Version Used? It’s a Puzzler to Me

I recently came across a VERY interesting portion of a diary written in 1926 in Gregg shorthand, and I’m hoping some of you can help me shed a little light on it. Sorry for the poor scan, but the original is very faded, and this is the best scan available. First, let me start with the highlights of the history of Pitman vs. Gregg as I understand it:

Pitman Shorthand was developed by Sir Isaac Pitman. Isaac’s brother Benjamin helped Isaac perfect his system of shorthand, and from 1843 until 1852 he lectured on the system throughout Great Britain. Benjamin had a large role in the compilation of his brother’s textbooks.  In 1853, Benjamin emigrated to the United States and began spreading the Pitman system of shorthand there.
Meanwhile, overlapping with the spread of Pitman Shorthand throughout the U.K., Gregg Shorthand was developed by John Robert Gregg. Encouraged by his older brother Samuel, Gregg published and copyrighted his own system of shorthand in 1888 in Liverpool, England in a brochure entitled Light-Line Phonography: The Phonetic Handwriting.
In 1893, Gregg emigrated to the United States. The predominant shorthand system in America at that time was, of course, Pitman, which Isaac Pitman’s brother Benjamin had brought from England in 1853. But the same year Gregg arrived in America (1893), he published his own shorthand system (his second edition), which he renamed simply Gregg Shorthand. This edition was published in both America AND the UK. Only about 500 total copies of that edition were printed, so clearly this second edition could not have had much impact in the U.K. All later editions of Gregg Shorthand would be published in the U.S. exclusively. Ultimately, Pitman became the predominant shorthand system in the UK., and Gregg became the predominant system in the U.S.
Again, the above is sort of a compilation of information from reference books I have, and if there are any mistakes in the factual history I have laid out above, someone, please set me straight!
Now, moving on to the portions of the 1926 shorthand diary I found…
The writer of this diary learned Gregg shorthand in 1925 in England. Considering the history of the development of the Pitman and Gregg systems as I have outlined them above, this seems to be an extraordinary circumstance. By 1925, Gregg had published FIVE EDITIONS of his system. The fifth edition was the last edition published before this writer learned shorthand. It was published in 1916 in the U.S. only and is generally referred to as “pre-anniversary Gregg”. (Again, this is my understanding only. Please correct the facts if I am wrong!)
But does this diary look like 1916 pre-anniversary Gregg to you?? If so, I can’t help but wonder how a shorthand book that was published only in the U.S. was used to teach Gregg shorthand in England in 1925, when Pitman was the predominant system there at that time. And if it’s not the 1916 pre-anniversary version of Gregg, which version is it? Is it the 1893 version for which only about 500 total copies were printed, split between England and the U.S.?
I’m also including below as much of the translation as I was able to accomplish before I ran out of time to play with it. The writer seems to put the paragraph mark after every one or two sentences, and I am omitting those in the translation I’m posting here. If anyone else can make more progress, I’d love to hear from you. But I’m mainly interested in your thoughts about the version used:

To Silverdale on the 9:25
Think this ___ be a rocky day. Went down ___
___ but My Name was not one. Met Mary
in town we went over to their office. Harold came
to ___ and walked me to the station. __________
put his arm round me. Alec was at the station
so Harold ran away. On the train Alec saw
my stocking torn underneath. I pretended it was a
bandage on my bare leg but I do not think he
believed me. At least he gave me the excuse to
__________ a ___ room to take it off.
We had a compartment to ourselves part of the way
last time nothing happened. I saw ____ and went
____ over on the train and scheduled the one for ____ .
The ____ one cut over to the ____s  I
started/stared at/to a chap for a ____ . Alec __
___ me to come sit by him ___ to pass the
time.  I refused but said he ___ come by me.
He did. We had a very nice time. He is a splendid
Dozens and dozens of times ___ ____ ___ went out
___ with him and can do again. He came on
____ business so ___ guessing once.
There were some ____________________ Alec
______________went to ______with them ____ so my nose
bled so I could not go.

Previous post:
Next post:
5 comments Add yours
  1. The 1916 New and Revised Edition was published in the UK as the Victory Edition, and previous editions (1888, 1893, 1898, 1901/1902/1906) were also copyrighted in the UK. So it is not out of the ordinary that this particular writer would write Gregg, especially if this person went to one of the Gregg schools in the UK.

  2. Although Pitman was predominant here in the UK, the Gregg system maintained a significant presence, sufficient to justify publishing various editions through the 20th century, the last to my knowledge being in 1991. The books were available at public libraries.

    My wife's mother was a Gregg writer, and so was my boss's secretary in the '70s and '80s. And so am I.

  3. Congratulation on managing to translate so much of it!  I could not make any sense out of it.  His style was far too undifferentiated for me.
    (It's a lesson to me to be much more careful when I write!  Even on a train.)

Leave a Reply