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  1. But I don't get it Gregg has a perfectly functional alphabet that can be used for writing initials or acronyms. Here it is from Andrew Owens online Anniversary book:

    The only real point for this though is if you want a clean look to a page of shorthand without roman characters here and there.

  2. Looking at Gregg's method, I think I'd use "u" for "U" and "d-u" for "W", and maybe use left-s-e for C. "Q" is ugly, but rare, and it looks like it combines "Q-U".

    I think all those capital marks would slow things down — lots of pen-lifts. Maybe replace them with a single or double underline?

    I remember when I just couldn't decipher what turned out to be a lower-case J and the numeral 2! Context is everything in Gregg.

    When I get a word totally out of the blue, I either stop writing and look it up, or use something close and circle it for future research. Either way, when I get the spelling I have the time to use longhand for it, and during dictation I use the phonetic Gregg or a brief form.

    (My English teacher almost deducted marks when I used "LMB" instead of "Lady MacBeth" in what I'd handed in as my lecture notes. He relented when I told him he was welcome to mark my real lecture notes, which were partly in shorthand, and, unbeknownst to him, not in full-sentences. Straight-A students with attitude can be sooo annoying!)

    Cheers!

  3. Gregg has a system for representing alphabetic characters. But that system is a poor substitute for script because it looses clarity when characters are joined.

    Fore example: s e e l could be seel or cel. The whole point for writing a word out is to be very precise (as with a name).

    Plus, having a substitute for script provides a way for someone to wet their feet in the system with out learning all the rules. The spelling often comes close to the phonetic outline.

    Besides, adding a Q provides a way to get rig of the underline W without reducing speed.

    And a system for annotating consonants provides a way to restore clarity to symbols that were shortened to save time.

  4. Point taken. Write something, circle, move on, go back and look it up later. I find, though, the rare times I need the English spelling, I need it before I get up.

    It goes back to typing. It's more efficient to get things right when typing than to have a ton to fix after proof-reading, even if it means you go slower. That doesn't mean you get into the habit of tons of backspacing. You have to build speed slowly, so you stay accurate.

    Cheers!

  5. As was outlined in the the Anniversary and 1916 Manual, sometimes the best way to write initials is to use lower case, cursive letters.  I use this method and it is very efficient.    Stopping to look things up is a very bad habit.  In the realtime application of the skill, your dictator will not stop and let you look something up.    The time to think of the correct spelling of the word is when you transcribe.  Transcription in and of itself is a skill.  It doesn't matter how you get it down — with unfamiliar words write as much of it by sound as you can — breaking the word into syllables.  When writing shorthand, you shouldn't burden your mind with "how is this spelled?".    The more accustomed to shorthand you get, the less strange the alphabet presented in the Manual becomes.  Though, with initials, I find it's much clearer to use the longhand forms.  This is particularly true when writing technical materials — model numbers, part numbers, etc., i.e., AES2570.

  6. I would hope a dictator a strange proper name, or one with multiple spellings, would accept you asking how to spell it. It may be the only chance you get! Not in the moment, but before you leave the room. In which case, a quick flag in your notes of things to confirm before he disappears would be useful.

    Confirmation of technical words should be done with the dictator. Nitrate and nitrite both occur in fish tank water. One is significantly more toxic. No amount of preparation or research will help the stenographer know which should be used. She has to know the difference exists, and if she is unsure which was said, take the opportunity to confirm it while she can.

    So, although it slows you down, you should be marginally aware of spelling. Just "Is this likely to be a problem word?" Nothing more elabourate than that. If in doubt, highlight, and decide later.

    Spelling of regular English words, though, would be done on your own time — preferably in grade school.

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