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January 2018


More Con Words


Simple Phrases 1


Simple Phrases 2



More Con Words (12 January 2018)


Con Com Cum Cog and related and similar words



She wanted to become a dancer, but found that becoming a singer* was better.


Now that his income had increased, he had to pay much more income tax on it.


They always gave us a warm welcome, and their home was so warm and welcoming.


We like to ensure that the incoming students are welcomed into the college.


His home-coming to the village was delayed by the oncoming traffic in the narrow lane.


She was determined to overcome all difficulties, and to keep on overcoming them in the future*.


The duty doctor was a locum-tenens but this is often shortened to locum.


His method of locomotion was by train and he wanted to drive a locomotive* for a job.


He studied art and design and the other concomitant subjects that were offered by the college.


These events occurred through concomitance, happening together rather than one being the cause.


This man was the main conspirator in this case, and these others were all co-conspirators.*


* "singer" The Ing is not hooked, as there is no hard G or K sound. A hooked Ing is used for "ing-ker" or "ing-ger"


* "in the future" Do not make an omission phrase, as "in future" would be interchangeable with this


* "locomotive" Optional contraction, the full outline has M + T with V hook


* "co-conspirators" Note it is in second position, following the first vowel


Cum and cog are only abbreviated when medial:



The  earth has been circumnavigated many times and its circumference is almost 25 thousand miles*.


Abraham was instructed to circumcise all the males and so began the practice of circumcision in that era.


Their activities were severely circumscribed but they managed to circumvent some of the problems.


Their behaviour was very circumspect, as they wished to stay in favour with the new incumbent in office.


A person lying down is called recumbent but a plant trailing along the ground is called decumbent.


They did not encumber themselves with much baggage, having suffered that type of encumbrance before.


The scientists recognised the importance of the text recognition software that they were using.


The spy was travelling incognito and his appearance was totally unrecognisable even to his friends.


They found it most cumbersome carrying their* tents over the Cumbrian mountains.


I have been watching the comings and goings of our new neighbour Mr Cummings.


The cumulative effect of the rising moisture* resulted in very large cumulus clouds.


* "thousand miles" Do not join the Ith and "miles", as M is used for "million"


* "carrying their" Doubling for "their"


* "moisture" Note that "moisturise" has Ray instead of the R hook, to enable vocalisation


Contractions and related outlines:



They found contentment in their new home despite the inconsiderate actions of one of the neighbours.


They were content to remain in their jobs as they were earning a not inconsiderable amount of money.


They behaved very inconsiderately and this was most inconvenient and annoying for the staff.


I am sorry to say that* they most inconveniently forgot to inform him of his constitutional rights. (constitutional)


A full copy of the Constitution can be requested from this office for a small administrative fee.


Due to this unfortunate set of circumstances, they suffered much inconvenience and delay to their plans.


Due to this particular circumstance unfortunately we cannot agree to the proposals that you have put forward.


There was a substantial amount of evidence, but it was all circumstantial and could not be used in court.


Circumstantiate means to describe in detail, and substantiate means to provide proof with facts.


They have been able to substantiate all these allegations with precise information on what actually happened.


The report has fully circumstantiated everything that took place during the conference last month*.


* Omission phrases "I am sorry (to) s(ay) that" "las(t) month"


In full, as clearer:



I have been studying commerce and other commercial subjects at the technical college* in the city.


The commissar heard an unusual commotion in the corridor* outside his office.


The office of the commissionaire* has been decommissioned and moved to another location.


I spoke to the consul in the ambassador’s office who gave me the address of the consulate.


The soldiers did a reconnaissance flight over the consular compound.


I have heard that the commissioner* is a connoisseur of fine wines.


The sub-commissioner is delegating the work of the commissary to his experienced team.


I must commiserate with you for not getting that job at the army commissariat.


I have sent my commiserations to him for not being promoted to non-commissioned officer.


We have added letters after the part numbers to connote different versions and sizes of components.


I do not know what the connotation* of these codes and ciphers is.


There can be no commutation* of one substance for another in this experiment.


* Omission phrase "techni(cal) college" which omits the repeated hooked K stroke


* "corridor" Compare with "girder" which has D with R hook, these two need distinguishing especially in a building context


* "commissionaire" "commissioner" Always insert the vowel in the former, and omit in the latter


* "connotation" has full strokes, to distinguish it from "commutation"


In full, as not a prefix:



He was a newcomer* in the village and had three very comely daughters.


He did not behave well as an incomer* to the profession and there was the inevitable* comeback.


He studied comedy at stage school in order to* play comic parts on television shows.


The students learned the science of comets at the Conrad Connor Institute* in the town of Conway.


It was quite a comedown when they discovered the crop of comfrey had been destroyed by the frost.


The conifer* tree has a seed case that is roughly conical.


The condor* is a large bird of prey that has conquered the skies of South America.


Connie decided to conquer* her fear of flying and travel to the Congo*.


The warship was called the Connaught and was thought to be completely unconquerable*. (802 words)


* "newcomer" "incomer" The latter uses the short form "in" and is disjoined to distinguish it more easily, but nevertheless it is helpful to insert the U diphthong in "newcomer" for greater clarity


* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"


* "Institute" Omits the first T sound


* "conifer" Also pronounced with short O


* "condor" Doubling used, despite the word having a clear vowel in the second syllable


* "conquer" "unconquerable" "Congo" These are not "con" words, they are "cong", but the spelling may distract from writing the correct outline by sound

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Simple Phrases 1 (15 January 2018)



This article practises basic phrasing. There are no changes of form, special outlines or omitted syllables or words. Phrases should reflect normal speech, never crossing any slight pause, and kept quite short. It is not a competition to see how many words can be joined together in one long snake. It is not necessary* to memorise every possible variation, because once you are familiar with several examples, they will flow naturally in other combinations.


* "it is not necessary" Best to break the phrase, as here, or if already written then go back and insert a vowel, as this is similar to "it is unnecessary" which has the same meaning. The same applies to other "not"/"-un" phrases.



I have a parcel for you to collect, if you are in the area tomorrow.


Have you seen the new building and have you met Mr Smith?


If you come to the office, I can sign the letter for you.


If you are interested you can do this job, for you are well able to do it.


They will take a photo* of you and give it to you tomorrow.


I can tell you that we shall be at the meeting on Monday.


We shall be in the office all morning and we think we can get the work finished.


We think you will be interested in the news and we are sure you will agree it is a good result.


I shall be thinking of you and I think you are going to make a success of the project.


They think you are doing quite well and that you are going to go* far in your career.


* "photo" Insert a vowel, as it is similar to "video" which would also make sense in most contexts


* "to go" Insert the vowel, to differentiate from "to give"



We are glad that Mr Brown was able to come to the house.


We are glad that you found the report of some interest.


We are not going to repeat the facts in the second report.


We are sure you will be very pleased with the progress of the building.


We are not sure whether he will be attending the directors’ meeting.


We are pleased with the work done by the new people in the office.


We regret we are having some difficulty with the new machine.


We regret that he will be absent from the school for a week.



It is not really possible for us to be at the club on Friday.


It is not fair on them that they have to have all these difficulties.


It has not rained for a very long time which has not helped the garden plants.


It has not been a good time for us and it has not resulted in any orders.


That is not the way that I would have done the job, I would have done it quite differently.


I have seen the new office equipment but unfortunately that is not what we ordered.


He was not answering us and that has not been helpful to our project.


He has not been in the admin office for several days and he has not told us why.


He is not answering his phone and he is not calling anyone back.



We have had difficulties with the work which has not been pleasant or useful.


We have a new car which is not running well and which is not performing as we hoped.


We have had some news which is not what we wanted to hear.


We have done some work on the building but we have not done the garden yet.


I have done some research* and found that they have not done what they promised.


They have done their best with the report but they have not done it very quickly.


* "research" Can also be pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable in which case it would have a third place vowel



We have lived here for several years but Mr Black has been here for many years.


Mrs Green worked for this firm for very many years.


We have not seen that person here for some years now.


Thank you for sending the report on the work undertaken last year.


I have last year’s building report before me as well as last year’s accounts.


I have been here for two years and Miss Gray has been here for three years.


The trainee spent two months at college and three months on work experience.



We must inform you that you are not required to work Saturdays.


You must report to the admin office and you must bring your papers with you.


They must get a lot of work from that company as they are doing quite well now.


I think she must like the work as she has stayed for several years.


Please tell Mr White that he must get to the meeting an hour before it begins.


He must arrive in good time and he must have all of his notes with him.



We must arrive early for the conference and we must remember to bring our papers.


The notice said you must never park your car here.


They must remember to take all their luggage with them when they go to the airport.


I think she must want to come to our house for some reason.


We think he must have been referring to the notice on the office door.


We must inform you that we cannot send our driver until this evening.


We are informed that they cannot be held responsible for this afternoon’s events.



You should start the letter with either Dear Sir or Dear Madam.


If you do not know which to use, then address it as Dear Sir or Madam.


Dear Miss Brown, We have now received your letter of confirmation.


Dear Mrs Smith, Thank you for your quick reply to my email.


There was a group of people in reception but there was not much time to see them.


There are many new people in the office but there are not enough new desks for them.


There are several files on this case and there are very many reports that support it.



We have bought the lunch food and it is enough for our group but it is not enough for everyone here.


The equipment will be good enough for your purposes*, but I do not think it will last long enough.


There was a spelling error in the report but there was not enough time to reprint it all.


There are many jobs that need to be done but it seems there are not enough hours in the day.


There are several people who can help with this and I shall have to make enquiries.


Do they have to have the job done by Friday or shall I tell the staff to take longer?


I am going to tell you when to start and it is up to you to write as quickly as you can.


I began* to look for a new house, as I wished* to live in the country. (1092 words)


* "for your purposes" You can also write "purposes" as an intersection P-Ps


* "began" Insert the second vowel, to show the correct tense


* "wished to" In normal speech the last T sound of "wished" might be inaudible, as another T follows, and so when transcribing you would have to look back to the tense of the preceding verb "began" to decide whether it was "wish" or "wished"


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Simple Phrases 2 (16 January 2018)



In the following phrases, some have to be distinguished by adjusting the position of the phrase, and some by writing in the vowels. It is advisable to always vocalise “no” as quite often it will be necessary and you don’t have time to stop and consider. “Any” can have a final dot to help with reading back, although the short form has no vowel sign. Sometimes you have to insert a vowel when an outline becomes out of position because it is in the middle or end of the phrase. “Those” and “these” do not always need a vowel when phrased, but it is a good habit to put it in these two if there is time to do so, and in some phrases it is essential. To help differentiate between “may/might, can/could, know/note,” the halved outline should remain unphrased, and the diphthong inserted in “might” if there is time. The exception is “could not”, because the outline for “cannot” is entirely different. You cannot emphasise the difference between “know” and “note” with a vowel, so the latter should be left unphrased. It helps to make the halved “might” and “note” more cupped, rather than just being a half size version of the full stroke. The difference between full and half-length strokes can become unclear at speed, as does the exact position of the outlines.



Outlines where the vowel is essential within that phrase are underlined. I suggest you do extra practice on those ones, varying the sentences with your own vocabulary, as they can be traps for the unwary, leading to transcription* errors that can go unnoticed. For example, knowing* someone’s address and actually noting* it are very different things. May and might are often interchangeable, but there are times when their different nuances* are important, and in any case, it is up to the speaker to decide which word they want in the sentence, not the shorthand writer. When I visit the Queen I might possibly try on her crown, but unless I have been told I may (I have permission), I might end up in the Tower of London!


* "transcription" Note that "transcribe" and derivatives omit the second R, to distinguish from "describe" etc


* "knowing, noting" With the Ing present, you can distinguish by the vowel sign


* "nuances" Anglicised pronunciation, the dictionary gives a French pronunciation


Prisoners at the Tower of London getting their chilly daily exercise in December



I have worked in those offices but now I work in this department.


We have worked for many years in these premises and are happy to stay in this town.


I have spoken with those people who say they are quite pleased with this revised plan.


I shall be visiting with these people and taking photos* of them with this camera.


I am a friend of those ladies who are all members of this club.


I have made a list of these items and will make a note of this in my report.


* "photos" Insert a vowel, as it is similar to "videos" which would also make sense in most contexts



I do not have any news for those people but only a letter for this one person.


I will pay you for these items on Friday but I will pay for this now.


I am going to those departments tomorrow so that I can add more details to this report.


I will send the parcels to these families and hope that they will reply to this office.


In those days the people were living in small towns and villages.


In this day and age people prefer to live in the larger towns where they can find work.


It is clear that in these days there are greater work opportunities in the city than in the country.



I do not have any doubt about this person’s ability to do the job and their skill is not in doubt.


I wish to be informed if there is any doubt about their willingness to pay for this.


His character is not in doubt and there is no doubt that he is an honest person.


No doubt they will wish to visit the office and we will be left in no doubt as to their confidence in us.


I do not have any more time to do this assignment, and I have no more paper left to write on.


I wish to be told when there is any more money available in the account for this work.


I wish to be told when there is no more money in the bank to pay for this work.


There is no more that I can do for them at this time and I will not answer any more questions.


If there is any more trouble, I will be sending them no more financial help.


If there is no more trouble, I will feel more inclined to help them.


I am wondering if they are any more trouble than we first thought.


I am wondering if they are in more trouble than we first thought.



You may come to the office tomorrow and you might get to see the boss*.


I think you may have a problem with the work and you might wish you had never started it.


We think you may be in need of some extra supplies and you might wish to come and see us.


I think you might find it necessary to write to them and you may have to visit as well.


I think you might be interested in these products and you may wish to take advantage* of our sale.


They may have some things that we need and they might be open by the time we arrive.


She may have been successful in getting the tickets and she might even have enough for all of us.


He may have gone home another way but I think he might have become lost in the woods.


We may come by the office on Thursday and we might have the report finished by then.


* "boss" Vowel essential, so it is not misread as "boys"


* "take advantage" These can be phrased if on the line, but here it would descend too far



We can send you a copy of the notes but we cannot bring them in person.


We can find someone to do the work for you but we could not be responsible for the cost.


We can have a party at our house and there is a chance we could have a disco* as well.


Can we have some tea and cake after the meeting, as we could have some visitors staying late.


Could we have some idea of when they will be coming and can we have their names in a list.


I can say with confidence that this person will go far in this new company.


I could say that Mr Smith is too old for this job, but you will have to decide when you see him.


I could not imagine that he would be unwilling, and I cannot see him turning down the offer.


We can see that there will be many more annoying problems with the new installation.


We could see a crowd of people in the yard and thought they could cause an obstruction.


We could have danced all night but we knew we could have difficulty rising early next day.


* "disco" Note that the dot remains with the D, as there is a circle S between it and the next stroke



We know that you are doing well in your career and we note that you are now with Browns.


We know that you have been unwell  and we note with regret that you are leaving us.


I know this is a great opportunity and I know I will make a success of it.


I note that you have sent me a second report and I know this will have taken up more of your time.


I do not know of anyone who can do the job better and I do not know anyone who works harder.


There is no-one better qualified to do this task and no-one will do it better than you.


They will know what to do in these circumstances and I am sure they will note who has behaved the best.


We did not* note his name at the time and we do not know how to find out afterwards.


I note that you are studying shorthand and I know that you will get to your goal in the end.


You will know what is necessary to achieve that as you always note every new word and practise it. (1326 words)


* "We did not" Avoid phrasing this one. If phrased, it would be "we do not" and if phrased with a vowel also added, it would be "we didn't". So not phrasing fully is the only way to write it clearly. You could also write "we did" phrased and the "not" separately.


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