Newbie musing


When I joined the group a message flashed informing me that ElAve was a name used here before. I don't know how to change it so I'll just leave it as my nickname unless someone advises me that ElAve has a history here. I'm new and I don't want to be confused with someone else.

Whew, already I've written plenty, just trying to say "hello!" You can imagine my need for shorthand.

When I was a teenager I studied my mother's shorthand books a bit and really enjoyed playing around with it. All I kept from those days were the brief forms for "of" and "the." Why hadn't it dawned on me to learn Gregg Shorthand while I had the need for speedy note-taking in college? Duh. Recently I decided to learn to speak Spanish. Also recently, I purchased an old Gregg shorthand book (anniversary edition) and discovered there was a Spanish language version. I got that too and an old dictionary. All 3 old books appear to be from the Anniversary era. Now I've also acquired a series 90 book (50 cents at a library sale - how could I resist?).

I'm very much enjoying splashing around simultaneously in the Spanish shorthand (Taquigrafia) and the English, while trying to avoid mental meltdown concerning vowel sounds. I've made myself a little chart comparing the taquigrafia and the English vowel sounds and I've been playing with the idea of trying to write both languages with essentially the same marks - it seems this is mostly what Gregg did when he wrote the Taquigrafia, but there are some differences. Anyway, this exploration has led me to some thinking on vowels that I want to share because of Thousandwave's post and some of the replies.

I've noticed recently that I must have a slight Midwestern accent. For instance, I say egg with a long "A." If I were to write "egg" phonetically for my-eyes-only, then the large circle standing for the long "A" would more closely resemble the way I pronounce the word. If I were to write it "properly" then I'd use a small circle, right? I haven't seen the word yet in shorthand. What if one had a strong accent and they pronounced "yellow" as "yeller" (not a Midwestern thing by the way). Would it be easier on the reader, when sounding out words, if the word was written with an "R" on the end? I'm sure the thought horrifies many people on many levels, but I only mean to bring up the question of one's brain taking an extra step in translating an "accent" as opposed to writing in one's own accent. Vowels have surprisingly become a hot topic for me.

Thousandwaves mentioned the omission of the "R" in "serve" and "warm" but not in "barn." It's a wild guess on my part to imagine reasons for why Gregg may be as it is, but lack of knowledge has never stopped me from offering guesses. So, my guess is that some word meanings are so specific that they point to themselves contextually and others are more flexible and therefore need to be more fully identified, for example by writing their "R."  In sounding out W-A-M with some various "A" sounds, such as those found in Apple, Father, or Ache, the word does not seem to lend itself easily to discernable words other than "warm." "Barn," on the other hand, seems to make some other words when sounding out B-A-N with various vowel interpretations: "ban" and "bane."  It's just some "beginner thinking" so it may not be relevant but I had fun thinking about it anyway.

I agreed with the writers who pointed out that sometimes one's best course of action is to learn first and speculate on the rules later. Sometimes reasons for things become apparent with experience. Even if reasons never become apparent, stuff that works still works. I don't honestly understand how my nifty technological gadgets work but I use 'em anyway. I agreed with the comments from both the writer who pointed out that adaptations work if they work for the individual who uses them and also from the other writer who pointed out that the developers had hashed out the details for us and perhaps we would have an easier time of it if we didn't try to forge new ground. Forgive me for the extremely loose comment interpretations, I only mean to say I found them all to be good and valid points of view. I couldn't resist introducing myself with my own 2 cents thrown in on the topic.

I really enjoy reading comments at this site and I wish I had time to read more of them. I'm enjoying this new exploration into Gregg shorthand! I'm just having a blast with it and I really want to learn it well and keep it as a part of me for life. The advice I read in the replies to Thousandwaves was great. If anyone has advice for a Spanish language learning taquigrafia/shorthand beginner, then I welcome their comments. It remains to be seen if I'll develop a hodgepodge of my own that is functional in Spanglish or if I'll stick to the books and just make a notation for myself when the form represents a Spanish word. Shorthand would come in handy for writing my Spanish language exercises but now that I've discovered shorthand I really want to use it now, in English, in ALL my writing. Someone posted that finding Gregg shorthand again was like finding an old friend. For me, it's like finding the guy I "should have" gone out with long ago when I first laid eyes on him in high school. Oh well, better late than never, yes?


(by elave for everyone)