why is ‘f’ joined to ‘den’ in ‘confident’


I’m wondering if anyone can either explain the rule or where in the ‘theory’ or texts we might get the distinction between two words (if there is indeed an accounting for this in the texts):

confident (k-f-den-t) — where the ‘f’ is joined to the ‘k’


constant (k-s-ten/den-t) — where the ‘s’ is written normally & not joined to the ‘k’

In other words why not right ‘confident’ without the ‘f’ joined to the ‘k’ in the same manner that ‘constant’ is written.

It helps that these words can be distinguished from each other this way but it seems there should be a reason in the ‘rules’ to account for this and the only reason I can come up with isn’t really a part of the rules. It is that with the ‘f’ it is still obvious that the letter is there but with the ‘s’ it might be too small to be apparent.

I’ve looked at both the Simplified and S90 dictionaries and since ‘confident’ is a brief form in Simplified (making it non-relevant) I’d like to confine the question to DJS and later versions of the texts.

Thank you!

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6 comments Add yours
  1. Because the s does not connect to any consonant by blending (with the exception of another s when the ses blend is formed); it is always added to the stroke to make it distinct and legible. That's one reason why the early manuals spent a lot of time with the s joining rules. I think the Simplified and later manuals explain the s rules in Lesson 18, but you can read them here.

      1. Because it's easier to write it that way with one sweep of the pen and avoid an angle, which would make you stop unnecessarily, and still be able to read the outline. Since the outline without the angle is already legible, an angle between the consonants wouldn’t do anything to improve the legibility; instead it would slow you down. Think of it as applying the same principle that governs the blending of p-l, p-r, b-l, and b-r, but upside down. For example, you don’t need an angle between p-r to know that it means “present”, so an angle between k-f would read “confidence” no matter what. Notice that the outline for "bill" upside down is "govern", "present" is "confidence", "bring" (Anniversary) is "cover", etc.

        1. Thanks, Carlos, that makes perfect sense. So it really is the 's' that is more the exception which I wasn't realizing. And I think my study editions may not get too into that. I'll be on the lookout for more places where an angle or a blend is used for joining and whether or not that is explicitly stated or not so much.

          1. Exactly. The s is the exception.

            There are other examples of outlines in which you add an angle between consonants to either change the meaning, or improve the legibility. A good example is "k-p", which means "keep" without an angle, but "complete" or "complain" with the angle (in Anniversary, that is). In later series of Gregg, they seem to be less frequent.

            1. "k-p" without the angle means "company" too in Anniversary… which works also in French Sénécal Gregg. They don't talk about this point explicitly in the French manual like the difference between "causer" and "considérer"…

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