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May 2015


General Election


Contractions 1


Contractions 2


Contractions 3


Short Letters 4


General Election (15 May 2015)


I have just returned from casting my vote in the British General Election. In a General Election every seat in the House of Commons is contested. A month before election day, Parliament is dissolved, so that officially there are no ministers, only candidates. Each candidate must be nominated by 10 voters living in the constituency, who will be listed on the nomination papers. In the months before the election, we will have been watching a variety of Party Election Broadcasts on the television, giving reasons why people should vote for them, and the numbers of these are strictly controlled according to each party’s electoral strength and number of candidates. Leaflets and posters will have been distributed by the various parties to every household, so that voters have full information on the candidates, with contact details if they wish to inquire further. Some people will be using tactical voting in order to avoid a disliked outcome, rather than voting for the person who they want to be in government. Everyone involved hopes that the turnout will be good and that all those entitled to vote do so, in order to accurately reflect the wishes of the electorate.

My name is on the electoral register or electoral roll, and so I am entitled to use my vote to elect both the Member of Parliament for my area and also, in the by-elections, choose who I wish to be my local councillors. My polling station is a nearby school, but almost any building can be used for this purpose, as long as it is accessible by all the voters in the area. I really enjoyed voting day when I was at school, as it meant a day off! I gave the polling clerk my name and address, and he handed me my ballot paper listing all the candidates in my constituency who are standing for election. I went into the private booth and marked my chosen candidate with a pencilled cross next to the name. I then folded the ballot paper and put it into the ballot box, which is a secure locked metal box with a slit in the top.

The whole process is controlled by the presiding officer of each polling station. Those who cannot attend to vote in person can either apply for a postal vote, or nominate a proxy to vote on their behalf and both of these are called an absentee ballot which have to be applied for some weeks in advance of the election. Sometimes there are people outside the polling station taking an exit poll, asking people who they voted for. The polling stations close at 10 pm and then the counting of the votes commences. If the results are very close, candidates can ask for a recount and the returning officer, who controls the voting process in the area, will make a decision on whether or not the ballot papers will be recounted.

Tomorrow morning I will awake to find out whether my chosen person has become my Member of Parliament, and which political party has gained the majority of the seats. The safe seats, where the outcome is fairly predictable, are not as interesting as the marginal constituencies, where the gap in votes between the leading parties is very small. A landslide is when one party wins by a large margin. A majority government is one that has over half of the seats in the Commons and the opposite situation is called a minority* government. Of the non-governing parties, the one with the most seats is called the Opposition. If no party has an overall majority, it is called a hung Parliament. Such an outcome can result in coalition agreements between parties, who agree to cooperate on certain issues.

* “minority” Outline shows modern pronunciation with diphthong, although the dictionary gives third place dot

The British system is called “first past the post” (a term borrowed from horse racing) which means that the candidate who gains the most votes wins the seat. In the run-up to the election, candidates and their supporters will have been travelling around the country canvassing and raising their own profile in order to gain additional support from the voters. The party manifesto is a public declaration of the party’s policies and promises to the voters on future actions. The Prime Minister will appoint various senior ministers into a group called the Cabinet. Later on the Chancellor of the Exchequer* will announce his budget, which is the government’s tax and spending plans. Eventually the Queen will deliver the Queen’s Speech which sets out the new government’s legislative programme for the coming session of Parliament, and this is written by the government, not the Queen herself.

* “Chancellor of the Exchequer” A brief phrase for this can be found at

One last thing you might be interested to know about the current General Election in Britain is exactly how I voted. I think I can trust you with this highly personal and confidential information, which people generally keep to themselves to avoid embarrassment, argument or conflict. I did actually vote for Sir Isaac Pitman as my MP, which in my books means Master of Phonography. This hard-working, honest and tireless person is the one who laid the foundations for the employment of hundreds of thousands of office workers and reporters over the past almost two centuries. I believe his untiring efforts are still contributing to people’s working lives and each day shorthand writers around the world are grateful to him for his part in their career success. If you would permit me just a moment on my favourite soapbox, I would like to propose three cheers for Sir Isaac! (919 words)

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Contractions 1 (21 May 2015)


This article practises the contractions and they are presented in roughly the same order as the contractions page on the main website. The entire list will be covered over several blogs. The majority of contractions are formed by using the first two or three* consonants of the word, exactly as one might do in longhand when there is no time to write the full version. There are contractions for only certain versions of the root word and the normal outlines for related words are also listed on the contractions page.

* Omission phrase "two (or) three"

We are going to ADVERTISE the job on our website. We have ADVERTISED it before but there were no replies. We may have to place an ADVERTISEMENT* in the local paper for a CAPABLE person to do the job. They will need to send us a copy of their CERTIFICATES and be of a hardworking and honest CHARACTER. The CHARACTERISATION and portrayal of this type of person was well written in the novel. The main CHARACTERISTIC required in this product is durability in order for it to be a COMMERCIAL success. We are convinced that this is a COMMERCIALLY viable business. We believe we have successfully combined COMMERCIALISM with integrity. He gave away a SUBSTANTIAL amount of his possessions. This report is SUBSTANTIALLY different from the draft that we were sent last week. The new proposals are quite INSUBSTANTIAL and we will need to meet again to agree on improvements.

* “advertisement” Note that "advert" is a normal outline, with a halved Vr stroke.

I think the attorney will CROSS-EXAMINE the witness but I doubt that the CROSS-EXAMINATION will bring any results. The man may just give a DESCRIPTION of what happened. His descriptions* of the event were different from what we saw ourselves. I have SUBSCRIBED to the monthly newsletters from the sports website. When SUBSCRIBING you have to give some of your details, but cancelling your SUBSCRIPTION is easy to do if you change your mind later. We did not find any DIFFICULTY in UNSUBSCRIBING* from receiving emails* and promotions. The soldier received his DISCHARGE from the armed* services. The man DISCHARGED his duties cheerfully. The pipe was continually DISCHARGING contaminated water into the river. At last we have bought a simple ELECTRIC food mixer from the ELECTRICAL department. The device is ELECTRICALLY charged and must not be touched. The ELECTRICITY supply to the shop was cut off this morning. They had no ELECTRICITY for their machines and no ELECTRICAL power to operate the office equipment.

* "descriptions" This plural does not use the contraction, to avoid clashing with “discourse” which has a similar meaning

* "unsubscribe" Not in dictionary

* “email” and “mail” Always insert the first vowel

* Ensure the Md is clear, as "army" would also make sense

The staff were not ENTHUSIASTIC about being given extra work to do. The news was not ENTHUSIASTICALLY received. He worked ENTHUSIASTICALLY all day, especially when he had met his target by midday. His ENTHUSIASM spread to the other workers when they found out how much bonus he received. We must be* ESPECIALLY careful* not to forget to take all the papers to the meeting. It was an ESPECIAL honour to meet the chairman. He should be addressed as John Smith ESQUIRE. He helped to ESTABLISH this company many years ago. He ESTABLISHED our sister company overseas as well. He said it had been hard work ESTABLISHING the new association. The ESTABLISHMENT of the new sales department is now completed. To DISESTABLISH means to withdraw status or recognition from an ORGANISATION. We have managed to RE-ESTABLISH the wildlife in the national park to its previous level. They have RE-ESTABLISHED their reputation as providers of a very high quality service. The RE-ESTABLISHMENT of the former conditions may take some time.

* Omission phrase "mus(t) be"

* "careful" Optional contraction

I would like to EXCHANGE these shoes for a different size. You will have no difficulty in EXCHANGING your purchase for another item. When we met we EXCHANGED phone numbers in order to be able to contact each other in the future. It is a matter of EXPEDIENCY that the accounts office has been moved to another building. The INEXPEDIENCY of changing the working hours has become clear over the past week. My EXPENDITURE on clothes over the past month has increased enormously. Many of the items are EXPENSIVE, because I believe the INEXPENSIVE items will not last very long. This makes the so-called* INEXPENSIVE purchases more EXPENSIVE in the long term. I am familiar with this type of work and I understand that FAMILIARITY with the accounting system will be gained during training. I am somewhat UNFAMILIAR with your accounting procedures at present. I shall FAMILIARISE myself with everything when I arrive in January. By February I will have finished my FAMILIARISATION with the system. We have received the* FINANCIAL accounts for last January and February. The FINANCIAL future of the business is very promising. This COMMERCIAL undertaking is FINANCIALLY insecure and needs to improve its methods.

* “so-called” Not using short form, which cannot join here

* Omission phrase "we have (re)ceived the"

It is the job of the elected GOVERNMENT to run the country for the benefit of all. They have the power to GOVERN every aspect of the affairs of the nation. These officials have been GOVERNING the area for a long time. Some felt that GOVERNMENTAL interference was not helping them in their COMMERCIAL businesses. It was a wild UNGOVERNABLE country. It had been MISGOVERNED by those only interested in their own gain. We will be taking IMMEDIATE action to put this right. We will be holding a meeting IMMEDIATELY in order to discuss the situation. I am sure the chairman will be quite IMPERTURBABLE when he faces all the difficult questions*. We have INCORPORATED their views into the report. The report has been written by an INDEPENDENT body of advisers. He bought the house in order to become INDEPENDENT. They will be attending the INDEPENDENCE Day celebrations. The two parts of the machine work INDEPENDENTLY. A KNOWLEDGE of mechanics is INDISPENSABLE for this job. If a worker is INDISPENSABLE, he is likely to receive high wages. The INDIVIDUAL portions were quite small. We will deal with each query INDIVIDUALLY, until they are all resolved. They wrapped all the cakes INDIVIDUALLY as they were quite soft and sticky.

* "questions" Optional contraction

I would like to INFORM you of a problem on your website. You were INFORMED about it a month ago. We think that INFORMING the manager of the situation would be the best course of action. An INFORMER told us about what was going on at the newspaper office. He believed their intention was to MISINFORM the general PUBLIC about the matter. The authorities will now INSPECT the premises. I have INSPECTED the goods and they are all in good condition. The manager will be INSPECTING the rooms once the equipment has been installed. We have to RESPECT his wishes in this matter. The officer RESPECTED the request from the employees regarding the situation. The children were given their RESPECTIVE rewards. John and Jane are ten and eight years old RESPECTIVELY. They are a RESPECTABLE quiet family and they live in a RESPECTABLE neighbourhood. The visitor was very RESPECTFUL when he was invited into the man’s house. He did not want to show any DISRESPECT to those who lived in the area.

He decided to go ahead IRRESPECTIVE of the DIFFICULTIES that seemed to be everywhere. He EXPECTED to overcome everything. He was always EXPECTING a good outcome. His friends were worried they might find out that SOMETHING UNEXPECTED had happened to him. We admired the modern ARCHITECTURE but noticed many IMPERFECTIONS in the surface of the paths. These IMPERFECTIONS were very noticeable. We think that the ARCHITECT’S instructions had been IMPERFECTLY carried out*. The buildings are ARCHITECTURALLY important and must be* preserved despite their IMPERFECTIONS. The society no doubt has plans to preserve the town’s ARCHITECTURAL heritage for future generations to enjoy. (1251 words)

* “carried out” Using halving for the T of "out"

* Omission phrase "mus(t) be"

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Contractions 2 (30 May 2015)

Continuing our journey through the contractions, I hope you have all the appropriate* OBJECTS in front of you - a good quality pad with margin, and a pencil or pen. The OBJECTIVE is to read and write the matter repeatedly until you know them all and can recall them instantly. Knowing there is a contraction but not remembering it in time is a most OBJECTIONABLE experience, and I think there will be no OBJECTION to my suggestion that you continue to PRACTISE them. If you view it OBJECTIVELY, it will get you to your goal, and that is the OBJECT of the whole exercise. OBJECTIVITY is what is needed, and the PROSPECT of* increasing your speed should make it easy to do. Like a person PROSPECTING for gold, you will be searching every area for shorthand opportunities. A PROSPECTIVE employer will want to know whether you can keep up the writing at length without any gaps or errors. A PROSPECTUS is a booklet issued by a college giving information on all of its courses. PROSPECTIVE students will of course be reading it eagerly.

* "appropriate" Insert the diphone, and the first vowel in "proper" as the outlines and meanings are similar

* “prospect of” Avoid using the F hook for “of” as it would then look like "prospective"

In RETROSPECT the students wished they had taken an additional subject, but realised that RETROSPECTION was not going to be of great help. The employees received RETROSPECTIVE rewards for their good PERFORMANCE last year. The fact that* the wages were paid RETROSPECTIVELY was noted in the report. I SUSPECT that this job will be changing next month*. The report was just as I had SUSPECTED, too long and full of irrelevant facts. They are always SUSPECTING the people who come into the building. He had many UNSUSPECTED business talents with which to surprise his colleagues. The family took great pleasure in giving the gifts to the UNSUSPECTING children.

* Omission phrases "fac(t) that" ne(k)s(t mon)th

We have started a new PROJECT in our class. We always like it when new PROJECTS come along. We have PROJECTED the figures into the next two years. The PROJECTED forecast for sales made for exciting reading. We realised that PROJECTING the sales figures ahead did carry some risks. We should not NEGLECT to consider* other factors as well. NEGLECTING to include an amount against possible future costs would be very risky. The person who wrote the PROJECT report NEGLECTED to include the new sales figures. The management were not NEGLECTFUL in their obligations to the staff. Some other companies had NEGLECTFULLY gone ahead with untested and unrealistic ideas.

* Omission phrase "to (con)sider"

It is the job of the judge to avoid PREJUDICE when considering the cases. The man was PREJUDICED against any new employee who came to the office. His views were very far from UNPREJUDICED. We believe our car INSURANCE* is far too high. We shall be looking for another INSURANCE company with lower fees. We believe the INSURANCE company has undertaken REINSURANCE with another larger company in order to minimise their risks. We wish* to make an INVESTMENT in order to* safeguard our savings. INVESTMENTS must be very carefully considered*. The GOVERNMENT has undertaken DISINVESTMENT in the area, by withdrawing support and funding for some of the schemes. We believe that REINVESTMENT should be considered IMMEDIATELY to avoid problems with unemployment. It is most IRRESPONSIBLE to withdraw support at this stage. The worker was highly IRRESPONSIBLE in not informing us of the accident* immediately. Their IRRESPONSIBILITY has caused* delays to our delivery schedule. A RESPONSIBLE person does the right thing, but an IRRESPONSIBLE person does not care about the results of their actions.

* “insurance” It would be quicker to use the intersection Ns but full outline is shown here in order to learn it

* “we wish” and “we shall” Write the Ish a little lower for “wish” so it goes through the line

* Omission phrases "in ord(er to)" very caref(ully con)sidered"

* “accident” Keep the K straight and outline high, so it does not look like "incident" which has a similar meaning

* "caused" special outline, to differentiate it from "cost"

A substance that is MAGNETIC exerts an attraction or pulling power on another object. MAGNETIC north is in a different position from true north on planet Earth. The sales in the clothes shop exerted a MAGNETIC influence on the shoppers. The students studied MAGNETISM in the physics class. Both of the objects had become MAGNETICALLY charged through the presence of a third MAGNETIC object. The MANUFACTURE of these goods has a long history in the area. We have MANUFACTURED these machines since the middle of last century. Are they able to MANUFACTURE the equipment for us? The area has a lot of MANUFACTURING industry located in a small area. The MANUFACTURER of these items has been trading here for the last ten years. Can you find a MANUFACTURER who can build the workshop for us? The frame of the building was MANUFACTURED in our new factory nearby.

She has always enjoyed MATHEMATICS* and is well on her way to becoming an excellent MATHEMATICIAN. He has done a lot of work on the MATHEMATICAL equations for this PROJECT, although at first he thought it was MATHEMATICALLY impossible. MAXIMUM means the greatest or highest amount, quantity or value that is possible. This is the MAXIMUM that we are willing to pay for these goods. We are certainly not going to go over the MAXIMUM budget. Your MAXIMUM shorthand speed is the highest that you can write at and still read back and if you can’t read it back, it doesn’t count! Your MAXIMUM speed will change according to the DIFFICULTY of the subject matter but constant PRACTISING will give it an upwards trend.

* "mathematics" The shorter words "maths" and "math" are normal outlines, above the line and vocalised

There is a MECHANICAL problem with this equipment. He enjoys building MECHANICAL toys that perform various actions. He is very MECHANICALLY minded and can always sort out any MECHANICAL problem. He has become the Chief MECHANICAL Engineer for the METROPOLITAN Railway. METROPOLITAN refers to the main city in an area, and comes from the Greek for mother and city. A METROPOLITAN underground railway is often simply called the metro in some cities. We have been able to take out a MORTGAGE with the bank to buy the new house. When a property is MORTGAGED, it becomes security against the repayment of a loan. We have MORTGAGED our house in order to secure another loan. MORTGAGING the property will incur great risk to this business. Once a MORTGAGE is partly paid off, some people REMORTGAGE in order to purchase something larger or more EXPENSIVE.

We ordered the goods last NOVEMBER but only received them in January and February. We think NOVEMBER will be our best month for sales of these items. We NEVER go away in NOVEMBER as the weather is too cold. I NEVER enjoy the cold and I never miss going out on a hot day. NEVERMORE means NEVER again and is a slightly archaic or poetic version of this phrase. The history of the area has been lost, NEVERMORE to be passed on to future generations. The sailors left the harbour, NEVERMORE to return to their homeland. The longhand is written separately when the “more” belongs with the next word, resulting in a different meaning, and the shorthand should reflect this as well: I am NEVER more contented than when I am doing shorthand.

We are going to ORGANISE a trip to the coast. We ORGANISED one last year which was a great success. They are ORGANISING a large event at the conference centre. He always ORGANISES his notes before he starts to write the report. This ORGANISATION employs about twenty workers in the main office. It is an ORGANISATIONAL nightmare to get everyone in the right place at the right time. We should consider bringing in a professional ORGANISER who can do this job for us. I have REORGANISED the stationery store, which had become very disorganised. He is a very DISORGANISED person who is always losing his paperwork. The definition of INORGANISATION is a lack of ORGANISATION. The INORGANISATION of this office astounds me and I insist that all the filing cabinets are properly* ORGANISED by a CAPABLE person. The pile of papers was UNORGANISED but we will be able to sort it out within a few hours. UNORGANISED means that the items have never been sorted, and DISORGANISED means that any former semblance of order has been removed, disrupted or destroyed. As a dedicated shorthand writer I am quite sure you have no idea whatever of ever being DISORGANISED with your shorthand materials and notes. (1324 words)

* “properly” Insert the first vowel, and the diphone in "appropriately" as the outlines and meanings are similar

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Contractions 3 (31 May 2015)

I hope your revision of the contractions is resulting in more confident writing. By now shorthand is no longer* a PECULIAR writing system and the former PECULIARITIES are now just a normal way to write EFFICIENTLY*. You have left behind the PECULIARITIES of longhand, at least* for the moment, until you come to transcribe. Your PERFORMANCE during writing is surely much better than before. When as children we made a fuss it was called making a PERFORMANCE, but I think that by now any PERFORMANCES are useful and effective instead. An actor or actress* is called a PERFORMER, and someone who fails to do what they should might be accused of NON-PERFORMANCE of their duties. They have not PERFORMED the actions that they were supposed to. An action that can be done is called PERFORMABLE. Let’s* hope there are no fussing “PERFORMANCES” when a dictation has more than the usual amount of contractions and new words, and that the PERFORMANCE of the task is an easy and effortless one.

* "longer" Downward L in order to join in the phrase

* "efficiently" You can add an L stroke to any contraction if felt necessary for clarity, either joined or disjoined

* “at least” and “at last” Always insert the vowel

* Add the vowel in "actress" so it is not misread as "actors". Some "-ess" outlines use stroke S to avoid this.

* "Let's" Wavy line underneath as a reminder it is the apostrophied version, as even with the vowel it could still be read as "let us"

The REFORMS were put into action IMMEDIATELY, and a report was compiled of those laws that have been REFORMED in the last twelve months. REFORMERS are keen to change things and we hope that their REFORMS are for the benefit of all those who live here. If you form something, and then change its form, it is called REFORMING, which has a different first vowel and does not use the contraction. If something is PERPENDICULAR, this means that it is upright* or in a vertical position, or in geometry at right-angles* to a horizontal plane. It comes from the Latin for hang, balance or weigh, and can also be seen in the word pendulum. The PERPENDICULAR style of architecture can be seen in the English Gothic style of the sixteenth century. The wooden beams were positioned PERPENDICULARLY along the north edge of the foundations.

* "upright, right-angles" Ray is only halved when there are other strokes in the outline. If you wrote "upright" with full R and T, it could be mistaken for the contraction "perpendicular" when written at speed, which has the same meaning

I think by now you will be fairly FAMILIAR with the outline for PRACTICE, as it is one that is essential to any shorthand article. It is interesting that it derives ultimately from the Greek for “do”. I have been PRACTISING my writing skills every day, and the list of UNPRACTISED words is getting very much shorter. It is not PRACTICABLE to actually write whilst on the bus so I read instead. The PRACTICABILITY of accomplishing all these tasks in a short time is something that we shall have to look into. The people applying* for this job had to attend PRELIMINARY interviews, and not all of them will make it onto the shortlist. The scientist’s PRELIMINARY experiments provided the information to help him decide on the best methods of INVESTIGATION. These athletes have won the PRELIMINARIES and will now go on to the main races.

* "applying" Not using a triphone, as the "I" sound is included in the Dot Ing

It is PROBABLE that some of the contractions will occur in the next shorthand dictation that you take. You will PROBABLY know most of them by then and the PROBABILITY of suffering hesitations and gaps is rapidly diminishing. It is quite IMPROBABLE that this employee made such a mistake, but it is highly PROBABLE that it was the new assistant, who has not yet been trained. I am PROBABLY going to be away from the office in June. I will PROBABLY be travelling to America. The PROBABILITY is that we shall be flying direct this time, and we will PROBABLY arrive in the early evening.

The PROPORTION of employees taking up this offer has been quite high. They have been spending money quite out of PROPORTION to their FINANCIAL position. The extent of this PROJECT has to be* kept in PROPORTION to the amount of funds that can be allocated to it. The new truck is of gigantic PROPORTIONS and will certainly do the job very quickly. All their problems seemed to be out of PROPORTION to the original mistake that was made. The word PROPORTIONATE means the same as “in PROPORTION to”. Our monthly spending on clothes is PROPORTIONATE to our disposable monthly income. At the meeting there was a DISPROPORTIONATE amount of time spent discussing irrelevant issues. The wages were DISPROPORTIONATELY high, considering the little work that was done. Shorthand success will be in direct PROPORTION to the amount and quality of time spent PRACTISING.

* "has to be" The similar "is to be" is best written as two separate outlines thus keeping all the short forms in position

The PUBLIC gathered in large numbers outside the council offices. The report will be made PUBLIC in about two weeks’ time. The business has decided to announce PUBLICLY their proposed plans for this site. They will PUBLISH a report on the matter* before the next meeting. I have PUBLISHED two books on the subject of gardening. I will be PUBLISHING another one in the spring of next year. This book is not PUBLISHABLE at present as it needs a lot more editing and checking of the facts. The PUBLICATION was mailed to everyone who had expressed an interest in the company. She worked as PUBLICATIONS Manager* for several years and is now head of the PUBLISHING Department.

* Omission phrase "on (the) matter"

* "manager" You can intersect stroke M for "manager" but it would be unclear written through the shun hook

The PUBLISHER of my book has advised me to REPUBLISH my sports history series. It has been REPUBLISHED with new photos* and more information. The same shorthand outline is used for REPUBLIC but as that is a noun, it is unlikely to clash. A REPUBLIC is a country ruled by an elected government or representatives of the people, and not by a monarch. A REPUBLIC and a democracy are similar in meaning. The REPUBLICAN Party in that country won the election and it is clear that REPUBLICANISM is on the rise.

* "photos" Vowel inserted to prevent it being misread as "facts" which would also make sense in this context

The accounts department have drawn up a list of RECOVERABLE debts. We are glad to hear that these RECOVERABLE losses are in the process of being reclaimed. The patient is RECOVERABLE and will be back home in about two weeks. They think their reputation is RECOVERABLE but it is going to be hard work to convince the general PUBLIC. They suffered IRRECOVERABLE losses due to the effects of the storms. These IRRECOVERABLE debts will just have to be written off. There was an IRRECOVERABLE breakdown of trust between the management and the workers. Some of the union REPRESENTATIVES did however believe that confidence in each other was RECOVERABLE. The computer had UNRECOVERABLE file and disk errors caused by the power failures.

I like to take REGULAR exercise, and I REGULARLY go for a walk in the park. The garden has an IRREGULAR shape with a large triangular lawn at the back. He made IRREGULAR trips to the local shops, in between his visits to the big supermarket. Her behaviour is very IRREGULAR and does not conform to EXPECTED standards. These accounts are highly IRREGULAR and have not been drawn up accurately or CAREFULLY. I am going to appoint a REPRESENTATIVE from the accountancy firm to deal with them. I have REPRESENTED my firm at the conference for the last five years. I shall be REPRESENTING the football club at the council meeting next week. Our REPRESENTATIVE will be calling on you to give a quote for the windows. They made a REPRESENTATION to the government with their new proposals. UNFORTUNATELY* our aims have been MISREPRESENTED and we are enclosing a more accurate report of our plans. These figures are UNREPRESENTATIVE of the normal level of profits for this period of the year.


* "Unfortunately" Optional contraction

We are RESPONSIBLE for our own future and we take full RESPONSIBILITY for formulating our own plans. They asked who was RESPONSIBLE for all this damage to the fences. We are looking for a RESPONSIBLE person to employ as a guard. His RESPONSIBILITIES have been set out and described in the letter that we sent to him. What is your RESPONSE to this list of items that need IMMEDIATE attention? The RESPONSES we received to the ADVERTISEMENT were very encouraging. He made a SENSIBLE offer on the house which was accepted straight away. I am glad the children have acted SENSIBLY and reported this matter to the authorities. The rude reply they received offended their SENSIBILITIES. The visitors acted INSENSIBLY when they were in their friend’s house. The items are in good condition and should attract SENSIBLE offers from the buyers. (1347 words)

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Short Letters 4 (31 May 2015)


These short letters are intended to help speed up your writing. There is no special vocabulary and as you know that the end is not far away you are less likely to get discouraged on a fast attempt. If you print them out and write over the top of the shorthand in pencil many times, you can get quite a high speed but it is important to speak the words to yourself as you go and not just copy the shapes without thinking. If you do several passages in one session there will be less temptation to memorise them and then when you come back to them later on you may be pleasantly surprised at the speed increase that is possible. These count as easy successes but that confidence can be carried over into other more difficult passages, as it will have proved to you that your hand can actually write fast just as long as the mind can supply the correct outlines at the rate required. (167 words)

Each paragraph is 150 words, so writing one in 90 seconds will be 100wpm:

Dear Mr Short*, I am writing to let you know that our staff have now moved back into the offices which you have been working on for us for the last month. They are very pleased indeed* with their new workplace, and everyone has said how much better it will be for them, and how it will improve their working days. They are especially pleased with the higher light levels provided by the larger windows, new light fittings and automatic blinds. We think that the decision to make these changes will make a great difference to our business dealings, especially when our customers visit our new comfortable and modern premises, and we believe that this is money very well* spent. We will soon be discussing the possibility of renewing our other offices and hopefully we can work together on that at some future date. Yours sincerely*, James Long, Managing Director (150 words)

* "Short" Short forms are not used for names or other proper nouns

* Omission phrase "very pleas(ed) indeed". "very (w)ell" can stand without the W sign quite reliably, "Yours (sin)cerely"


Dear Mr Long, First of all* I would like to thank you for writing to us regarding the work that we recently carried out for you at your premises. We are pleased to hear that your staff are delighted with the changes to their offices. We believe the replacement windows and blinds, and the new air conditioning, will make a big difference to their comfort, especially as the building is now much brighter and warmer than it was before. We think you will find that your heating bills will also be lower. There is still some work to do in the store rooms but we think that we shall have this finished by the end of the month. We will be sending our final invoice to you shortly. If you have any questions* regarding the work, please do not hesitate to contact me immediately. Yours sincerely*, Terence Short, Building Manager. (150 words)

* Omission phrase "First (of) all"  "Yours (sin)cerely"

* "questions" Optional contraction

Dear Gardener, I hope that you are enjoying the summer weather that we have had recently. As the spring flowers fade, you may find some gaps appearing that need to be filled, in order to keep your garden beautiful throughout the rest of the year, and with this in mind I have pleasure in enclosing a voucher which you can use at any of our three garden centres. Just present the voucher at the till to get your discount, or quote the discount promotion code if you prefer to order online. This month* we have a great range of summer flowering perennials available at our centres, and if you buy now they will have time to settle in before the drier weather arrives. Don’t forget, our plant ordering service is able to locate that special plant for you direct from our growers around the country. With best wishes*, Jane Green (150 words)

* Omission phrase "this (mon)th" Ith can be intersected for "month" or joined as here

* "best wishes" Ish written upwards in order to join


Dear Shareholder*, I am writing to let you know of our schedule of meetings for this year. We have many changes happening this year and we want you to have the opportunity to attend these meetings and take part* in the discussions and decisions that will be made. This month* we are voting in new members of the Board, and attached to this letter is a report on those who are standing for office, as well as a list of dates and venues for the meetings. If you wish to attend, it would be most helpful if you could let us know up to two weeks* before each date, either by post or online, for catering purposes. The past year* has been a very successful one for us and our speakers are looking forward to reporting on past achievements and future opportunities. I look forward to seeing you. Yours sincerely* (150 words) (767 total words)

* "Shareholder"  L can only be doubled for "-der -ther" if the outline has other strokes as well

* "part" Only hooked for convenience in common phrases, otherwise use full strokes, likewise "park"

* Omission phrases "this (mon)th" "two wee(k)s" "pas(t) year"  "Yours (sin)cerely"


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