Question about books

I only took one year of DJS in high school. After the basic book (I had a Functional Method book) I was wondering if the next books Transcription, Dictation, and Speed Building have any new brief forms or other new “shortcuts” or are they just focused on transcribing properly and knowing proper punctuation and grammar and of course, building up speed.
I’m just wondering if I should buy the next books or not. Will I just be reading more boring business letters or will I be learning more advanced shorthand?

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  1. "Gregg Expert Speed Building: Diamond Jubilee Series" by Charles E. Zoubek, ISBN 0070730504, does introduce some expert shortcuts in addition to reviewing theory, word beginnings and word endings which are *mostly* covered in the main textbook. Sadly the example texts are all business letters.

    (I'm not a Diamond Jubilee student but I do have this book in my collection, along with the Student's Transcript)

  2. Basically, the other books are exactly what you said, reviewing theory, stressing transcription, and building up speed. DJS was designed to be used in the business office, so the material continues to be boring business letters, but with more complex and specialized vocabulary. (Even the expert book is all business correspondence.)

    As to what to do next, it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to still write DJS, but are not sure of what book to choose next, since you took one year of DJS in high school, you already studied two books: the basic manual and the dictation book. This means that you should be able to write comfortably at least at 60 wpm after the theory book, and over 100 wpm after the second book. If you can do both, then it's fine to continue with the other books. If you don't, then it means that something needs to be worked on: it may be that you hesitate in writing brief forms, or do not know the theory well, etc.

    1. Assuming that you know DJS theory well (this means knowing the brief forms, common phrases, word endings, word beginnings, word families and the abbreviating principle backwards and forwards, writing any word "cold" without hesitation), if you can write DJS fluently at a speed of least 120 wpm for 5 minutes, and want to learn additional shortcuts to help speed, then the Expert book is a fine choice. The reason for that minimum speed is that in the first speed building exercise you will go from 100 to 140 wpm in 5 minutes. (That's one of the reasons it's an expert book!)

    2. If your theory is good, and if your speed is at least 100 wpm, then the Speed Building book would be a better choice. You will be reviewing theory, and at the same time improving speed. Also, if you get the first edition of Gregg Speed Building for Colleges DJS book, you will learn some shortcuts in the last lessons (I don't know if the second edition of the same book kept them.)

    If your goal is not really to be faster in DJS, but still like to read shorthand, another option would be learning an earlier series of Gregg, like Simplified or Anniversary. There you will learn more brief forms, more word endings and beginnings, more rules, more memorizing … but you will have the chance to read other things that are not business related.

  3. Thank you for the info, Carlos. I think I'd like to switch to Simplified. What would I be able to find for reading material? I know you post articles in Simplified, but are there any books with reading material that isn't all business letters?

    1. You're welcome! Gregg Advanced Dictation Simplified, the first edition of Gregg Speed Building for Colleges Simplified, and the Expert Shorthand Speed Course Simplified books are not all business letters (although the majority of the material in the first two books is). The Advanced Dictation book contains about 30 articles and stories, in addition to letters — however, some of the letters here are "series-letters", where you get a response in a later lesson, and so on, so that makes them a little more bearable. The Speed Building book contains articles as well, and the last part of the book is dedicated to Congressional Record Dictation, where you learn lots of reporting shortcuts. Lastly, the Expert Shorthand Simplified contains Congressional Record dictation material, as well as articles. The first two books were designed for students in their fourth semester of shorthand, while the Expert shorthand would be studied after the Speed building book.

      (The second edition of Gregg Speed Building for Colleges Simplified and the two high school editions of Gregg Speed Building Building Simplified are almost all business letters, so I don't recommend those.)

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