‘usual’ why is it written the way it is?

I came across it spelled [e+oo sh]. S90 Func Meth, Less 59, Para 594, last sentence, for those interested. I thought it might be a mistake in the book where the pen writer used an older form but it’s spelled the same way in my S90 Dictionary. Of course, it’s possible they could both be mistakes/inconsistencies in the texts but it seems odd there’d be a mistake in both.

Now ‘-tial’ somewhat resembles ‘-ual’ but I would’ve expected it to be spelled [e+oo sh u l]. And when I checked by DJ Dictionary it has it this way.

Finally, I checked my Simplified Dictionary and it has [oo sh].




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3 comments Add yours
  1. No mistake: “usual” is a brief form in S90. See paragraph 273 in Lesson 29.

    By popular demand, the words “usual”, “doctor”, and “any” were brought back as brief forms in S90, and the word “work” recovered its original form (r-k).

  2. lol looks like I missed the obvious here. Thanks Carlos!

    Incidentally, I find the brief forms (with the exception of the single word ones that are super easy) the most annoying part of the system because they rely on pure rote memory. And maybe because of that they’re not immediately intuitive. It seems some of the elegance inherent in the system is lost in them. I almost wish they’d have eliminated even more of them from the S90 books I’m studying. They hang me up generally more than any word or even long abbreviated phrases, esp when they appear in a phrase.

    1. You’re welcome!

      So is Notehand more elegant than S90/DJS/Centennial?

      I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to me, elegance comes from brevity of outline. As I see it, they shouldn’t have impaired these later series so much! From my experience in writing the selections for the blog, it takes me much longer to write in Centennial than in Anniversary (and believe me, it is not that I don’t know the theory, because there’s hardly anything to memorize in Centennial!). In some cases, the amount of work in writing is almost double, because of the extra strokes that need to be added to the words.

      A brief form, like a phrase, or any abbreviation, is good only if you have a need for it. If you don’t use it, then write it in full, no harm done. However, a lot of those briefs had a long history. Case in point: the word “usual.” Both “wish” and “usual” had the same outline, up to DJS (it didn’t create a confusion in the 60 or so years of using the system!), but Leslie decided to drop it from DJS (because they didn’t want more than one word per outline). I don’t know how someone can replace “wish” with “usual” in a sentence, being both two different parts of speech, but so be it. Another one that I scratch my head about is the word “doctor”: who in their right mind will write the word “doctor” as a complete word when you want to write fast?

      In the early manuals (before 1916), and before it became known as the “Abbreviating Principle”, Dr. Gregg wrote it simply as follows: “Dropping Terminations: Drop the terminations of long words, i.e., write only what may be strictly necessary to suggest the whole word when transcribing. You can apply this method of abbreviation to nearly all long words, and can adapt it to your own peculiar requirements … This simple rule … enables us to obtain great brevity without resorting to arbitrary contractions and hundreds of rules with their exasperating “exceptions.” The principle is a perfectly natural one, and is already used in longhand to a great extent, as “Rev.” for “Reverend”, “ref” for “reference.”

      Now, starting with Anniversary, the phrase “when in doubt, write it out” was added in a separate paragraph in the same section, when explaining how to apply the principle, and when not to use it, as a clarification. (This phrase is actually not in the Anniversary FM manual.) However, starting with Simplified, Leslie combined both paragraphs (the one explaining the general principle, and the one with the exception) together. When you read a single paragraph with two seemingly conflicting messages, the brain will remember that last advice more than the first advice!

      Why am I saying all of this? Because I think that the essence of the system is actually lost the more you have to write out, and the more one writes out, the more inefficient one becomes, and the less elegant the writing becomes. While I think that “when in doubt, write it out” is good advice, it is definitely not the overall principle by which the shorthand system was constructed in the first place. Why bother to learn to write weird squiggly lines if I will be as inefficient to take down speech as in longhand?

      Just my 2 cents, :-).

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