End Of Summer
Go On, Make My Day
The practice sentences below contain one hundred common misspellings,
all shown in capital letters. These are described on the Oxford
Dictionaries website.* The exercise sentences would be more beneficial
if you transcribe them by typing rather than reading, so that your
fingers also learn the correct spellings. It is more difficult to
transcribe practice sentences than connected matter, because there is no
thread of meaning running through them all and therefore no context* to
help speed up your reading. As the purpose is to learn or revise the
correct longhand spelling, it might be helpful to write the shorthand at
a comfortable low speed, so that the outlines are well formed and easy
to read. Taking slow shorthand is useful to counteract the tendency for
the outlines to become straggly and messy. It would be frustrating if,
despite writing and reading the shorthand correctly, the transcript was
spoiled because of a misspelling.
* "context" Always use the con dot for this outline, never use
proximity, so that it cannot be misread as "text"
As you can see, the blog title is numbered*, and this ominous presence of
a numeral should alert you to the fact that* more lists of commonly
misspelled words will be offered at some later date. You have been
warned and it may be helpful not to store the English dictionary on the
dusty top high shelf, where it can only be retrieved by hauling out the
stepladder* and moving furniture, chairs and boxes! Please note the
different outlines for misspelled and misspelt. They use the large
circle to make them easier to read. They reflect the fact that the
prefix and main word each have their own S sound, which can be heard in
the pronunciation* as a longer hesitation over the S’s, rather than two
* "numbered" Optional short dash through the last
stroke of contractions to signify past tense
* Omission phrase "to the (f)act
that" "they reflect the (f)act that the"
* "stepladder" Note that "ladder" on its own is written with L + D with
* "pronunciation" Insert the diphone sign so it does not look like
We will ACHIEVE our goal of providing ACCOMMODATION for our guests
ACROSS the country.
The man APPARENTLY had a very AGGRESSIVE manner and an untidy
Basically there was an ARGUMENT over who had carried out* the
Now we are BEGINNING to BELIEVE that this is a very BIZARRE BUSINESS
The picture on the CALENDAR was a view over the CARIBBEAN countryside
The CHAUFFEUR drove our friend to the CEMETERY.
They will be COMING to the COMMITTEE COMPLETELY CONSCIOUS of the
Their CURIOSITY over the matter is DEFINITELY resulting in a DILEMMA for
If you DISAPPEAR from the party too quickly, you will DISAPPOINT your
* "carried out" Halving to
represent the T of "out"
Instead of producing ECSTASY, the EXISTENCE of the gold only ended in
They measured the temperature in degrees FAHRENHEIT in order to* improve
He was not FAMILIAR with FLUORESCENT lights but FINALLY he bought one.
We will not be importing any FOREIGN goods in the FORESEEABLE future.
We FORWARDED the invitation to FORTY of our FRIENDS.
He went FURTHER and explained to us the GIST of this GLAMOROUS story.
The GUARD HAPPENED to see the HARASSMENT that took place near the
The HONORARY secretary told a HUMOROUS story about the IDIOSYNCRASIES of
I have, INCIDENTALLY, read the INDEPENDENT report which was sent out
* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"
He found it IRRESISTIBLE to INTERRUPT the conversation with his superior
Please LIAISE with them regarding the manufacture of the MILLENNIUM
It is NECESSARY to mention the NOTICEABLE interest in the NEANDERTHAL*
exhibit at the museum.
It OCCURRED to me that this would be a good OCCASION to visit the
This problem OCCURRED yesterday and in fact* it has been OCCURRING
At the museum they saw a PIECE of stone from the PHARAOH'S tomb.
The POLITICIAN was in POSSESSION of a PORTUGUESE passport.
The group PREFERRED to discuss the PROPAGANDA PUBLICLY.
We will be REALLY very pleased when we RECEIVE the information REFERRING
to the plans.
* "Neanderthal" Full strokes are used for "neander-", rather than
doubling plus N hook, so that the following stroke can be joined
* Omission phrase "and in (f)act"
You must REMEMBER that his remarks REFERRED to the RELIGIOUS RESISTANCE
They were under SIEGE and in this SENSE they felt they were SEPARATE
The new rules SUPERSEDE the old ones and we believe they will be
We were SURPRISED at the TENDENCY for these persons to undergo a TATTOO.
We are on the THRESHOLD of success and THEREFORE we look forward* to
He was TRULY sorry that he did not hold his TONGUE and had said these
UNFORTUNATELY we have had to close UNTIL next month* due to UNFORESEEN
With the new device, WHEREVER you go you will know WHICH road to take.
* Omission phrase "look fo(r)ward"
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End Of Summer
(14 September 2013)
Hardy fuchsia "Brutus"
It seems that our British summer has come to a rather sudden end, with a
week of mist, drizzle and rain. We have had plenty of hot weather during
July and August, and although we dream of it going on forever, we know
that is not going to happen, nor would we really want it to. Our weather
is unpredictable and a hot sunny period may last a week or more, or
maybe just for that day, with a sudden change in conditions occurring
without warning. Here in Britain we tend to want to make the most of
such days, getting out in the sunshine and enjoying ourselves, talking
about it endlessly and making sure that we do not waste a single moment
of it. A longish spell of summery weather can produce an untroubled lazy
easiness with no sense of rushing or being hurried about, which is just
the right attitude for the necessary rest and relaxation for those whose
working days are busy and high-pressured. Remembering the coming grey or
rainy days of autumn and the short days of winter, I generally plan my
activities around the weather, and save indoor duties for the less
appealing days. This applies equally to sunny winter days, which can
still be enjoyed even if they are not warm. I resist sitting at the
computer doing things that are not needed immediately, especially when
the sun is shining and the fresh air beckons.
The garden is still full of flowers, the grass is greener than ever, and
the snails and slugs are still travelling across the lawn when morning
comes, after their night-time forays. I think the frogs are having a
good time too, being able to roam around in more comfort when it is wet,
but as most of them are this year’s new batch, they are very small and
remain unseen. They will be finding dark damp corners to hide away for
the winter. The fine pond netting that we put over to safeguard the
fish, after an unwanted visit from a pair of passing ducks earlier in
the year, is now collecting leaves. On the misty mornings it has a grey
appearance instead of almost invisible black, matching the spider webs
nearby. Unlike previous years, this time I am well prepared for “putting
the garden to bed” for the winter. All but one bag of daffodil bulbs
have been planted. All the plants in the big ceramic pots are actually
in plastic pots inside, so the ceramic pots remain safe from frost
cracking. If there is another spell of warm dry weather after this,
there will be a sense of urgency to ensure that everything is sorted and
tidy before the onset of chillier days. In wintry weather there is no
great desire to attend to those things, and the cosy computer corner,
hot drink and fluffy slippers win every time. (482 words)
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(15 September 2013)
The books that you have been learning from contain neat, tidy, drawn
shorthand, and my own offerings, in this blog and my main website, also
aim to present shorthand in a form that you can confidently copy. Once
you have gained some experience, you will increasingly find that
shorthand can be written in a more flowing and cursive manner, and still
be read back with ease. There is less room for manoeuvre than with
longhand, as you cannot slope the strokes or change their relative
length without changing their meaning, but real written shorthand is
unlikely to match the perfection of form found in the books, at least*
when written at a reasonable speed.
* "at least" and "at last" Always
insert the vowel
As an introduction to more scribbled shorthand, I would like to invite
you to visit my new BlogSpot called Pitman's Snippets, where I am
posting bits and pieces of rough-and-ready shorthand. You will have to
use all your shorthand knowledge to read them, as there is no longhand
key provided. This is exactly how real life shorthand is, your
shorthand notes are the only thing that you have (unless you have also
made a sound recording) and you must rely on that and read back without
anyone helping you with the difficult or questionable parts. With the
snippets blog you can improve your abilities in this area, without any
hassle or stress, and can treat it as a game. When you are "up against
it" in producing a transcript for your employer or in an exam, in the
face of outlines refusing to yield themselves to being deciphered, you
will, I hope*, have gained some extra confidence in your ability to
complete the task or assignment.
* Omission phrase "I (h)ope"
Although the shorthand in the snippets is less than* neat, I can assure*
you that all the outlines are dictionary correct. A few vowel signs are
included to help with the reading but if these notes were for myself, I
would probably leave them out, and your own notes also will have vowel
signs only where you need them. All the items have a brief* caption, to
make them accessible via the search box. Some of the snippets will be
wilder and messier than others, and I hope* you enjoy the challenge of
reading them. The absence of longhand for checking will make your
successes in reading even more valuable, as you will know that you have
achieved complete reading accuracy all on your own. (405 words)
* "less than "Downward L in order
to join the next stroke
* "I can assure you" Note that
"assure" on its own has full strokes Ish and Ar
* "brief" Always insert the vowel,
so it is not misread as "number of"
* Omission phrase "I (h)ope"
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Go On, Make My Day (27 September
The last time* I saw the phrase "Go on, make my day" was on a picture of
a vicious dog, displayed on the window next to someone's front door. The
dog was obviously going to enjoy carrying out his normal duties of
protecting the house and getting his teeth into the intruder's leg. The
dog's instinct, breeding, daily life and training, as well as the
owner's expectations, will have been satisfied by the unwise and rash
actions of the unfortunate person who does not heed* the notice. Whether
there was actually a dog in residence that day, or at all, might be
questioned but finding out for sure is not on anyone's to do list. An
equally convincing version is a portrait of the dog, making clear its
breed and large size, with the words underneath "I live here". The
satisfaction of someone or something making your day is when you finally
have proof that your skills, methods, equipment or, in the dog's case,
teeth used as weapons, actually work and do the job efficiently*. It
inspires confidence that the situation can be dealt with successfully
again and again* with the tools that you possess, and puts you back in
charge, and not at the mercy of events, problems or intruders.
* Omission phrase "las(t) time"
* "heed" Keep the circle of the Hay
stroke clear, as "read" would also make sense
* "efficiently" The short form does not have an Ell stroke, but you can
add a disjoined Ell if necessary for clarity
* Omission phrase "again (and)
GO ON, MAKE MY DAY Buy a clock like this for your shorthand dictator
There is a shorthand lesson in here somewhere! When you have spent a lot
of your precious time learning the skill, it is only natural to want to
use it at every opportunity. Using it for real, rather than practising,
highlights the fact that you have* a new item in your armoury for
dealing with and capturing the endless flow of information, just like
getting a new laptop, a camera that does more than just take pictures,
or an Iphone that has all the apps that you need to make your life
easier, faster and more efficient. There is no pleasure in having a new
“toy” unless you are able to put it to work for real and gain a genuine
satisfaction from possessing the necessary tools for what you wish to
* Omission phrase "highlights the (f)act that you
GO ON, MAKE MY DAY Tell me a bedtime story or recite all the Short Forms
to get me to sleep
At work I sometimes imagined how things would be if I did not know
shorthand. It was not that I would be doing that work in a different
way. The reality was that it would just be someone else doing it and
getting paid for it instead of me, and I would be doing the less
interesting copy and audio typing jobs. I eagerly awaited each
assignment and looked forward to proving my skills. I would leave the
noisy typing room and go upstairs to the main offices with my pristine
pad and pen, and find the desk of the person who had requested someone
to take the notes and type them up. No-one dictated really fast, because
they were composing the letters, reports or minutes, and stopping to
think all the time. Nevertheless I had to be "on the ball" as they often
wanted it read back to them to check up on the wording. No computers in
those days to make proofing easy! At first*, reading back was less than*
comfortable, but it was a good training ground. I soon found that it was
essential to mark the separate paragraphs clearly, so that I could find
my place quickly.
* Omission phrase "at (fir)st"
* "less" Downward L in order to join the phrase
GO ON , MAKE MY DAY Tell me I have reached 200 rpm
Once I had successfully completed my first few assignments at real-life
shorthand writing*, I was ready and willing to do it as often as
possible. The instruction to go and take the shorthand really made my
day. There was also satisfaction in seeing a job through from beginning
to end*, as well as getting about more to meet the people in other parts
of the* building. For the learner, passing speed tests is very gratifying
but the pleasure of achieving the finished result on paper, the
transcript, letter or report, entirely accurate, complete and neatly
laid out, not only makes your day, but also that of the person who
requested it. Your qualms about your own shorthand ability, and their
worries about whether the report will be what they said, will evaporate
and be rapidly forgotten. Working on improving suddenly becomes very
much more* attractive, smoothing your path on future shorthand
assignments. A job well done is also a good advertisement for the
benefits of shorthand. A practical demonstration in a real job
situation, especially when a deadline is met easily and in good time, is
infinitely better than the mere relating of opinions on the merits or
otherwise of shorthand.
* Omission phrase "from (be)ginn(ing to) end"
Note that if you put a tick on the "from" that makes the omission phrase
"from (the) beginning to (the) end"
* Omission phrase "in oth(er) parts
(of) the" "very much mo)re)"
Unlike the ferocious dog, it is quite in order and perfectly legal for
you to “sink your teeth” into shorthand. When you achieve your first
successful dictation attempt, however short and at whatever speed, I
know from experience that this will* certainly make your day and provide
the energy and incentive to continue your efforts to improve. When you
smash through your personal speed target, whether that is 20 words per
minute or 200 words per minute, or anything in between, I would like to
say, “Go on, make my day” and let the rest of us shorthand devotees
know, via the Guestbook, of your victory, which I trust will be just one
in a succession of shorthand achievements. (865 words)
* "that this will " Downward L to
make a good join in this phrase
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