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  1. Thanks again for this!

    The impossible finally happened. Critter and creature have the same outline, and both make sense in the sentence. Creature fits this story better, but since they both mean animal, it could be a problem with other writers.

    Any ideas how to handle this, without creating a list of "distinguishing outlines"? (I hate those lists in other systems. Most of the words aren't used often enough to be reinforced naturally, so it becomes list memorization.)

  2. If the reasonable expectation on the part of the reader is that the word should be "critter", then using the long vowel mark under the e should make it clear that "creature" is in fact what is meant.

    The real question, then is how to do the reverse, since the Gregg manuals give only two diacritical marks for vowels, leaving sounds like the short i sound unmarked. It happens that in certain cases Gregg suggested using a smile-shaped curve under an e to suggest a short i sound: He mentions "immigrate" (to distinguish it from "emigrate") and "writs" (to distinguish it from "returns").* That's what could be done here to make it clear that "critter" is meant.

    I don't see why this couldn't be made a general rule for short vowels–use the smile as the diacritic for the short a, i, o, and u, which the manual leaves unmarked. Of course its use would be rare, just as in the case of the other diacritics.


    * The Q's and A's of Shorthand Theory, article 116

    1. This group is an amazing source of useful little bits of information.

      I'm going to add this mark to my personal shorthand. Given the wide variety of things I write, it's likely to happen again.

      Has anyone compared Gregg vowels to the IPA vowel chart, which shows tongue and lip position?

  3. Hello,
    I think that shorthand hadn’t been made for the one who writes the texts and the one who reads the texts are different people.
    So, in a way, when you read shorthand, you “create” the text…
    And is it a bad thing?

  4. My answer above turns out to be incomplete. Gregg beat me to it by 100 years. He suggested the curve as a diacritical mark for short vowel sounds in the 1916 manual, Twentieth Lesson, article 161.

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