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      Practice
Andrew Owen
A TALK WITH THE BEGINNER

     Success in any study depends largely upon the interest taken in that particular subject by the student. This being the case, we earnestly hope that you will realize at the very outset that shorthand can be made an intensely fascinating study. Cultivate a love for it. Think of it as the highest form of writing, which is itself the greatest invention of humanity. Be proud that you can record the language in graceful lines and curves. Aim constantly to acquire artistic skill in executing those lines and curves. You can, if you will, make the study of shorthand a perfect joy instead of a task. Skill in the use of shorthand is a possession that has been coveted by the wisest of men and women, for it is not only a practical instrument in commercial work, but a much-prized and valuable accomplishment and a means of mental culture.
     Be Thorough. Skill in anything is attained by repetition with interest; therefore do not shirk the careful, painstaking practice on the elementary forms given in the Manual. Write each outline many times, and aim always at the attainment of fluency and exactness in execution.
     Your future success depends to a very large extent on the way you do your work now. In order that your progress may be sure and rapid, master each lesson before you proceed with the next.
     In your practice, write as rapidly as you can while keeping the hand under complete control; aim at accuracy rather than speed, but do not draw the characters. You must understand at the outset that shorthand must be written; but you must also impress upon your mind that whatever you write you must read, hence the necessity for good penmanship. As skill in executing the movements is obtained, the speed may be increased until the forms can be written accurately at a high rate of speed. Some attention should be given to acquiring a capacity for writing individual outlines rapidly without hesitation, and with a free movement of the hand.
     Aim to acquire a smooth style of writing; execute each character with an easy, continuous motion of the pen, and pass directly to the next without unnecessary movements. A halting, jerky movement is fatal to speed, and may be almost always traced to indecision, caused by unfamiliaritY with the forms. At first carefully analyze the words. To do this it is, of course, necessary for you to think of them in detail; but after you have determined the correct outline, practice it and think of it as a whole.
     Facility in the practical use of shorthand depends largely upon the stock of outlines you have at your ready command. Note the use of that word “ready.” This means that you should master all the forms given in the Manual by writing them many times. This will not only impress the forms on your mind, so that you will not have any hesitation in recalling them, but will give you facility in writing them. In shorthand it is not sufficient to know how to write a word you must not only know the form but be able to write it quickly. Hence the necessity for much repetition practice in writing the forms.
     Most of this repetition practice should be on the forms as they occur naturally in connected matter. The repetition of isolated forms for more than five times consecutively is not in accord with modern pedagogy. Scientifically graded connected matter has supplanted the isolated form.
     If, in addition to the words given in the Manual, you can add to your stock of outlines other words written under the same principles, you will have gained a great deal will have laid a broader foundation for advanced work which will lessen the time required to attain efficiency.
     Devote Much Time to Reading Well-Written Shorthand. By reading a great deal of well-written shorthand you will become not only a fluent reader, but you will enlarge your writing vocabulary. Unconsciously you will imitate in your own work the easy execution of the forms shown in the printed plates. All expert writers have devoted much time to reading shorthand.
     In addition to the work outlined in this Manual, we strongly recommend the use of the supplementary dictation material given in “Gregg Speed Studies,” and the exercises presented each month in the Learner’s Department of The Gregg Writer. These exercises may be used with great advantage from the very first lesson. Each number of The Gregg Writer contains many helpful suggestions and a number of shorthand pages that afford valuable exercises in reading and writing for students at all stages of advancement.

- The Alphabet -

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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