Gregg shorthand

Gregg shorthand is a form of shorthand that was invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888. Like cursive longhand, it is completely based on elliptical figures and lines that bisect them.[1] Gregg shorthand is the most popular form of pen stenography in the United States; its Spanish adaptation is fairly popular in Latin America. With the invention of dictation machines, shorthand machines, and the practice of executives writing their own letters on their personal computers, the use of shorthand has gradually declined in the business and reporting world. However, Gregg shorthand is still in use today.

Gregg shorthand
Script type
light-line semi-script alphabetic Stenography
CreatorJohn Robert Gregg
Time period
LanguagesEnglish, Afrikaans, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Catalan, Esperanto, French, German, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, and Tagalog
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

There is a reasonable possibility that John Robert Gregg structured his shorthand on the Mnemonic major system based on the previous work of Pierre Hérigone and others following the publication of The Anti-Absurd or Phrenotypic English Pronouncing and Orthographical Dictionary by Major Beniowski in 1845.[2][3][4]

Many versions of this system were published.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] The last version was Centennial, published in 1988.[12] Besides the main editions, a number of simpler, personal-use editions were published from 1924 to 1968. These included "Greghand" in 1935, and "Notehand" in 1960 and 1968.[13]

Gregg is often contrasted to Pitman shorthand, as the two share significant predominance over other English shorthand systems.[14] Pitman uses line thickness and position to discriminate between two similar sounds,[15] but Gregg shorthand uses the same thickness throughout and discriminates between similar sounds by the length of the stroke.[16] John Robert Gregg was originally a teacher of a Duployan shorthand adaptation to English (Duployan shorthand was the dominant system in France, and also featured uniform thickness and attached vowels).[17] However, he found the angular outlines of Duployan-based systems to be detrimental to speed.[18] Gregg shorthand features cursive strokes which can be naturally blended without obtuse angles.[18] In addition, because the symbols of Gregg shorthand are developed specially for English rather than adapted from a French system, they are a better fit for the language (for example, Gregg has a symbol for th (/θ/ and /ð/) whereas the Duployan systems would use a dotted t, which takes longer to write).[19]

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