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Gemstones (8 March 2017)
I have rows of gems* on the bookshelves in front of me above my computer. They are like gold dust to me, but they are not made of gold nor are they particularly rare or expensive. They are a girl’s best friend but they are not diamonds*. Some are splendidly coloured but most of them are quite dull and uninteresting looking on the outside. They are all my shorthand books, old and modern, my treasures that enable me to take various shorthand journeys for whatever I want to know. Most of them are second hand, as I wasn’t around in the eighteen hundreds or early twentieth century to buy them new! I still have some of the books I learned from in the nineteen seventies, which were bought new, a pocket dictionary, a phrasing book and the big red dictionary. This last one has now been retired off, having fallen into several fragments, finished off by its extensive use in the early years of the websites. A replacement has now taken its place, as there is no let-up in searching for and checking on correct outlines.
* "gem" "diamond" Always insert the triphthong in "diamond" as these could be similar when hastily written
Ostro Stone - 2 kg topaz
A week ago we visited the Natural History Museum in central London where we saw many real gemstones. We wanted to see some historical wildlife paintings that were on a time limited display. Having seen those, we had a mind to revisit the dinosaurs nearby but the place seemed to be filling up rapidly with crowds of school children on their school trips, so instead we went upstairs to the minerals department. It was quite a contrast there, we had it to ourselves most of the time, empty and quiet, with row upon row of flat glass cases containing every mineral in existence, in all their varied forms. We had to be methodical about viewing it all, so we decided to go up one side and down the other. In the end we managed to see about a third of it and decided to save the rest for another day rather than cram in a tour of all the cases.
Minerals, Natural History Museum
As we came through the doorway, immediately in the centre is a very large deep blue topaz, the Ostro Stone, weighing about 2 kilograms, which has been treated to give it a deeper colour. It is about the size of my hand, and gleams and shines under its spotlights. We turned right and started with the vertical cases against the end wall. What a surprise, a truly* enormous natural nugget* of gold, at least two feet high. I mused on how the decision was made to either keep it as it is, a rare find, or to actually use the gold. Then I read the caption, it was a model, and the original had been melted down. The real nugget was called the Welcome Stranger, found in Australia in 1859, weighing 71.4 kilograms and it would be worth around half a million pounds today. The Greek poet Pindar* (5th century BC) described gold as a mythological personage “Gold is the child of Zeus, neither moth nor rust devours it but the mind of man is devoured.” Unfortunately it can also devour the landscape and its health, with certain mining techniques that consume vast quantities of rock to gain small amounts of gold, or the methods that use mercury or cyanide to release the gold from the ore, especially harmful if unregulated.
* "truly" Helpful to insert the first vowel, as this could look similar to "utterly"
* "nugget" Note that "ingot" is written with full N+G+T strokes, to differentiate
* "Pindar" This is the dictionary outline, but I would prefer to write with all full strokes (P+N+D+Ar), so that the 2nd vowel can be shown, otherwise this could equally be "Pinder" or "Pinter"
Welcome Stranger, replica gold nugget
There were many examples of polished gemstones, displayed alongside samples of their original state, dull rocks looking grey and lumpen, with no hint of what lay inside to the casual and ignorant observer. I was of course on the hunt for beryls of all types, and found every variation from small cut gems to enormous murky looking crystalline structures. My shorthand dictionary defines it as a kind of inferior emerald. In its pure form it is colourless and the colours come from impurities in the mineral. I was interested to discover that in the 13th century the first eyeglasses were made of beryl or rock crystal, before they had the knowledge to make lenses of glass, hence the German word for them “Brille”. The word means a sea-green blue colour, and the mineral is related to the aquamarine. To prevent myself being an inferior green version, I only need to run round the block and then I become a very rare and expensive red beryl. As the element beryllium, I am happy to aim for strong and lightweight but keen to avoid being steely grey and toxic. It might also be a disadvantage for me to be transparent to X-rays.
At the far end of the hall is The Vault, a strengthened secure circular room containing the most valuable items that need extra security. The most alluring was the Aurora Pyramid of Hope, a collection of 296 small diamonds in every available colour, collected over a 25 year period, and displayed in a triangle formation. The lighting changes from normal to ultra-violet, to bring out the changing colours. If you are going to collect every colour of diamond, then it makes sense not to aim for the big ones! We also saw some meteorites of Mars rock, and a small vial containing a smudge of white powder, which is a tiny quantity of microscopic diamonds obtained from meteorites. Three very dull rocks suddenly became rather interesting when I saw a large clear diamond sticking out of each of them. This is another type of rarity, in that the original find has been left intact and the gem not removed. Some larger diamonds were displayed at the other end of the hall, large, clear, and cut into various faceted shapes. I should have realised that they were replicas before I read the labels, and that such a collection of whoppers would not be lying around in ordinary museum cases.
Aurora Pyramid of Hope - coloured diamonds under ultraviolet light
The study of minerals is called mineralogy* and the persons are mineralogists and they do mineralogical work. The ores are mined by miners or mineworkers, who may spend their life in the mining industry, extracting* coal and metallic and other ores. The word ore is related to the word earth. Study of rocks in general is geology, and geological activities are carried on by geologists. The science of gems and precious stones is called gemmology. The most well-known gems are as follows: amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, diamond, emerald, garnet, jade, jasper, marcasite (another name for iron pyrite), onyx, opal, quartz, ruby, sapphire, topaz, tourmaline, tiger’s eye, turquoise, zircon. Note that granite has a different outline from garnet, and that silver and sulphur should have their vowels written in. Amber is tree resin from ancient forests that became fossilized through polymerisation. Jet is the fossilised wood of certain trees. Coral and pearl* are from animal origins. Some gems can be artificially created by growing them as crystals, or treating natural ones to produce different colours.
* "mineralogy" The second version shown is an optional contraction
* "extracting" Insert the middle vowel, and the 2nd or 3rd vowel in "extricating", as these have the same outline and similar meaning
* "pearl" An R-hooked stroke with this particular vowel is considered complete without a vowel sign
Star dust diamonds
As a child I was entranced by jewellery, not to wear but to just possess and admire. I did not actually collect it but I would often find a few bits of broken jewellery at jumble sales. I was given a few coins and I had to pay the person myself, this was in the hopes that they would only charge a penny or two, which they invariably did. I just wanted to look at the stones and silver coloured settings, so it was irrelevant if they were broken. Sometimes I wonder if a real diamond or gold setting ever passed through my hands, without any of us being aware of it. As time went by, I came to the conclusion that you could not really do anything with these items, or even real diamonds for that matter, other than gaze at them, and so interest waned.
My attention turned to my own version of treasure, this being colourful flowers, which seemed more precious as they would soon disappear and never stayed with us. When I moved to a house with my own garden, I became more patient and only had to wait for them to return the next year. They are always fresh and perfect, with a wider range of colours than the diamond collection mentioned earlier, and everyone can have their own at little cost. Maybe I should be growing a rose called White Diamond, Silver Shadow, Golden Showers, Ruby Celebration or Eye Of The Tiger. Or perhaps Little Gem lettuce would be cheaper and easier, and instead of admiring it I could have it on the dinner plate: one gemstone eating another. (1422 words)
Reminder of pairs to be differentiated:
Not lettuce, more celery
Misspellings 4 (9 March 2017)
Here are some more commonly misspelled* words. Converting speech to shorthand all takes place in the logical and orderly world of hearing groups of meaningful sounds (phonemes) and representing them in sequence along the lines of the notepad. Typing out your notes is rather different, your perfect world where sign and sound match is replaced by converting each outline to a learned spelling, quite often more of a visual clue to the word, than an exact representation of its sounds. When looking up outlines in the shorthand dictionary, it pays to be diligent with the spellings as well, so that both skills progress together. When the spell check shows up the red underlines, it is time to practice typing the correct versions, and even plain old keyboarding errors benefit from this, in order to* retrain the fingers.
* "misspelled" Note that "misspelt" uses upward halved normal L
It can be rather difficult to fit all these words into practice sentences, so I have asked the effusive but reliable Mr Speller to contribute some pages from his inimitable diary, where one never knows quite what he is going to get up to next, but we are nevertheless glad that he takes the time to record almost everything that he does. He clearly works for a publisher of English dictionaries and has swallowed more than a few in his time.
Dear Diary, This fine weather has been a cracking start to the month of March, as during FEBRUARY we had A LOT of ARCTIC weather with CHANGEABLE conditions and ADVICE from the weather BUREAU to take precautions to ADDRESS the problems it was causing. Fortunately my ACCOMMODATION remained at an ACCEPTABLE temperature and the postman* could still deliver my CORRESPONDENCE on his BICYCLE despite the snow. APPARENTLY there had been some AGGRESSION between NEIGHBOURS in the icy conditions but I hear they have been ACQUITTED by the court and we DEFINITELY won’t be seeing a repeat of that or anything like it OCCURRING again.
* "postman" Omits the lightly sounded T
Last week* I met up with COLONEL* Smith who is well-known in the world of COLLECTIBLES for his interest in ACQUIRING carved plum stone KERNELS. He has written a book on ATHEISM and another on the SCIENCE of growing BROCCOLI and also contributes a regular COLUMN in a local magazine. The last one was a HUMOROUS account of the antics of the BELLWETHER and other sheep on his farm and their PERSEVERANCE in the face of a very PERSISTENT and FIERY sheep dog called KETCHUP who HARASSES them during their ODYSSEYS over the hills and HEIGHTS of the area.
* Omission phrase "las(t w)eek"
* "Colonel" Written as pronounced, ignoring the first L of the longhand
Work at the office has been going well and there is much CAMARADERIE amongst my COLLEAGUES. The CONSENSUS is that we are a COMMITTED team, DEFINITELY worth more than our MEDIOCRE wages, and that it would be DISASTROUS for the company if we were to RECOMMEND that the staff never EXCEEDED their duties and refused extra MISCELLANEOUS projects that take* up their lunch breaks. However, after our almost SACRILEGIOUS remarks on being paid a positively MEDIEVAL wage, we were EXHILARATED to discover that our hard work and DISCIPLINE, carried out so SINCERELY and without PREJUDICE, has MYSTERIOUSLY come under the JUDGMENT of the chief accountant. He ordered an IMMEDIATE pay rise for all PERSONNEL which will bring an end to our financial EMBARRASSMENT and gives us confidence that BASICALLY everything would now be ALL RIGHT in our personal lives.
* "take" Insert the vowel, because as this is a narrative "took" could also make sense, but generally this common word would not need a vowel written in
On WEDNESDAY I had dinner at the MILLENNIUM Restaurant with SERGEANT Jones, the uncle of my DECEASED aunt, who died from eating a DISEASED fruit. He was a PROFESSOR of MATHEMATICS, which in England is known as MATHS* for short and in the United States as MATH*. He eventually became PRINCIPAL of the college. He had a FASCINATION with weight training and had invented a DEVICE to improve the DUMBBELL and other EQUIPMENT. However one day he MISGAUGED the weights, DECEIVED himself over his strength and hurt his back and so began a DESCENT into DISASTER filled circumstances. Over our coffee and a delicious RASPBERRY and PUMPKIN pie, I ADVISED him to take the ADVICE of his doctor and resume his former career in the JEWELLERY trade and in future be more JEALOUS to take SPECIAL care of his health. Finally we RECEIVED* the restaurant RECEIPT and we concluded our FRIENDLY afternoon LIAISON.
* Omission phrase "we (re)ceived"
* "maths, math" Always insert the vowel, so these are not mistaken for the contractions "mathematical/ly" and "mathematics"
I was pleased to RECEIVE a letter from a PLAYWRIGHT* friend of mine, who has written a book on the PRINCIPLES of stage production, with a guide to PRONUNCIATION, RHYTHM and the comic use of RHYME. For those who feel they PREFER this type of career, he has included a QUESTIONNAIRE* at the back to give them a THOROUGH understanding of the trade. He said that THEY’RE not going to get far unless THEIR enquiries are PRECEDED by a CONSCIENTIOUS study of the subject. He said that BUILDING YOUR library of information is the only way to PROCEED if YOU’RE interested in this PROFESSION. He states IT’S not rocket SCIENCE or NUCLEAR physics, and informing oneself* is the best way* to INOCULATE* oneself* against ITS disappointments.
* "playwright" The "wright" is related to "work/wrought" and means a worker/maker/builder, avoid the misspelling using "-write"
* "questionnaire" Note the outline for "questioner" omits the circle vowel
* Omission phrases "wu(n)self" "bes(t) way"
* "inoculate" Strictly speaking it is the halved L that should be resting on the line, but it is more sensible to let the N sit on the line rather than lowering it slightly, as it begins the outline
Recently the firm’s medical ADVISER* and health COUNSELLOR* both advised me to take a break, and this was endorsed by COUNCILLOR* Brown. So the end of the month saw me CEASE from my labours in the office and SEIZE the opportunity to take a SIZEABLE chunk of my holiday entitlement on my YACHT on the high seas. It was quite NECESSARY after all my hard work and UNNECESSARY to stay in the office. Mr Green will be AVAILABLE to stand in for me, and I will have a whole month entirely UNAVAILABLE to answer emails. I have decided to LOOSE the bonds of business life and LOSE myself in the pleasures of sea, sun, sand and SANDALS. I BELIEVE I can manage without emails but cannot GUARANTEE that I will not ACCIDENTALLY view one or two* on the phone. I will sail to FOREIGN shores and spend my LEISURE hours on the beaches. I hope* to OCCASIONALLY write more in my diary whenever there is an OCCURRENCE of something NOTICEABLE, a habit which is highly RECOMMENDED. (1015 words)
* "adviser" This is the correct spelling, although the (formerly) erroneous "advisor" is gaining ground
* "counsellor" is a person who gives counsel/advice
* "councillor" is someone who is a member of a council/administrative group
* Omission phrases "one (or) two" "I (h)ope"
Perfect For The Job (26 March 2017)
Mr Perfect has decided to apply for a new job to further his career. He is convinced that using the right terminology will help him stand out from all the other candidates and jobseekers, and get him on the interview shortlist. He has of course studied shorthand to add to his impressive array of talents and has used his vocabulary list for this particular subject to flesh out his application letter and snag his dream job. Here is the job advert* to which he is replying, which appears to have been written by someone with a similar list of jargon, buzzwords and clichés that are doing the rounds at the moment*, and I am sure Mr Perfect will fit into this environment perfectly.
* "advert" Helpful to insert the first vowel, as this full outline is similar to the contraction for "advertise/d/ment"
* Omission phrase "at (the) moment"
We are a very successful tech* start-up company, with a wide range of activities and a top notch market position. Our exciting and inspirational management team have established a prestigious and influential business which is set to become the prominent* leader in its field in a short space of time*. Our resounding success means that we are now looking to increase our staffing levels in our Information Technology and Computing department and we are seeking a highly qualified, committed and confident individual to join our brilliant team of busy, imaginative and forward thinking Technical Engineers.
* "tech" It is possible to use this first syllable in an omission phrase e.g. "tech(nical) college", so always write "tech" on its own, not in a phrase
* Omission phrase "short space (of) time"
You will be working in a fun, vibrant and buzzy* environment, ably led by a go-getting* high-flying operations manager. You will need to be an incredibly* dynamic, outgoing, passionate* and energised person with impressive qualifications and experience, able to work in a fast-paced role with ever-changing priorities and deadlines, which is not for the faint-hearted. You will be an integral member of a super friendly team, under an ultra-demanding yet inspirational team leader. You will be part of a close-knit group of individuals, in an exceptionally* creative environment, producing innovative ideas from their rich pool of talent and experience.
* "buzzy" Insert vowel, so it is not misread as "busy"
* "incredibly" "exceptionally" Insert the last vowel, as "incredible" "exceptional" could also make sense here
* "go-getting" Uses the short form "go" so no vowel needed there
* "passionate" Compare with the outline for "patient" P+Upward Ish+Nt
This post will start as part-time, with a view to becoming full-time, or we may consider* a short or long-term* contract for the right person. We have a graded salary band, with plenty of opportunity to rise to the top and enjoy the due rewards of super-efficiency* and solid achievement. Our new offices are ultra-smart and super-funky, as befits the professionalism of our slick and goal-driven organisation. The job base location has excellent transport links to both the city and the exclusive and prosperous commuter* belt on the outskirts of this vibrant and happening location.
* Omission phrase "may (con)sider"
* "long-term" Keep the Ing proper length, to prevent misreading as "longer"
* "super-efficiency" In this sentence "efficient" could also make sense, so it would be helpful to insert a dot vowel at the end, although this is not strict theory
* "commuter" Keep the dot and vowel clear, as "outer" would make sense in this context
The key benefits and perks include provision of a company car, generous pension scheme, flexible holiday entitlement, and bonuses for superior performance and target achievements. Our human* resources staff can give advice on career enhancement programmes and mentoring, child day-care options and choices in flexible working programmes. Package details will vary subject to negotiation. Apply now for this fantastic opportunity for self-advancement in the pioneering and cutting-edge world of computer development.
* "human" Special outline, above the line to accord with the last vowel, and "humane" is written on the line
Dear Sirs, I would like to apply for the post of Technical Engineer in your city office. I am confident that I have the necessary qualities to fulfil the role requirements. I am a highly trained and extremely disciplined individual, who is genuinely passionate about this industry. I have excellent computing and numerical skills, and I am a super-user of database and spreadsheet programmes, computer troubleshooting and programming languages. I am degree educated in advanced computer science but also commercially savvy, having gained considerable experience in organisational and communication skills.
My main strength is my problem solving ability. I am a solutions driven person and positively thrive in a dynamic, lively and energetic situation. I can assure you I will hit the ground running, and I have an honest and frank muck-in attitude. I always strive for perfection to the best of my ability* and have a strong sense of initiative, as well as being an excellent communicator. I am a super switched-on team player and totally driven to achieve the highest quality of work and output. I am well able to multi-task with rapidly changing priorities. I am not fazed by last minute* changes and always have a contingency plan up my sleeve so that I am always on top of the game. I am bright, sharp, dedicated, capable, ambitious and adaptable*. I aim to facilitate every aspect of the work for my fellow technicians, colleagues and superiors.
* Omission phrase "bes(t of) my ability" Using the B stroke for the suffix "-ability" as the whole word
* Omission phrase "las(t) minute" Keep the T straight, so it does not look like "last month"
* "adaptable" Always insert the vowel after the D in "adopt" and "adapt" and derivatives
I have a gritty determination to provide outstanding performance, acute attention to detail, and critical appraisal of my completed assignments. I am sure I will stand out in your estimation as a one in a million person of the highest calibre, with proven 5-star skills, and will certainly live up to your requirement for that special someone who has the X Factor. I am not a one-trick hotshot but a person of proven intelligence who can work under pressure, able to handle anything and anticipate needs ahead of time. I will be a credible, honest, enthusiastic and articulate member of your team of technically competent and talented people.
I have a strong academic record and advanced computing technology skills. I have gained nationally* recognised qualifications for this post and have a record of proven experience in the field. I have worked in varied, busy and demanding roles, adhering to the highest standards and ensuring that everything flows seamlessly. I have a solid background of keeping up with an intense diary of commitments, working to tight deadlines, juggling priorities, and rising to the challenge of the role responsibilities*. I believe I am the ideal candidate for this challenging, meaty and rewarding post, which I would perform with supreme efficiency. I attach my CV for your perusal which lists my qualifications and work experiences, and people willing to give character references. Yours most sincerely, Mr I B Perfect
* "nationally" Insert the last vowel, as "national" would also make sense
* "responsibilities" The contraction is only used for the singular
Mr Perfect’s sister is not so high flying, and being more of a slow but reliable and dependable plodder, she has come to the conclusion that a reasonably sedate and calm administrative* role would suit her temperament much better than her brother’s more ambitious ideals. She has decided to post her details on a CV website and see if there is a good response* rate from prospective employers. It would appear that her brother has been helping her to compose her write-up, using all the words and phrases that he felt were not quite suitable for his own application.
* Omission phrase "come (to the con)clusion"
* "administrative" Omits the R
* "response" Always insert the second vowel, so that it is never misread as "responsibility"
I am seeking an administrative* post where I can use my extensive experience in the day-to-day running of an office situation. I have a flexible attitude to work and can work on my own initiative, and I aim to be a true right hand support to my immediate superior. I have the capacity to perform well under pressure, and although I understand the stresses and strains this can bring to the environment, I am extremely well organised and able to implement the best ideas and methods to prioritise my workload. I am always able to achieve a flawless presentation of the work required in such circumstances. I am calm and approachable, with bags of common sense, a good humoured* and can-do* attitude, and excellent interpersonal skills.
* "administrative" Omits the R
* "can-do" Using both short forms
* "humoured" The M is not thickened, that would be a halved "Imper/Imber" stroke e.g. "hampered"
I have a good grasp of both governmental and commercial environments, and can be a complete lynch-pin in my area of responsibility. My communication skills are second to none, enabling me to achieve the required business and commercial objectives. I am able to provide highly polished presentations, both in writing, and at meetings, events and conferences, with an emphasis on meticulous* and well-presented facts and figures*, and other relevant information. I have maturity and gravitas, an impeccable and immaculate* dress sense, and a helpful and friendly telephone manner. I will provide an extremely warm, personable* and helpful approach, and liaise articulately and intelligently with staff, clients and customers. I know how to deal with sensitive and confidential information in a discreet and totally respectful manner, and my loyalty and discretion will be unquestionable.
* "meticulous" "immaculate" These could look similar if not neatly written, and their meanings are close as well
* Omission phrase "fac(t)s (and) figures". If this sentence had been "facts, figures and other relevant information" then you would not use the phrase.
* "personable" Insert the dash vowel, as it is similar in outline and meaning to "presentable"
I have previously worked at a recruitment agency* and an out-placement organisation. I supervised the creation of a resettlement programme, running employability and life skills courses, and this has given me the experience to deal with people at all levels. If you require a well-presented, well-rounded, resilient, exceptionally competent and confident person, with an outstandingly mature attitude, to provide traditional administrative and secretarial support and backup, I have the requisite* qualities and skills to accomplish this for you, as an integral part of your team, thus contributing to the smooth and super-efficient running and ultimate success of your organisation. (1415 words)
* "agency" Note that "agent" uses hook N
* "requisite" Insert the last vowel, as it is similar in outline and meaning to "requested"
Flowery Language (31 March 2017)
I like a good idiom. It provides an imaginative and visual element to otherwise dull writing. It has limited use in business writing but it is an important part of how people speak in normal daily life, and, when spoken, some shorthand writer somewhere may have to write it down and read it back, without being floored* by an unusual or figurative use of words. Being a gardener as well as a shorthand devotee, I have decided to grasp the nettle and indulge in a few botanical figures of speech*. After all, a tree is known by its fruit and budding shorthand writers* who decide to turn over a new leaf, turf out the longhand, weed out their mistakes and put down roots into their chosen subject, will soon get to the top of their tree.
* "floored" i.e. brought to the floor. Not to be confused with "flawed" which means having a flaw/defect/fault. The outline for "flawed" has no R in it = FL + D.
* “Figures of speech” Only use the omission phrase for the singular “figure (of) speech”
* Omission phrase “short(hand) writers”
However, with all the theory learning, they might not see the wood for the trees, but if they refuse to let the grass grow under their feet, they will find that it all becomes as easy as falling off a log. It may not be all roses, and friends may say that they are wandering up the primrose path or barking* up the wrong tree. But flourishing shorthand students* will not beat about the bush, they will nip in the bud all such nonsense from those who seem to have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. They will not really care a fig for such comments and will not tolerate such thorns in the flesh, although they will continue to hold out the olive branch to these men of straw, who are really just reeds shaken by the wind.
* "barking" Not tree bark, but refers to dogs barking at a tree in which their quarry is hiding
* Omission phrase “shorthand s(t)udents”
They do not allow themselves to become a wallflower, but instead they blossom out and let their success spread like weeds, and end up being the pick of the bunch and the cream of the crop. They made a decision to go out on a limb, at first working against the grain, with the old deep-rooted longhand trying to lead them up the garden path, but the new way of writing took root and eventually they feel they are out of the woods. You may hear through the grapevine that the seeds of doubt that were sown were found to be not worth a straw. After their study they hit the hay, sleep like a log and rise in the morning as fresh as a daisy.
Nevertheless, one must not* rest on one’s laurels, or one may find oneself* clutching at straws in a test, shaking like a leaf and well and truly up a gum tree. An exam is not the place to be rooted to the spot and making a mistake* that turns out to be the last straw. It is best to avoid* a big stick policy and instead choose the more pleasant route of taking a leaf out of the instructor’s book, leafing through the dictionary and the notepad, instead of just exclaiming Whoops A Daisy and kicking problems into the long grass. After all, it’s a jungle out there in the job market and employers are looking for more than just the common or garden variety of worker.
* “must not” “mistake” These omit the T
* “oneself” Omits the N
* “avoid” and “evade” Always insert the second vowel, as these are similar in outline and meaning
The best shorthand students* are not lily-livered or shrinking violets and no-one could call them a clod when it comes to getting down all the flowery speech. Their shorthand is in the bloom of youth and with practise it has become as easy as shelling* peas. Even if they are a late bloomer, it will be many decades before they run to seed, get put out to grass and start pushing up the daisies. On the contrary* they are on their way to reaping a rich harvest. They have finally found out that not only is the grass greener on the other side*, but they are now in clover and what seemed like a bed of thorns has turned into a bed of roses. (655 words)
* Omission phrase “shorthand s(t)udents” “on (the con)trary” “on the oth(er) side”
* “shelling” Compare with the noun “shilling” which uses the upward Shel stroke
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
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