1916: Endings for Abbreviated Words

The 1916 manual talks about disjoining ‘r’ for ‘-er’ and ‘t’ for past-tense on abbreviated words and brief forms. But what about other joined-ending derivatives?

The last word to remind me of this question was ‘politeness’; is it p-o-l-i-n or p-o-l-i-t-n? Is ‘tireless’ t-i-l?

(by routine-sibling
for everyone)


4 comments Add yours
  1. I don't know if there are any hard and fast rules about that. It seems that in many cases, endings are disjoined after abbreviated words, but in other cases, they are not. Specifically, as to the words you mention, the 1916 Dictionary spells "politeness" as p-o-l-i-t-n, even though "polite" is spelled p-o-l-i. The word "tireless" is not in the 1916 Dictionary, but the Anniversary Dictionary spells it t-i-r-l, even though "tire" is t + reverse i. By the way, in browsing through the Dictionary, I see that "lightness" is spelled l-i + disjoined n.

  2. The answer to the question of to join or not to join is "it depends", :-(. And it depends on whether the word is a wordsign or not.

    1. If the word is a wordsign that ends in a vowel, the -ness is formed with the disjoined n, and the -less with the joined l, if there is no confusion as to the meaning of the word. So the word "lightness" is written as l – i disjoined n. Same thing with the word "careless", "rightness", etc. A special case occurs with the word "regarless", in which the -less is written as a disjoined -les, to distinguish it from "reality". Also, the suffix -ful is a joined f (rightful, careful, etc.).

    Exception to the rule: kindness is written with a joined n!

    2. If the word is not a wordsign, but the outline ends with the "i" sound, the suffix -ness is formed by adding t – n. So "brightness" is written b – r- i – t- n, politeness is written p – o – l – i – t – n. Likewise, the t (or d) is added before the f in the ending -ful if the root word ends in t or d (frightful: f-r-i-t-f; prideful: p-r-i-d-f). And, for the ending -less, we add the previous consonant if it had been omitted (tireless: t-i-r-l), to avoid confusion.

    3. Combined suffixes are joined: =lessness, -fulness, -liness

    Can you guess how to write the following words?

    1. clearness
    2. gladness
    3. Godless
    4. greatness
    5. listless
    6. carelesness
    7. usefulness
    8. slightness
    9. brightful
    10. sprightliness
    11. clientless
    12. loveliness

  3. I didn't know there'd be a test! Well, here goes:

    1. c-l-e-[disjoined n]
    2. g-l-n
    3. g-d-l
    4. g-r-n
    5. l-s-l
    6. c-[clockwise a]-[joined l] *see note below
    7. e-u-[non-blended f]-n
    8. s-l-i-t-n
    9. b-r-i-t-f
    10. s-p-r-i-t-[clockwise e]-n
    11. c-l-i-nt-n
    12. l-v-e-n

    * I found that there's a provision for "6.", ("careless"), under para. 160 of the manual: it's allowable to join endings where the distinctive appearance of the word-sign is preserved.

    Chuck, have you ever come across rule "3." stated as such anywhere in the 1916 literature? Or is it just implicit? (The manual is sometimes subtle that way.)

    Thanks for your help!

  4. That's pretty good. As for rule #3, it is implicit from Speed Studies XXI and XXII.

    I forgot one rule that is actually explicit in the manual. If the wordsign is represented by one character, -ness is written in full (-nes) and joined. So the word "goodness" is g-n-e-s, but the word "goodliness" is g disjoined e-n.

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