Vowel merging problems

I’m sure this has been asked before, but basically my variety of English does not distinguish between the “ä” of calm, the “ŏ” of rot, and the “aw” of raw. They have all merged.

What is the recommended practice for people like me? Use the “a” or the “o” symbol for this vowel?

I also find the grouping of the diphthong of “tame” with the a-group rather strange. It’s based on written English, but not phonetics. Same goes for including the vowel of “cut” in the u-group. I wish there were a fix or tweak for these inconsistencies that bug my inner phonetician. 🙂


(by sonjachick for everyone)

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  1. regional vowel shifts link has some ideas.  One main point I noticed looking over it, is if you can read it (transcribe it) then you can write them as you have learned.   Anniversary/simplified/DJ vowels link has more ideas.  In this one they mention the marks used from Pre Anniversary and Anniversary.  However, Marc mentioned that they are only used when needed for transcription or reading.  So that may work for you if you need it.  So if you write a sentenace, I am calm.  You would not read it, I am rot.  Or, I am raw.  Especially if you have the remainder of the thought, such as, As I say my speech, I am calm.  I don't get nervous.  Then you don't need to worry about how you write it.  And even if an out line is similar, you can tell it apart.  I was reading in a shorthand book and one letter in an early lesson had the word "cot".  They were selling camping equipment.  Later another lesson had an outline exactly the same.  I was confused.  Until as I read on, it was "coat".  So I did have to start over reading the letter, but it wasn't a problem. With the other text around it, I could figure it out.   If I had wrote it myself, I probably would have read it correctly, since I usually know my own Gregg handwriting.   link with other ideas on vowels. Gregg Omitted Vowels…Please Help – omission of circle vowels Ommision of Vowels   Other's might have more tips on your questions and more direct answers, but these might be some discussions to look over and see if something helps you. Debbi

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