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A Judge’s Charge
Dupraw’s Notes
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Most-Used Phrases
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Dupraw on Note Size
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Stenospeed Dictation
Andrew Owen

     History. Gregg Shorthand was first published in 1888, in two little paper-covered pamphlets, under the title, "Light-Line Phonography." Five years later, a revised and greatly improved edition was published under the title, 'Gregg Shorthand.' It was not until 1897, however, that the author was able to publish the system in book form.
     To the student or writer of shorthand, there are few more interesting or inspiring stories of success than the story of the career of Gregg Shorthand in the thirty-two years that have elapsed since its publication in book form; but a textbook is not a place for such a story. Today, Gregg Shorthand is the standard system of America. It has been adopted exclusively in the public schools of 6,519 cities and towns more than ninety-seven per cent of the public schools that teach shorthand. It has superseded the older systems, in the large majority of these cases, by formal action of the Boards of Education after careful investigation of the merit of the system. Its leadership in all other kinds of educational institutions is equally pronounced. This constitutes the highest educational indorsement a shorthand system has ever received.
     Wins World Championship Six Times. The history of Gregg Shorthand is a record of public triumphs. In the 1921 World’s Championship Contest of the National Shorthand Reporters’ Association, Mr. Albert Schneider* won first place, defeated three former champions, and established two world's records. He transcribed the 215-words-a-minute literary dictation with a net speed of 211.2 words a minute; accuracy, 98.32%. On the 200-words-a-minute dictation his accuracy percentage was 98.80; on the 240-words-a-minute dictation, 98.17; on the 280-words-a-minute dictation,
     In transcribing five five-minute highest speed dictations 175, 200, 215, 240, and 280 words a minute in the time allotted for the three championship dictations, Mr. Schneider gave one of the most remarkable demonstrations of transcribing ability in the history of the shorthand contests.
     Writers of Gregg Shorthand won first, second, and third places in the World’s Championship Contest of the National Shorthand Reporters’ Association in 1923. Mr. Charles L. Swem,* winner, established a world’s record on the 200-words-a-minute dictation, making but two errors; accuracy, 99.79%. On the 240-words-a-minute dictation, his accuracy was 98.49%; on the 280 dictation, 99.36%. Second place was won by Mr. Albert Schneider, a Gregg writer, the 1921 champion. His average accuracy was 98.80%. Third place was won by another Gregg writer, Mr. Martin J. Dupraw, with an accuracy of 98.76%. First place in accuracy in every dictation was won by a writer of Gregg Shorthand.
     In the 1924 World’s Championship, Mr. Swem was again the victor. Mr. Swem’s accuracy on the three dictations was 99.23%.
     In the three consecutive years, 1925, I926, and 1927, the Worlds Shorthand Championship was won by Mr. Martin J. Dupraw, the greatest shorthand writer the world has yet produced. By winning the championship in 1927, Mr. Dupraw won permanent possession of the World’s Shorthand Championship Trophy, first offered in 1909 by the National Shorthand Reporters’ Association.
     Highest Shorthand Speed Records. The following are the world’s highest shorthand speed records all held by writers of Gregg Shorthand and made in the Championship Contests of the National Shorthand Reporters

282 Words a minute (testimony)
     Charles Lee Swem . . . . accuracy 99.29%
260 Words a minute (jury charge)
     Martin J. Dupraw . . . . . accuracy 99.69%
220 Words a minute (literary matter)
     Martin J. Dupraw . . . . . accuracy 99.81%
     (Held jointly with two others)
215 Words a minute (literary matter)
     Albert Schneider . . . . . accuracy 98.32%
200 Words a minute (literary matter)
     Charles Lee Swem . . . . accuracy 99.0%
     (Tied with one other)
     Average accuracy . . . . . . . . . . . 99.29%

     Gregg Shorthand is the only system that has produced three different writers to win the World Championship in the contests of the National Shorthand Reporters’ Association. The contests were discontinued in 1927, and Mr. Dupraw was given permanent possession of the World’s Championship Trophy.
     Wins New York State Shorthand Championship. In the contest of the New York State Shorthand Reporters’ Association, 1924, Mr. Martin J. Dupraw won first place with an accuracy record of 99.5%; Mr. Nathan Behrin, Supreme Court reporter, New York City, second; and Mr. Harvey Forbes, Supreme Court reporter, Buffalo, New York, third. By winning the New York State Shorthand Championship again in 1925, and also in 1926, Mr. Dupraw gained permanent possession of the Bottome Cup, the State championship trophy.
     Awarded Medal of Honor at Panama-Pacific Exposition. At the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, in 1915, Gregg Shorthand was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award ever granted a system of shorthand by any exposition, and the only award ever granted that. was based on the results accomplished by students in a model school conducted under the observation of the International Jury of Awards. Gregg Shorthand also received the highest award, the Medal of Honor, at the SesquiCentennial Exposition at Philadelphia, in 1926. The thirteenth International Shorthand Congress, held in Bruxelles, Belgium, in 1927, awarded a Grand Prix to The Gregg Publishing Company, and elected the author of Gregg Shorthand as Vice President of the Congress representing the United States.
     Principles of the System. Needless to say, Gregg Shorthand is a radical departure from the old lines of shorthand construction, for it is only by a radical departure that such marked superiority in results can be accomplished.
     The following is a synopsis of the leading features of the system:
     1. No compulsory thickening—may be written either light or heavy.
     2. Written on the slope of longhand, thus securing a uniform manual movement.
     3. Position-writing abolished—may be written on unruled paper, ordinary
and in one straight line.
     4. Vowels and consonants are joined, and follow each other in
their natural order.
     5. Angles are rare—curves predominate.
     This brief synopsis will suffice to show that the aim of the author has been to adhere to those natural principles that govern ordinary writing. By a practical combination of these elements as a foundation, the system secures to the writer, with very little practice, that perfect command of the characters that is productive of the best results, and is obtained only by years of persistent, painstaking practice with the older systems.


     Easy to Learn. Gregg Shorthand may be learned in from one-third to one-half the time required by the old systems. The records made by its writers prove this beyond all question.
     Easy to Read. Gregg Shorthand is the most legible shorthand in existence. In the public shorthand speed contests, writers of the system have established the highest official world’s records for accuracy of transcripts on difficult matter. These records were made in competition with experienced reporters who used the older systems, and in contests conducted by reporters and teachers who wrote such systems. Manifestly, the insertion of the vowels, the absence of shading, the elimination of position-writing, and the elimination of the minute distinctions of form, all contribute to legibility.
     Easy to Write. The easy, natural appearance of the writing in Gregg Shorthand appeals to every impartial investigator.  The absence of distinctions between light and heavy characters, the continuous run of the writing along one line, as in longhand, instead of constant changes of position now on the line, then above the line, and then, perhaps, through or below the line will be noticed at first glance.  Next, the investigator will probably attribute much of the natural, pleasing appearance of the writing to that uniform slant of the writing with which both hand and eye are familiar.  Only those who have had previous experience with shorthand, however, will be able to appreciate fully how much elimination of numerous dots and dashes minute marks that have to be placed with great precision alongside the strokes contributes to fluent writing.
     Superior in Speed Possibilities.  As has already been set forth in greater detail, writers of Gregg Shorthand have demonstrated in public speed contests, under the most trying conditions, that the system has greater speed possibilities than any other system.
     Adapted to Other Languages.  The simple and logical writing basis of Gregg Shorthand enables a writer of it to use it in any language with which he or she is familiar. Special adaptations of the system have been published for Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Gaelic, and Esperanto.  Adaptations to other languages are in preparation.  The Spanish adaptation of the system is used in more than 300 schools in Spanish-speaking countries, and there is a quarterly magazine devoted to it.

*Governor Woodrow Wilson selected Mr. Swem as his official reporter in his campaign for the Presidency. Mr. Swem was Personal Secretary and Official Reporter to President Wilson for eight years. Mr. Swem began the study of Gregg Shorthand in a night school in September, 1908, when working as an office boy. He was twenty years of age when he received the appointment at the White House. In the 1924 examination for the position of Supreme Court stenographer in the state of New York, Mr. Swem won first place in a field of 150 candidates. Mr. Swem did not accept an appointment at the time, and took the examination in 1928, again winning first place. He is at present an official shorthand reporter in the Supreme Court of New York.

- Editor's Note -

About Gregg Shorthand
Editor's Note
A Talk with the Beginner
The Alphabet
Chapter I
   Unit 1
   Unit 2
   Unit 3
Chapter II
   Unit 4
   Unit 5
   Unit 6
Chapter III
   Unit 7
   Unit 8
   Unit 9
Chapter IV
   Unit 10
   Unit 11
   Unit 12
Chapter V
   Unit 13
   Unit 14
   Unit 15
Chapter VI
   Unit 16
   Unit 17
   Unit 18
Chapter VII
   Unit 19
   Unit 20
   Unit 21
Chapter VIII
   Unit 22
   Unit 23
   Unit 24
Chapter IX
   Unit 25
   Unit 26
   Unit 27
Chapter X
   Unit 28
   Unit 29
   Unit 30
Chapter XI
   Unit 31
   Unit 32
   Unit 33
Chapter XII
   Unit 34
   Unit 35
   Unit 36


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