Question on Blends & Contractions

I am not sure which blend to use in some words.  For example “Clinton” (the city) could be written C-L-I-NT-N or C-L-I-N-TN.  My book shows the second but I’d like to know why.  Also “abandon” is written A-B-A-N-DN but my instinct is to write it as A-B-A-ND-N.  The simplified text gives no reasoning as to why they choose one blend over another.
Also I’d like to know the correct way to write “it’d” and “that’d”.  For “it’d” I can think of two ways: IT+TED or I+TED with an apostrphe.  For “That’d” I think of THAT+TED or THAT+D with an apostrphe. The simplified text gives no mention of these contractions at all. 
Thanks for your help!

(by teacup25 for group greggshorthand)

24 comments Add yours
  1. If I remember correctly, someone in this group said that they would prefer the clockwise blends (in this case tn/dn) over the counter-clockwise blends (in this case nt/nd). I'm not entirely sure though, but I guess the clockwise blends are easier and faster to write than counter-clockwise.

    I don't know about "it'd" and "that'd", but I just write them (ted) and (th)a(d). Can anyone help me out here? 😀

  2. Thank you both for clearing this up for me! How did you learn that they preferred the ten-den blend? Is this something written in an Anniversary text? I also would like to know where you learned about the contractions. Thank you again!

  3. It may have something to do with actual pronunciation. If you saw "Clinton" standing alone, would you read "klin-ten" or "klint-n"? When we had shorthand classes in high school, we were expected to follow the book examples. We were not encouraged to ask WHY some vowels were omitted or specific "ten", "nt", "pend" or "gent" blends had been chosen.

  4. Piqueroi, thank you for your answer; I am self-taught and not in a class. And I don't adhere to the philosophy of "don't ask any questions." In my opinion, people (professionals or teachers) who have that philosophy either don't know the answer or don't want you to know the answer. So I will continue to ask questions when I need to, especially when the books are not specific where they should be and it isn't clear how something should be written. 🙂

  5. Interesting question. I don't have my pre-Anni and Anni manuals in front of me, but if memory serves there's an additional reason the TN blend is preferred in the case of Clinton: "-ton" is a standard word-ending in place names. Like other standard word-endings (-ville, -burgh, etc.), the form it takes has its own integrity.

    As for "abandon", considerations of speed and writing flow clearly commend the use of the ND blend: when /AND(N/M)/ comes immediately after /B/ or /P/ (counterclockwise consonant forms), internal counterclockwise /A/ + /ND(-N/M)/ is the natural (and most efficient) choice. The alternative would break the writing flow at 2 points, thus reducing speed while also (in my view) yielding a very unaesthetic form. On the other hand, when /AND(N/M)/ comes immediately after /F/ or /V/ (clockwise consonant forms), /AN/ + /D(M/N)/ is the more natural (and most efficient) choice, e.g., "fandom" = F-A-N-DM. I'm not sure whether this analysis accords with the GS dictionary in all cases, but it strikes me as the most sensible approach in the majority of cases.

  6. I think Gregg found too many students were getting hung up on "why" rather than doing the hard, repetitive work required. It could also be the time he was writing. Most educational theories go through cycles, from one extreme to the other.

    Gregg also said that the details don't matter, as long as you (and your audience) can read it. Having said that, until you know all the theory, you don't know what you can safely change. Stick with the "official" way of doing everything until you're past the danger zone. That includes asking.

    Swem's speed-building article says to study a chapter of the core manual every session, to refresh and to enhance understanding. Some advanced texts are already laid out that way.

    Did Gregg intend reporters to use contractions? Were court reporters supposed to make a verbatim (complete with contractions) record or were contractions considered the original two words? That would explain the system not distinguishing. In business, regardless of whether the boss said "won't" or "will not", the letter would say "will not".

  7. Chance is correct: the preference is the ten-den blend. As an aside, in the specific case of the word "abandon", in Anniversary is written according to the abbreviating principle as "a-b-a-nd."

    For "it'd" and the rest, the "d" is a contraction of "would." So "it'd" would be written the same as "it would" but with the apostrophe added: t-d, the t and the d characters separated by a jog (not a blend) and an apostrophe on top. "That'd" would be th-a-d with apostrophe.

  8. I think piqueroi's point is more related to the fact that things like these are more likely picked upon reading a lot of shorthand. Then it becomes second nature and you don't question why. But if the question arises, sure, we will answer it.

  9. It's much easier to end a word with a blend than with a straight stroke because you can let the pen go at the end of the blend. Plus, writing the "a" inside the two curves slows you down. So if we were to write "abandon" in full, the outline ending with the ten blend as opposed to the n is much faster to write. A similar word is "bantam", and in there, the tem blend is preferred (try to write it both ways and you'll see my point).

    (No wonder "abandon" was abbreviated in Anniversary …)

  10. Looks like Librum already pointed out the -ton place name ending.

    Some things there are solid reasons for and some things are idiomatic, i.e., that's just the way it's done. In shorthand, unlike English grammar, most things seem to fit into the first category. One reason teaching methods may have discouraged asking why could be to keep the class from getting bogged down. Another could be to keep the shorthand writer from getting bogged down. As the speed building texts point out, stopping to think about how to write slows you down. It's much easier to avoid the habit in the first place than to overcome it!

  11. Of course, it would be fastest simply to write "abandon", abbreviated, as A-B-ND, which form could also do double service for "abound", considering how unlikely it is that these alternatives would be confused in context. In general, nothing bogs the shorthand writer down like seemingly arbitrary word forms. There's a lot in GS that strikes a student as seemingly arbitrary until one realizes that what seems arbitrary more often than not has the express purpose of distinguishing two words from another which might otherwise be expected (in keeping with GS principles) to have the same form. This rationale for distinguishing forms makes good sense in the context of a glossary. But, as in the hypothetical case of "abandon" and "abound", it makes a lot less sense in the context of actual writing in which the same form can often readily stand for 2 or more words without creating the least confusion, and in which an enormous (and unnecessary) burden is placed on memorization through the creation of separate forms.

    I'm with Gregg: successful shorthand is whatever shorthand one can successfully transcribe. It should be based on clear principles (Gregg's own, in the case of GS), but there's plenty of room for personal modifications, and plenty of speed to be gained by making them.

  12. I believe nisew (to be idiomatic) hit the nail on the head. When Gregg was part of the regular high school training, the clear goal of teachers was to enable students to write and transcribe accurately. In real life, you'd fall behind if you began to wonder WHY you wrote an outline one way and not another. Hence, students were drilled to automatically follow the outline plates in the books without question. And, it worked! Most students who had 4 semesters of shorthand training had no problem writing a minimum of 120 – 150 WPM accurately. While I do not think it is impossible to acquire Gregg proficiency through self study, seems to me memorizing the outlines in the plates without modification is best during the learning period.

  13. This is just a theory of mine, but the preference may have arose from Pre-Anniversay in order to distinguish between "-nton" and "-ndness" (In the Pre-Anniv, Sixteenth Lesson 'Joined Suffixes' #128: Ful, expressed by "f"; Less, by "l"; Ment, by "m"; and Ness, by "n") Thus, a joined "n" at the end would possibly denote "-ness" and confuse the stenographers.

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