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There you have got it: a brief program in the technology that made the Irishman John Robert Gregg A us tycoon in the 1st 1 / 2 of the 20th Century.

There you have got it: a brief program in the technology that made the Irishman John Robert Gregg A us tycoon in the 1st 1 / 2 of the 20th Century.

Some letters, like “c” and “q”, are totally missing from Gregg; there’s absolutely no sound for “c” besides those currently represented by “k” and “s”. Having said that, you will find typical phonemes in English—“sh”, “th”, “ch”—that need a mixture of letters into the Roman alphabet, but can each be written having a solitary page in Gregg. “Though,” which, in longhand, requires six complex symbols strung along with seven quick ligatures, is rendered with two brief shots in Gregg: “th-o.” But Gregg goes even more, eliding unstressed vowels and unvoiced consonants to make the journey to the phonetic nugget of this word: “bed” is written as “b-d”; “act” as “a-k”; “done” as “d-n”. This economy of spelling saves another ten percent of this note-taker’s time.

Nevertheless the biggest effect from Gregg shorthand arises from its systematic method of abbreviation. As an example, nearly every page in Gregg, published by it self, represents a word that is common. Some are useful for several words that are different according to the context. Our Gregg friend “b” can suggest “be”, “by”, or “but”. The Gregg letter “r” can suggest “are”, “our”, or “hour.” The Gregg letter “t” can indicate “it“at or”.” In this manner, almost 100 of the most extremely common words in English may be rendered in a solitary swing. Similarly, most typical English words have actually an abbreviated spelling of 1 or two shots. The Gregg version that is elegant of,” for example, stands for “bring” and it is printed in an immediate. right Here its once more:

And, since 60 % of talked English is made up of about 600 of the typical terms, brief forms play a role that is huge accelerating Gregg. “Brief type” is clearly a technical term in Gregg. Everyone can discover the Gregg alphabet in a day and most likely increase their composing speed; but in order to become certainly fast—like the residual a small number of Gregg-powered court reporters within the federal courts whom defeat testimony at a lot more than 200 terms per minute—you need certainly to memorize dozens or a huge selection of typical abbreviations.

That sounds difficult unless you understand that your mind is chock-a-block with common English abbreviations, nearly all of that you simply discovered naturally while you required them. Gregg isn’t any different. In addition to Gregg variations are in minimum more systematic, so they accrue quickly.

Nevertheless the brief type is significantly more than a easy abbreviation, it is the distillation for the fundamental premise of shorthand: never ever compose significantly more than is important to know it later on. Applying this principle, lots and lots of long, Latinate terms are shortened to 3 or four letters in Gregg: “a-b-a-nd” for “abandon,” “h-u-nd” for hundred, “n-a-sh” for “nation.” Quick types had been specially essential within the polysyllabic lexicons of medicine and law—fields that, not coincidentally, had been additionally epicenters of shorthand in Gregg’s heyday.

One particularly fertile method of abbreviation in Gregg may be the utilization of single letters as stand-ins for typical prefixes or suffixes, based on whether they’re written before or following the words they modify. As prefixes, these letters could be either attached with or detached through the term. As an example, a detached “g,” written right before and above a word represents “grand,” as in “grandmother,” but additionally like in “grandiloquent,” if not “granular” (that can easily be written “g” above “l-r.”)

An attached “k” at the beginning of a word can be the prefixes “con,” “com,” or “count;” so “k-g” is pronounced “cong,” and is the short form for Congress on the other hand. But a“k that is detached written above a term may be the prefix “counter” or “contra”; therefore “k” written over a “b”, as an example, is read “contrib” and it is the brief kind for “contribute” or “contribution.”

It’s much exactly the same with suffixes. A detached “g” at the termination of a term means “gram,” as in “program.” A“k that is detached represents “ical,” like in “medical.” And a detached “o” takes the area of “ology,” as in “biology.”

These forms also can together be added to produce longer terms.

“Biological” is created “b-i” accompanied by a detached “o-k.” This way, very long, complex terms are paid down to 2 or 3 fast flicks associated with pen, yet remain totally legible to anybody who understands the Gregg system. Combined, the forms that are brief the abbreviation concept take into account about 50 % of Gregg’s benefit over longhand. Not just would be the letters simple and simply joined up with, you can find less of those to create.

The element that is final makes Gregg therefore blazingly fast is just a technique called “phrasing.” Like this, numerous expressions that are common be dashed down in some shots without ever raising the pen through the web web page. For instance, the expression “it will be” consists of three typical terms, every one of that can be written individually with a single letter: “i,” written with a quick, right, upward swing that slopes to your right, represents “it;” “l,” an extended, horizontal, upward-facing curve, represents “will;” and, as we’ve seen, “b,” the long, downward curving swing, represents “be.” Phrasing lets you join all three of the letters in one single elegant, continuous form—“i-l-b”—that takes significantly less than a quarter-second to publish.

Listed here is “it is likely to be” in the very first line, with “we have actually been” below it:

And you can find literally numerous of these expressions in Gregg shorthand. Above all, unlike brief kinds, they don’t need much memorization; they’re the merchandise of the few easy guidelines.

By the right time he passed away, in 1949, Gregg presided over an empire that reached from his head office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan into nearly every college proceed the link now, company and courthouse in the united states. As he had been fundamentally a publishing magnate—Gregg Publishing put away hundreds of textbooks, dictionaries, research guides, publications, and shorthand variations of traditional literature—John Robert Gregg additionally oversaw a commercial infrastructure of official certification agencies, business schools, and testing facilities that endorsed the abilities of all of the shorthand that is professional. In the event that you wished to be an professional secretary, you required a certification from Gregg saying you qualified at 150 terms each minute. You had to demonstrate you could write an astonishing 225 words per minute with better than 98 percent accuracy if you wanted to be a court reporter. Entirely, thousands of people passed away through Gregg training and also the Gregg official certification system.

For pretty much a century, Gregg ended up being a part that is essential of culture. Since recently as the 1970s, virtually every senior high school in the united states taught Gregg. Definitely, every company school and most colleges offered shorthand that is gregg-certified. But Gregg’s decline started whenever McGraw-Hill purchased Gregg Publishing, soon after John Robert Gregg’s death. The rise of stenography devices into the 1940s and 1950s steadily drove shorthand through the courtroom (though you may still find a a small number of “pen authors” when you look at the federal court system). The Dictaphone as well as other recording products made verbatim note using less much less essential in any office. Plus some social individuals state improvements in women’s rights additionally played a task into the decrease of Gregg. The smartest, most talented women often ended up as secretaries or executive assistants and became gifted shorthand practitioners in a time when they were denied careers in fields like the law or medicine. Those left behind never became quite as fast or skilled at the complexities of Gregg in the 1960s and 1970s, as these women began to move on to better opportunities.

The genuine death knell for Gregg, though, ended up being the arrival associated with the laptop or computer within the 1980s. Also high-level professionals no much much longer dictated letters with their secretaries; they had written them on the own to their desktop computers. Organizations which used to possess ratings of skilled shorthand authors eliminated their pools that are steno. Today, I’m maybe perhaps perhaps not conscious of any school that is high teaches Gregg. It is nearly impossible to get it taught in colleges—with two exceptions in Kingsborough and Queensborough community universities in new york, where Gregg article writers are nevertheless prized by some white glove legislation companies. The only guide nevertheless posted because of the Gregg Division of McGraw-Hill could be the Gregg handbook, an office guide which contains no reference to shorthand.

But, being a technology for composing fast with pen and paper—still significant ability for reporters like me—Gregg shorthand hasn’t been surpassed. Nowadays, you may need to buy a classic Gregg manual on e-Bay and show your self, but even though you simply discover the rules, Gregg will likely increase your note using rate. With repetition and day-to-day usage, it is not unusual to achieve rates of 100 terms a moment or maybe more. And, paradoxically, shorthand is the complement that is perfect the twenty-first Century technology associated with smartpen.

After all, shorthand—at minimum my shorthand—isn’t foolproof. Despite the fact that, for brief stretches, I am able to compose 120 words each and every minute, the American that is average now at significantly more than 150 terms one minute, therefore one thing is inevitably lost into the interpretation. With my trusty Sky smartpen, however, we don’t need to worry. In most cases, whenever I circumvent to writing the tale, I’m able to count on my handwritten records for brief quotes and back ground information. Nevertheless when we need an extended, verbatim estimate, I’m able to make use of my records as a kind of index to obtain the right an element of the meeting, and touch there with my pen to know the playback. No further for the dance that is forward/reverse a electronic recorder when it is time for you to transcribe. It is an almost perfect system.


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