Dropping vowels

I wondered about the dropping of minor vowels in Simplified (although I’m sure this applies to earlier Gregg). The word “picture” is a good example of this, being written as p-k-t-r.
I’d tend to include the first vowel if I didn’t know it wasn’t used in the standard outline. There are other words I sometimes write during a lesson where I’d omit a vowel but see that the lesson outline uses it. Is there a good rule of thumb for this, or is it like the left vs right “s” where I’ll develop a feel for it with experience?
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  1. (Actually, the use of left s and right s follows rules and is much more clear than the dropping of vowels, :-). The thing is that the Simplified manual doesn't tell you until later!)

    When you copy a shorthand passage from the book for the first time, copy it with the book open. In that way, you are writing the outline correctly from the beginning. Under dictation, I wouldn't worry too much about inserting or deleting a vowel here and there, as long as you can read your signs. In those cases, you should be checking back with the dictionary or textbook in case you had doubts about a word.

  2. I was wondering about this a few weeks ago.
    There is a section in the 1916 Pre-Anniversary Manual entitled 'Omission of Vowels' (starting at paragraph 88); this moves on to 'General Principles' (from paragraph 94); the guidance in sub-paragraph (c) is: "A circle vowel is often omitted between P, B, and a horizontal or upward character".
    This seems OK until you see that isn't always applied.
    Then you need to refer to 'The Qs and As of Shorthand Theory' (1924) where Dr Gregg clarifies (section 78): "We do not omit the vowel in words of two strokes, such as pin, pen, pit, pet, bit, bid, [other examples are given]. When another letter, either consonant or vowel, is added to the two strokes, the vowel may be omitted because there is then enough body to the outline to identify it clearly. Examples: pity, pithy, pencil." [Other examples are given].
    Some of the other rules given don't seem to have been carried forward into Simplified, however.
    In the Preface to the 'Qs and As', Dr Gregg warns the learner not to develop what he calls 'Shorthand Technicitis', and gives good reasons for this. But an alternate view might be that outside of a classroom setting, you actually do need to know what all the rules and guidelines are.
    Hope this doesn’t make things worse!

    1. I've re-read section 78 of 'Qs and As' and I see that earlier in the section Dr Gregg indicates that he means 'n' and 'm' when he refers to 'horizontal' characters, and 't' and 'd' for upward characters; I suppose 'k' would be a 'forward' character.
      But, back in the Manual, in the General Exercise following paragraph 97, we find the word 'picture' written 'p-k-t-r'.

  3. That's exactly my confusion.
    One of the things I like about Gregg Shorthand is its relative simplicity compared to other shorthand systems.
    What confuses me, however, is that there are "unwritten rules"; why not make them explicit rules, and if there are some exceptions, make these explicit too and provide an explanation?
    Anyway, none of this puts me off; I was making a few scribbles in Gregg Shorthand while watching "Game of Thrones" on TV the other day, and wrote "Volantis" (name of a city) without even thinking about it; I was rather pleased with myself!

    1. I used to do that a lot. Then I decided I was probably coming up with too many outlines that weren't dictionary-correct and just stuck with the lessons. 🙂

      Honestly, there were nights I went to bed after studying where I'm surprised I wasn't dreaming in shorthand!

      On a related note, this week is the first time I put shorthand to use in a real-world scenario: at a seminar. I didn't need to write many notes but I did write some plus had to dome excises that requires some writing. Yesterday, I got a few technically wrong spellings — yes, I checked the dictionary afterwards — but I could read my writing. Today I mixed shorthand and longhand, and that worked better; the outlines I knew well obviously flew out of my pen. Which was cool. 🙂

  4. On the subject of “a circle vowel if often omitted between P, B and a horizontal character”; I’ve changed my mind.

    Dr Gregg uses the term “horizontal" with reference to the ‘k’ stroke (and the other forward strokes) in the Anniversary Manual (paragraph 163), the 1916 Manual (paragraph 55b) and the 1902 Manual (paragraph 113b).

    That means that the omission of the ‘e’ vowel (= i) in ‘picture’ does follow the general ‘rule’.

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