Ommision of Vowels

I was wondering why some words omit the vowels, even when they are stressed. For example, the word “incline” is written “e n”. The disjoined e only makes the incl sound, so why is there no simple for the hard ‘i’ sound? I’d think you’d write it “e i-n”. Same thing wish the “sup(e)r-” prefix. The why isn’t the “ee” sound in supreme written? How does one know to omit it? Thanks

(by _pie_man_
for everyone)


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  1. It is part of the abbreviation principle. Supreme is writte s/m because one looks at it and sees, "supr – m." Since no other word sounds like that, we assume a long e there.

    As with incline, we see "incl / n" and assume the long i because no other common word uses another vowel there. ("inclane, inclene, inclone, inclune, incline!") By writing "e/nsh", you read it, "incl-n-tion" and immediately think "inclination".

    Same thing with magnificent. With the m / f, we can read it and think, "magn – f." Only one word comes to mind! 🙂

    In short, we don't write "incline" with the long i because it is an unnecessary stroke. Also, because it is a quick-to-memorize form. 🙂

    Eventually, you get used to using context to interpret your shortcuts. Remember that Sklarew photocopied page on my angelfishy site, which says, "am [over the line]n nu s/k aprss." This means "I am interested in your Supreme Court appearances." That example is so distant from the standard set of principles because it is an example of heavy shortcut usage to save time.

    The point here is that representing a stressed vowel in a word with a disjoined form is too much trouble, since the disjoining should make the word's meaning pop out. 🙂

    —Andw. Owen

  2. When writing words with disjoined prefixes that end in a consonant, the rule of thumb is that you omit the vowel following the prefix. The vowel is only written if it is needed for legibility. So in Anniv you will write "contract" as "k k", "contrite" as "k t", "extract" as "e k", and "declame" as "d-e m." But you would write "transact" as "t a-k."

  3. Ahhh, that all makes sense.

    I have another question. Do you round off the angles when attaching a prefix? For example, is there a round angle in the word "intern"? Is it "nt-e-n" or is it "n-t-e-n". In phrasing, do you round off angles? "Isn't it" would be "s-n-t" or "s-nt"?

  4. Yes, in general you blend.   For example, the word "indecent" is "nd – right s – e – nt."  The word "isn't" is blended as "s – nt", but "is not" is not (no pun intended).  However, in the phrase "isn't it", you write the "it" separate from the isn't.   The word "intern" is written as "n over n", disjoined, because "inter" is a special prefix.   The blends also apply to the past tenses, like in the word "seemed", which you write "right s – e – md."

  5. K, some unrelated questions, but I didn't want to start a new thread.

    Can the word "word" be written "erd", because "er" is the word "were"? The word "better" is written "btr", right? And lastly, is the word "read" bent like the rd is in "hard"? Thanks.

  6. Ahh, ok. I can't figure out how to make the nyon sound that appears in "canyon" or "opinion". What does that look like?

    Oh, and can just a 'k' be used for can in canyon? I'm confused as to when you can use a brief form as part of another word.

  7. Opinion is a brief form: o – p – n   The sound -nyon, or -nion, as in canyon and minion is represented by u – n.  So:   canyon: k – a – n – u – n minion: mn – u – n   In Simplified, you always write "k – a – n" for the prefix "can-", except for the brief form "can."

  8. I am going to keep posting in this thread because it's easier than starting a new one.

    The words product, produce seem weird to write to me. Am I doing it correctly? p-rd-u-k, p-rd-u-s. If that is how you do it, could someone point it out in the book so I could see it (or scan it)? That just doesn't seem right.

    And is the word "new" n-e-u or n-u?

  9. Product is written "p r o d u k". The O is written because of the D. Produce is "p r o d u [comma s]". In expert shorthand, however, we converted these words into brief forms. Product is "p r o" and produce is "p r u [comma s]". Nice eh?

    New is nu.

    —Andrew Owen

  10. It was an extra text that went along with those students who pursued more brief forms and better speed. It has all sorts of nifty outlines like pva for provide, etc. I posted a list of Diamond Jubilee Expert forms at to give an idea of what the program consisted of.

  11. Good question.  Here are some rules:   1.  When s is joined to an n, m, t, or d, or the nt, mt, tn, and tm blends, use right s to start, and left s to end. 2.  With sh, ch, or j, use right s to start and to end. 3.  With clockwise curves (f, v, dev blend), use right s (clockwise s, comma s) to start and to end 4.  With counterclockwise curves (p, b, gent blend), use left s (counterclockwise s). 5.  The word "so", and words that start with "so" are written with right s. 6.  The word "us", and words that start with the syllable "us" are written with a blend of u and right s.  The syllable "us" is written with a blend if it follows a downward consonant (p, b, f, v, sh, ch, j) or if it follows a k or a g.  The syllable us is written as u – right s unblended within a word.   So the word "answer" is written as "a – n – left s" because the s comes after n (Rule 1).

  12. Bleh, I knew that. Thanks

    What is this outline I keep seeing? It looks like e-s, but it doesn't make sense in context as "he is". For example, paragraph 133, last sentance it reads

    "e-s it looks after though the auther has given us a fine seller."


  13. Hooray for bringing back a dead thread!

    I just have another question about the direction of an s. What do you do if the s goes one way for following a letter, but the otherway before a letter? For example, in the word ."wrist", the r says you should use left s, but the t after says to use a right s… which one do you use?

  14. Well, the first rule of s says that before and after p, b, r, and l; and after t, d, n, m, o, we use the left s. The motion of the circle vowel makes the left s a more facile joining before the t than the right s. If you were to make a right s instead, the s could be transcribed as ss, and instead of "wrist" it would read "real estate".

  15. OK, thanks!

    I was thinking and I think I've noticed a pattern of vowel ommissions, but I can't find the rule in the book. Could anyone perhaps verify it?

    From what I can tell, the letter e is omitted if it makes a short sound (not ee), and occurs after b/p/v/f and g/k.

    Picture – p-k-t-r
    Expect – e-s-p-c
    big – b-g


  16. Not always!

    pig = p – e – g
    pick = p – e – k

    The ones that are certain are the prefixes be-, de-, and re-. And even for re-, you will write the e if a forward consonant follows.

    The second e is not written in expect because -pect is a special ending written as p – k.

  17. Oops, you are right. I was thinking Anniv, where -pect is written as p. The rule you are talking about is on paragraph 304: "Again we drop a letter that is not ordinarily stressed in speaking. " This is one of those things that only memory will help. No e in "project", "tragic", "traffic", but then you have "victor" (which sounds like "picture") where the "e" is spelled!

    Confusing, indeed.

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