The Sinking of the Lusitania

On May 7, 1915, two years after the sinking of the Titanic, the German submarine (U-boat) U-20 torpedoed and sank the Lusitania, a swift-moving British cruise liner traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. Of the 1,959 men, women, and children on board, 1,195 perished, including 123 Americans. On the following day, this editorial was published in the New York World. I transcribed it in Anniversary Gregg for the blog.

Attachment: the-sinking-of-the-lusitania.pdf

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24 comments Add yours
  1. The shortness of this article belied its difficulty. Not only did I use my shorthand dictionary but I needed to resort to my English dictionary too. (For example the word insensate” p4c2 l1 was new to me.) I suppose in editorials, newspaper men like to show that they can use words in uncommon ways.

    Two questions
    p2c1 l16, 3rd outline, “of his ? rights”.
    p2c1 l22, 4th outline, “threat ? by the”

    And was the other boat (8p1c1 l7) “Philipa”? I was unsure about “e” and “a”.

    (What is the next boat you have found to send do the ocean floor?)

    1. Articles like these were used in the past in journalism school as models of prose. This explains the language level and it’s one of the reasons I chose it (plus it continued the topic from last month about famous ships of historical significance). As to your questions:

      p2c1 l16, 3rd outline: “of his lawful rights.”
      p2c1 l22, 4th outline: “threat, abetted by the”

      The name of the ship sunk in late March of 2015 was the RMS Falaba.

  2. Hello Carlos, I have been working to transcribe this piece.  I need help with page 2 first column, 3rd paragraph.

    Immediately after “…by the German Embassy in Washington that the Lusitania was to be torpedoed … ”      I cannot make sense of the next sentence, until the words :

    “…the victim has been warned that the blow would be struck.”

    Can you help? – I was trained in Diamond Jubilee and Anniversary can be challenging for me, but I like the challenge!  Thank you, Susan

    1. Sure! “Murder does not become innocent and innocuous because …”

      I’m so glad that you’re taking the challenge with these Anniversary readings! Further, as Nick mentioned above, the vocabulary of this one in particular is not easy. But it is a fun way to improve one’s shorthand knowledge for sure!

      1. Oh! Thank you! I would have never figured that one out. I had innocent and innocence for the innocent and innocuous. But the “Murder” would never have come to me! Is there an Anniversary Gregg dictionary you would recommend? I have a “Gregg Speed Studies, Third Edition,” by John Robert Gregg last publication date 1941 which I believe is Anniversary Gregg to which I refer, but it is staggered and difficult to find differences in form at times. I also have “Gregg Shorthand, Functional Method, Part One,” by Louis A. Leslie, last publication 1936 however it is not helpful in this pursuit. I know these books are hard to locate, but if any are available I would appreciate the opportunity to obtain one. I TREASURE my shorthand! Your transcriptions teach me much unknown (to me) history and customs. Please keep them coming and thank you.
        Susan Johnston

        1. Hi Susan,

          I do not think there would be any difficulty in getting an anniversary gregg dictionary. There seem to be many of them for sale over the internet for about $15 (£12) which is where I got mine. (Which now, due to Carlos’s many articles, is beginning to show signs of hard wear!)

          I was interested that you, based on DJS (which seems to be a very good version and not too dissimilar from the simplified which I first learned), would be able to tackle Anniversary which is (at least I think it is) a very great step up. I hope you may be tempted to become more familiar with it.


        2. You’re welcome, Susan. You can use any Anniversary dictionary, but if you’re able, make sure that it has a late publication date (late 1930s or later). Early Anniversary dictionaries have some mistakes that were corrected later. You can identify the date by the printer codes. Starting in 1942, Gregg books had the actual month/year of publication printed on the copyright (reverse title) page. The copies in are from the 1940s, so they should be fine.

          Two additional books that you should get are the “5000 Most-Used Shorthand Forms” book, which is correlated with the Anniversary manual and contains common words — some of those not present in the Anniversary dictionary. Also, if you can get a hold of the Anniversary edition of the “Gregg Shorthand Phrase Book”, that would be great. This book has a 1930 copyright (although the book may have been published later) and it says “Anniversary Edition” on the title page. In contrast, the previous edition of the “Gregg Shorthand Phrase Book” corresponds to the pre-Anniversary 1916 New and Revised edition; it has a 1924 copyright date and the title page does not ready “Anniversary Edition.”

          Lastly, it won’t be a bad thing if you don’t have it to get the actual Gregg Shorthand Anniversary Manual if you can so that you can reference it. Again, early copies of the manual had many mistakes, so if you can obtain one that was published later, it would be even better.

          As Nick mentioned, the Anniversary textbooks and reference material are probably the easiest to obtain because there were so many copies published. You can use eBay or and get them relatively cheaply.

          1. That’s interesting. My Gregg dictionary shows D73T20 with a 7 closely underneath between the 3 and the T. There are no dashes. I however presume that it means April 1935. So I suppose I ought to look for errors in my copy! (But since I’m not too driven by complete correctness, and have made several changes to the outlines given, I will not worry about it)

            1. In the early dictionaries, the outline of “accordion” was shown as a-k-o hook-d-e-n, instead of the correct a-k-o hook-den blend. There were other mistakes as well.

              1. Well my dictionary has “accordion” with the corrected blend. So pehaps not so many error to find in my copy. (I’ll need to remember “dion”, and also “dium”, both of which I would have incorrectly written somehow with a large circle with a dot inside!)

                Thanks Carlos.

          2. Hello Carlos and Nicholas, I have found several Anniversary Dictionaries on Ebay. The one I believe I will purchase has Sept. 1946 JC-40 on the publication date page. I did not realize so many Anniversary dictionaries were available, trained in DJS I only discovered the many forms of shorthand when I joined the website. I am guessing that Anniversary is the first universally taught Gregg Shorthand, but do not know the actual history. Thank you again, it is really lovely to have shorthand to read and learn from. Susan Johnston

          3. I was aware of the errors in the early printings of the 1929 Anniversary Manual, but didn’t realize there were also errors in the 1930 Anniversary Dictionary.

            As it turns out, on checking I have a copy of the Anniversary Dictionary with the “accordion” error, and a copy without it!

            Ebay and abebooks are good sources, and at least for people in the US there is plenty of Anniversary material still available. One of my frustrations with abebooks, however, is that the listings often don’t give any clear indication of when exactly a book was printed. Ebay at least usually has pictures available to check details of interest.


    1. The copyright date of the Anniversary Dictionary (1930) does not change with each printing. Does the printer code read “7a” and if so which month (what letter is before 7a)? I’m now curious if they fixed the errors right away. Below is an example. If not, then you have a dictionary that was printed later.

  3. I am thankful for all the suggestions and information – I will search out these editions and let you know what I find.  So grateful!  Thank you so very much, Susan Johnston

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