A dictionary for shorthand writers, sans vowels

Here is an interesting resource, a dictionary that omits vowels:


No publication date is found, but it looks 19th Century-ish. The full title is A Shorthand Dictionary comprising a complete alphabetical arrangement of all English words, written without vowels adapted to all systems of shorthand writing and designed for the use of gentlemen connected with the press, the bar, the pulpit, and other professions. (Yeah, that has to be 1800s.) The author is J.B. Dimbleby.

Of course, a reference of this sort probably has greater relevance and utility for Pitmanic writers. (The author’s remarks seem to take for granted the non-existence of connective vowel systems) But it may be some use to Gregg enthusiasts as well. And it’s fascinating to peruse.

(by Joel for
group greggshorthand)


7 comments Add yours
  1. Thanks for this posting. All Gregg writers should find the introduction fascinating. Love the "apologize" story in the preface. Truly amazing that the light/dark phonographers in UK won out over the lightliners! Apparently the rebellious Americans were much quicker in recognizing the merits of Gregg than their brethren across the pond. LOL

  2. I was amused by the very first sentence: "The design of this book is to assist inexperienced writers to read what they have written …" Ah, legibility.

    One of the applications I thought it may have for Gregg writers is a sort of parallel to Dr. Gregg's emphasis on teaching by analogy. (See for example the lesson at the end of his Q's & A's "I have always been a great believer in the value of teaching by analogy, or 'association,' as the memory people term it.")

    I thought it would be a useful exercise to write the outlines of the various words that fall under the same consonantal structure. It's not exactly the same application, but the general principle is there. At the very least, it might help us appreciate even more the feature of connective vowels.

    On a related note, I'm working on a study with the Anniversary brief forms, where I'm grouping forms according to the similarity of outline. It's been useful enough that I intend to post it when completed. 🙂

  3. I've done lists like that, but not complete or tidy. Creating them is a useful exercise, and they're wonderful to have.

    I also like the Anni book 5000 Most Common Words. It goes through each lesson, and shows all the words (in the 5000) that can now be written. Some of the words are more useful than the ones in the text, some less, and it's a good drill. (Must not flip between Simp and Anni again. Must not…)

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