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OF THE STENOGRAPHIC ALPHABET.
The stenographic alphabet is composed of twenty-one characters, which are extremely simple, easily made, and readily combined with each other without the loss of time, labour, space, or perspicuity. The alphabet is the first thing which demands the attention of the learner, the foundation on which the whole art is built, and on which all subsequent improvement will depend. Hence it is obvious that the characters, as well as the words which they represent, should be so indelibly fixed in the memory, as to be recollected without the least hesitation. The learner, being furnished with a small blank book without ruling, should commence by writing the characters of the alphabet, at the same time repeating to himself the letters and alphabetical words till the whole is familiar. Thus, A or E, (.) stands for ah, at, am, and; B, (a ) stands for be, by, been, but; D, (1) for do, does, did, done, &c.
During this exercise, the learner should endeavour to form the characters as nearly like those in the alphabet as possible, in length, proportion, and inclination, beginning and ending according to note (*), at the same time striving to increase the facility of execution as much as practicable.
THE STENOGRAPHIC ALPHABET,
ah, at, am, and.
all, let, like.
* The small dots placed near the characters, are to shew at which point the pupil should commence to form them. The circle is always made first to characters formed of circle and line; as, 6 9 , &c.
RULES FOR USING THE CHARACTERS. 1. When either of the alphabetical words, are, art, our, or, occur in writing, the common r should be made ; but in combination with other consonants, the short-hand r should be employed. Ex. are,
2. To express rr, begin with the short-hand r, and end with the common r. Ex. bearer,
But for all other double letters, make the line longer, or the circle larger
+ Each character has four distinct powers. They are employed—1st, To represent in their individual capacity either of those words annexed to them in the stenographic alphabet ; 2nd, as letters, or representatives of sou nds, to be combined in writing all words not denoted by individual characters; 3rd, for some of the most frequent prepositions; and 4th, for the most frequent terminations of words, which are annexed to them in the tables. See plates iv. and v.
In all examples given in this way, the first line is the word, or sentence, in its literal form; the second and third indicate the manner it is spelt and written in shorthand.
RULES FOR SPELLING. 3. All words, except the alphabetical words, are to be spelt and written according to the sound of the letters, without any regard to orthography. Ex. empty,
fx า a 4. Spell as you pronounce, then every silent letter will be omitted, and one letter will be frequently substituted for another. Ex. light,
ir 5. Omit all vowels in spelling, except when distinctly sounded at the beginning and end of words. Ex! end,
9. 6. When two consonants of the same kind or sound come together without a vowel between them, only one is to be used. Ex. better,
7. b and w may be omitted, as follows. Ex. number,
8. Let k or s supply the place of c, according to its sound. Ex. common,
9. Let s supply the place of z in all cases.
. . 10. ph and gh are never written in short-hand, as they are always sounded like for v when not silent, and therefore are represented by these characters. Ex. enough, Philadelphia, Stephen,
8 12. h and g may be frequently omitted, as follows. Ex. highway,
u — 13. The character for ch is used in spelling only when it has a natural so und, as in church, choice, charm, &c. But when ch has the sound of k or sh, let these characters be used.
Remarks. Although this method of spelling may appear difficult to the beginner, he is assured that it may be made quite familiar in a few hours, and that without injuring his common spelling. To do this, pronounce words distinctly and rapidly, retaining for short-hand nothing but the most prominent sounds; as, no for enoy, ntt for entity, ldr for elder, flsfr for philosopher, &c.
RULES FOR JOINING CHARACTERS.
14. Make one letter as if no other were to be made, and then without lifting the pen make the next as if the first had not been made, observing to turn in that way which is the most simple and easy, but let the line always take the same direction from the circle,
15. The character for w may be made to incline upwards or downwards—that hich is the most convenient to join the preceding or following character.
ap or Remarks. As the plan the pupil first adopts will soon become habitual, it is highly necessary that at the outset great attention should be paid to a regular form and combination of the characters. Notwithstanding this may a little impede his expedition at first, he will be shortly rewarded with the pleasure of being able to read his own writing without that hesitation which ill-formed characters will occasion; and moreover, to preserve a symmetry in their adaptation, on which the facility, as well as the beauty and elegance of this art, chiefly depend.
RULES FOR WRITING. 16. Provide a hard black-lead pencil, patent silver or steel pen, or the common pen made fine, good ink, and paper without ruling.
17. The pen is never listed in writing, except to make a vowel, or sign of a preposition or terinination.
18. When a vowel is to be written, if it be a or e, make a dot; but if o or u, make a comma; and if it belong to a particular word, let it stand near that word, at the right or left as the case may be; but if not attached to a word, give it the same room as any other character. 19. y and i arc denoted by their respective characters, and joined as consonants.
Ex. might, sorry
3 . ᄉ 20. Those who do not wish to use numeral characters for numbers, may use common figures; but make them larger than the other characters, that they may be readily distinguished.
21 Make every part of a character, whether ascending or descending, of an equal breadth or thickness.
Remarks. In writing short-hand all awkward twisting or bending of the arm, which is so natural to beginners, should be carefully avoided. The pressure of the fingers upon the pen, the hand upon the paper, the arm upon the table or desk, should be as little as possible; while the motion of the pen should be made with the fingers, and not by the whole hand, otherwise in long and continued writing the wrist would be tired, and its progress greatly retarded.
RULES FOR READING. 22. When a word is not known at sight, proceed to speak each letter of which it is composed separately and distinctly, and then pronounce the whole together as rapidly as possible ; thus, n, v, when pronounced nv, would give the word envy; n, t, t, pronounced nit, would give the word entity; 1, d, r, would be elder; f, l, s, f, 1, or flsfr, would be readily recognised as philosopher; and the same of all other words.
Remarks. Do not attempt to read your short-hand till you have rendered the characters by writing them tolerably familiar. The characters of this system are simple and few, and may soon be known at sight, like the letters of our common alphabet; and when this is the case, the sense of the subject will render the reading sure