Outline for “entry”–Anniversary and Simplified

Both the Anniversary and Simplified dictionaries show NT-R-E as the outline for “entry,” even though they show  Superscript N-N-S for “entrance.”   Can anyone explain why the approved outline for “entry” is not Superscript N-E?

(by Bruce
for group greggshorthand) 

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11 comments Add yours
  1. I would suspect NT-R-E facilitates immediate transcription of notes whereas Superscript N over N-S is clearly "entrance". Superscript N over E might be difficult to read as "entry" in connected matter if not immediately obvious from context.

  2. That more than likely is the reason (the same reason why "circle" is not "disjoined left s-l").

    Incidentally, other words that don't follow the rule are "entrée", "entrain", and "entrap".

  3. There is a general principle that disjoined prefixes are only combined with other prefixes, and disjoined suffixes are only combined with other suffixes. In theory, disjoined prefixes and suffixes are not combined in the same stroke (neither are disjoined suffixes with prefixes), because by not being disjoined anymore, legibility could be affected. Having said that, as a shortcut, you could use that combination. It would be analogous to writing "decline" as "disjoined den", with a distinct joining between the e and n formed by writing "d – e" as you normally would, and joining the n stroke at the end, below the e.

  4. mcbud: Gregg himself said that any outline which could be transcribed correctly was correct. He told teachers not to waste time making sure their students always wrote theoretically correct outlines. I know that I can write N/E for "entry" if I wish. I just wanted to know why N/E was not given as the "correct" outline. You and piqueroi answered that question; but in your further comments you have raised another in my mind: For what possible reason would you choose to join the N in "decline"? Do you think that joining it would save time?

  5. Incidentally, the same situation happens with the word "century." It is not written "disjoined right s-n" – e, nor "disjoined right s-ne." It is written right s-e-nt-r-e. Same thing for the word "sentry." So the shortest outline is not always the recommended one in the dictionary.

  6. Gregg made that remark in the context of not wasting time in class correcting outlines. He didn't say "write outlines at your own will." What he was pointing out was that class time should be dedicated to dictation and speed practice, and not to correcting outlines. The correction of outlines was the responsibility of the student. Outlines that created confusion were marked, included in a running list, and checked with the dictionary once the dictation was finished. The student would practice on his own those outlines.

    Now, in my own writing I use many outlines that are not according to theory. To me they are correct because I can read them. In fact, I may start writing "entry" using the shortcut.

  7. Sorry to revive a very old post, but I think I have a reasonable explanation. It is based on the reporting shortcuts, which use:


    [Outline] Word


    [raised N] interest

    [raised N/disjoin S] interstate

    [raised SEN] senator

    [raised SEN/disjoin “state”] Senator from “state”


    “Entry” and “Century” written without use of disjoined prefixes makes more sense in the context of these reporting outlines. [raised N/disjoin E] might be “interestingly” and [raised SEN/disjoin E] might be misread if the E is sloppy and looks like I or O — “Senator from Iowa” or “Senator from Ohio”. Would context probably make things clear? Yeah, but I think this is at least a plausible idea of why it might be useful that “entry” and “century” don’t use the disjoined TR prefixes.

  8. One important point to remember is that Gregg Shorthand was never designed as a phonetically or linguistically totally logical system. It was designed as a practical tool for rapid writing.

    Dr. Gregg made lots of decisions about things, but always with a concern about the actual work of shorthand writers. My sense is that in many cases his decisions were based on his “feel” for the language, or a kind of intuition about what works best. But I don’t think he really spent much time on theoretical aspects of his shorthand. He provided lots of answers to “theory” questions, but the word “theory” in that context really means “the best way to write something”.

    Individual stenographers have always come up with their own outlines, shortcuts, and personal brief forms. The only time that is ever problematic is if, decades later, someone needs a transcript of the material.

    That’s more of a problem than you might think, especially for historical researchers. You’d be surprised how often questions show up of the type “These are shorthand notes of a trial in South AFrica in 1898. Can anyone help decipher them?” And usually the answer is “no”.

    The Gregg authors always emphasized writing like the textbook models presented in the manuals.


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