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Unit 1

     1. Shorthand is written by sound; thus aim is written am (long sound of a), cat is written kat, knee is written ne. Since we are learning shorthand to save time in writing, it is necessary to ignore those letters that aren't pronounced.


     2. The consonants are arranged in pairs, according to their similarity of sound, and are distinguished by a difference in length. For instance, k and g are both produced in the same place in the mouth and likewise resemble each other in shorthand.
     The characters for the consonants in this lesson are derived from this elliptical figure: Horizontal oval, bisected twice

Forward alphabet

     3. All these consonants are written forward from left to right; th and t and d are struck upwards from the line of writing. The g given in this lesson is called gay, being the hard sound as in game, get, and not the soft sound heard in gem, magic. The aspirate h is indicated by a dot placed over the vowel.
     Many frequently recurring words are represented by simple alphabetic characters. These abbreviations are called brief forms. Some of these signs represent two and even three words; for example, the sign for r represents are, our, hour. A dot on the line of writing represents the articles a, an. A dot at the end of a word expresses -ing. The pronoun I is expressed by a large circle (written counterclockwise); he, by a small circle.
     The student should practice all these characters until he or she can write them without the slightest hesitation. Let us examine more closely the curve letters k, g, r, and l.

K, G, R, L

     Each of these strokes begins and ends on the same plane. The beginning and the end of k and g rest on the line of writing. R and l rest on the line of writing as a saucer would rest on a table.
     The deep part of the curve in k and in g is at the end; in r and l, at the beginning, as indicated by arrows.
     K and r are the same size. The same is true of g and l.
     Correctly written, r and l look like k and g when the paper is turned upside down.
     The sounds represented by lines are n, m, t, and d:

n, m, t, d

     Even though d is about twice the length of t, d should only go up about two thirds of the line of writing.

     4. Phrasing.  The joining of simple words is a great help to accuracy and speed in writing shorthand, and its acquirement should not be deferred until the habit of writing common words separately has been formed.


     5. Punctuation, etc.  In shorthand the following marks are used:


6. Sentence Drill
Sentence Drill

     7. In shorthand there are twelve distinct vowel sounds, which are arranged in four groups, and three closely related sounds are placed in each group.  In this lesson we have the first two groups, which for convenience are named the A group and the E group.

Memory aid: Ways to remember a and e strokes

The A Group
a vowel markings

The E Group
 e vowel markings

     Note: The first sound in the E group of vowels is the short i, heard in din, and should not be confused with long i, heard in dine, which will be given later.

     8. Marking Vowels.  The vowels are grouped according to similarity in sound. The large circle expresses three sounds of a. The short sound is unmarked, the medium sound is marked with a dot, and the long sound with a short dash, as shown in paragraph 7. This system of marking is used in all vowel groups uniformly.
     The dot and dash are occasionally needed to indicate the exact sounds in unfamiliar or isolated words, but otherwise they are seldom used.

Picturing Writing Motion

     9. Frequently we shall have to refer to writing motion. The curved characters in this lesson are taken from horizontal ovals, one written with right motion, the other with left. The right motion is clockwise; the left, counterclockwise.

Writing motion direction

     10. Characters taken from the left-motion oval are called left-motion, because the rotation is from left to right; characters taken from the right-motion oval are called right-motion for a like reason; thus:

right motion compared to left-motion strokes

     The terms "left motion" and "right motion" refer to the rotation in movement, and not to the direction.

How Circles Are Joined

     The following movement drills are intended to develop skill in the joining of circles.

     11. Circles Joined to Single Strokes.  At the beginning or end of a single curve, the circle is placed inside the curve. Let us examine more closely how to join a circle to a curve, using a-k, a-g, r-a, and l-a.

Ak, Ag, Ra, La

     The dotted line shows the position of the circle in relation to the curve. (Remember, the dotted line in r-a and l-a does not represent the line of writing. The base of the r and of the l rests on the line of writing.)
     The circle joins at a right angle, shown by the arrows above.

How circles are joined to single strokes

     Practice with the following sentences:


Key: He lay there in the air. I cannot go. I will not go. Ray is ill. He cannot hear Lee.

     12. At the beginning or end of a single straight stroke, the circle is written with right motion. Observe closely the joinings a-d, d-a, a-m, and m-a.

Ad, Da, Am, Ma

     In joining the circle to a straight line, start and finish as shown by the dotted lines. Keep straight lines absolutely straight.

How vowels join to straight strokes

Practice with the following sentences:


Key: I am aiming at him. I hit him in the knee. Eddy is aiming at me. He hit me in the head.

13. Reading and Dictation Practice

Reading and Dictation Practice

Brief Form Drill for this Unit

Transcription Key to this Unit
- Next Unit -

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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