Outline for "happiness"

Here is the outline for happiness in Simplified, with a pic from the FM manual:

This bugs me, because to my eye, it seems different from most outlines. The way “-ness” is tacked on doesn’t feel right, sticking out at an angle the way it does. I would have expected a reverse curve on the first e loop to keep things “clean.” This is subjective, but this outline stuck out like a sore thumb when I first saw it tonight.
Am I alone here?
While I like Gregg Shorthand, there seem to be a fair number of inconsistencies and rule-breaking, which makes it challenging for the new student. (At least, this new student!) I’ve seen other questions here about such things so I know I’m not completely alone in that sentiment. It’s disappointing to realize that the logic and consistency is, well, inconsistent for many outlines.
Then again, maybe in the original system it was not intended to matter so much. If most words were abbreviated and only the ability to produce an accurate transcription mattered, then maybe the finer details and breaking of rules was irrelevant. I suppose there weren’t so many formal school classrooms and theory debates back then.
What do others think?
15 comments Add yours
  1. It is not an inconsistency, but the explanation is not straightforward.

    The general rule is that when forming derivatives, the root form of the word usually stays intact for convenience and ease of transcription. If the outline of the root word ends with the last sound of the word, derivative endings are usually joined in a distinct way that it preserves the original form of the word; if the word was a brief form that didn't end with the last sound, the ending was disjoined. -Ness used to be written as -n (just as -less is written as -l, this will come in a later lesson). Eventually, -ness was changed to be written in full and therefore dropped from the list of endings, but the joining rule for -ness wasn't changed because it was a quick way of identifying the suffix. That's why those words that end in -meness or -mness (sameness), -neness or -nness (saneness), -piness (happiness), -biness (grubbiness) or -siness (-ziness) written with the left s (sleaziness, clumsiness) are written so distinctively.

    Quiz: Which of these words have a distinct joining for -ness?

    (1) flabbiness
    (2) edginess
    (3) haziness
    (4) craziness
    (5) awesomeness

  2. A couple of thoughts–one, shorthand was developed as a practical skill, not an art form, so the artistic aspects are secondary. There are some outlines that (subjectively) look kind of awkward, but the interesting thing is how few of them there are. Two, while it's always possible to improve the way things are done, that can turn into a never-ending process. It's often better just to accept "that's how X is written in Gregg" than to try to come up with a better way.

    Three (I know I said a couple of things, but oh well . . .)–shorthand is for personal use, and I doubt that there is a single one of us that hasn't developed some personal forms or idiosyncratic ways of doing things. So if you want to write "happiness" in a way that looks better to you, there's nothing preventing that.

  3. If I understand Jason's objection, he expected the first E to be on the other side of the P. When I browse the dictionary and look at words starting with the "pee" sound, I do notice that some of them have the E on the left (peak, peat) and some have it on the right (peace, peel) and "penal" omits the vowel.

    There probably are rules or patterns that govern these things but writing them all out might produce an encyclopedia size document that would scare away students.

    The Diamond Jubilee manual explains some of these rules in "principles of joining" sections scattered through the book. Does the Simplified manual have something like that? Some kind of jinx is preventing me from obtaining a copy of the Simplified book.

    1. Yes, Rich clarified my objection. Or at least my small gripe *grumble grumble*. 🙂

      It's not about the aesthetics, it's about exceptions to the standards or the rules when constructing outlines. Perhaps I haven't gotten to this one yet, but "happiness" jumped out at me in my current Simplified assignment because it was the opposite of what I'd expect. I'd have expected the E loop on the back of the P, so that the loop was on an outside angle.

      I think of words I'm familiar with, like "pain" and "back." Granted they use the A and not the E circle; but the circle is on the back of the first curve. Even in Notehand, "picture" has the E-circle on the back of the P.

      Words like "charge" looked odd to me at first, come to think of it, and for the same reason: I'd have expected the vowel circle to be on the outside of the angle — which would place the A on the left side of the chay.

      if there is some principle or word family that makes the choice of where to place the E circle evident, that's great! Meanwhile it seemed awkward to this student, and I was hoping for some good discussion about it. We seem to be having that discussion, so that's good. 🙂

      Should I hold off raising my questions until I get through the entire Simplified manual? I'm not trying to be obstinate on a half-learned subject. I do think this is fair question, which doesn't have an answer at the time it is introduced in the manual.

      I appreciate everyone's input.

  4. Carlos has explained the rules as follows:

    (T)he reason why the circle for chair goes inside and for "pan" goes outside, is the rule that says "circles inside curves and outside angles." The ch and the r of chair form a curve (no angle), so the circle is written inside. The p and n of pan form an angle, therefore the circle is written outside. In summary, there is no angle between:

    sh, ch, j + r or l
    k or g + sh, ch, j
    r or l + t, d
    t, d + k or g

  5. With the word "charge", try writing just "ch" + "r", ignoring the rest of the word. If you do this carefully and smoothly, making the "r" have a deep curve at the beginning, there is no angle (pointy bit).

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