09 January 2017

Reversed vowel for R not in first edition

I use simplified mainly with some DJ mixed in, but was interested in the older systems and while looking up the old manuals I noticed the first edition 1888 did not even mention the reversed vowels (a and e) as an option. In the 2nd and 3rd editions it was briefly mentioned only as an option. It wasn't until the 1902 manual 4th edition that it seems to be mandated as part of the system.
 Simplified did away with it entirely. I can see some situations where the ending -rt would be slower than the reverse vowels. Sometimes when you write the r sound you feel like you're putting on the brakes  to get the t connected to the r.  But I guess getting rid of the reverse vowel system got the go- ahead from Gregg himself, since he was still alive when Simplified was being created in the 1940s.
 One other thing, I never did like the j-nt blend in Simplified (also in older systems). This is one situation where I think DJ did a service because it omitted this blend. It always seemed confusing to me to have the same blend for p-nt  and j-nt, etc.

9 comments:

  1. I've been doing some research about this issue for quite some time. The story of the Simplified series is not that straightforward as you may think. Dr. Gregg and Clyde Blanchard were working together on a revision of the manual. Dr. Gregg insisted in having a manual that would simplify the presentation of the principles, as he believed that the arrangement of the Anniversary manual in numerous chapters and units was too cumbersome -- he preferred the simple presentation of the earlier manuals with less lessons. At the same time, Louis Leslie was writing a separate manual, intended to be used in schools. The lessons in Leslie's manual would be very short, so that they could be covered in a 40-minute class, but numerous (70 lessons), similar to what he did before his Anniversary Functional Method manual (in this case 80 lessons). Early drafts of Dr. Gregg's revision contained the -rd stroke. After Dr. Gregg died in February 1948, Mrs. Gregg took over the project. In the ensuing revisions of Dr. Gregg's manual, the -rd stroke was removed, retaining the reversed r for the most part, and simplifying the r rules considerably. This revision was ready to go to print, but for some reason, it never made it past the galleys, and the powers that be at McGraw-Hill decided that Leslie's manual (which had diverged in many aspects from Dr. Gregg's revision) was better suited for teaching. This became the "Simplified" series. Hence the Simplified manual is a Louis Leslie creation. You can read about it here. So whether Dr. Gregg eventually approved the -rd stroke or not, we don't know -- we only know he included it first, but was taken out of the manual afterwards.

    According to the book "Diamond Jubilee Series: A Presentation of System Changes", by Gregg, Leslie, Zoubek, the reason for the elimination of gent/pent was because "it occurs so rarely that it is difficult even to find examples for proper teaching. Another factor in the elimination of this blend is the ease with which these combinations are written in full." Of course, they don't tell you that by writing the combinations in full, you are adding angles (j-nt) and extra strokes (e circle), which will make the writing slower. But since the system was slower already (in comparison to Anniversary), I guess that going even slower wouldn't make a difference for an office environment.

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    1. Have you made a PDF of the Diamond Jubilee system changes book? I'd love to take a look at it some time.

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    2. Sure! Just send me a request using Above, Contact.

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  2. I'd like to know more about the early drafts with the '-rd' stroke. What a shock!

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    1. I was surprised too. A draft from January 1948 contains it in the same lesson as the -ld stroke. The rd stroke is presented first ("Rd at the end of words expressed by raising the r"), then the -ld ("Ld at the end of words expressed by raising the l"). Right now I cannot tell if other later drafts had it, but I'm investigating. This same early draft contains the -ple ending, the para- disjoined prefix, and the omission of R in -ar rule, which were all taken out in the galley. Further, this draft doesn't contain other prefixes/suffixes that were added later, so it is a very early draft.

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    2. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with some of these things you mention. What are the -ple ending and the omission of R in -ar rule? (I know about para-.)

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    3. The -ple rule just says to write p for -ple only in the words "simple", "sample", "ample", and "example", although other words (such as "disciple", "people", "participle", and "scruple") follow the same rule.

      The omission of R in ar rule is just that. In several words with -ar (large, march, alarm, cargo, architect, argue, far, margin, starch, starve) the R is omitted.

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    4. Oh--okay. Thanks for the explanation. I'm aware of how these words are written in various series, but didn't know the rules by name.

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