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line would touch each. As for /, that should represent the lower corner of a cart wheel, and a similar comparison can be used with all the other curves. With regard to the thick curves, if Mr. Pitman cannot get his books better printed, he should at least advise his students how to draw the letters which form the foundation of his system. As it is, most of the curves in the Teacher are thickened all the way, an example which is most studiously followed by the pupil, who thus ignorantly spoils the beauty and lightness of the future shorthand.
It is no easy task to imbue the mind of the student with a correct notion of the actual vocal sounds of the broad vowels. If he is a musician, an appeal can be successfully made to his knowledge of music, because there is similarity in the method of getting different vocal sounds by various positions. It is advisable that the pupil should pronounce the vowels audibly in their seriatim order, for non-musical students have peculiar notions with regard to vocal sounds, and it is difficult to get them to make much difference between the sounds of ah and aw. Decidedly the best means of conveying the correct sound is by spelling them in the ordinary writing, such as ah, hay, he, aw, hoe, who when writing them in the student's copy book for reference.
Having dealt with the consonants and vowels in the way described, next comes the difficulty of application. It is hard to make a novice comprehend that gap spells gape. There is only one way of getting it out of the pupil—for out it must come, "telling" is of no use—and that is to make him sound the a or the o or whatever vowel it may be. This treatment may have to be followed up all through the lesson on the long vowels, but it rarely fails when pursued to the finish. The short vowels are not so difficult of comprehension, owing to their identity with the ordinary vowels, and the correct vocal power which they represent can easily be illustrated by saying at, et, it, ot, ut, oot, without emitting any consonantal sounds. Here it should be explained that there is a difference in the placing of the vowels by merely pointing out the difference in the position of the central vowel, as in this way the mind will not get so much confused. The compound vowels are easily understood if the same course be adopted with them as with the broad vowels, i.e., if the full vocal sound cannot be got out of the student he must be asked at every word to sound the "I" or whatever vowel it is, until he gives the true vocal sound.
The duplicate h's may be passed over with a mere explanation to the affect that they are given by the inventor for the purpose of affording opportunity for variety of outline, certainly a great desideratum when it is considered that by and by the student has to read his notes solely from outline.
The lesson on the upward and downward r and I is one of the most important as affecting the groundwork of the system, and should be clearly explained to the student. In fact, as in other cases, something more than a mere explanation is required. The changes effected by the duplicate letters are so numerous, and affect so many words possessing the same consonants, that it is necessary that ere the student leaves the teacher he should have the rule firmly impressed upon his mind. How to do this is the question. The best way to make sure of reaching the understanding of a pupil is to explain the matter in the fewest possible words, and get him, after he has listened to the explanation, to write it down in his own phraseology. This, in theory, may appear easy, but in practice it will be found exceedingly difficult; and the explanation will have to be given in some cases for the fiftieth time ere the student ceases to make mistakes in respect to this apparently simple rule, which runs as follows: —The upward r and I commence a word, and are used at the end of a word when a vowel follows. The downward r and I are used at the commencement of a word when a vowel precedes, and at the end of a word when no vowel follows. This rule refers to words spelt phonographically, not to the ordinary spelling.
Thus far the author has dealt with the primary consonants and vowels only. Many words can now be formed; but the pupil should be made to understand that up to the present he has only been initiated with respect to the characters which form the foundation of the system. Some tyros in the art have essayed to form difficult words with the consonants thus far placed at their disposal, and, as might be expected, have betrayed their astonishment that speeches could be taken with these lengthy forms. At this stage it is necessary that some outline should be given as to the course that has to be pursued, for it is not well to allow the student to be groping his way, as it were, in the dark. Now exercise 15 of the teacher is the first step in the direction of grouping the consonants, and if properly explained the pupil will see the desirability of closely studying this admirable process of grouping; for here is unquestionably the development of the first of the grand principles upon which the system is built up. If made quite clear much trouble and annoyance, through misconception as to the ultimate intentions of the inventor, will be saved. The remarks made with respect to one consonant apply equally to every primary consonant in the system. In grouping his consonants, Mr. Pitman, with a few exceptions, retains one—and only one—primary consonant as the backbone of each syllable, the remainder of the consonants. in the same syllable being made up of hooks, circles, and contractions. Thus the primary consonant p would stand for pay, but in the word pray, with two consonants, the hook r would be added; in spray, three consonants, the spr treble consonant; in sprain, four consonants, the hook n would be added, and in sprains, five consonants, the hook ns would be used; thus out of the original letter p we get five consonants, only one primary consonant being retained as the backbone of the syllable. This applies equally in respect to such words as strands, six consonants, half the primary consonant t being alone retained as the backbone of the syllable, and the same would result with a portion of thep in splints. The pupil should not pronounce the secondary consonant before the primary consonant. Thus it is pr not rp. The exercise in question is an important one, and should be gone through leisurely and carefully, the teacher pointing out where the vocal sounds should come in. Keference should also be made to the double and triple primary consonants at the bottom of page 4, as they are now brought into frequent use for the first time. When the student is in difficulty—and his troubles will commence iu earnest when he embarks upon the grouping process—he should not be told what the word is, but it should be elicited from him by asking him to put the sounds together, or articulate them in their proper order. The misconceptions will chiefly lie with the rotation, then the reversed fr and thr will confuse the student,and sometime will have to be spent in puzzling out such words as whirl, why, where, whale, anguish, etc. The n and v hook present no difficulty, unless it is that one will constantly be taken for the other. Here is an opportunity for phrenotyptical aid. The n hook must go on the contrary side to the primary n. The hook is always written backwards, and the primary always forward. Circle s is very useful at the beginning of a word. It always reads first, viz., before the vowel and consonant, and it also reads last, i.e., it is never followed by a vowel at the end of a word. While exercise 17 only requires a glance, 18 should be well studied, as the words are somewhat difficult for a novice, and the grouping becomes more perplexing, and the order in which vowels and consonants come require thinking out. This may also be said of the final circle s, exercise 19. Next to the rule as to the primary consonant, concerning which more will have to be said by and by, and the r and I combinations, the rule respecting the use of the circle and stroke s is of vital importance, as it affects a large class of words; and the distinction should be stated before lesson 20 is proceeded with. The reason for supplying a duplicate letter for the letter s is evidently to afford greater scope for variety of outline, and to enable the shorthand writer to read unvocalised notes. In lesson 20 it will also be seen that the principle of retaining a primary consonant for each