Handywrite Lessons 8-10

Part Two: The Refinements

Shorthand is the science of abbreviation. --Pitman

Lesson 8

1. Punctuation is the same as in longhand although you may want to use different symbols for the dash and hyphen if you want to reserve N and M for abbreviations. Since capitals are not spoken, they are not used in phonetic writing. However, you could use proofreader convention and triple underline the first sound.

hyphen dash


2. An upward hook can (but need not) be used for the ending D or ED sounds when preceded by R, L, N, M, NG, NK, or T, D. Two hooks make DIHD and an S or Z can be added.

bird   held   hand   hanged   baited   padded   handed   hands

3. Words ending in the TUHN, TIHN, or TEHN sounds can be written as a T-N blend. The NT sound can be written as an T-N blend.

T-N and NT

cotton   hint   tense   paint   extend   spent   Washington

4. International sounds can be written. The E in "el bebe" is the EH small circle. The trilled double R is just written RR. The KH sound in "Bach" is a K-H blend. The LL sound is represented by Y, and the Ñ sound is NY.

el bebe   perro   Bach   llama   baño

5. Long or compound words need not be written as one continuous line, and parts can overlap as in Chinese ideographs for a more compact form.

 cannot understand



6. Just for fun:

Ode to Handy Hand

The lesson one must learn is clear,


Listen! And write only what you hear.


Graphemes number many hundred,


Phonemes are but few when numbered.




So let us take our pens in hand,



And learn to write in Handy Hand.



Then will we never misspell a word,



'Cause they're written just like they're heard.




And there's no T's to cross, no I's to dot,



As for apostrophes, they're not used a lot.



But just five vowels we cannot permit,



There are more than that we must admit.




And if we're to write the speedy way,



Then we must practice everyday.



Thus will we come to understand,



The advantages of learning Handy Hand.



Lesson 9

1. General abbreviating principle: Write out as much of a word as is required to suggest its meaning (to you), and put a dot.


2. If you must pause for even a fraction of a second in composing an abbreviation, the abbreviation becomes a speed handicap rather than a help, so abbreviate only words you often use.

3. The word ending -tion and -sion, can be written as SHN.


4. Certain other blends are possible. The sounds DEHM, DIHM, DUHM can be written as a D-M blend, like T-N but longer.

dimple    wisdom

The sounds of TEHM and TIHM can be written as a T-M blend, like T-N but with an extended straight line.


Lesson 10

Here's a short sample of writing using only a few short cuts and no shorthand abbreviations.


Read a poem or two in English/Handywrite:

Since Handywrite is an "open source" project, those learning the system are encouraged to create and submit additional learning material. Creating the material, such as by transcribing famous quotes or poems into Handywrite will help one and all. Hint: Write in pencil to allow corrections, scan at 100 dpi in 256 grey scale, save as .gif file and email it to: Eric Lee

Be sure to checkout user Hints, tips, and suggestions.

Where to now?

To learn more than the basic handwriting system, checkout Handywrite Shorthand.

To find out how Handywrite came to be, checkout Handywrite: The method and madness of invention.

For a general guide to various handwriting systems, checkout Alternative Handwriting and Shorthand Systems.

For an encylopedia entry on Shorthand with links, checkout Wikipedia.

For advice on how to learn any new writing system, among other things, checkout Shorthand Systems.


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External Links

  • Easyscript
  • Learn a bit about this commercialized shorthand.

  • Keyscript
  • Learn a bit about this relatively new alphbetic shorthand.

  • IPA
  • The International Phonetic Association.

  • Unifon
  • A one sound one letter alphabet.

a link