Thursday, 25 July 2013

A Day Here in the Good Air...

'A day here in the good air' written for at least the 10th time

I am cursed with a good memory. While this is useful in physics (my degree) it's useless for trying to read passages in Gregg as I end up memorising the passages! (I have read the exercise starting 'A day here in the good air...' so many times now I think I can almost quote the whole exercise.) But how to solve this problem?

This is where Fundamental Drills in Gregg Shorthand has come in very useful: this book is filled with meaninglessly worded examples of Gregg which no-one would ever write in an ordinary everyday langauge, but is useful for learning it (think 'I can go. He can go. I can go there. He can go there' etc.). Each exercise is complete with a short annotation indicating which unit you need to read before hand. There are 6 rules at the start of the book which can be boiled down to these two.
  1. Read the examples. Read them again. Read them until you read them at the same speed you hear the spoken word
  2. Now you're ready to write. Write fast and write accurately.
This is the method I've been using and I must say, it has greatly aided my practice of Gregg. Not only does it provide some variation to the units, every sentence is so similar that it's not so easy to accidentally memorise the passage. It also helps to train outlines I'll often use (in this case the phrase 'I can go' or 'I can' appears frequently).

I'll report back in a month with how the Fundamental Drills are going. Do you have any techniques you use to help you keep Gregg 'fresh' in your mind? Or have you found a hidden cache of Gregg resources for early on in the learning process? Let me know in the comments below.

These are a couple of pictures of my latest work.

Unit 1 practice from Fundamental Drills


Personal drills, getting angles between lines and circles correct etc.

PS You may've noticed, it's not Friday today! I'm publishing early because I probably won't be able to publish tomorrow, so enjoy!

Friday, 19 July 2013


Motivation is a fickle thing. I'm not short on reasons why everyone should learn shorthand as standard in school. Nor am I short on justifications of why I should spend my hard earned holiday learning this unique and 'out of date' skill. But when it comes to actually practising it ... this week has been pretty bad for it. Like every useful skill, it's much more fun to talk about it than it is to learn it. In fact, in total over the whole week, I think I've done 40 minutes of practice.

So what am I going to do about it? Well, first I'm going to change and do the practice! I have a cool new technique for learning Gregg I want to share with you, but I think it would be best to talk about it after I've used it properly for a week. Maybe I'll even reward myself with a new album from Bridgit Mendler if I practice for 30 minutes every day. Maybe I should watch this video every day, and take inspiration from Jose Luis.

What techniques do you use to motivate yourself?