Accents

Here is a question. In Gregg, words are spelled as they are sounded. Is there an “official” ruling for words that are sounded differently based upon the dialect of your region. For example, right out of the gate, the manual tells you to spell “calm” as “c-a-m” because the “l” is silent. Not in Indiana. Same can be said for “palm.” Then there was the word that I just could not decipher to save my life. When I finally found it in the dictionary, I was scratching my head. Where I come from, the word “garage” end with a “j” sound, not a “ch.”

So what is the concensus? Are we all New Englander’s when we take shorthand?

(by Fred for group greggshorthand)

7 comments Add yours
  1. I've come across several instances of this in Anniversary. One example is fiat, which I've always heard pronounced as "fee-at" but Gregg has as "fahy-at."

    There are cases also where a given word has more than one acceptable pronunciation. An example is route, which Gregg has as "root." But "route" with a hard ou is also frequently heard. Both pronunciations are common (just as we pronounce the sometimes with the long e and sometimes with more of a short u, depending on the context.) In those cases, as Chuck says, you just have to take special note the official Gregg rendering.

  2. When I was taking shorthand in college, we were taught to use the outlines as they were written in our text. I can remember that I was pronouncing "often" as "off-ten" and my teacher corrected me. She told me it was pronounced "of-en", with a silent T, as it was written in shorthand.

    Shorthand cannot really accommodate every single dialect. I am sure the creators used whatever accent or dialect that they spoke, or perhaps they used a dictionary to figure out the best pronunciation.

    I've never heard "garage" pronounced with a CH sound. I can't even imagine how that would sound. Perhaps it's a harder J sound that we have in the East. As far as the L in calm, I think it's not exactly silent, but very soft, sort of like the L in Holmes — you almost don't hear it.

    I'd say to just learn the outlines are they are in the text. Of course, if it really bothers you, devise your own outline. After all, you are the one who has to read it.

  3. Well, yes, we are New Englanders in a way. There are many words like those you mentioned that have strange spellings in shorthand. That's why it is best at the beginning not to start writing outlines on your own and study those words in the books (or consult a dictionary) so that you don't run the risk of writing them wrong.

  4. JR Gregg often wrote the same word in different ways. When it was pointed out, he said, "You can still read it, can't you?"

    I often mumble when reading a difficult word. SH, CH, and J sound similar, and my brain hears the right one. It's the same with all the shapes.

    Kids learning to read face the same problem.

    I write words that are in the text in the accent of the text. Other words get written in the accent I know best (mine), and complicated ones get looked up when I get home.

    Is it definitely a "ch" line at the end of "garage", or is it a "j" that's a bit short? Since Gregg isn't made of machine shapes (see Pitman for that), sometimes lines change length or bend a bit when they shouldn't or are straight when they should bend, to accommodate the letters around them. We need to keep that in mind when deciphering. As you read more, you'll get a better feel for when it's likely, and get used to the textbook accent.

    That's not to say that we should write carelessly, just that we need to deal with it when it happens.

  5. Here's a larger section of the quote to which Cricket calls attention, from Mr. Leslie's The Story of Gregg Shorthand, p 116:
    Gregg knew that because of the simplicity of his system it was not necessary to check each slight deviation from the textbook outline, as had been necessary in the older and more complicated systems. Many times, in his own shorthand writing, he would use an outline that was not the textbook outline at the time. Sometimes this writer would call his attention to such an outline, in fun. Gregg's reply was always the same: "You can read it, can't you?"

    Often, when teachers would press the matter and would want a strict ruling that "this outline is right and that outline is wrong," he would say: "A correct outline is any outline that may be correctly transcribed."

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