Anyone can learn the Gregg alphabet in an afternoon and probably double their writing speed; but to become truly fast—like the remaining handful of Gregg-powered court reporters in the federal courts who take down testimony at more than words per minute—you have to memorize dozens or hundreds of common abbreviations.
Cursive when was the last time you heard that word? Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Fast forward to the past couple of centuries, and you see two dominant shorthand systems take over: Gregg shorthand the most popular system in the U.
Now, some shorthand purists will turn their noses up at these systems like snooty, aristocratic gentlemen with curly mustaches and pocketwatches. We miss things when we take class notes. But whenever I get a little too smug about my clever use of this hybrid technology, I like to think about the great court reporting contests of the late s when legends of shorthand, like Charles Swem and Martin Duprawcompeted head-to-head against one another.
However, the trade-off is that they take far, far less time to learn. As recently as the s, almost every high school in the country taught Gregg. Companies that used to have scores of skilled shorthand writers eliminated their steno pools entirely.
If you wanted to be an executive secretary, you needed a certificate from Gregg saying you qualified at words per minute. For example, words that might appear frequently in a literature class are character challegory algallusion allufigure of speech fosand so on.
Gregg is no different.