Assorted beginner questions

So, as you may know, I’m a new member here. I’ve been lurking around here a while before I joined. Much appreciate the quality of posts here.

I’m new to Gregg pre-anniversary, and being a the sort of person who likes to try stuff out as soon as possible, I’m just trying to thing of ways of using Gregg as a beginner that is not too tiring, but keeps me using Gregg. I have a copy of the Gregg anniversary functional and plain manuals and am working through them, but they tend to like the “slow but steady” approach. I prefer “start using it from day one” approach.

I’m currently using it for to do lists, although as a beginner I do make a few mistakes that make it hard to read back my notes later sometimes. Other ideas? Anybody tried mixing English with Gregg?

Also, how do you check if you have written an outline correctly? I currently use the Gregg shorthand dictionary, but sometimes there is no entry for the word?

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  1. I use Notehand edition of Gregg, but I began keeping a journal in Notehand almost right away, with the help of a Diamond Jubilee edition dictionary, just as you described (i.e. using some longhand with an increasingly amount of Notehand, as I learned it).  That has been the best practice for me (true, those early entries are hard for me to decipher now).  But chances are, in your journal, you will use words from your everyday life– exactly the ones that you will need to learn foremost.  

    Also, the Gregg Notehand text encourages taking notes in Notehand and longhand– as time goes on, there will be more shorthand than longhand used, as the principles are mastered.  Just do what you can now in shorthand and use longhand for the rest.  Focus especially on the brief forms.

    You can ask for help here if you get stuck on an outline, too.

    1. Exactly. You can mix English and shorthand, and if you're in doubt with an outline, just ask here.

      However, a word of caution, especially in Anniversary or earlier series: you shouldn't write words that have not already been presented in the manual, or the Gregg Speed Studies lesson, or the Graded Readings lesson, or the Most Used Words lesson corresponding to the unit/chapter/lesson of the manual. The reason is that a lot of words in these series are abbreviated with expedients that come later in the book, and the chances that you'll be writing the word incorrectly are higher. (Part of the advantage of using the Functional Method in Anniversary is that you are being introduced to lots of words according to principle in a gradual fashion.) This is much less of an issue in Simplified and later series; since the degree of abbreviation is much reduced in these series, the chances that your outline will be correct are higher.

      Lastly, 1916 and Anniversary are very similar, but there are distinct differences. I recommend sticking to one series until you finish learning the theory so that you have a good base and have no hesitation in writing a word.

      1. Thanks for your reply. if I write a new word I usually check if it is in the dictionary. However, when writing new words "computer", there is "compute" and "computation" but not computer.

        Would you say that "KPUR" is the correct way to write it?

        I'm not too concerned about writing pure preanniversary Gregg. As long as the way I write is short and consistent, I'm happy. As you might have read, I have been learning machine steno with Plover, and talking to all the court reporters online, after learning theory, they all seem to do some extensive surgery on their steno theory when speed building: adding new word endings and beginnings, new briefs, and so on. 

        For me, the reason why I am interested in learning preanniversary is that it has a lot of briefs and shortening principles. I calculated that the human hand on average can write approximately 300-350 strokes a minute. Using a picture of Martin Dupraw's notes, I calculated that he writes at approximately 450 strokes a minute and 1.75 strokes per word for 280wpm. Since speed is strokes per minute divided by strokes per word, writing everything out will slow you down considerably. Say he wrote on average, 0.5 strokes per word more. That gives 2.25 strokes per word and a decrease of speed by 80wpm down to 200wpm. If you are a normal person and wrote at a slower speed of 350 strokes/min, you could still make 200wpm if you wrote at 1.75 strokes/word despite writing at a slower rate.

        1. It should be "k – p – oo hook – disjoined r", following the same principle as the word "composer." But as long as you can transcribe the outline correctly, it shouldn't matter much if you join or disjoin the r.

  2. Thanks for your advice.

    One thing I discovered is the Gregg manuals on are searchable. So I can look for words and the associated principles.

    I have the 1916 manual and dictionary on my phone. One thing I have found helpful is that I describe what I see on the bus on the way to work, and write the outlines with an imaginary pen. I can then check the outlines against the dictionary and manual.

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