TH difficulties in Anniversary

Hello everyone,
I am a new shorthand learner, and after a failed attempt to buy the simplified book (shown as available, but actually out of stock), started to teach myself using the Anniversary book available on Andrew Owen’s website. — An excellent resource that must have taken many a days work!

After getting near the end of Unit three I decided to “test” myself by writing the practice sections out as long hand, and then after a break converting into short-hand and I was horrified to discover quite how many writing mistakes I made.

The most common mistakes are poorly drawn characters, where a K looks like a G or the ‘I’ and ‘he’ circles look like twins, but I also discovered I had misunderstood how TH should be used.

I Initially believed an “arched-to the left” TH and “arched-to-the-right” TH could be used according to personal preference, but see from the examples that “the” is always “arched-to-the-left” and “there” always “arched-to-the-right” — this may be implied in paragraph 2 of unit 1, but was far from clear to me.

Is this a rule or is it simply common practice?

Curiously I seemed to get the exact opposite in every case, so need to take more care. I do not however have the same confusion when writing THICK or WRATH for example, where the TH seems to flow quite naturally.

Any one else similarly confused by TH, and are there better ways for describing the “arched-to-the” left TH?


(by mbagsh55 for everyone)

7 comments Add yours
  1. In my text th is called "ith" and designated over ( and under ). No, that's not really how they look, it's just an approximation.   Yes, there is a rule. The "over th" expresses "the" and the "under th" expresses "there" or "their" but not "they're".   You can sometimes find Anniversary texts on e-bay and almost always on They're not usually very expensive.   The Simplified text is quite overpriced. Used texts are often withdrawn from library collections, and thus in very good condition. And think of the actual historical pictures!

  2. Indeed, there are rules for joining Th. These will be discussed in Unit 9. Since you are starting, just concentrate on the examples presented in the units so that you get the feel of how they are written. And yes "the" is always "left th" and "there/their" is always "right th".

  3. I agree that EBay is a good source, but so is Amazon for used books.      Also, I don't think that the price Amazon changes for the new Simplified manual is bad at all.   It was the first one I bought last summer, and was only about $13.  What's so bad about that for a new book?       

  4. Reading these passages has been illuminating. The different rules for "th"; the differences between "a" and "e"; the struggling to get the proportions right between "k" and "g"….all remind me of Pitman!

    I guess all shorthand is hard, and they're all alike in some vital ways!!

  5. Many thanks to everyone for their replies. I do rather agree with George that many of the elements of shorthand are similar and at least for a beginner like myself hard.

    Fingers crossed I persevere and make it to Unit 9 to get the rules on joining TH, and in the meantime will follow Chuck and Brian's advice to follow the examples and not worry too much over perfecting the proportions.

    I am probably over analysing my mistakes, but am painfully aware from learning Japanese, how difficult it can be to un-learn mistakes once they become habit.

    I look forward to bothering you all again with more TH questions once I progress past unit 9.


  6. We look forward to being bothered! Welcome to the Group Marcus, and good luck in your learning. I am glad you don't go by Marc…we have 10 or so of those already. To echo Bean, Barnes & Nobles had my Simplified manual stocked in the store, so I am sure you could find it at if not somewhere else.

    Praise the Lord, I saw the light line!

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