Omission of H

In Anniversary, we know the principle of omitting the h-dot from the following words: has, had, him, and her. Is this stated anywhere in the Anniversary manual? I cannot find it.

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  1. interesting, my version of the anniversary manual does not have this instruction. The word "him" in the first writing assignment in paragraph 13 does not include the dot and the original owner frustratedly carved in the dots. So Carlos, Dorothy felt your pain.

  2. I don't recall a rule for this appearing in any Anniversary or earlier GS materials. I think it's simply to be understood that the /h/ is omitted in these particular high frequency words. In practice, I find that initial /h/ can be safely omitted in many words since context generally makes clear that reading the non-/h/-initial alternative would make no sense. GS seems to treat initial /h/ as almost on par with the medial dot v. strike in loop-/a/s that represent /ia/ and /ea/ vowel glides: the dot/strike is entirely optional. Strictly speaking, initial /h/ is not optional (at least according to the manuals/dictionaries). But I wonder whether expert GS writers haven't generally made a routine practice of omitting it?

  3. Sometimes the dots tend to disappear, even if you do put them in. It depends on how easily the ink flows from your pen. As I recall from another post (and, I think, the Qs & As book), this was one of the reasons using the dot instead of the ND blend for 'and' as a reporting shortcut was strongly discouraged.

  4. In the early exercises of the Fundamental Drills, it appears that the 'h' dots were included with these words; they go away as you continue through the book. My first thought was that someone had written them in, but I see them in Andrew's scanned copy as well as my copy. This leads me to wonder if they were there as a reading aid for new students.

  5. Thanks! I know Andrew is re-editing parts of the Anniversary manual online, but I wonder if the old manuals have this as a stated principle. I looked in the 1916 and in the 1903 manuals and I could not find this anywhere either.

  6. Well, at least I wasn't going crazy: from page 49 of "A List of Changes in the New Gregg Shorthand Manual", Leslie and Zoubek wrote that "A minor but annoying teaching problem was created by the AE practice of dropping the h from has, had, him, and her without mention of the fact in the basic instruction book."

    However, I seem to recall reading this instruction somewhere. I have to find where though.

  7. Well, at least I won't be alone. ; )

    It's possible I just picked it up from copying the text repeatedly, but, like Chuck, I'm pretty sure I've seen it written somewhere. Besides Andrew's site, that is.

  8. The Q & A book talks about the omission, but extended to many other words which do not apply in Anniversary (for example, happy, hear, etc.). In it, Gregg also wrote that there are very few words for which it is absolutely necessary to include the h-dot (or as he calls it, the aspirate) because the Gregg alphabet already contains vowels.

  9. And in some phrases the vowel is omitted, e.g., to him = t+oo+m. : D

    Still no luck finding a reference to the usual way of writing him, etc., but I've eliminated a few possibilities. Progress of a sort, I guess.

  10. This might be a good time to ask a question I've had for a while: Are we supposed to write the dot first and then the rest of the outline? Or after, like dotting an i?

    I recall the 1929 Speed Studies said something about writing it first in certain cases, but it wasn't clear what the general expectation was. Or is there one?

  11. Just glancing through the document explaining the changes in Simplified from Anniversary and on page 49 the author says, "A minor but annoying teaching problem was created by the AE practice of dropping the h from has, had, him and her without mention of the fact in the basic instruction book."

  12. Just to confuse matters more, I remember that somewhere in the Big Blue Swem book, there is a statement that the h-dot is needed for only two words. No, I can't remember which two they are and I haven't had the time to check the book!

  13. Interesting. Please do, when you get a chance.

    I remember reading recently that the h dot can generally be omitted in fast writing. It was probably in the Q&A book. Interesting reading, especially for someone who was self-taught. It has many passages along the lines of 'the dictionary gives the full form for the benefit of novices, but experienced writers can abbreviate it further without loss of clarity.'

  14. The three words Swem says the h-dot is absolutely necessary to write when taking reporting dictation are "who", "whole", and "happen", because the dot adds to the legibility of the outlines. As a dot represents a stop, he adds that it can be omitted in most cases, except in the formation of phrases with "had."

  15. Yes, for the phrases with 'had' it's worth the little extra effort to make sure the dot is there. In fast writing, sometimes even when you write the dot, it's too faint to see. And it's also clear why 'who' is on the list of must-dots!

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