Question about writing “and”

So I noticed in some of the older speed competition photocopies that “and” was written identically to the “a” dot. I don’t know if this is an invention by those in the speed competitions to give them an edge or if it’s maybe a pre-anniversary convention. Nonetheless, I’ve begun to use it because I seem to confuse the the traditional “nd” blend used to write “and” with other things that look very similar because it’s such an easy stroke to just carelessly slash across the page at high speed (think: “and at the end, there are..”). But when using the dot, it can only be one of two things “and” or “a/an.” I was just wondering where this came from and if anyone else uses it.

(by Stan for everyone)

6 comments Add yours
  1. The dot is an old convention that was used in reporting. I don't use it. To me, a dot is harder to write than a curve, because it stops the flow of writing, and sometimes you have to press hard to make the dot legible. I'm not sure what your confusion is towards writing the "nd", but if you're writing it correctly, you shouldn't have a problem. Perhaps we can help you making the nd stroke distinct if you post an example of your writing.

  2. The following is from Dr. Gregg's book The Q's and A's of Shorthand Theory (1924), p. 82-83:

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    197. I notice that in some of the plates of reporting matter a dot is used for and . . . Do you approve of [this] and do you recommend [it] for class work?

    . . .

    We have never approved of the use of the dot for and for reporting or any other work, and do not approve of it now, notwithstanding the fact that it is used by that splendid reporter, Fred H. Gurtler, and by some other experts. But Mr. Gurtler can do things which less expert writers cannot do. Our objections to the dot for and are:

    (a) While a dot looks brief, in our judgement it requires just as much effort to write a dot as it does the easy, forward nd curve.
    (b) You cannot phrase a dot. Think of the many useful and facile phrases lost by the use of the dot—and-which, and-will, and-I-will, and-me, and-my, and-I-am, and-many, and-there, and-so-forth, and-so-on.
    (c) In rapid writing, the dot is often made so light as to escape attention in reading—sometimes it is taken for a speck on the paper. It might be argued that this will apply to a and an, but experience has shown that these words are usually necessary to make sense, and are therefore supplied. The word and, being a conjunction, is not always supplied by the context.
    For all these reasons we do not approve of the use of the dot. It looks brief, but its apparent brevity is deceptive.

    A scrutiny of the transcripts made by the high speed writers in the national contests strongly confirmed the views we have expressed in the foregoing paragraphs. We noticed, again and again, that the writers who used the dot for and either omitted or mistranscribed it in many places, while writers who used the stroke sign had no trouble with that word.

    Many reporters have expressed to us their regret that they ever formed the habit of using the dot for and, and several have discontinued its use after years of practice.

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  3. Ironically, in Bottome's The Stenographic Expert for Writers of Gregg Shorthand—which was adapted in collaboration with Dr. Gregg—there are at least two examples given where the dot is used for and.

    Dr. Gregg was very adamant in the Q's & A's quote above: "We have never approved of the use of the dot for and for reporting or any other work, and do not approve of it now, . . ." Yet Mr. Bottome's Gregg version of TSE was published two years prior to Q's & A's !

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