MJP architect&educator

The Phonetics of Gregg Shorthand

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I started getting into hand stenography after learning Plover. What I looked for in a writing system mirrored what I loved about machine steno:

  • As phonetic as possible
  • Consistent and predictable to learn
  • Fast

I also added criteria:

  • Beautiful
  • Fluid

Gregg shorthand met all of these, and more. The choice of curves and lines follows a host of predictable phonetic rules and (at least to me) seems to even echo the physiology of producing the respective sounds. See below for some of the basic phonetic symbols. The line shape mimics the tongue position and the length indicates voicing (short for unvoiced, long for voiced).

Letter Sound Tongue Position Voiced Symbol
R short under-curve, sides touching palette yes gregg-r
L long under-curve, tip touching palette yes gregg-l
K arch to pallete no gregg-k
G arch to pallete yes gregg-g
T diagonal up to teeth no gregg-t
D diagonal up to teeth yes gregg-d