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  1. Sorry for posting within the context of another thread, but I can't figure out how to post a new thread. The instructions at don't seem to be valid anymore.

    Anyway, I've a question about an early exercise in book one of the Functional Method. It's exercise 6b. I read the words as "ill", "hill", "nil" and "mill", but the answer says they are "eel", "heel", "kneel" and "meal". The small "e" circles have no marks under them (neither a dot nor a dash), so why are they saying they are to be read as the third sound in the e group ("e" as in "need") rather than the first sound ("i" is in "kit")?


  2. I'm not sure I can answer your question as to why they give one use in the key and not another.

    Generally speaking though, the diacritical dot and dash are not used in the functional method book. I'm only a little further in the book (Assignment 17), so that may not be totally true. I've only noticed that they are really used for names. John vs Joan, etc. In the Simplified Functional Method the same was true.

    I would assume that your reading is fine, because there is no context, it is difficult to know. The e loop is always read a long e in the key for paragraph 6; probably just a personal preference of the author. Others may say different.

  3. The diacriticals aren't taught in the early, core chapters of the newer versions. 99% of the time, context is enough. Sounds scary, but it works. It's a good idea to learn to read and write without relying on them. Build your faith in the system.

    On the other hand, they are useful for names and the occasional word you're not familiar with, especially in technical fields, so they're worth including when you review the system.

  4. One thing I noticed in the film is that while it's very clear all the ortho-alphabet writers were using finger writing, it appeared that the shorthand writer was not using her fingers at all — definitely using her shoulder muscles.

    Does anybody use their shoulder muscles to write? I can't remember whether the author of the "Penmanship" exercises article wrote specifically about finger drawing or using the whole arm, but I believe that is what Dr Gregg was talking about when he said one had to *write* Gregg rather than *draw* it.


  5. My son had occupational therapy for handwriting. Most teachers here don't learn how to teach it, they just start with "a" and say what the strokes are. Some pay attention to posture.That works for many kids, but not all.

    The therapist emphasized the entire arm. Every new stroke, letter, groups of letters and word was first written on a whiteboard on the wall, about a foot high, then in a tray with the tip of his finger, about 6 inches high, then with a pencil about an inch high, then with a pencil at his preferred size. The motions were broken down, and learned by the bigger muscles first.

    Gregg works with flow, not with tiny, precise marks. Larger muscles are better for that.

  6. I tried again (with a test message) and they work now. It may have been that my membership hadn't been confirmed when I last tried. So it was OK for me to add to existing threads, but not to create a new one.

  7. They meant for you to read it with the long e sound, because that was the sound that they introduced in paragraph 6, comparing the two circles: long a and long e. I know that they showed the table with the diacriticals at the beginning, but that was only done for illustration purposes, just like they did with the alphabet. The diacriticals and the rest of the sounds will be presented to you little by little. Since the book was not designed for self-study, Mr. Leslie may not have thought about a possible confusion, since a teacher was going to be available.

    With respect to the posting instructions, could you tell me what is not working? I tried the instructions again and they work here.


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