Handywrite Lessons 1-7
Part One: The Basics
There must be a direct and intimate correspondence between the two acts of speaking and writing. For this reason the basis of the writing must be phonetic, so that we may, as it were, talk with our fingers. --McDermut
1. The sound of long A (ey), as in "pace," is represented by a double circle symbol as it is actually a diphthong, a vowel sound made up of two other vowels. Say it slowly and hear the change in vowel sounds. Make the larger circle first, then the smaller one.
2. F and V, P and B, and S and Z are represented by downward elliptical strokes of different length. With S and Z the in-out direction of the curve is not significant, so use whichever is most facile. Note that many words ending in S actually have a Z sound ("base" ends in S while "bays" end-z in Z).
F and V , P and B , S and Z
3. T and D are represented by straight lines written forward and up.
T and D
bait paid fade fate
4. N and M are represented by forward straight lines.
N and M
gain game name Maine
5. K and G are represented as forward convex curves.
K and G
bake peg cave gave
1. The sound of long E (i) as in "beet" is represented by a small figure eight symbol. This sound is often spelled using "ee," which helps in remembering this symbol.
beet need feed geese keys
2. The sound of A (ae) in "cat" is represented by a circle with a tick mark inside. The pen moves to the middle of the circle before continuing.
cat gnat bad bat can
3. The NG sound, as in "sing," and NG+K sound, as in "sink," are represented by forward sloping lines.
NG and NK
bang bank tang tank
4. The sound of SH and CH are represented by down and backward lines. The CH sound is actually the sound of T+SH.
SH and CH
shave cheek shake cash catch shack
1. The short E sound (eh) as in "said," and the short I (ih) sound as in "sit," are both represented by a small circle. When made counter-clockwise the symbol represents the EH sound, and the IH sound is indicated when it is made clockwise. The pen may come to a stop as when writing some works such as "beg."
big beg bit bet sit set pick peck
2. The A sound (ah) in "father" and short O as in "hot," as well as the UH sound as in "cut" and "above" are represented by a large circle. When made counter-clockwise the symbol represents the UH sound, and short A/short O is represented by a clockwise circle.
done Don nut not but bot or bought
3. Forward and downward curves of opposite direction and median length represent the sounds of H as in "hate" and W as in "wait". In words like "when," "what," and "where" the "wh" is actually an H-W sound when the H pronounced at all. If you don't pronounce the H and leave it off, no confusion is likely to occur.
H and W
half hymn hit wit women what wheat
4. The Q or QU sound is actually a K-W sound and so is represented as a K-W blend.
quit quick quake
1. The sound of AW as in "dawn" is very closely related to the sound of AH in "father," "hot," or "Don." Few words are distinguished one from the other on the basis of this sound alone. It is represented by a teardrop symbol made either clockwise or counter-clockwise. It is like the more open circle used in "Don" but the pen always comes to a stop when making it. Since the distinction is rarely required, using the clockwise circle for words like "tall," "bought" or "broad" creates no confusion just as pronouncing them with an AW or AH sound would be heard as the same word by almost everyone. If you say bawt for "bought" and want to avoid confusion with baht, as in "a bot is the larva of a botfly," then you can be meticulous and write "bought" using the teardrop symbol.
Don dawn odd awed tock talk
2. A forward or upward hook represents the sound of long O as in "hope".
hope vote moan photo doe show
3. The sound of R and L are represented by convex forward curves.
R and L
rake lake ruff/rough luck
4. The sound of OO as in "boot" or "Luke" is represented by a U shape symbol, while the vowel sound in "pull" is represented by a sideways hook.
pool pull Luke look fool
1. Sometimes called a semi-vowel, the R sound is best regarded simply as a vowel in its own right. Pronunciation guides often insert an imaginary UH sound in front of R in such words as bird, burp, earn, purple, dirt, her, and heard when the only vowel is actually R.
burp bird earn runner paper her sugar
2. Vowel sounds before R may blend with R or not. The OR sound would always be blended.
lore lower more mower
3. The AR sound is the sound of AH in "father" combined with R.
art lark bar farm
farmer (one M sound)
4. The EH sound in "bet" before R may sound close to long A as it does in bear, care, terror, but it is not as distinct as it is in "player," which has the EY/long A sound. In most cases, write EHR instead of EYR.
lair layer prayer player bear care
5. The IH sound in "bit" before R sounds close to long E as it does in beer, dear, sere (dried up), but is not as distinct as it is in "seer" (a person who sees). The IH sound is also the Y at the end of many words although long E for Y also works.
beer sere seer many marry
1. The ZH sound, the second vowel in "measure" and the J sound as in "major," which is actually a D+ZH sound, are represented by vertical down strokes.
ZH and J
measure vision garage division
major adjust jest gist
2. The long I (AY) sound is represented by a short downward stroke, but it need not be straight down.
bite tight fly kite price prize
3. There are two TH sounds although the distinction is rarely important. You can hear the difference in "thin" and "then," and between "thy" and "thigh." The symbols are upward curves of medium length in the shape of quarter circles.
Th and th
Th as in thigh ether thin that
th as in thy either then they
4. The AH+OO sound, as in "bout," may be represented by writing each vowel, or by using a short upward/backward line.
town noun loud fowl outer
1. The Y sound as in "yet" is represented by a long steep downward curve.
yet yellow yank onion yeomen
2. The long U (YU) sound as in "butte" is the IH sound plus OO. You could also use Y+OO if you prefer.
butte few you/ewe unit
3. The sound of X is actually a KS sound and is represented by a short upward curve, which also stands for EH+KS at the beginning of words. Writing K+S would also work.
wax box locks expert extra or
4. The sound of OY as in "boy" and "oil" is an O+IH sound represented by combining these vowels.
boy oil toil coin
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