Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fireworks 2017





We have had an abundance of fireworks this November. Gone are the days of buying tiny single or boxed fireworks and letting them off in the garden. That was hugely exciting at the time, as we were so close to the action, and almost on top of it when holding the sparklers. Those who still do so seem to favour the all-in-one firework that gives the whole show from one large box. Nowadays, we prefer the gigantic spectacle of communal displays held in the big open spaces by local authorities and organisations. We went to three public displays and enjoyed much more than* our donation in the bucket could ever have bought.

* Omission phrase "much m(ore tha)n"



The first was the municipal display held on Blackheath Common in south east London. We arrived in good time and spent an hour and a half walking round the funfair. It was a sea of noise and neon lights set amidst the almost blackness of the heath. My favourite is always the Dodgems, as I enjoy the music and also the nostalgia, as it is basically the same as it was when I was young, except that the metal floor is brighter and smoother, the lights are brilliant neon colours rather than just red and yellow ordinary bulbs, and the music amplification is better quality. But the deafening rumbling, the squeals of delight and the excited chatter and shouting are just the same as ever.



As the start time approached, we left the fair and wandered back over the heath to get away from the glare of the lights, so that it would not interfere with the photos and video*. Everywhere children were waving their LED light wands in the shape of swords, whirling windmills, and illuminated fairies and butterflies. There was a countdown from ten to start the display, then followed eleven minutes of glorious pyrotechnics filling the sky. The special sighs of admiration came when one burst spread out in a cloud of sparkles gently falling like golden rain over the arena. There were* plenty of screamers and some glowing golden ones ascending in whizzing spirals, to then burst into showers of stars. I did manage to actually see it all with my eyes, as I held the camera aloft and as still as possible, otherwise it is easy to miss the real action whilst looking at the camera screen.

* "photos and video" Helpful to insert vowels in these as they are similar in outline and subject matter

* Omission phrase "there (w)ere"



The second event we went to was the next day on the fifth of November, held at Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets*, north east London. Although it is a built up area, the park is very large. We arrived early again, and walked round to find out where the display would be happening, and what would be the best place to stand to get good pictures, and also to make a quick get-away at the end. This time we stood further back, to ensure all the action would be captured in the camera shots.

* "Hamlets" Note the vowel goes to the left of the Tick Hay, to ensure it is clearly at one end of the stroke and not in the middle



We enjoyed seventeen minutes of display, which this time was accompanied by music and sound effects. In the short pauses between segments, we could* see the white clouds of smoke blowing over the almost bare park trees, with the moon behind it and intermittent airplanes gliding overhead on their approach to London Heathrow Airport many miles away. The residents of some of the tower blocks adjacent to the park had the best overall view, sitting in their living rooms, with drink and snacks to hand. I think I prefer to actually be out there in the dark amongst the crowds, seeing it all happening in the open air. The park was thick with people and no doubt the crowds were solid in the main viewing arena. As soon as it was over, we made for our planned exit, and found ourselves marching in a flood of people towards the train station. However, by the time we got there, the crowds had thinned out considerably, and we ended up being the only ones on our platform and had the train to ourselves. This was the opposite of what I had supposed it would be.

* "we could" Not phrased, so that it is not misread as "we can". Similarly "you could" "I could" are not phrased.




The third event was the Lord Mayor’s fireworks on the River Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, held the following weekend, as the culmination of the days spectacular events. We saw some of the Lord Mayor’s Parade and were delighted to see the golden coach going past, preceded by drummers walking along beating their giant kettle drums, which let us know the star of the parade was about to come past. After it was over, we spent some time in St Paul’s Cathedral and then watched the river traffic whilst eating our sandwiches. Finally, as it grew dark, we took up our chosen place by the granite riverside wall on the South Bank and waited for the set time, watching river boats going past, until all we could* see were lights reflected on the black water. There were* more light wands on sale and also the novelty of hats set with flashing lights, which I just about managed to resist.

* Omission phrase "there (w)ere"

* "we could" Not phrased, so that it is not misread as "we can". Similarly "you could" "I could" are not phrased



The display began exactly on time, with a lone red firework ascending to let us know to start recording. It quickly grew into a crescendo of bursts and bangs, and very forceful explosions that echoed around the area,  reflecting off the surrounding high rise buildings and bouncing back within a half a second. The reverberating booms and bangs made us feel like ants at the bottom of an oil drum in a hailstorm. It was truly a display worthy of the principal dignitary of the most famous city in the world, with giant glittering starbursts in quick succession, in all sizes and colours. In the slight pauses between bursts, we saw glowing white, yellow and pink clouds of smoke, and at one point thick grey smoke, which we smelled but thankfully did not have to breathe as it dissipated quite rapidly. The unmistakable whiff of burnt firework chemicals  brought back memories of the back garden bonfire nights, just as much a part of the experience as the intense light from the blazing fireworks themselves.




At the end there was a great cheer and shouts of appreciation from everyone, and then they all streamed away to their next destinations. Some would be going on to pubs, caf├ęs and restaurants, and other entertainments in the city, and some like us making for home on the warm train, chugging towards our much quieter suburb, after an evening of open air entertainment on the riverside. (1083 words)

My Youtubes of these events:
 
Blackheath Fireworks https://youtu.be/LAjDkIPdLoY
 
Victoria Park Fireworks https://youtu.be/E-NSTSVu4k8
 

Lord Mayor London Fireworks https://youtu.be/SpGcx1WT1_w

Monday, 13 November 2017

Stay Sharp



I like to listen to talks on my Ipod*, in the comfort of the bed, as a way to relax before going to sleep. I can pay attention without being distracted by other activities. Quite often, the person will say something that immediately strikes me as relevant to the task of shorthand learning and writing. Fortunately, being conversant with that wonderful system, I can scribble it down and continue listening without interruption. The speaker was talking about staying alert and acting on what one knows to do. “Stay sharp” he said and continued with his theme. That seemed to me* to be the epitome of efficient behaviour for both the student and the shorthand writer. Pay attention in the lessons, to the book, stay sharp and focussed* when listening to matter being dictated, stay sharp when reading back to avoid transcription mistakes, and stay sharp when producing the final text or report.

*"Ipod" and "Ipad" Always insert the second vowel

* "to me" and "of him" Helpful to always insert the vowel when "me" or "him" is out of position in a phrase

* "focussed" and "fixed" Always insert the first vowel as they are similar in outline and meaning

London Shard


That’s not the end of it, as “stay sharp” most definitely refers to the point of your pencil. I have found the ideal is the normal HB* office pencil. On the graphite scale, the letter H stands for Hard, and the B stands for Black, as it is midway between those two. A pencil designated B is too soft and will blunt really quickly. A pencil designated H or F (for Fine) will be difficult to get thicks and thins out of. A hard or blunt pencil will have you digging into the paper to get the line variations, and this will* seriously slow you down. The tight grip necessary for digging will prevent fine control of the shapes produced, as well as fatigue. Lastly* it will waste the reverse side of the paper as it, and possibly also the next sheet, will be full of indentations, thus doubling the cost of your stationery. The back of the paper should be as smooth as silk. A sharp point takes less pressure to write with and a pile of sharp pencils, ready to swap to, is a shorthand writer’s* best friend. A rubber or eraser is a shorthand no-no, so that can be sawn off and the second end sharpened as well. Paper for use with pencil can afford to be slightly rougher than when using pen and ink, in order to* get the pencil to more readily lay down its graphite.

* "HB" Alphabet letters are general written in lower case, but here it seems more legible to use capitals

* "this will " Downward L in order to join the phrase

* "lastly" Omits the lightly-sounded T

* Omission phrases "short(hand) writer's"  "in ord(er to)"


I like the dictionary definition of sharp: quick, intelligent, incisive, astute, clever, quick-witted, on the ball. This is so much better than running the risk of earning that other epithet “Not the sharpest tool in the box*.” You may or may not be a sharp dresser, you might meet someone who is a sharp operator (not the best character trait*) or you may find you have said some sharp words. All these are detracting from the real meaning of the word that we shorthanders* know it should have: the attitude of someone whose mind is constantly on their shorthand improvement, seeing outlines every time they hear words, and producing fast and correct shorthand in an exam to get the certificate, at a job interview to get the position, and on the job to earn the wages. (529 words)

* "box" "bags" "packs" "pockets" Helpful to insert the vowels in these

* "trait" Also pronounced "tray"

* "shorthanders" No need to thicken the N as the D is part of the doubling, and in any case a doubled thick N stroke stands for "ing-ger/ing-ker"




Any more volunteers to put their head in there?

Sunday, 12 November 2017

October Plenty



At the end of last month, we went to the October Plenty celebration which is held every year in Borough Market in London. This market is a hub for traders in artisan foods. It began in the year 1014, located at the south end of the original London Bridge and, despite changing fortunes, continues to this day. It is a food connoisseurs haven*, situated immediately underneath the railway* track and the old arches close by London Bridge Station. This is not where you go for a cheap snack of cardboard bread, soggy chips or lumpy burgers* with unknown ingredients. It is a place for those who know what they like and intend to eat it with supreme and knowledgeable* enjoyment in every aroma, fragrance and tang, every flavour, savour and taste, every nibble, slurp or bite, and every crumb and fragment from the wrappers and containers.

* "haven" Insert vowel, clearly thick, so it is not misread as "heaven"

* "railway" The R intersection stands for "railway" so if the text said "rail" that would need a full outline

* "burgers" This is in the shorthand dictionary under "burghers" from which it is derived, via the German spelling

"knowledgeable" Always insert the dipthong in "enjoyable" to differentiate. Although not strict theory to put vowel signs in contractions, it would be acceptable to insert the dash vowel in "knowledgeable" if felt necessary



For the most part, each stall specialises in one category, such as cheese, speciality* meats and game, poultry, fish, oysters, olives, fruit, preserves, bakery and patisserie goods, wines and beers, coffee, tea, fruit juices and smoothies, cider, farm and dairy products, ice cream, chocolate, honey, spices, and many organic and “free from” items. It is truly* a gastronomic delight for the gourmand, epicure and foodie to get stuck into. There was an apple and cider tasting* event, lots* of local apple varieties on show and an information display, all to encourage us to take an interest in the different varieties, especially home grown ones. I need no encouragement really as I have over the years stocked my garden with small apple trees as far as space allows. I know they are pesticide free and, I am pleased to say, also mostly* pest free.

* Omission phrase "for the mos(t) part"

* "speciality" Ensure to put in the diphone, which here is placed before the Ish stroke as there is no room after. This is pronounced "speshi-A-lity" with the emphasis on the A. The alternative word and pronunciation "specialty" has no diphone and has the emphasis on the first syllable. Accented vowels can be indicated if necessary by placing a small cross against the vowel sign.

* "truly" and "utterly" Helpful to insert vowels in these as they are similar in outline and meaning

* "tasting" Insert the vowel, clearly thick, so it is not misread as "testing"

* "lots" and "masses" Always insert the vowel

* "mostly" Omits the lightly-sounded T




This was the ideal location for the October Plenty celebration. The procession consisted of folks dressed in historical costumes, the acting troupe who would be entertaining us later, musicians, the local Mayor, the Corn Queene* made entirely of wheat stalks, with fruit and vegetables for the detail, and lastly the Morris Dancers. We watched the procession go from outside the new Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the river front, and then, cutting through the back streets, we saw them again as they entered Borough Market*.

* "Queene" The organisers have spelled it thus as a mock-ancient spelling

* "Borough Market" It is prudent to always write a place name in full the first time it is mentioned, and then subsequently use a shorter version if available




The Mayor addressed the audience who were sitting around on straw bales, with a special mention of the atrocity that happened here a few months ago, and an exhortation* to prove that we will not be intimidated by those with such intents, and to enjoy the occasion. We then watched the Cautionary Tales, played out by the Fabularium actors on a small stage, dressed as various animals, getting into all sorts of trouble. I especially enjoyed the rather selfish and ill-behaved Red Riding Hood, portrayed with a grotesque mask that suited her spoiled brat demeanour exactly. Mr Fox had eaten their leg of ham, and the left-over bone by his side led the other characters to believe that he had eaten Grandma. Grandma then turned up, with relief all round, but Mr Fox was blamed for the whole mix-up. The brattish* ugliness of the family made me feel somewhat sorry for Mr Fox, until I remembered that he had stolen the ham in the first place*.

* "exhortation" Silent H

* "brattish" Keep clearly above the line, to prevent misreading as "brutish". Note that "British" uses halving and downward Ish, as a special outline.

* Omission phrase "first p(l)ace", similarly "second place" "third place"




Afterwards we wandered back to the riverside and with the chilly wind blowing off* the river, I was reminded of the origins of this type of festival. Our distant ancestors had no supermarkets, freezers, canning operations or overseas imports of foods, to see them through the dead months of winter. Fruit can be stored for a time, if in good condition, or made into preserves, and root vegetables can be stored in soil clamps. Meat can be salted, fish smoked, milk made into cheese, and no doubt many other methods now long forgotten.

* "off" It is generally helpful to insert the vowel in "off" to distinguish from "for" but here useful to prevent misreading as "blowing over the river"




It is quite difficult for us to get into that frame of mind*, where everything must be* produced locally and then stored up for many months to come, with failure to do so resulting in starvation. However, we are still actually doing this in one small way, although not through necessity. This is normal Christmas behaviour, stowing away the food and treats, so that we can play at having our own little winter siege, when we are self-contained, self-sufficient and self-satisfied with our over-endowed store cupboards. October plenty reappears as December plenty, a time to stop work for a while and appreciate and consume all the goodies that we have worked for and can now enjoy in a more leisurely way, at least* for a few days. (759 words)

* Omission phrases "frame (of) mind" "mus(t) be"

* "At least" and "at last" Always insert the vowels


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Crunch Time



One definition of crunch time is: a critical moment or period when decisive action is needed*, especially when pressure to succeed is great. I have just finished a weekend of crunch time situations, dealing with a host of adversaries and opponents. The longer I had put up with them, the more they just kept multiplying*. At first I ignored them, especially when they were few in number, but a sudden moment of shocking discovery pushed me to the brink of my tolerance and the edge of my patience. In short, these admirable qualities were now working against me, as the progressive and unwholesome situation was taking advantage of my inactivity and slackness. My neglect had allowed an accumulation of little nuisances and irritations to turn into much larger ones. I had got very close to an eye-level bookshelf and noticed that the surface was not smooth and white. I ran my finger along it and found a nasty, horrible, embarrassing, unpleasant and humiliatingly shameful thick layer of dust. As far as I was concerned*, this was crunch time for the foe.

* "needed" "ended" Helpful to insert the vowel in these and their variations

* "multiplying" No triphone, as the I sound is included in the Dot Ing

* Omission phrase "I was (con)cerned"


Fortunately I have a very effective weapon, a fluffy nylon duster that attracts the particles, and can be relieved of its load by running the hand up and down it, whilst holding it out of the window. It was very satisfying watching little clouds of dust blowing away into the sky, the ideal use for a windy day. The books are in quite good order, so moving them around to clean resulted in just a few for the charity shop. The miscellaneous shorthand folders were all piled together for future rummaging, little treasure troves of interesting features and outline lists, and that will be a treat to delve into on a chilly wintry day when the sky is leaden and the rain is icy* cold.

* "icy" Insert the final vowel, as "ice cold" also makes sense


Once the shelf dusting was complete, other storage areas had to be attacked. After all, you can’t clean on top of the wardrobes without looking inside to see what needs doing there as well. I did not really need any reminders, as I knew that running out of hangers is just a sign that there are too many clothes in there. I tried on every single item in quick succession and this made it easier to make instant and irrevocable decisions. There were two piles, the keeps and the chucks. The chucks were in two parts, the worn out to be binned, and the purchasing errors to go to the charity shop. The not-so-good items suffered from the instant comparison with the comfortable, elegant and easy to launder ones, so the decisions went unchallenged by the usual nagging thoughts. I think I heard the two wardrobes breathe a sigh of relief. I don’t know what the binned items were murmuring, as I deafened* my ears to them.

* "deafened" Same outline as "defend". In order to distinguish, a cross can be placed against the vowel sign of the stressed syllable. In practice, it is generally sufficient to insert the cross, and not bother putting in the vowel.


The shoes and boots in the second wardrobe were in heaps, fighting for space with boxes of photographs and empty albums waiting to receive them. These were evicted and relocated to the top of the wardrobe. This is only permissible for project items that are awaiting time to deal with them, and they will not remain there when done. At last* came the turn of the sock drawer. I was getting quite brutal by now, and having found several bags* of new white socks, I just turfed out the whole lot of current ones, which were nominally white but not actually white at all. Socks are humble little things and they did not squeak the slightest protest. Maybe they did not realise that their end had come, with no return to their comfortable life next to the scented soap that perfumes the drawer.

* "At last" "at least" Always insert the second vowel

* "bags" Insert the vowel, to distinguish from the similar "box" "packs" and "pockets". All these need extra care in formation, as the vowel alone would not distinguish all of them.


The final* job was washing things that will be packed away for winter. As I took them down the garden to place the clothes-horses* in the sunny* patch, I found that the trees had had a clothing clear-out as well, and the wind had brought in extra quantities of crunchy dried leaves and deposited them all over. Their efforts were not quite so tidy and methodical as mine had been but were equally ruthless and unsentimental, and it was definitely crunch, crunch, crunch time underfoot, all the way back up the garden path to the house. (713 words)

* "Final" Helpful to insert the diphthong, and the first vowel in "official", as they are similar and can often both make sense

* "clothes-horses" The first large circle represents two small circles, i.e. a Circle S and the circle of the Hay stroke, see www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk/theory-12-hay-aspirate.htm#large-medial-circle for more examples

* "sunny" Always insert the vowels, to distinguish between sun/snow and sunny/snowy 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Downward L 2


This section continues with downward L, and in these examples the reason is to continue the curves, rather than have an awkward joining. Neil has gone on his annual walking holiday. He recommends a nylon jacket and a natural wool jumper. Naturally he took his newly purchased boots, as the old ones had a nail through the sole. Surprisingly he saw someone in sandals and strongly advised them that they should not go any* further until and unless they had some exceedingly tough walking boots. Neil enlisted the help of his map of the mainland of England and presently he came to an inlet. He had wrongly assumed that the weather would be cold but the sun* came out and accordingly he took off his jacket to ventilate his clothing. In the sunlight he noticed many snails on the wet grassy path. He thought it was unlikely he would reach the hut before dark as he did not have unlimited hours of daylight and only had a limited supply of food.

* "any" Short forms do not have vowels, but here it needs a final vowel, as "in" could also make sense

* "sun" "snow" Advisable to always insert the vowels in these. Unlikely to be misread here, but when writing there is no time to decide whether there might be ambiguity.


He saw some search and rescue personnel* in the distance. They had analysed the situation and drawn an analogy* between climbers and lost sheep. Some youngsters had gone looking for minerals to help with their interest in mineralogy*. Advice that it was safe, which had been given by some stranger, had swindled them of their safety. Neil thought their chances of rescue were nearly nil and that they were in denial over the dangers of the mountain. Unless the team could find them in the endless* expanse of moorland, it was unlikely they would survive and there would be needless* distress. Unlike the hapless climbers, Neil made it to the hut before dark. He then phoned his brother Noel and sister Nellie, and sent a text to his friend Stanley. He then unlaced his boots and slept soundly, dreaming of his future career in oceanology* and his hobby of sinology*. (mineralogy)

* "personnel" Compare the outline "personal" which uses N with L hook

* "analogy, mineralogy, oceanology, sinology" Most other n-logy words are written using N with L hook plus J. Optional contraction for “mineralogy” shown at the end.

* "endless" "needless" Special outline for "needless" to distinguish it, and it is also easier to put in the vowel


This letter* is not very business-like, in fact it shows an insolent attitude and is a senseless insult to the recipient. This second letter is nicely* and honestly* worded and is immensely complimentary to the council. He filled in the cancellation form in pencil which was almost noiseless and his writing was full of densely packed letters. I emailed* the consul asking him to cancel the visit. We all know the tensile strength of tinsel is almost zero. He thought that a woollen hat would be a good insulator and should help him avoid colds and nasal problems in winter.

* "this letter" Downward L in order to make the phrase

* "nicely" "honestly" Always insert the vowels. "honestly" omits the lightly-sounded T sound, as this is a flattened circle S, not a Stee loop

* "emailed" Always insert the first vowel, to distinguish from "mailed"


We had to deal with faceless and unhelpful people on the phone. The boys talked for ages about the fossils they had discovered but we knew interest would fizzle out when dinner arrived. A vassal state is one that is controlled by another. There were* many sailing vessels in the harbour. Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly used as a hand cream. The applicant had vastly* overestimated his ability and sat nervously and almost voiceless in the waiting room. Conversely, the second applicant was not adversely affected by the interview at all.

* Omission phrase "there (w)ere"

* "vastly" Omits the lightly sounded T


The emblem of Scotland is the thistle and this will* appear on the badge. The shorthand students* started their lesson. They did some easy writing to loosen their fingers. Although the teacher was losing his voice, he said he was much better after his convalescence. He had finally mastered the elusive skill of presenting lessons to the class. He thought it was a hallucination when all the students managed the two hundred words a minute* piece. He was now far from his adolescent days in Los Angeles as a penniless unskilled student.

* Omission phrase "this (w)ill" Downward L in order to make the phrase

* Omission phrases "shorthand s(t)udents" "words (a) minute"


Sometimes the main word or a derivative has to have an upward L in order to be able to* join the next stroke. His reputation was unsullied. The question* remained unsolved. The villagers had to eat unleavened bread. The students had to unlearn their old habits. He has a facile and easy way of writing, and that is because he has done lots of facility drills. I am going to ignore this insult, although I have never been so greatly insulted in my life. We were advised to insulate the loft but after we had insulated it we found other problems. I had to load up the car and then unload it again. I will download the instructions from the website.

* Omission phrase "in ord(er to) be able to"

* "question" Optional contraction


It was a lovely cake but it was presented in a rather unlovely and unattractive box. The young rabbits looked lovable but we thought the venomous snakes were quite unlovable. He was a slave to the television and had become enslaved by certain programmes. The coats are in a saleable condition but the jackets are entirely unsaleable. The shoes have been sold but the sandals remain unsold*. Their boots were soiled by the mud but they managed to keep their hands unsoiled. I had a pearl necklace and a pearlescent ring to wear with it. The two substances coalesced into a milky liquid. The coalescence of these substances produced a dangerous* and noxious gas. (841 words)


* "unsold" Special outline to distinguish it from "unsoiled" both of which could make sense in regard to goods for sale

* "dangerous" Full stroke S to distinguish from "dangers"

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Downward L 1



Here are some examples where the choice of upward or downward L is used for vowel indication. The four paragraphs below deal with initial vowels. If the word starts with a vowel and the L is followed by a plain horizontal stroke, the L is written downwards. If there is no initial vowel, and those strokes follow the L, then the L is written upwards. Remember that L is generally an upstroke, and there has to be a reason for it to be written downwards. There are other reasons to use the downward L and these are all explained in detail on the Theory L Forms page*.



Alex and Alexander look just alike as they are twins. They are studying electrical* engineering and the use of electricity* in industry. They became familiar with the electron microscope, electronic* equipment and the history of alchemy. They were elected onto the students committee. Their election means that they have been allocated a small office in the admin block. They had to investigate* allegations of cheating in the exams. I like to make sure I have locked the doors. I noticed a lack of security at the lakeside building and a leak which was located in the lecture room.

* "electrical, electricity, electronic" Contractions

* "investigate" Omits the lightly sounded first T


Mr Alec Alcock has had a meeting with Mrs Laycock regarding this matter. They thought there was a legacy of laxity regarding security in the offices. We did not* know whether the bottle found contained alcohol or an alkali mixture. We did some tests to find out whether it was alcoholic, acidic or alkaline. Mr Logan and Mr Elgin play in the football league. Their team badge is quite elegant and shows an elk and an alligator. It is made of aluminium and the figures are set on a lemony coloured background. They keep a copy of it in the clubhouse alcove, as there is a lack of space in the reception area.

* "we did not" Not phrased, as that would be "we do not". Adding the vowel to "did" would be "didn't" so the only option is to write the "did not" on the line.


I met Alan last week* at college. His sister Ellen did not want to be alone for the evening so she came along to the meeting. They have rescued the ailing business with the help of Mr Allen and his wife Elena*. Their daughter Eleanor assisted with the office work. There was one lone person in the room. His name is Len but we call him Lennie. Later on my friends Lena and Elaine arrived wearing their long party dresses. Leon also came dressed as an alien. He is from Illinois in the United States* but now lives in Ealing in the United Kingdom*.

* Omission phrases "las(t w)eek)"

* Omission phrase (U)nited K(ingdom)". If the text said "UK" then write as pronounced "yoo-kay"

* Omission phrase N-s-s for "United States". Add stroke K for "United States (of) America". If the text said "US" or "USA" then write those letters in lowercase longhand, this is quicker than attempting a phonetic outline.


I went to the doctor at High Elms Clinic to get something for this ailment. In the waiting room the element in the light bulb had gone and so there was no illumination. By a process of elimination, we finally discovered the cause. This enabled us to eliminate the problem. Dr Lamb advised me to drink lime juice or dilute lemon juice. I did not give some lame excuse as I knew that my appointment with the health visitor was looming. I will not be lamenting this situation, and I am now improving. I will now be able to visit the Alhambra next year. Thoughts of my past Olympic achievements brought a lump to my throat. It was the ultimate highlight of my sporting career. But my doctor had given me an ultimatum and now I take it easy on my allotment.


The next examples deal with final vowels. After F V SK Ray and Yay, the L is downward. If a final vowel follows the L in these words, then it is upward, and this is continued on into any derivative. The downward versions have the advantage that the motion of the curve is continued. Note that some words ending in “-ful” and “-fully” use a hooked F stroke.


I would feel awful if I should fail the exam next Fall. But I have a feeling I will be successful, as I have been careful to practise and remember all the useful advice*. Falling into error and failing the exam is therefore not an option. We fell on the chocolate cake and had our fill of it until we were quite full. We had fallen into temptation and this may have been folly for our figures, but it was fuel for our muscles. We will follow it with lots* of exercise and we shall be following the advice in the book. Our fellow workers are fully behind us in this and we will successfully avoid the consequences. This will be followed by a period of time when we will be usefully and carefully employed in filling out forms, filing papers and writing follow-up letters.

* "advice" Insert the first vowel, as "device/devices" could also make sense

* "lots" "masses" Always insert the first vowel, as these are similar in outline and meaning


The weather was foul, in fact* it was quite vile, but we carried on over the hill and down into the vale. We saw a vole on the riverbank where the ground is level. My companion Mr Lovell said we should avail ourselves of the facilities at the nearby Villa Hotel. A table was available and we ordered veal pie. We continued our walk through the lovely green valley. We greatly value our countryside and think it is the most valuable asset in this area. I have been learning the skill of piano playing. I have a good brain in my skull and I have spent much time practising the scales. In other words, I have been scaling the heights of musical achievement. In my spare time* I have built a scale model of the tower. Mr Scully said that the fish was slimy and scaly, and looked rather sickly.

* Omission phrase "in (f)act"

* "spare time" Halving for the T of "time"


The pupil has a real problem with this subject and really needs some help with it. I have kept to the rules and I even sought a ruling from my teacher. His name is Mr Reilly and I rely on him to answer my questions*. After the class I walked down the lane past the railings and went home by rail. I was wearing the correct apparel for the very rainy night. On Monday I will be going to the car rally, where I hope the crowd will not be unruly. John studied at Yale University and stayed on campus over the Yule* period. He was tempted to yell at the driver in the yellow car. He told him, “You’ll have to wait here for a while.” There are three words where the medial* L is downward to make a compact outline. The newspaper column gave a review of this film. I had to turn down the volume of the radio. (1085 words)

* "questions" Optional contraction

* "Yule" Note that "Yuletide" has an upward L in order to be able to join the T+D

* "medial" Always insert the diphone, as "middle" is the same outline and same meaning