Hi everyone – someone here recently made a comment which I can’t find now, but it was about writing what you hear, i.e. writing phonetically. Some reference was made to a kind of ease and smoothness between ear and hand that this achieves. It didn’t sink in fully until:
1. Last night I was remembering grammar school in the 1950’s when phonics was in vogue, and when one of us kids encountered a new word to spell or read, the teacher would say “Sound it out.” Even with the exceptions of English spelling this worked quite well, much better than rote memorization.
2. I found a blog by a woman stenotypist who was regretting problems caused by the new transcription software attached to the stenotype machine. She said that it used to be so comfortable to just listen and type what you heard phonetically, to her, this being the heart of stenography. Now, though, the software only recognizes prearranged letter patterns such that if they don’t agree with the typist’s idea of how to spell something, the transcription function fails. Thus, an undesirable kind of memorization is now needed to satisfy the transcription software.
With this in mind, I realized that I had fallen too much into a memorization mode, trying to anticipate all the words that might come up, practicing to be able to “spell” them in Gregg, and feeling overwhelmed because this could easily be thousands of words.
I started over with my practicing, aiming to put myself into the hear-and-write mode, and I think I really do feel a coherence and ease that was lacking. Any unfamiliar word is just another sound pattern, and while there are several tens of thousands of words used in everyday life, there may only be a hundred or so distinct sound patterns. Given a choice, I’d think one would feel much more prepared for anything that comes along using this approach.
Just think, too: Gregg is far more phonetically clear than English spelling, so if phonics works pretty well in English, it sure works very well with Gregg, even when we, as we do, write it without using the available diacriticals in Anniversary.
(by ukulele144 for everyone)