My name is Luís and I have just received kind permission from Carlos to be a part of this thriving community of wonderful people helping keep the art of shorthand alive.
I am Brazilian (born and still living here) and work as a translator and language teacher (teaching English, Japanese and Esperanto).
I have already studied a great shorthand system to write Brazilian Portuguese, though I am still practicing it and have to wait until I feel ready to practice dictation. However, since all best shorthand systems (IMHO) are phonetic, it would be impossible (or at least not practical) to use the same system for English.
I teach English at home and at a school, and at the school we have to take notes of important things during class. Namely, we have to jot down every word mispronounced by the student, as well as the grammatically wrong sentences. I found that doing that by longhand is incredibly cumbersome, since it takes time and also drains my attention for longer. Sometimes I lose important bits of don’t write some things altogether just because of that. Since I already know Brazilian shorthand, it was only expected that I should connect the dots and reach the obvious conclusion: I needed some Gregg in my life.
After lots of research and perusal of this site’s posts, I finally decided for Simplified, for obvious reasons (though I realize that Diamond J. would work just as well for my purposes and I confess that I love that yellow cover). I ordered the Functional method and the Dictionary through AbeBooks and while I wait for them (it usually takes a month) I am learning the basics through the video series on Youtube “Gregg Shorthand for Personal Notetaking”. And I have the Angelfishy webpage on my favorites as well.
Since I have studied (and still study) many languages, I have no qualms about learning different writing systems. I have always had a deep interest in English spelling reforms and have studied the Shaw alphabet, which naturally took me to Quikscript, or “The Read Alphabet”. Quikscript is fonetic and has both a Junior (mostly letter by letter) and a Senior (joined and abbreviated) script system. I am still thinking whether I should use Gregg or Quikscript for the single words I have to write… The words are specific words that the student should practice and they are usually in a list without any context. In other words, I have no phrase to tell me whether the word is “bean” or “bin”. I know I could use the old-school greg vowel marks from Pre-Anniversary to specify that, but at the same time, Quikscript is something I learned in two days and am already able to jot down (though still not in Senior script).
However… there is still the problem that both systems are phonetic, so there is still no way to distinguish “bean” and “been”, and since classes vary a lot in content, anything would be possible.
In the end, I think it’s just a question of using any system every time I can, and return to longhand every time I need to avoid ambiguity. I would still be saving loads of time and wrist movement.
Nevertheless, if any of you were brave enough to read through this unending wall-of-text ™, if you have any other suggestions for me they would be much appreciated.
Thank you once again for keeping shorthand alive and I guess we will see each other around here for quite some time!