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Andrew Owen

About the Pre-Anniversary Gregg Shorthands
First, second, third, fourth, and fifth editions
(1888-1928)

     Gregg's Light-Line Phonography was published in 1888 in two small pamphlets. Understandably, Gregg Shorthand was in a very primal state.  It contained almost no brief forms and was rather jagged in appearance, looking nothing like the modern cursive forms.  The plates were written by Gregg, himself.  It was published out of Liverpool, England.

     The second edition was published in 1893 in Boston.  The shorthand plates were also written by Gregg, himself.  Five years afterward, a much better version of the system was created and published under the title of "Gregg Shorthand." This third edition was put into book form in 1897 and finally published in 1898.

     The fourth edition of Gregg Shorthand was published in 1902.  Gregg also wrote these plates.  The book was published in Chicago.  The book is commonly seen on online auctions, with gold print on the dark front cover.

     The fifth edition is what is commonly referred to as "Pre-Anniversary".  This was the 1916 edition of Gregg Shorthand.  The organization of the 1916 edition was very simple, consisting of twenty lessons.  The brief forms were referred to as word-signs and they were grouped with the phrases.  The shorthand plates for this book and its supplements were written by Mrs. Hubert A. Hagar.

     The fifth edition had the most abbreviations and brief forms of any edition of Gregg Shorthand.  Notable forms were above (a b oo), after (a f), behalf (b f), check (ch k), man (m n), men (men), principal (p r), season (ses n), teach (t ch), upon (p n), usually (oo sh), vowel (v l, with the angle between the letters distinct).  The system was very free, though, working from principles more so than from memorised forms.  There were several disjoined word beginnings that existed according to the "tr principle" like alter- (o turned sideways), ultra- (oo turned sideways), later- (l a over the line), letr- or liter- (l i over the line), matri- or mater- (m a over the line), nitr- (n ī over the line), nutr- or neutr- (n u over the line), patr- or pater- (p a over the line), petr- (p e over the line), austr- or ostr- (o s over the line), abstr- (a b s over the line), and obstr- (o b s over the line). Hydra- is notated with ī over the rest of the word.  -Itis, -ntic, -vity, -ness were notated with a disjoined t s, a disjoined n, a disjoined v, and a joined n, respectively.

     Fascinating word principles were set forth in this edition.  The modification of the -ing dot into the next word was introduced (and last seen) here.  An example of the indication of "Ing" is doing the, which would be written d u [over th], with the th where the -ing dot should be.  Words could be omitted and placed differently to notate these omissions.  Of the was omitted and the words around the omission were placed closer together.  From and to are omitted in such phrases as from time to time, and written in one word, which would be written temtem in one outline.  By was omitted by making the next word begin under the word before it.  Time after time was just time and time written closely together.

     This system had a method of notating the [x] sound like the ch in German and Scotch, the gh in Irish Gaelic, and the ll in Welsh.  An h dot was placed over the k, g, and l, respectively.  Pre-Anniversary made the first use of the breve placed below outlines.  To connect words of awkward or impossible joinings like Lehigh, ayah, yahoo, etc., the breve (a small and shallow marking resembling the r curve) was placed between the outlines.  This marking was made to distinguish if a vowel needed to be notated as short (since there is no vowel marking for short vowels).  The breve was placed underneath the vowel.  This was a useful mark for notating words like onion, immigrate, minion, etc.

     This version of shorthand was likely the hardest to learn, but it served the reporter very well.  The Pre-Anniversary Gregg Shorthands are not commonly seen in literature, but if any Gregg literature dates before 1929, it is written in this series.

Preface
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

Index

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