I constructed the linked spreadsheet from the reverse dictionary, by unknown author, provided by “Cricket”, that Rich Harrison pointed out last month.
Simpler web-viewable spreadsheet:
Basically, it’s a square table, whose axes are all the morphemes listed by Cricket for their reverse dictionary of Anni-Gregg. My goal was to make a matrix of two-morpheme outlines as a study tool.
It has already proved useful, just looking at the four entries in the top-left-most corner:
I find it useful to know that the Anniversary “canon” (for lack of a better term?) doesn’t define anything for p-p, b-p, or b-b. Modern colloquial American English has the word “bub”, short for “bubba”, which I suppose would be written as b-b by the standard feature of dropping the short u (ʌ). But other than that, these combinations seem to be fair game for convenient on-the-fly briefs, personal-use briefs, or general abbreviations.
I constructed this mechanically by using “reverse-lookup” functions in LibreOffice. So if the reverse dictionary’s outline was “p-b”, then it would show up, while anything with more morphemes was ignored. The original dictionary has 7654 entries, while this spreadsheet has 524 entries.
I “protected” the first spreadsheet tab showing the raw table, but of course it is still available for download etc. I added an additional tab as a sandbox if anyone is interested in continuing to work on it in any way, for any style of shorthand, using canon or “bespoke” briefs. 😀
(See Cricket’s post for (lack) of information on authorship of the source material, etc.)
This is interesting. Just out of curiosity, what was your goal in constructing this table?
Neat! You're right, there are lot of unused combinations.
This would make a good drill set. Most two-shape words are common, so very much worth drilling.
Glad to see it was worth putting up the original. I enjoy watching how people build on things like this.
Hi Carlos and CricketB,
Thanks, yes I had a bunch of vague ideas for how I might use the table, I think having a drill set would be a great way to use it.
If I know how to connect all permutations of two shapes correctly, then maybe that would help improve my penmanship overall. And if I'm doing a two-shape drill, it'd be nice to know what the outlines might mean.
Also I'm curious about the level and consequence of "conflicts" in Anni. Like "let, letter, will he" and "lit, little, will eat" etc. I figure that the Anni conflicts may have been optimized for individual use of shorthand, but perhaps not as much for interpersonal use, especially when including modern words and technical jargon.
I think that clarity and speed of reading will be more important than writing speed for me, so I want to make sure I reserve myself the option to remove ambiguities when writing in my shorthand system.
It seems I'd have to go all the way to Notehand along the writing-long scale in order to really avoid a lot of conflicts that depend on context for disambiguation. But I also really like the Anni tricks like the reversed-circle "R", and its joined/disjoined prefixes/suffixes etc. A lot of the ambiguities come from use of phrasing, so it seems that I will likely do interpersonal writing sans-phrasing, and turn the phrasing back on for personal writing.
So I'm thinking about using a lot of the Anni tricks, but modifying or avoiding a lot of briefs to avoid ambiguities. And leaving out phrasing half the time… musings…
and I figured that the two-shape outline list might give me a sense of the density of ambiguous "conflicts" in the more common short outlines.
I really want to discourage you from your idea of "using a lot of the Anni tricks, but modifying or avoiding a lot of briefs to avoid ambiguities."
Based on my experience, most of the perceived ambiguities are just that, perceived. In reality, when you write, you write in context, so any potential ambiguities really do not exist, and an important part of practicing shorthand is to learn to transcribe correctly, which is attained by practice and experience. I don't think it is wise to learn an abbreviated Gregg system and start changing outlines in the middle of learning because it may conflict with something else (let alone eliminate brief forms here and there)! If you're planning to do that, why not learn a less abbreviated Gregg system well to begin with (such as Simplified, DJS, Series 90, Centennial) and once you have that as a solid foundation, add the speed improvements from Anniversary? That is a more logical approach because at least you have a base system that you can always go back to if you forget something!
Part of the problem with Series 90 was exactly that. If you take a look at it, the principles (paragraphs) in S90 and DJS are virtually identical. However, the powers that be decided that they needed to remove as many potential ambiguities as possible from brief forms, limiting the number of meanings for a brief form to just one in most cases, to avoid potential conflicts. So the number of brief forms in S90 was not only reduced, but also very few had multiple meanings. Further, they decided to eliminate the blend to represent m-e-m, and made other seemingly "small" changes intended to "eliminate choice-making", as the authors put it. The net result? A speed disaster, even in comparison to DJS!
Having said all of this, writers will always modify their writing to their style and usage. I, for one, tend to abbreviate much more than what is given by the rule. But as long as I can transcribe what I write correctly, it is of no harm doing it.
I have to agree with Carols. The whole purpose of shorthand is rapid writing that can be accurately transcribed. Those changes will slow it down even worse than S90.
As for the unused letter combinations, there are several issues. Memorizing more brief forms or special forms or whatever you care to call them means even more memory load. More memory load means longer to increase speed and more speed plateaus. As for the "b-b" combination and many other combinations which are currently unused, I'd like to think they're not used because there was really no need for those combinations AND that it would make for conflict-ridden transcription. In rapid writing, proportions may slip. B-b could be seen as b-b or p-b or b-p or p-p slow transcription to an unacceptable crawl.
Personally, I've adopted some of the pre-Anniversary forms, but they're tried and true and tested. Yes, language changes, but how often will one need to write "bubba"?
Thanks much for the thoughtful and helpful comments! Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been mulling it all over. In the interests of avoiding forum confusion, I will withhold my internal flip-flopping between the different ideas as I practice, until I come up with something more specific to report. But thanks again, Carlos and Marc!