« PreviousContinue »
words are improperly joined, a caret is written under the place where the separation should be made, and the character # written in the margin. When syllables are improperly separated, they are joined by a horizontal parenthesis ; as du ty. This parenthesis is to be made in the margin, as well as at the break.
When words are transposed, they are to be connected by a curved line, as, (not is, when set up for “ is not," and the letters tr. are to be written in the margin. When a letter is inverted, the mistake is pointed out by such a character as 9 in the margin. When marks of punctuation are omitted, a caret a is put where the mark should have been inserted, and the comma or period, &c. is placed in the margin, thus, , If a mark of quotation has been omitted, the caret is made as before, and a character of this sort V
V placed in the margin. . Words which are to be printed in italics are marked beneath with a single line ; as, office: if in small capitals, with two lines; as, GREECE: if in large capitals, with three, as JAMES. Where these marks are used in correction, the abbreviations Ital., small caps. and caps. should be written in the margin. Where a word printed in Italics is to be altered to Roman letters, a line is to be drawn under it, and the abbreviation Rom. is to be written in the margin. Where a corrector after altering a word, changes his mind, and prefers to let it stand, dots are placed under it, and the word stet is written in the margin. When a hyphen is omitted, a caret is made under the place where it should be, and
such a character as this (-) placed in the margin. The omission of a dash is pointed out in the same way, only the enclosed line in the margin is made longer. (-) When a break is made, so as to produce a division into paragraphs, where this was not intended, the end of the one and the beginning of the other paragraph are connected by a curved line, and the words no break are to be written in the margin. „Where a new paragraph is to be made, a caret is inserted, and this mark T placed in the margin.
I might pursue the subject much further, but not in conformity with the design of this publication, which is, chiefly, to communicate a practical system of quick writing; and, as necessarily connected with this ob. ject, to warn my readers against the hasty adoption of plausible theories, from which they can in fact derive no benefit.
I have given, in the 33d page of my published system, instead of many hundred crooked marks once familiar to me, only four characters, to serve merely as a specimen. To these, my readers are at liberty to add such others as they may consider applicable to their particular profession or business. But even with this limited object in view, it is extremely desirable that only such signs be appropriated, as will be most likely to suggest the words or ideas which they are to represent in writing-especially, if it can be effected without too great a sacrifice: and this suggestion should be reciprocal, that is, the signs should be so allied (if such an expression may be tolerated) to the words or ideas of which they are the signs, as naturally to present
themselves to the mind on every recurrence of those words or ideas.
If then no characters be adopted, but such as will readily pass this ordeal, it is quite evident that no very considerable number will be found which shall be at the same time sufficiently simple and concise, to warrant their practical use, as a saving of labour, time, or space; and these, confined to the individual convenience of their particular inventors, will be quite harmless; unless at an unlucky moment, when the memory fails to point out the original association in the mind, the signs too, should fail to call up the ideas which the writer may have given them in charge.
It will, however, afford some amusement and gratitication, to those who fancy themselves the happy inventors, or discoverers of signs so well fitted for the purposes to which they apply them. I have myself enjoyed many pleasant hours in this exercise; and have not only learned hundreds of signs which others had invented, but have contrived other hundreds of my own. But as an offset for the gratification thus enjoyed, I have since wasted many tedious days, in trying to unlearn those signs, which my experience has proved to be worse than useless.
It is not be supposed that all can see and think alike upon any subject, and much less
practical minutiæ of short-hand; and having given my own views, as the result of an extensive experience, I shall leave the subject, after a few hints respecting the four signs above mentioned as I have the vanity to believe, that none can be more happily conceived.
The circle o is used to represent the world. By placing a dot in it we may read o in the world; if at the left, . O before the world; or thus Ö over the world; thus, under the world; thus O. after the world. Or, as a distinguished English stenographer* has suggested, by drawing a line across the circle, thus, we may read from one end of the world to the other!
The + will be readily acknowledged by all as the most appropriate sign for the term Jesus Christ, which in scripture or pulpit style, is of frequent occurrence. With almost equal propriety may the term Christianity be represented by a cross; but for distinction sake, two oblique lines x have been appropriated instead of the horizontal and perpendicular. Again, following up the analogy, the cross with a very little addition, is made to represent the Christian religion, viz. one of the oblique lines is double. X This is quite natural, as the term to be expressed, is compounded of two terms, represented by two single crosses.
Mr. Gurney, a celebrated reporter in the British parliament, in his own work upon short-hand, when speaking of arbitrary characters, says
“A principal advantage in this system of short-hand, consists in the small number of arbitrary and contracted characters; and in their conspicuity, by which they will be soon understood, fixed in memory, and read again at first sight."
He afterwards introduces the capital letters of the common writing alphabet, as the arbitrary signs of certain words of frequent occurrence—the plan I think a
* Mr. Gurney.
good one if confined within proper limits; and I therefore give it as prepared by him, together with the remarks and additions of the editor of the last American edition of the work, who says,
“Mr. Joseph Gurney has introduced the letters in the common writing alphabet, as arbitrary characters in the later editions of his work, which seems to be a real improvement. The present Editor has formed them into a double alphabet of capital and small letters, by which he has been enabled to adopt all Mr. Gurney's significations, has added a few of his own, and furnished the pupil with an exercise for his ingenụity by leaving several characters vacant, to be supplied from his own fancy, or the necessary exigencies of his profession, as in the following scheme.”
Doubtless most of my readers recollect the hints given in the introduction to my system, respecting a plan like the one here described. They have now an opportunity not only to profit by those suggestions, but to improve the having laid before them, on the following page, a judicious selection of words adapted to different letters of the alphabet. This sé.. lection is the result of much experience, and forms a basis upon which the learner may proceed to build with entire confidence. The several blanks may be filled in conformity to the respective professions of those concerned: And as it is not, properly speaking, a part of the regular system of short hand, but intended for individual convenience, each person is at liberty not only to fill the blanks, but to expunge, and substi