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Theory 13 W Forms

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Theory

Theory Intro

 1   Strokes

 2   Vowels

 3   Forming Outlines

 4   Circles

 5   Loops

 6   Hooks Intro

 7   Hooks R L

 8   Hooks N F V

 9   Shun Hook

10  Halving

11  Doubling

12  Hay Aspirate

13  W Forms

14  L Forms

15  R Forms

16  Imp/Imb

17  Ish

18  Prefixes

19  Suffixes General

20  Suffixes Contracted

Short Forms

SF Intro

SF List 1

SF List 2

SF List 3

SF List 4

Contractions

Contractions Intro

Contractions Main

Contractions Optional

Phrasing

1 Phrasing Intro & Contents list

2 Theory

3 Theory

4 Omission Part words

5 Omission Whole words

6 Miscellaneous

7 Miscellaneous

8 Intersections

Distinguishing Outlines

DO Intro

DO List 1 A-C

DO List 2 D-H

DO List 3 I-P

DO List 4 Q-Y

Vocabulary

Vocab Intro

Numbers

Punctuation

Word Lists

Text Lists from PDFs

 

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PAGE DATE 14 August 2017

The sound of W is represented in two main ways. The outline uses whichever method produces the easiest outline to write and read, and in some cases to indicate the presence of a preceding vowel:

  • Stroke Way

  • Small semicircle:

    (a) Initially, right semicircle, attached before simple Kay Gay, Em Imp/Imb Ar Ard Rer Ray

    (b) Medially, left or right semicircle, unattached and written to replace the sign of the vowel that immediately follows it.

  • Also part of strokes Hway Wel Hwel Kway Gway

  • Also part of Circle Sway, dealt with on page Theory 4 Circles/Sway

  • Although the W sound is a long vowel, it does the job of a consonant when it begins a syllable.

Stroke Way
Initial semicircle
Medial semicircle
Strokes Hway Wel Hwel
Strokes Kway Gway

Initial Vowel
Derivatives
Phrases & compound words
Distinguishing outlines for place names
Short form why
When not to use a W form

Stroke Way

This is the form most commonly used.  As stroke Way has an initial hook as part of its basic form, it can take no other initial hooks or initial loops:

Pitman's New Era: way we wee weep wiper web wobble weighbridge
way we
* wee weep wiper web wobble weighbridge   *Short form

Pitman's New Era: wide wed wooden wattle waddle watch wedge
wide wed wooden wattle waddle watch wedge

Pitman's New Era: withy woozy wash Winnie wing wife waft
withy woozy wash Winnie wing wife waft

Pitman's New Era: wafter waffle weave woven wave waved wavy
wafter waffle weave woven wave waved wavy

Pitman's New Era: waver/waiver weevil ways/weighs waste/waist western Wooster/Worcester Worcestershire
waver/waiver weevil ways/weighs waste/waist western Wooster/Worcester
* Worcestershire*

*Worcester, worsted (woollen cloth) and the endings -ward, -wart, -wort are the only outlines that do not show the longhand R (see Theory 10 Halving/ward). In the first two, the letter R is not sounded at all, the vowel is the same as that in "wool".

Pitman's New Era: worsted (cloth) worsted (verb)
worsted = woollen cloth (named after the district of Worstead in Norfolk, UK)
worsted = past tense of verb "to worst" to defeat/get the better of, i.e. "give someone the worst of it"

Pitman's New Era: wine won/one ones/once went/wend wind winner winter winder

wine won/one ones/once went/wend wind winner winter winder

Pitman's New Era: wit witty water bewail beware between
wit witty water bewail beware between

Pitman's New Era: otherwise unwise highway railway halfway subway
otherwise unwise highway railway halfway subway

Pitman's New Era: twice twist twister twisted twin twine Twi
twice twist twister twisted twin twine Twi

Pitman's New Era: Taiwan twit tweet tweeted twitter twittered tweed
Taiwan twit tweet tweeted twitter twittered tweed

Pitman's New Era: twirl twitch twill twilight twang twinge dwell
twirl twitch twill twilight twang twinge dwell

Pitman's New Era: dwarf dwarfed Dwight Duane/Dwayne thwack thwaite Hawaii
dwarf dwarfed Dwight Duane/Dwayne thwack thwaite Hawaii

Stroke Way can take an initial circle as part of a compound word or in those cases where Circle Sway cannot be used (see page Theory 4 Circles/Sway):

Pitman's New Era: crosswise causeway waxwing sway persuade dissuade
crosswise causeway waxwing sway persuade dissuade

Top of page

Initial semicircle

Sometimes called "abbreviated W". Before simple Kay Gay Em Imp/Imb Ar Ard Rer Ray, the W is represented by a small attached semicircle:

  • Used because it joins better than stroke Way, and is quicker to write.

  • It is a right semicircle = clockwise.

  • Changes its angle slightly when attached to Em Imp/Imb Ray i.e. the first part of the semicircle is always parallel to the beginning part of the stroke.

  • Not used if the word begins with a vowel.

  • Never omitted unless it is replaced by the medial semicircle in a compound word or phrase.

The order of reading is like a Circle S: read the W first, then the vowel, then the stroke:

Pitman's New Era: oak woke soak, oxen waxen Saxon
oak woke soak, oxen waxen Saxon

General Examples:

Pitman's New Era: walk walking wok week/weak weaken weakened weekend
walk walking wok week/weak weaken weakened weekend

Pitman's New Era: weakness weakly/weekly wick wicket wicked Wickham Wycombe
weakness weakly/weekly wick wicket wicked
Wickham Wycombe

Pitman's New Era: wax waxy wag wagged waggon Wiggins wagtail
wax waxy wag wagged waggon Wiggins wagtail

Pitman's New Era: wigwam womb woman women womanly wimple
wigwam
* womb woman* women* womanly wimple

*Have to use stroke Way with Em here    **More on these two below

Pitman's New Era: Wimbledon Wembley Weymouth Wemyss Woomera wombat
Wimbledon Wembley Weymouth Wemyss Woomera wombat

Pitman's New Era: were wear wearer wears/wares war warn wore worn
were wear wearer wears/wares war warn wore worn

Pitman's New Era: worse worst worsen work worm warm Warmington
worse worst worsen work worm warm Warmington

Pitman's New Era: ward/warred warder weird Wordsworth wire wired wart warty
ward/warred warder weird Wordsworth wire wired wart warty

Pitman's New Era: wort wiry wary weary worry worried worrier
wort wiry wary weary worry worried worrier

Pitman's New Era: warp warble worship Warsaw world worldwide
warp warble worship Warsaw world worldwide

Pitman's New Era: worth warden warren warrant warranty
worth warden warren warrant warranty

Note that when the semicircle is attached to Ar, it looks as if it is on the second side of the stroke, but it is still an initial attachment and is therefore spoken first. A vowel on that side counts as coming after the Ar:

Pitman's New Era: wear era arrow
wear era arrow

Final "-ward" "-wort" "-wart" are often represented by halved Way in compound words. As the R is thus omitted, this part of the outline counts as a mini-contraction, and is therefore not vocalised (see Theory 10 Halving/ward for more examples):

Pitman's New Era: moonwort thwart Hayward upwards outward reward
moonwort thwart Hayward upwards outward reward

Pitman's New Era: thwarted Haywood rewarded
Note:
thwarted Haywood rewarded

The initial semicircle is never omitted, but in the middle of a phrase or compound word it may be replaced by the medial semicircle which itself can be omitted be omitted in fast writing (further on this in Phrases & Compound Words below):

Pitman's New Era: work framework well Harwell Harrell
work framework well Harwell
Note: Harrell 

The initial semicircle may be followed by a diphthong, but use stroke Way if followed by a diphone or triphone, the point being that the latter have separately sounded vowels, forming an extra syllable, and having the full stroke Way helps to indicate this:

Pitman's New Era: Wyman Wyoming weigher wooer wear/ware wore
Wyman
but Wyoming weigher wooer compare wear/ware wore

Initial semicircle is only used with simple strokes, so use stroke Way if the next stroke is hooked:

Pitman's New Era: wicker wiggle waggle
wicker
* wiggle waggle   *see also note in Derivatives below

Top of page

Medial semicircle

When stroke Way in the middle of an outline would be impractical, impossible, or the outline would be too lengthy, a small unattached semicircle is used instead.

It represents the W sound plus the following vowel sound, and replaces that vowel sign it is written in the same place against the stroke as the vowel sign would occupy.

  • Never changes its angle.

  • Always thin, regardless of whether it replaces a thin or thick vowel sign.

  • Never used initially or finally in an outline.

  • May be omitted in fast writing in the same way as vowel signs are, as long as the outline remains readable and not ambiguous. If in doubt, it is safer to write it in.

W + dot vowel following = left semicircle (anti-clockwise). This is the same direction as the short forms "with" "when" which are both dot vowels.

W + dash vowel following = right semicircle (clockwise). This is the same direction as the short forms "what" "would" which are both dash vowels. Mnemonic: you begin writing this one in the same direction as you write a horizontal dash vowel i.e. left to right.

The medial semicircle is occasionally called the "W diphthong" in some older books, reflecting the fact that it is made up of only vowels, even though sometimes it does the job of a consonant when it begins a syllable.

As it requires some thought to decide when it is safe to use the medial semicircle instead of stroke Way, it is best to practice as many examples as possible, so that no hesitation occurs during dictation, hence the lengthy (but not exhaustive) list below. The resultant outline must be unambiguous even when the semicircle is not written in.

For the compound words, I have given the root word in the "compare" line.

Top of page

Dot
Vowel
Left semicircle
THAT Pitman's New Era: earwax beeswax sealing-wax wax
earwax beeswax sealing-wax
compare wax
PEN Pitman's New Era: twenty twentieth twelve twelfth farewell Oswestry
twenty twentieth twelve twelfth farewell Oswestry

subsequent frequent Buenos Aires Cromwell Bothwell well west
subsequent
* frequent* Buenos Aires, Cromwell Bothwell compare well west

*Further on these in the Kway section

IS Pitman's New Era: twig twixt twiddle dwindle goodwill hoodwink
twig twixt twiddle dwindle goodwill hoodwink

Pitman's New Era: forthwith wherewith therewith herewith bewilder bewildered

forthwith wherewith therewith herewith bewilder bewildered

Pitman's New Era: earwig periwig bigwig Pickwick Chadwick Hardwick
earwig periwig bigwig Pickwick Chadwick Hardwick

Pitman's New Era: sandwich Ipswich Northwich well-wisher ill-wisher
sandwich Ipswich Northwich well-wisher
* ill-wisher*   *Care needed with similar outlines

Pitman's New Era: anguish languish extinguisher distinguisher extinguish/ed distinguish/ed
anguish
* languish* extinguisher* distinguisher extinguish/ed** distinguish/ed**

*Outlines omit the hard G sound  **Contractions 

Pitman's New Era: withy will wilder wink wick wig witch wisher
compare: withy will wilder wink wick wig witch wisher

Pitman's New Era: Norwich betwixt
Note: Norwich (pronounced "norrij") betwixt

PA Pitman's New Era: memoir reservoir boudoir abattoir
memoir reservoir boudoir abattoir

Pitman's New Era: mademoiselle chamois bulwark
mademoiselle chamois
* bulwark

*pronounced sham-wah = mountain antelope; also pronounced (and sometimes written) "shammy" = suede polishing cloth.

MAY Pitman's New Era: assuage hardware Venezuela
assuage hardware Venezuela
WE Pitman's New Era: seaweed tweak tweezers Tuileries Oswego weed
seaweed tweak tweezers Tuileries Oswego
compare weed

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Dash
Vowel
Right semicircle
NOT Pitman's New Era: twattle twaddle 'twas somewhat
twattle twaddle 'twas somewhat
*   *Note the Dot Hay against the W sign

Pitman's New Era: wishy-washy churchwarden Cornwall Cornwallis
wishy-washy churchwarden Cornwall Cornwallis

Pitman's New Era: wash warden wall Wallis/Wallace
compare:
wash warden wall Wallis/Wallace

MUCH Pitman's New Era: framework fireworks guesswork woodwork
framework fireworks guesswork woodwork

Pitman's New Era: stonework waterworks overwork bookworm
stonework waterworks overwork bookworm

Pitman's New Era: glow-worm ringworm wireworm woodworm
glow-worm ringworm wireworm woodworm

Pitman's New Era: canker-worm Wandsworth Butterworth airworthy seaworth*
canker-worm Wandsworth Butterworth airworthy
* seaworthy*

*Care needed with similar outlines

Pitman's New Era: blameworthy someone work worth worthy worm
blameworthy someone
compare work worth worthy worm

GOOD Pitman's New Era: lambs-wool driftwood wormwood Eastwood wool wood
lambs-wool driftwood wormwood Eastwood
compare wool wood
ALL Pitman's New Era: rainwater backwater breakwater highwater seawater
rainwater backwater breakwater highwater seawater

Pitman's New Era: soda-water rose-water seaward eastward ropewalk
soda-water rose-water seaward eastward ropewalk

Pitman's New Era: sleepwalker shopwalker caterwaul water walker ward
sleepwalker shopwalker caterwaul
compare water walker ward

GO Pitman's New Era: misquote misquotation quote quotation
misquote misquotation
compare quote quotation    Further on these in the Kway section
TOO Pitman's New Era: thrice-wooed wooed
thrice-wooed
* compare wooed   *the only example

Top of page

In compound words the semicircle stays with its own word, which means that a first or second place vowel may end up moving forward to the next stroke. This allows the outline to reflect the words that the compound word is made from, making the outline more legible:

Pitman's New Era: memoir homework
memoir homework
i.e. me-mwar but home-work not ho-mwork

Several of the TW outlines using the medial semicircle need distinguishing from similar outlines and so it would be safer to always insert the semicircle in those:

Pitman's New Era: tweak tick, tweezers teasers, twenty tenth, twattle tattle
tweak tick, tweezers teasers, twenty tenth, twattle tattle

Top of page

Strokes Hway Wel Hwel

The longhand convention of writing the letters "Wh" for the sound of HW should be ignored when forming shorthand outlines. Shorthand instruction books describe the strokes Hway and Hwel as representing "WH" and "WHL" which is referring to longhand and not to the sounds. It is better to associate the strokes with the sounds they represent, and treat the longhand spelling as a separate matter entirely.

Even though many people do not pronounce the H, you should still learn the different forms because of their usefulness in providing distinguishing outlines and because the longhand still needs to be spelled correctly regardless of popular pronunciation. Outlines should be consistent and not change to reflect people's differing pronunciation.

Stroke Hway This is stroke Way with an enlarged hook to represent the sound of "HW". It is a compound consonant = no vowel may come between the H and W sounds. This is not an additional hook to give an additional sound. It is therefore best to learn the stroke as a whole without mentally taking it apart into its constituent sounds.

Pitman's New Era: whey whoa whip whippet whopper whoopee
whey whoa whip whippet whopper whoopee

Pitman's New Era: white whit Whitsun wheat whet whetted whetstone
white whit Whitsun wheat whet whetted whetstone

Pitman's New Era: whack Whig whiff whine whin whinny whinge
whack Whig whiff whine whin whinny whinge

Pitman's New Era: whim whimsical whimper where anywhere
whim whimsical whimper where anywhere

Pitman's New Era: nowhere elsewhere whereas wharf whirr
nowhere elsewhere whereas wharf whirr

Pitman's New Era: whirl whirled whirling whirlwind whirlpool
whirl whirled whirling whirlwind whirlpool

Pitman's New Era: whorl whortleberry wherry wheedle whither whether
whorl whortleberry wherry wheedle whither whether
*   *Short form

Pitman's New Era: whizz whizzed/whist wheeze wheezed whisk whisker whistle

whizz whizzed/whist wheeze wheezed whisk whisker whistle

Top of page

Strokes Wel Hwel These are basically the upward Ell stroke with an initial hook. The hook, representing the W or HW sound, is read first:

  • Pitman's New Era: strokes Wel Hwel   Small hook = W-L     Large hook = HW-L
    This is similar to stroke Way having its hook enlarged to include the H sound.

  • There is always a vowel between the W/HW and the L sounds it would be unpronounceable without a vowel. These two strokes are therefore not compound consonants.

  • Never written downwards.

These two hooks add their sound to the Ell in the same way that Circle S adds its consonant before a stroke i.e. the W or HW is spoken first, then the vowel, then the L sound:

Pitman's New Era: ail/ale wail whale sale, oldest wold sold
ail/ale wail whale sale, oldest wold sold

Pitman's New Era: aisle/isle wile while silo, wilt silt, alter Walter salter/psalter
aisle/isle wile while silo, wilt silt, alter Walter salter/psalter

Pitman's New Era: Liam William solemn ledge Woolwich silage
Liam William solemn, ledge Woolwich
* silage   *pronounced "woolij"

General examples:

Pitman's New Era: well unwell welfare Wellington will willing
well unwell welfare Wellington will willing

Pitman's New Era: unwilling willow Williamson wolf Welsh wall sea-wall
unwilling willow Williamson wolf Welsh wall sea-wall

Pitman's New Era: wealth commonwealth welcome welcoming welcomed welcomer
wealth commonwealth welcome welcoming
* welcomed welcomer

*Using proximity to indicate "com" (see Theory 18 Prefixes/Con-com page)

Pitman's New Era: wail weal wool woollen Wollaston Wolsey Wolseley Weller
wail weal wool woollen Wollaston Wolsey Wolseley Weller

Pitman's New Era: wilt wilted Wiltshire welt welter wild wilder
wilt wilted Wiltshire welt welter wild wilder

Pitman's New Era: Walter welled/weld wailed willed wield unwieldy
Walter welled/weld wailed willed wield unwieldy

Pitman's New Era: wheel wheeled wheeling Wheeler spinning-wheel millwheel narwhal
wheel wheeled wheeling Wheeler spinning-wheel millwheel narwhal

Pitman's New Era: whale whalebone whelp whelk whelm while whiling
whale whalebone whelp whelk whelm while whiling

Pitman's New Era: whiled whilst meanwhile worthwhile worthwhile
whiled whilst meanwhile worthwhile worthwhile
*   *Alternative contraction

Wel and Hwel cannot clash with a downward Ell plus N hook or Shun hook because the latter are never written alone they follow a stroke and so the direction they were written in is always clear:

Pitman's New Era: well while lane lotion aniline insulation
Upwards: well while, lane lotion  Downwards: aniline insulation

Pitman's New Era: swell swelled swelling
Note:
swell swelled swelling Circle Sway described in full on page Theory 4 Circles/Sway)

Top of page

Strokes Kway Gway

These strokes include the W sound and are best learned as a whole stroke to represent the compound consonant. A first place vowel goes outside the hook, same as for normal size hooks:

Pitman's New Era: equip quote quota equity aquatic quiet disquiet
equip quote quota equity aquatic quiet disquiet

Pitman's New Era: quid liquid liquidate liquefy quash quotient
quid liquid liquidate liquefy quash quotient

Pitman's New Era: query quarry quartz quartet quarantine quandary

query quarry quartz quartet quarantine quandary

Pitman's New Era: choir/quire acquire aquarium enquire require requisition
choir/quire acquire aquarium enquire require requisition

Pitman's New Era: quarrel quarter quantity quantify queen quantum
quarrel quarter quantity quantify queen quantum

Pitman's New Era: quaff equation equate adequate equator quitter equatorial

quaff equation equate adequate equator quitter equatorial

Pitman's New Era: quest question request requested bequest bequeath
quest question request requested bequest bequeath

Pitman's New Era: antiquated inquisitive qualm equilibrium quibble quench quell
antiquated inquisitive qualm equilibrium quibble quench quell

Pitman's New Era: equestrian eloquent loquacious soliloquy colloquial
equestrian eloquent loquacious soliloquy colloquial

Pitman's New Era: ventriloquist delinquent delinquent
ventriloquist delinquent delinquent
*   *Alternative contraction

squeak squawk squat squatter squander
squeak squawk
* squat squatter* squander

*These two outlines are identical if unvocalised - see Theory 11 Doubling/Two Straight Strokes for further on this.

Pitman's New Era: squeeze sequence consequently squabble squad squid squadron
squeeze sequence consequently squabble squad squid squadron

Pitman's New Era: squeegee squirt squash squeamish squalid squall sequel
squeegee squirt squash squeamish squalid squall sequel

Pitman's New Era: square squared squired squirrel squirm
square squared squired squirrel squirm

Pitman's New Era: guano iguana iguanodon guava guacamole
guano iguana iguanodon guava guacamole

Pitman's New Era: linguist linguistic languid languorous
linguist linguistic languid languorous

Pitman's New Era: penguin sanguine Gwen Gwent Gwyneth
penguin
* sanguine Gwen Gwent Gwyneth

*Dictionary gives "penguin" with stroke En rather than Ing, possibly assuming that pronunciation reflected the derivation pen+gwyn (Welsh: head white, originally referring to the Great Auk), in contrast to sang+uine (Latin: sanguineus=blood-like).

Pitman's New Era: Gwendoline Guinevere Guam Maguire
Gwendoline Guinevere Guam Maguire

Pitman's New Era: Paraguay Uruguay Guatemala Guadeloupe Guelph
Paraguay Uruguay Guatemala Guadeloupe Guelph

Pitman's New Era: queer clear choir/quire
queer* compare clear choir/quire    *Distinguishing outline, as this and "clear" are both adjectives

There are a few words that make better outlines by using the medial semicircle for the  KW sound, and with most of them it is seldom necessary to write in the semicircle:

Pitman's New Era: quality qualify qualification disqualify tranquil
quality qualify qualification disqualify tranquil

Pitman's New Era: frequent frequently frequency frequenter infrequent
frequent frequently frequency frequenter infrequent

Pitman's New Era: subsequent asquint Asquith misquotation misquote mistake
subsequent asquint
* Asquith* misquotation misquote* mistake*

*Advisable to insert the semicircle for unusual words, and in "misquote" so it does not look like "mistake"

Pitman's New Era: quite equal equalise equality equality
Note: quite* equalequalise equality (both using short form) equality (not using)

*short forms

Do not use Kway or Gway if there is a vowel between the K/G and the W sounds:

Pitman's New Era: Gawain Cawood co-worker lukewarm
Gawain Cawood co-worker  
Exception: lukewarm

Top of page

Initial vowel

If a vowel comes before the W or HW sounds, then strokes Way or Hway must be used, as you cannot write a vowel to a hook:

If the word starts with a vowel, then stroke Way must be used, because you cannot write a vowel to the semicircle. Seeing stroke Way where you might expect to see the initial semicircle lets you know that there may be a vowel before it, thus improving legibility when vowels signs are omitted: omitted:

Pitman's New Era: wake awake woke awoke wear aware


wake awake, woke awoke, wear aware

Pitman's New Era: wool awol ward/warred  award worried
wool awol ward/warred
*  award* worried

*Dictionary has "ward" = thick dash and "award " = thin dash, so I have adhered to that here, although the Anniversary Edition textbook (p88) has thick dash for both, which accords with their identical pronunciation.

Pitman's New Era: while awhile wheel awheel
while awhile, wheel awheel

Derivatives

Derivatives (word+ending) and compound words (word+word) endeavour to retain the original form of the outline(s), although this is not always done if it would result in an awkward outline. The aim is to keep related words looking similar, and have distinctive outlines for words that may have the same consonant structure but a different spread of vowels or different derivation. This is not a top priority rule, but a useful one that increases the legibility of unvocalised shorthand and applies right across Pitman's Shorthand, not just the W forms:

Pitman's New Era: way-lay way-laid woolly wailed
way-lay way-laid
but woolly wailed

Pitman's New Era: walk walker/Walker wag wagger
walk walker/Walker
wag wagger

Pitman's New Era: wick wig wigger wicker Wicker Wigger
wick wig wigger
*  but wicker Wicker Wigger which have different derivations**

*verb "wig" means to scold

**(1) made of flexible twig/willow (related to "weak") (2) surname "inhabitant of Wick" (3) Variant of Wicker

Pondering word derivations and outline choices is out of the question during dictation, but as long as your outline reflects the sounds spoken, you will be able to transcribe correctly.

Top of page

Phrases and compound words

Whichever form of W is used in the basic outline, this may change to one of the other methods when the word becomes part of a phrase or compound word. The main consideration is the ease of the join, producing a speedy and reliable outline, but the resultant outline must be easy to read back, even when vowels and unattached signs are omitted. It is seldom necessary to insert any of the unattached semicircles when writing phrases, but they are shown in some of the examples, so that you know where the signs belong.

Stroke Way replaced by medial semicircle.

Pitman's New Era: water highwater weed seaweed
water highwater weed seaweed

Initial Semicircle replaced by stroke, or medical semicircle:

Pitman's New Era: worthy unworthy praiseworthy trustworthy roadworthy
worthy
unworthy praiseworthy trustworthy roadworthy

Pitman's New Era: walk cakewalk cat-walk wire haywire
walk cakewalk cat-walk, wire haywire

Pitman's New Era: world, another world, week, last week, well, very well
world, another world, week, last week, well, very well

Wel and Hwel may not join easily:

Pitman's New Era: cog-wheel fly-wheel cartwheel waterwheel erstwhile
Full strokes:
cog-wheel fly-wheel cartwheel waterwheel erstwhile

Pitman's New Era: freewheel horsewhip overwhelm
Dot Hay plus medial semicircle: freewheel horsewhip overwhelm

In a few instances the initial semicircle is retained in a compound word or phrase:

Pitman's New Era: sidewalk jaywalker needlewoman needlewomen, men and women
sidewalk jaywalker needlewoman needlewomen, men and women

Pitman's New Era: bondwoman horsewoman charwoman washerwoman fisherman
bondwoman horsewoman charwoman washerwoman
compare fisherman

Pitman's New Era: man woman men womeny human humane
man woman* men women, similarly human* humane

* These two count as distinguishing outlines

Pitman's New Era: salesman salesmen saleswoman saleswomen
salesman salesmen saleswoman saleswomen

Note that "woman" "women" take their position from the 2nd vowel, so that their difference is maintained when the outlines are not vocalised. They also need to have a semicircle at all times, whether attached or unattached, because in phrases or compound words they could be read as "man" "men". The phrase "men and women" is common enough to remain unvocalised, but in other phrases vowels may be necessary to show whether these words are singular or plural.

The verb "will" in phrases is represented by a plain upward Ell and the semicircle is not necessary it is always very clear what is meant and to insert it would defeat the purpose of the phrase, which is to gain speed. When "will" is used as a noun, it can take the semicircle, if felt necessary:

Pitman's New Era: will, I will, he will, that you will be, if he will have goodwill freewill
will, I will, he will, that you will be, if he will have
but goodwill freewill

"Were" in phrases takes whatever form is easiest to write. Again, the meaning is always clear because the word groupings involved are so common, and medial semicircle or vowel signs need not be written:

Pitman's New Era: were, you were, they were
were, you were, they were

"Well" in phrases does take a medial semicircle, but is easily omitted without losing clarity:

Pitman's New Era: well, very well, so well
well, very well, so well

Rather than hesitate over semicircles during a dictation, you should use full strokes or write the two halves of the outline separately and then find out the correct outline later. Even in longhand there is often a question over whether to write something as two words, a hyphenated word or one word. Writing a longer outline or two outlines is far preferable to hesitating and losing the next few words. Making an awkward join, when separate outlines would be more readable and reliable, is also a hindrance.

However, joining or not joining can indicate different uses of the same two words, shown up by where the emphasis falls in the sentence (underlined). In the second of each of the sentences below, joining the outlines would be inappropriate and make the shorthand awkward to read back:

Pitman's New Era: I saw the cat-walk. I saw the cat walk.
I saw the cat-walk. I saw the cat walk.

Pitman's New Era: This person is trustworthy. We can trust Worthy to do the job.
This person is trustworthy. We can trust Worthy to do the job.

Pitman's New Era: We arrived last week. His last weak excuse was not accepted.
We arrived last week. His last weak excuse was not accepted.

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Distinguishing outlines for place names

Pitman's New Era: Wells Wales Walworth Woolworth
Wells Wales
* Walworth Woolworth*  *the second of each pair breaking the rule

Pitman's New Era: Cornhill Cornwall
Always vocalise these two: Cornhill Cornwall

Names and place names are best vocalised whenever possible, as context cannot help.

Short Form Why

This sign is unlike any other. Prior to the Centenary version of Pitman's Shorthand in 1913, this was the sign for the W (or HW) plus the "eye" sound, as in "wife" "Wight" "white", and also the short form "why" that we still use. It behaved like the W semicircle sometimes joined initially to certain strokes, sometimes unattached medially. Note that "why" is a right angle (90), unlike the other three angular diphthongs (60):

Pitman's New Era: why I toy cow
why I toy cow

When not to use the W forms

SW at the beginning of a word uses the Circle Sway, see Theory 4 Circles page.

Longhand often uses the letter W to indicate a long vowel. In those cases it does not come under any of the above headings, and the appropriate vowel sign is used:

Pitman's New Era: awe awl awesome awful awkward dawn mow owl
awe awl awesome awful awkward dawn mow owl

Pitman's New Era: power sewage Bewick/Buick Newark Rwanda Cwmbran
power sewage Bewick/Buick Newark Rwanda Cwmbran

A redundant longhand letter is never represented in Pitman's Shorthand:

Pitman's New Era: wrought write/Wright/rite wry/rye awry wrass wrestle wrist
wrought write/Wright/rite wry/rye awry wrass wrestle wrist

Pitman's New Era: wren wreath wrap/rap wreak/reek wretch/retch
wren wreath wrap/rap wreak/reek wretch/retch

Pitman's New Era: wriggle wrong wrinkle whole whoop
wriggle wrong wrinkle whole whoop

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"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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