The “What the heck is that outline” thread

I thought it’d be a good idea to have a place for learners to post their SOSes about outlines they just can’t figure out, rather than having a random outcropping of threads here and there. All editions welcome! Please include book, page, and sentence to help us figure out where to look 🙂

I have three mystery outlines, all from the Fundamental Drills in Gregg Shorthand (Anniversary) book.

1. Exercise 34, page 114, 3rd line up from the bottom. Sentence reads: “We can be with you to act on the finances committe t-e-ss-det your name.”
2. Exercise 36, page 120, second line: “Our k-s-e-n adressed and mailed hundreds of beautiful greeting cards a day or two ago.” (not “cousin” which is “k-us-n”)
3. Exercise 36, page 121, middle of the page: “Sooner or later, your kr-e-s-nt-s will write you in regards to the matter.” and again a little farther down: “I do not believe your kr-e-s-nt has suddenly changed his mind about your bid”.

Thanks for any help.

(by niftyboy1 for everyone)

32 comments Add yours
  1. Thanks Chuck! Honestly, it's these phrases that are killing me in Anni.

    I read "concern" but had no idea it could also mean company… another one of those old-timey language things I guess 🙂

    One general thing I have a question about is the abbreviating principle in Anni. I'm still in the trying-it-out stage, and that's really the only thing that utterly puts me off about Anni. The brief forms are useful because they're fairly common words. However, most abbreviated words just look like brief forms for words I'd never use, like "plaintiff" or "certificate", so I feel silly learning them (even brief forms like "correspond" that I never use don't sick, as you saw)

    Anyway, my question is: did you just buckle down and learn all the useless forms (like "vociferate"), or only the ones you might reasonably find useful?

    Thanks 🙂

  2. Well, eventually I learned them … but, in reality, you don't need to learn them all at once, if you don't use all of them.  For me, the best way to learn them was to read the outline out loud.  For example, when I see the word "vociferous", I say "vocif"; "reluctant" as "reluc", "animal" as "anim", certificate as "cetif", attorney as "atne", and so on … I learned the ones that are in the manual by heart, because I wanted to memorize them.  If that's too much, learn the ones that you will use the most first.  The rest will come with practice.

  3. Now for the other direction. I'm trying to write a recipe in Anniversary for practice, only I can't figure out how to write "margarine" and it's not in the dictionary… I can write it in Simplified, but that dastardly R principle confuses me after "m-a-j…."

    I just wrote "m-a-j-reverse e-n" but that seems too easy.

    Thanks Chuck 🙂

  4. So I take it that when I see an outline in the Anni manual shortened in a way I didn't even think of, I shouldn't interpret it as "hell, I messed up there"? One of my frustrations so far has been this very thing… when I write a new word, I'm almost always wrong because it's abbreviated in a way I didn't think of.

    Thanks for all your suggestions 🙂 I ended up just writing it m-a-j-r-e-n to reflect my pronunciation and the R principle.

  5. Don't forget that at the time of Anniversary's advent, the proper pronunciation of margarine was "[oleo] margarine" with a hard g, to follow the rule that "g" followed by "a" is hard. (Source: New Handbook of Composition, Woolley and Scott 1926, page 324).

    Food for thought.

    I like the hard g better. It is more esoteric.

    Oh, and margarine is in the Anniversary dictionary as "oleomargarine", which is written "o-l-e-o-m."

    No telling what the best way to write "margarine" by itself is… I would write it as Chuck does.

    —Andrew Owen

  6. Niftyboy1,

    You definitely shouldn't feel bad if you can't guess the "correct" outline in the dictionary. John Robert Gregg once said that a correct outline is any outline that can be correctly transcribed. Louis Leslie wrote that whenever he teased Mr. Gregg about an outline that wasn't the same as the current version of Gregg shorthand, his answer would invariable be, "You can read it, can't you?" As to abbreviated words, paragraph 192 of the Anniversary manual states, "The application of the abbreviating principle . . . is more or less flexible and depends to a large extent upon the familiarity of the writer with the words and subject matter in the dictation. . . . When in doubt write it out.

  7. I made a (rather messy) list of each shape, then the sounds (syllables, words) it can be.

    I have another of brief forms in Gregg-spelling order.

    With these two lists, I can generate a set of all possible meanings. They save a lot of aggravation.

    I was thinking of creating a dictionary, sorted by Gregg rather than English.

    In some shorthands, e.g.,Teeline, the standard spelling is more important than the sound, so margarine would be with g, not j. I find this makes it easier to read unfamiliar words (my brain is more used to seeing unfamiliar words in print than hearing them), but harder to write from dictation (you have to convert to "standard spelling" first).

  8. In book two of the functional method for Anniversary, there's a big block of phrases. Unfortunately, this is long past where the transcription in the back stopped, and phrases have always been tricky for me to begin with.

    It's section 487 on page 545, assignment 81. There were quite a few I couldn't decipher, and I'd be appreciative of any help. To keep things simple, I'll just go through and put question marks on the ones I couldn't decipher (ones with question marks I'm not sure of).

    Thanks for any help!

    I-should-like-to-have I-should-like-to-know I-should-like-to-see on-account-of-the-way? on-account-of-this?

    on-account-of-that? ??? ??? ??? more-and-more

    able-to-say that-is-to-say ??? ??? one-of-the-most one-of-the-beliefs? one-of-the

    one-of-them one-of-those one-of-these one-of-our more-or-less week-or-two

    some-of-them some-of-the some-of-those some-of-these ???

    ??? in-other-words? ??? ??? ???

    ??? your-order to-know ??? ???

  9. Chuck, two of my answers are different.  I'm not strictly an
    Anniversary writer, but have the Anniversary Edition of Gregg Shorthand
    Phrase Book and have tried to incorporate some of the phrases.  "Week
    or two" really threw me because I still write it "oo-e-k-to."  Here's
    what I came up with:

    LINE 1:  I should like to have; I should like to know; I should
    like to see; on        account of the way; on account of this

    LINE 2:  on account of that; on account of the fact; as a matter
    of fact; I am of the opinion; more and more

    LINE 3:  able to say; that is to say; on the question; on the
    contrary; one of the most; one of the best; one of the

    LINE 4:  one of them; one of those; one of these; on our;
    more or less; week or two

    LINE 5:  some of them; some of the; some of those; some of these; my

    LINE 6:  at the same time; in other words; to a great extent;
    whole lot; great deal

    LINE 7:  great pleasure; your order; do you know; I always; on hand


  10. Thanks for your speedy help, Chuck!

    And thanks for your input as well, Lindsay. The reason I believe Chuck was right about "one of our" is because it's "oo-n-r", and not "on-r". I'm also inclined to suspect the second is "in my opinion" because the length suggests a mn blend.

    Some of these phrases are dastardly, but at least I can foresee using them, unlike that "at the earliest date" that threw me a month or two back!

  11. Line 1: I should like to have; I should like to know; I should like to see; on account of the way; on account of this Line 2: on account of that; on account of the fact; as a matter of fact; I am of the opinion; more and more Line 3: able to say; that is to say; on the question; on the contrary; one of the most; one of the best; one of the Line 4: one of them; one of those; one of these; one of our; more or less; week or two Line 5: some of them; some of the; some of those; some of these; in my opinion Line 6: at the same time; in other words; to a great extent; whole lot; great deal Line 7: great pleasure; your order; do you know; I always; on hand

  12. 1. In the Anniversary Manual, page 22, 4th line from the bottom:

    I never leave before one and _i-m_ there a little after two.

    Is this _I am_ or _am_ . Both would work. How would one write the other version? And how would one write _I'm_ . (I'm a storyteller and amateur author; for dialect, that makes a difference.)

    2. The meat made him _g-r-i-n_.

    It could be "grin" or "green". Does anyone have a way to tell if it's _grin_ or _green_ without the diacritical?

    3. Is there a "proper" way to mark "mistakes". In Pitman and Teeline you circle them. (I don't like that one; it draws attention to it rather than away.)

    4. _c-s(left)_ is because and cause (as in X was the cause of Y). What is 'cause (short form of because).

    5. I see X added after mi, fi, and ta. Ugh, subtle to write. How does it look when after ch-e (as in cheddar cheese vs the cereal Chex)?



  13. i-m = I am. You will notice in Unit 1 paragraph 2. of the Anniversary manual that m = am, more, so am would simply be written with m.   grin vs. green–we try to abbreviate the outlines as much as possible. If you can't tell from context, mark it with the diacritical.   For 'cause you can place an apostrophe over the outline.   I think that for x vs. s you just practice and get used to that it looks a little weird. Really you'll know from the context.   E48

  14. Hi Cricket! Glad to see you're tackling Anni. Might I recommend you get yourself the functional books if possible, as the original manual is rather lacking in many ways!

    1. To add to what escritura said, you can show contractions by writing an apostrophe above them (even though it does look like an S!), unless the form itself makes it clear. Useful for distinguishing: I-am from I'm. For others, there are handier ways to do it: I-don't = I-d-on, I-do-not = I-dn blend. can't = c-t. I know that's covered in the Functional books, but am not sure if it's in the Anni manual.
    2. If you're worried about ambiguity in situations like this, use those diacritical marks! This is what they were made for: specific, odd scenarios (and for exclamations such as "ah!" or "oh!"). If I had to guess, I'd say "grin" since manual writers had no sense of humor!
    3. I mark mistakes by drawing a / slash through the outline. Circling takes too much time and can interfere with other outlines. Make sure you leave a margin at the side for correcting these mistakes later!

    5. The X isn't so hard after a smidgen of practice 🙂 What is tricky, is "-xes", since you have to slant a whole ss blend! For "Chex", I'd write it like "chess" (comma S) with the S at a 45ish-degree angle slanting like . I'd also use the capital marks, which would remove any ambiguity caused by my own occasionally poor penmanship!

    Hope that helps 🙂

  15. My apologies for the excessive exclamation points. Too much coffee 😉

    More on abbreviation stuff:
    is not = s-n
    isn't = left s + nt blended together (looks like a very narrow, lobsided jent)

    The same is true for "was not / wasn't" and variations with "there" on front.

    was not = u-s-n
    wasn't = u-snt (same blend as above…. I'm not sure if it's covered in the Anni manual, but if not, just say so and I'll get you a picture)

  16. And I just spent $30 on other the anniv manual and two other Gregg books. (2nd book is much lower shipping cost, as I'm sure you've also learned.)

    So, in the process of also ordering the functional book:

    1. What are the main differences between the 1929 manual and the functional one?

    2. The seller also has this one:
    I assume it's two books in one. I've already bought a copy of Graded Readings (and then discovered it's online). My question is, what are these Speed Studies? Are they already online, I haven't found them by that name here, Andrew's site, or (Gasp! That site looks awesome!) So, would it be worth buying or not?


  17. But is there a diacritical for "no diacritical"? I'm thinking of two years from now. How can I prevent thinking, "Grin; or meant green but hadn't thought of grin so left off diacritical."

    Would a small circle work? Or a down-right dash? Or would the conflict?

  18. But is there a diacritical for "no diacritical"?

    Yup. 1916 Edition, lesson 161:

    "If it should be found desirable to indicate with precision the short sound of any vowel, a small curve can be placed beneath the vowel."

    Examples are: minion, immigrate, onion, writ.

    Cool, huh?!

    Check out the plate in the manual on Andrew's site.

  19. Cricket,   If you suspect you won't know two years from now, jot the word or the correct letter below it. I think that after you get going you'll realize that you are going to know enough of the time that it won't be worth much fret.   The Anniversary Manual pretty much lays out the rules and gives examples and some practice material. The Functional manuals put the emphasis on lots of reading practice rather than defining the rules. I like to know the rules, but I really appreciate all the practice available in the Functional books. If you have the edition from the 1930s it will be in sync for the most part with the lessons in the anniversary manual, so it's really great for reinforcement and seeing the application of the rules.   Speaking of knowing the rules I recently discovered that the Pre-Anny (1916) manual has the rules spelled out even more clearly, in my opinion. There are very few differences until you get into the word beginnings/endings and I then it's just mainly that there are a few more shortcuts.

  20. PreAnniversary as well, eh? Hubby's looking at my binder suspiciously. There is no lesson 161; it's not in lesson 16 or 6, or page 161. But I'll trust you.

    Yep, actually spelling it out in English might work, but that's, that's, so…. unaesthetic.

    I don't think I want to know how much shelf space the rest of you use.

    Thanks so much to everyone for their help and reassurances! I'm a stickler for exact accuracy. Too much so, maybe, but it's a hobby, so I think can indulge.


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