Beginner’s Question: Line lengths and loops

I’ve read here about the line length proportions being 1:2:4; that agrees with what I’ve seen elsewhere. (Always convenient when sources agree.)

My question is:

How is that length measured?

Is it from the where the loop crosses the line (measure the “bare” line), or from the far end of the loop, or something in between?

It’s easier for me to read if it’s the “bare” part of the line that counts. but when I write, I start the curve in the loop immediately; so an A on a T leaves a very short “bare” line.



(by cricketbeautiful-1 for everyone)

3 comments Add yours
  1. The shorthand plates in the Manuals from Simplified on are a good size for you to follow. The shorthand in Speed Studies (Third Edition) and in both volumes of Leslie's Anniversary Functional Manual are also a good model as are the plates in Gregg Speed Building and Gregg Speed Building for Colleges from the mid-40's on. The plates in earlier publications have been slightly reduced but if you're short and have tiny fingers (LOL, ROF) they may be ideal for emulation.

  2. That's a really incisive question; I remember wondering the same when I started.

    I've never seen any officially published answer, but I think that in practice, the linear letters are often partly "embedded" in the loop when the loop happens to open in the same direction as the preceding letter, or close in the same direction as the succeeding letter.

    In general, legibility depends on the scale of those letters in the context of all the others. Reading lots of well-written Gregg is the best answer to this and other similar questions. Some of the subtleties of joining are just too subtle to convey in a principle, and are better demonstrated through consistent example. Also, some such issues are settled differently by different plate-writers.

  3. With respect to consonant lengths, it is important to remember that shorthand is WRITTEN as opposed to DRAWN. If you examine the writing of Richmond, Zoubek and Radar (to name but a few), you'll discover the LENGTH of their T, D, DED blend, F, V, S, P, B, N, M, and MEM blend is not consistently the same but varies depending on the vowels joining the strokes. In some articles if you were just spelling the outline independently of context, you might mistake O+N for O+M or A+D for A+DED, for examples. I presume most textbook plates were originally written from dictation as you'll occasionally note size of outlines and slant of writing vary within the same lengthy articles and letters. However, if you are familiar with the spoken language it's almost impossible not to supply the correct wording when reading back the outlines. A previous poster stressed the importance of noting the vowels as indeed they affect the length of preceding and subsequent consonants. Like others I cannot overstress the IMPORTANCE of reading well written shorthand to automatically write the relative proportions correctly. This point is emphasized time and again in all the manuals and supplementary texts from Anniversary on. Whatever your chosen flavor of Gregg may be, don't forget to READ the available material in that version.

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