who've had zillions of feedbacks are huge warehouse operations and most of them don't do a good job of cataloging books that were published in the pre-ISBN, pre-barcode era.

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