Why not um, eng, ing, ung, enk, ink?

In Gregg Pre-Anniversary, it says that en, in, un, em, and im at the start of a word (when it occurs before a consonant) is simply expressed without the vowel (as simply n or m). Why does this not apply to “um,” like in umbrella? Further, why not apply this to ng and nk with eng, ing, ung, enk, and ink?

Previous post:
Next post:
6 comments Add yours
  1. How would you distinguish between “empire” and “umpire”? “Ember” and “umber”? My guess is that this rule was not extended because “um” is infrequent and it would make the outline more ambiguous if the initial oo-hook is not inserted.

    About using the n stroke as an ending for “eng”, “ing”, “ung”, “enk”, and “ink” would make it less distinct, plus you would have to add the following consonant (k or g) for clarity. Using the slanted n saves you a stroke and the outline is more compact and distinct. Other than -ing (which is usually a dot), the other endings are not that common. Questions 24 and 25 of The Q’s And A’s Of Shorthand Theory address the ng/nk stroke.

    1. Thanks for the reply, but I think you were a bit confused about the second part, sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. I meant using the downward-slanting n at the beginning to stand for eng, ing, and ung (like in engross) and the long downward-slanting n at the beginning to represent enk and ink (like in inclement).

      1. Often the structure of the word is a factor in how an outline is written.

        The proununciation is en-gross, not eng-ross, and in-clement, not inc-lement.


      2. Exactly. The en-, in-, and un- are treated and written separately because they are considered as prefixes (en-, in-, un-) attached to a root, so for clarity, they are written separately. In those others that the slanted straight line is used (“English” “England”, “ink”), the en-/in- is not considered a prefix.

        Be aware that in reporting shortcuts, the e-nk outline represents “increase”, and in Centennial Gregg, e-nk is the brief form “incorporate.” So that stroke has been used sometimes for words with the in- prefix, but these are very infrequent. That doesn’t preclude its use in your own writing, as long as you can transcribe what you wrote.

Leave a Reply