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  1. Where did you find this? I want to see the rest of it.
    The first page (in the Pitman file) said that they also presented Speedwriting, and I said that would be a good system to teach my 11-year-old brother to introduce him to shorthand.

  2. Forkner and Teeline are also good for starting out.

    Teeline is still taught to British journalists. It's not as standard as Gregg. Writers are encouraged to create their own outlines very early. You aren't expected to read anything written by someone else. Gregg writers are encouraged to use the standard outlines until the theory is thoroughly mastered, and then create brief forms as you discover the need.

    Here's a Teeline manual:

  3. Forkner samples are here:

    It's phonetic, but the shapes are based on longhand. A "b" sound is a longhand b — which has 3 separate strokes. The vowels are by sound, but if in doubt I used the English spelling equivalent. In Forkner, I used A in 'water'. In Gregg I use O. Some letters are simplified. M is a straight line. Capital letters and unused lower-case letters are used for prefixes, suffixes and blends. Cursive capital S is 'st'. Cursive lower-case m is 'ment'. Cursive capital E is 'electr-'.

    Forkner tops out around 120 or 140. It was designed for business use. I think there are two levels of books (basic theory and speed-building), as opposed to Gregg that has the basic theory, speed-building, and expert / reporting levels.

    Normal vowels are diacriticals, and optional. Diphthongs are written inline.

    When I was using both, Forkner gave me more confidence I could read it back. Proportion and curve aren't as important. There are more redundant lines to distinguish between letters. It was mostly the same motions I was already good at.

    If you want an easier programming project, Forkner would be a good choice. The joining rules are much simpler. Most letters begin and end on the baseline. Some begin or end at the mid-line, so you need a connecting stroke.

    Pitman would also be easier to program. The shapes in the books could have been made by a machine. They're all parts of circles or straight lines or hooks. (Except for 'str' — a loop in a hook.) It's a more complicated system, though. IIRC, there are four different h's, depending on what's on either side. You also need think several sounds ahead before writing.

    Much as I love Gregg, it's a tough one to draw by machine. Lines get extended or the angles changed or loops squished just to make the outline work. It often takes me a few tries with a new word to get a smooth outline.

    Teeline didn't do it for me, either. I made good speed progress, because that was the only system I which had speed goals in the text, but then I reached a page of "arbitrary pairs". Thirty or so pairs that could be confused, even in context, so the author had arbitrarily chosen variations for them. I've seen one for Pitman, and I'm sure there's one for Gregg, but at the time I threw up my hands in disgust. In hindsight, at least the author was honest about it.

  4. I downloaded the Forkner samples.

    Forkner shorthand is much easier to write than Gregg. The principles looked simpler, and the outlines could be joined using OpenType fonts.

    Also, Gregg was the original project's target. I'm not done yet, so I would like to finish this first before doing any others.

  5. I think searching for “positive distinction” might net you a couple of examples; I know I read a little note at one point along the lines of “Note how [this line is drawn differently in this outline] to make a positive distinction between it and [other outline which would otherwise be written identically]”.

    I believe it was distinguishing “letters” (based on “letter” = l-e) from “less”: in “letters”, there’s a little jog between the end of the circle and the left S, while with “less”, the end of the circle merges smoothly into the beginning of the left S. That way, you can easily distinguish “He wrote less yesterday” from “He wrote letters yesterday” (for example).

    I’m not sure whether that phrase “positive distinction” crops up anywhere else, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  6. That sort of thing bothers me. It's fine for words we use often, or if you know the principles well enough to see the pattern, but for the rest of us? I don't use either 'less' or 'letters' very often. In this case, though, 'less' is a normal word, so has a normal smooth outline. 'Letters' is a brief form made plural.

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