Aristocrats of the Woodlands

What do you know about orchids? Find out by reading this selection transcribed by me in Anniversary Gregg.

Attachment: aristocrats-of-the-woodlands.pdf

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  1. Only 6 questions this time.

    (1) p2c2 l12 – what country is the second outline?
    (2) p3c1 l15 – is it “empire” – green?
    (3) p3c2 l4 5th outline – I can fit “terrible” but not the ‘n’ ‘n’ before
    (4) p3c2 l21 – is it “also abounds perfume”? if so then I mistook “also” for “what”; and my dictionary puts the ‘m’ in perfume (though it reads OK without it)
    (5) p4c1 l4 last outline, after judges
    (6) p5c1 l9 the second, underlined outline

    I had to search the internet before I could pin down many of the names of orchids. Also it served to get the abbreviated names of countries (though I think I would have guessed Guatamala had you put in a ‘w’ – but this may be just my pronunciation).

    1. Here we go:

      p2c2 l12: Not country, but cities: “Manila, Karachi, Madrid, or Rio de Janeiro …”.
      p3c1 l15: Yes, “empire green.”
      p3c2 l4 5th outline: “unendurable”
      p3c2 l21: “also abounds profusely”
      p4c1 l4 last outline, after judges: “in order”
      p5c1 l9 the second, underlined outline: “inday”

      The outline for “Guatemala” is one of those that doesn’t have the w in Anniversary, more than likely for speed and not because of pronunciation. Another one that is not written with the w is “Guadalajara”: g – a – d – l.

      1. Thanks Carlos.

        (“inday” is new to me.)

        I have not found a good list of countries/cities/states etc anywhere. Is there a book which has such lists?

        Another thing that I do which is contrary to the rule of circle placement. In the case of the word “days”, which is written with the circle written anticlockwise after the ‘d’, I do exactly that as we should. But is the case of “dies” I write the circle with a clockwise motion. The broken circle for the ‘i’ allows the following ‘s’ to come off more neatly from the centre of the circle. This was brought home to me when reading the “Disa” orchid which for a while (until I found it on the internet) I tried to start with “dire…”. Perhaps I am leaving my writing open to confusion with something else though.

        1. Check all three editions of Gregg Speed Studies for lists of cities and countries. You can find them on if you don’t have a physical copy. Also, lists were frequently posted in The Gregg Writer. included the index for each year in the September issue, so you can check the “Shorthand Plates” section of the index and go to the corresponding article of the magazine for that year. As an example, here is a good article about geographical names that includes a list.

          About writing d – broken circle + s, be aware that if you write d – broken circle as you do, straight lines tend to curve in fast writing, so you may be reading “denies” instead. Hence writing it according to the rule will make a positive distinction. But yes, it’s much easier to write the s the way you do.

          1. Thanks Carlos. The images on are very fuzzy, and hard to read even zooming in a lot. But I’ll look there again. Meanwhile I looked at my Speed studies (1929) book. I had stopped going through it around page 50 when I realised that dictation was far beyond me. I used it for the drills they showed in order to make my writing better (but it didn’t seem to!). So I didn’t get to paragraph 166 where I found all the towns and countries (though not North American, despite the book being printed in the USA) — including Guatamala. Would the different editions have different lists?

            A good point about possible bending of the d in fast writing.

            1. Yes, there are some variations on the list of countries, with the UK and Canadian manuals and Speed Studies books having slightly different lists than the US version.

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