Question about “analysis”

So I was reading through assignment 5 in my Simplified books (regular manual 1st+2nd ed, functional manual 1st+2nd ed) and I found the word “analysis” spelled a-n-l-ses.

I checked the dictionary and sure enough, that’s how it spells it, too.

I’m not sure how to get to that spelling from the theory in the first five assignment… there is a note that unstresed vowels can be omitted, but the second of “a” of “analysis” is the stressed one, at least in my speech! Yet it’s not represented in the outline.

In the related word “analyst”, the outline is a-n-l-e-s. Here I can understand omitting the second “a” since it is now unstressed. But what I don’t understand is why the “y” is written (as an “e”) in “analysis” but not in “analyst”? It’s pronounced more or less the same in both words, isn’t it?

Can someone explain to me the logic behind those outlines?

After all—right now I’m just reading, but at some point I’ll want to write, and ideally right “by the book”, and if I have no clue why the outlines are the way they are, I’ll always be hesitating and trying to remember the right form.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed!

(As a side note, my 1st ed manual is the British edition. I was amused that they spelled “clerk” as k-l-a-r-k, to match the British pronunciation, where the original had k-l-e-r-k, though they kept “finances” as f-e-n-a-n-ses rather than turning it into f-i-n-a-n-ses to match what I thought the British pronunciation is. And they turned the “Ken” into “Kenneth” and reworded a couple of places—making them sound better, in my opinion!)

(by Philip for group greggshorthand)


30 comments Add yours
  1. Ha! interesting point. Well, I am from that corner of the world, Northern Ireland actually, (which has the best English of all the UK regions – but I am a bit partisan here 🙂 (it is a more old fashioned English).
    That finance word… in 'proper' English (whatever that might be) it is FIN-ance, but for some reason, amongst the young especially, it has become figh-nance. It has also become a class marker: (yes, class/language differences still live on). To say 'figh-nance' marks you as being somewhat uneducated or uncouth. Older people squirm when newsreaders say 'and now on to figh-nancial news…'
    Gregg was Irish, but I have to think about the Gregg SH interpretations of vowels when I read the Gregg texts. One advantage perhaps of Pitman perhaps – clearer representation of vowels?

  2. Ha! good point. Well, I am from that corner of the world, Northern Ireland actually, (which has the best English of all the UK regions – but I am a bit partisan here 🙂 (it is a more old fashioned English).
    That finance word… in 'proper' English (whatever that might be) it is FIN-ance, but for some reason, amongst the young especially, it has become figh-nance. It has also become a class marker: (yes, class/language differences still live on). To say 'figh-nance' marks you as being somewhat uneducated or uncouth. Older people squirm when newsreaders say 'and now on to figh-nancial news…'
    Gregg was Irish, but I have to think about the Gregg SH interpretations of vowels when I read the Gregg texts. One advantage perhaps of Pitman perhaps – clearer representation of vowels?

  3. Yes, how language develops is fascinating. Here In Sweden the youth all speak American English (thanks to The Simpsons and Family Guy etc on the box). It is weird to have conversations with Swedes who speak as though they come from the USA. You guys are taking over the world : (I think, they think, I speak like Shakespeare…)

  4. Maybe we need to go back to the original Gregg, with markings for different vowel sounds. I came across some Gregg notes my mother made. She was born in 1923 and learned her SH I, suppose, when she was around 15, in Northern Ireland. I see she made diacritical marks under her vowels. In N Ireland Gregg was the thing, not Pitman, for some reason.

  5. Financial sounds more natural to me with the short i and accent on the second syllable, and finance can go either way, but for some reason, finances seems to take a long i and accent on the first syllable.

    However, getting back to the original question, it is common in Gregg shorthand to keep the same spelling for the root word, even when the pronunciation changes in the derivative. Usually, this means less to memorize, once you get used to the idea. I see Carlos has already addressed the weird change in the root from earlier versions to Simplified, which threw things off here.

  6. While the manuals tell us to omit unimportant vowel sounds, many of the vowel sounds omitted in the dictionary outlines (both Anniversary and Simplified) are important.

    The second "a" in "analysis" is the principal vowel sound in the word. Indeed, it is the only true vowel sound. The first "a" is prounounced as a schwa. The omission of the second "a" from the outline for "analysis" is arbitrary and illogical.

    I see value in consulting the dictionary when we don't know how to write a word facilely; but I don't think we ought to feel bound to write every word as it appears in the dictionary. Lightning will not strike us if we write the second "a" in "analysis." Gregg or Leslie wrote that any outline was correct if it could be transcribed correctly.

  7. In the UK the first 'a' isn't schwa, it is distinct – that might have something to do with this. I am only in the early stages of learning but I am applying that idea about lightning, I write so that I can read it again (it is probably more Notehand.) It is rather difficult when there are no teachers around to explain and give encouragement when things become difficult.

  8. I just glanced at the list of religious terms in Simplified and found more illogical outlines.

    "Apostolic" is written as "apostlk." The accent falls on the penultimate syllable, "tol-," but the vowel in that syllable is omitted while the "o" in the preceding syllable, which is pronounced as a schwa, is written. Perhaps the person who wrote the outline doesn't know how the word is pronounced. Why not "apstolik." I would probably write both vowels in that word; but if one "o" is to be omitted, it ought surely to be the first. (Writing "lek" is easier than writing "lk" with enough attention to proportiion to make the outling legible.)

    The worst outline I encountered in that list was was "Islam" written with the "I"-diphthong written as the first letter, as though the word were pronounced EYE-slam.

    The "e" in the accented antepenultimate syllable of "presbyterian" is omitted. The omission of the vowel in the second syllable ("-by-) seems entirely reasonable, but not the omission of the vowel in the accented syllable.

    I could find other examples of illogical choices about the omission and retention of vowels on that same list, I am sure.

    They compiler did not take advantage of the abbreviating principle. Sure "episk" could not be taken for anything but "episcopal" or "Episcopalian."

  9. The question arises what the point is, at all, of learning aberrant forms. It makes perfect sense to drill the principles of whatever system you're learning, and to consistently apply those principles in all of one's writing. It's precisely such consistency in application that enables both quick learning of a system and efficient (quick and accurate) use of it. It also makes eminent sense that a shorthand system should employ numerous short forms for common words and expressions. GS does this brilliantly. But what sense is there in memorizing forms that a) deviate from the principles of the system, and b) are not common? The problem of inconsistencies in GS forms, as evidenced in the GS dictionaries, may get more extreme from Simplified onwards (I'm not familiar with the later systems, so I don't say this from experience) but they're already well attested in Anniversary and earlier. My question, though, for those of you on this list who received formal training in GS is: why should any practical user of GS care about these sorts of deviations? Does attention to non-standard infrequent-use forms make one a faster/more skilled GS writer than does the rigorous application of principles in all cases but that of non-standard frequent-use (I.e., short) forms? I am genuinely curious about this, since the only way of learning all the non-standard infrequent-use forms is to memorize them individually, which in turn means studying the dictionary A to Z. I can't imagine why it makes sense to study GS this way, and what the potential gain – in writing speed or otherwise – of doing so might be. I'd love to hear any thoughts on this.

  10. The most likely reason behind the outline of 'apostolic' is the principle I mentioned earlier: keeping the root word the same and just adding an ending. However, if you wrote it according to the pronunciation instead, nothing would be lost.

    Many of these specialized and uncommon word lists were apparently created by and for, well, specialists, for whom these words would come up regularly. For someone who seldom, if ever, encountered those words, applying the normal word-building principles worked just fine.

    The dictionary is useful when you encounter a word you haven't written before, cobble something together on the spot, then want to find a less awkward way to write it in case it comes up again. It's also handy for finding groups of similar words to practice, whether you are learning new vocabulary or reviewing principles.

    There are trade-offs between consistency and brevity. Later series tended to emphasize consistency, with more outlines written out.

  11. OK, back to Philip's question, this is one of those that I scratch my head and wonder why … not the why for the outline, but why did they change it!

    In Anniversary and earlier, the prefix ana- (notice, one n), although not specifically mentioned in the Manual, is always a-n-a according to the dictionary. The only words that do not conform are "analogy" and "anagram" and their derivatives, because these two have special endings in Anniversary. So "analysis" is a-n-a-l-ses blend, "analyst" is a-n-a-l-e-s, etc. The inconsistency in the outlines came with Simplified. As they were consolidating and eliminating rules, this prefix was a victim. So now, if you write Simplified or later, you have to memorize that "analysis" and its derivatives are the exception to the rule. So to fix something, they broke another. It doesn't make any sense. By the same token, the word "anal" (as in "anal-retentive") is spelled out a-n-a-l in all series of Gregg (notice again, one n), and we have here an example of a word that follows the "new" Simplified rule of the elimination of the unstressed second vowel in which we write the second "a"!

    Furthermore, "analgesia" and "anatomy", which are always spelled with a-n-a in Anniversary, you now have to memorize or guess how they are written in Simplified.

    Confusing? Absolutely!

    (Incidentally, the word "annal" (notice, two ns), is written in all series with the elimination of the unstressed second vowel rule: a-n-l.)

    My recommendation? When in doubt, spell it out!

  12. Sounds reasonable to me.

    I came across several other words where vowels were omitted, which caused no big problem to me in reading, but I’m not sure whether I would have remembered to omit those same vowels when writing!

    Perhaps the odd “extra” vowel here or there will not, as you say, cause lightning to strike me if I don’t write exactly to spec.

  13. Is this the list of religious terms I posted to the group a couple of days ago? That was in Simplified, which has no abbreviating principle.

    Some words formed according to the abbreviating principle exist as new, individual brief forms, but it’s not a general rule any more, as I understand it.

    Perhaps that’s why they didn’t use that principle, even in such a list of specific-topic words.

  14. I want to address the "finance" issue.

    When i worked for McGraw-Hill, I asked about cul-in-ary as opposed to cue-lin-ary. The response was we write the shorter of the two outlines when there are multiple pronunciations. Diphthongs take longer and are thus thrown out in favor of the shorter stroke.

  15. I want to address Philip’s original question. The concern seems to be whether the first five assignments give enough information to form the outline for analysis found in the reading section of lesson 5. The answer is yes and no. ( BTW, I couldn’t find the word analysis in either of my two American editions). With the Simplified manual Leslie was not only changing the system in specific ways but also the description of the principles themselves. This is a carry over from the Anniversary FM books. We know in the anniversary FM books he did not change principles yet changed the wording of them and then in the simplified version both the basic manual and the functional method manual books use the same wording in all the principles. We know from Leslie’s pedagogical leanings in creating the functional method for the anniversary edition that he doesn’t mind ambiguity in the learning process. So, in anniversary one could turn to the manual to find out more whereas in Simplified one cannot. However, Leslie would greatly discourage doing so.

    Assuming that Leslie was not here changing the principle but rather the wording then we can better understand what is meant by the use of the word “minor” by reading the way the anniversary manual states it. BTW, I could not find the equivalent of this principle in the anniversary FM book.

    The Simplified manual reads:

    9. Omission of Minor Vowels. Sometimes a vowel in a word is slightly pronounced or slurred. Such a vowel may be omitted if it does not contribute to speed or legibility.

    The Anniversary Manual reads:

    16. Some vowels are so obscure or neutral that they are omitted when they do not contribute to speed or legibility. For example, the e in the words taken and maker is absolutely useless, and is omitted. Any vowel which does not contribute to the legibility of an outline may be omitted if its omission gives a more facile outline.

    The Anniversary version never mentions pronunciation yet it seems implied with the two examples given. However, the third sentence seems to be the final say of this principle. If this is true then the anniversary manual defines the importance of a vowel based in its necessity in the word as a whole and thus in making the outline distinct and not by the prominence of the sound by itself.

    So what is meant by minor? Not that the vowel itself doesn’t have a prominent sound when spoken but rather that the word doesn’t depend on this particular sound. With words as with life being heard isn’t always as sign of importance. We all can agree that the word analysis can be read with equal ease whether the second a is included or not. So why the change from Anniversary to Simplified? I believe it is due to the fact that the added vowel does not speed up the writing of the word. Because Simplified had the benefit of twenty years of use some minor adjustments were no doubt due to preferences in addition to those changes based on new principles. The word camera is another example of this type of change. In Simplified the schwa sound is eliminated. One could argue that this sound used to be pronounced distinctly but later became omitted in speech but I think it is more likely that the realization was that adding the loop did not speed up the writing or make it more legible.

  16. Great post. I wonder, though, just how much of a speed advantage is gained by writing a-n-l-… instead of a-n-a-l-…? If anything, I think the 2nd -a- allows for better flow between the -n- and the -l-, thus facilitating speedier writing. For the 100-150 words/minute writer, I doubt there's an appreciable difference in writing speed whichever way one chooses to write this syllable combination. For the 150 and up words/minute writer, and especially the very rare 200 words/minute and up writer, perhaps differences like these do cash out in real speed gains. Would be interesting to know what very fast GS writers think.

  17. As a non-expert i can say that after the gyrations my pen makes hovering above the paper in search of some legible stroke that the added or subtracted a issue is moot. But, i do write words like "unless" and should be able to pass from the n to the l without a loss of speed. Having recently moved from Simplified to Anniversary i can say i enjoy every opportunity i have to make less strokes, even if i am not making up for loss time yet.

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