We had a general information meeting at work today and, just for the exercise, I took notes in Gregg - not verbatim, but I was surprised at how easy it was to accurately transcribe my notes and relay the essence of what was actually said. My point being, that Gregg does the job well.
My eyes have been opened by this panel and message board as to the superb job JRG and his staff did in marketing the shorthand. I cannot argue that there may exist more accurate systems, but what really matters is that the Gregg system once learned produces the desired results. And isn't this what one would want from any shorthand system?
On one of the older boards it was mentioned that Simplified was developed by Leslie himself. Does this mean that JRG was aware of the simplification and endorsed it? Once one uses Anniversary, IMHO it seems odd to write the broken circle instead of the "a" circle in words like "my" and "life" which were mentioned as having been adopted to reduce the memory load. Perhaps I practiced those Anniversary shortcuts too much in the '60's but in truth I find most of the brief forms, prefixes and suffixes come readily to mind and hand when writing.
Incidentally, I took the notes today on 8.5x11 paper folded lengthwise as I did not have a steno pad handy ... so no rules on the paper, using the line of writing I experienced no difficulties with length of consonants or blends. Of late I've made the effort to read articles from the "Expert" 1945 book for at least 15 minutes daily, so the outlines are fairly fresh in my mind.
But keep in mind that I had the advantage of learning Gregg is a classroom for four high school terms, so doubtlessly all that repetition and practice has made it easier for me to retain the system in my memory. If I had to study the method today without benefit of an instructor and class drills, I might find it much more difficult to remember. Although I am interested in Pitman, a cursory start with the "Teach Yourself" book, failed to spark my interest as looking into "advanced" Gregg texts did. Guess it really boils down to what you're used to. (I still prefer 5-speed auto transmissions to automatic!)
(by jrganniversary for everyone)