Practice Cards for “Refresher Course in Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee Series.”

The book “Refresher Course in Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee Series” by Strony, Garvey, and Newhouse has many useful exercises for writers of Diamond Jubilee. In particular are several blocks of outlines that illustrate phrasing, joining-forms (ligatures?), brief forms, and frequently used words and phrases. There are about 1750 items in these blocks, and about 1350 unique ones; many are duplicated, some several times, in multiple contexts. I wrote them all out in longhand on seventy-five index cards. I shuffle them and do a few at random every day, usually first thing in the morning when my mind is fresh and breakfast is cooking (yes, I am a lark). “Doing” a card means that I read the longhand, write the shorthand, then check my results in the book, correcting my mistakes and usually just copying out all the outlines from the book again for extra practice. I didn’t write out the correct outlines on cards, preferring to do that repeatedly during my practice sessions.

If you’re comfortable running software from a terminal or console window, there is a very nice, free scripting language called “wolframscript” that you can get here I copied my cards into a script here The instructions for using the script are at the head of the file. This is handy for popping up random cards on the terminal screen and driving your practice. I don’t, yet, have a way to display Gregg on the screen—that’s aspirational—so you will need a copy of the book if you want to follow along. It’s readily available from Amazon (e.g., here and from Ebay (e.g., here

At this writing, 24 Aug 2019, they are a bit pricey: $40 and $62 respectively. However, they pop up now and then at lower prices. I think I got mine for eight bucks. I do not know if the book is available online at any price. My experience is that books on Diamond Jubilee Series are only available in paper form. I prefer that, anyway.

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5 comments Add yours
  1. A complete copy of the DJ refresher course probably won't be available online any time soon, since the book is still under copyright. Given the copyright date of 1970 and the terms of the copyright law, I believe the book will enter the public domain on January 1, 2066.

  2. I made my script pull outlines from an online dictionary by teddyjc here It's not perfect because teddyyjc's dictionary is not DJS … I think it's Centennial or Anniversary, not completely sure, but I can get about 75% useful hits. As time allows, I'll build up my own corpus and perhaps make my own site, following teddyyjc's great lead.

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