The A.B.C. of Gregg Shorthand - London 1941

I have acquired a copy of “The A. B. C. of Gregg Shorthand”, a small pamphlet of 40 pages, measuring 4 and a quarter inches, by a little under 5 and a half inches; the cover is a dull orange. The price is sixpence.

The title is set out on the cover in this format:

A. B. C.
The Most Widely Used
in the world
Easy & Fascinating
10 Minute Talks

Inside the pamphlet, it is stated: “This booklet has been devised and written by F. Addington Symonds (Editor of the Gregg Magazine), to whom permission has been granted, by Dr John Robert Gregg, to draw freely upon the material in the Anniversary Edition of the Gregg Shorthand Manual”

The copywrite is 1941; the print code is: W-D68-5.

The introductory page starts: “One Moment, Please!” and ends: “Meanwhile, good luck – and good Gregging!”

Each “talk” has a title and covers the following information:

1. “As Easy as A B C”: how shorthand is based on sound, not spelling; how the signs for shorthand are derived from oval shapes and lines running through them. The author writes that: “[Gregg Shorthand] will enable you to write from four to six times more rapidly than is possible with longhand…”

2. “Speed From the Start”: the signs for P, B, F and V, then R, L, K and G, explained as curves derived from the oval shapes. The signs for A and E follow, and it is explained that a dot on the line represents “a, an”. Examples of shorthand words are then given.

3. “Easier and Easier”: the straight line strokes, N, M, T, D, Sh, Ch and J. The writer suggests: “Now try writing the short upward stroke – the T stroke – with a curve; and the same with the little downward stroke called SH. The first gives you the sign for TH ….. The second provides the sign for S.” The alternative strokes are given for Th and S; SeS and XeS are also explained, as are the H dot, the –ing dot and the suffix for –ings. Examples are given, e.g. “heating”, “meetings”.

4. “More Signs for Sounds”: O and OO, the full range of sounds for all the vowels (including the distinguishing dot and dash marks), -LY, -INGLY, -ILY and punctuation.

5. “The Marriage of the Vowels”: the diphthongs, long I plus another vowel, EA and IA, W (initially and medially), consonantal Y, reversing the A and E circles at the beginning and end of words to indicate R, and how the loop is used to express the plural of these at the end of words.  

6. “Blend for Speed”: all of the blends are introduced, as are Ng and Ngk.  The author writes: “By now you have probably lost count of the number of words you can already write in shorthand”.

7. “Words We’re Always Using”: Brief Forms and simple phrasing. Per-, -ble, -ment,
-shun. How to form the past tense.

8. “A Last Look Round”: the reversing principle in the middle of words, vowels written consecutively when not forming a diphthong, the dot used for A in A+H and A+W, a brief outline of the abbreviating principle.

The postscript introduces some other features of Gregg Shorthand, e.g. the omission of vowels in prefixes and suffixes, “word-building” e.g. con-, contr-, constr-, and compound affixes, and concludes: “If you would like to know more about Gregg Shorthand and will drop us a postcard, we shall be delighted to be of service”.

Attachment: ABC of Gregg.pdf

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