Saturday, 17 June 2017

Breaking News



Here in the UK we have had a succession of difficult news stories, with a series of major attacks and events in London. Much as I like to present upbeat articles to help with the shorthand, at some time* you are likely to need vocabulary for these, whether reporting or in minutes or correspondence. Sudden attacks on civilians*, with fatal* consequences, have filled our headlines, and the first thoughts and assumptions* are that it is a terrorist attack or a suicide bomber, especially when the location is near to the seat of government. The alternative is that it is a copycat crime by someone operating on their own, often called a lone wolf. Sometimes a terrorist organisation decides to take the credit in order to* use the publicity for their own ends, in increasing fear amongst the citizens of the capital city* and encouraging hasty reactions and divisions amongst those in authority. Extensive* investigations by the police authorities will uncover the extent of the organisation and motives of those responsible, whether directly involved in the action, supporting with finance*, training and materials, issuing directives based on their ideology, or shielding and harbouring those connected with the terrorist cells and groups.

* "at some time" Halving for the T of "time"

* "civilians" The diphone is written adjacent as normal, as its sound comes after both the V and L sounds.


* "assumptions" Omits the lightly sounded P, therefore M not Imp

* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"

* "capital city" Write the intersection first, in the order spoken

* "extensive" Keep the T vertical, and insert its vowel. With the similar "expansive" keep the P shallow and insert its vowel.

* "finance" Dictionary gives this outline with the "finn-" pronunciation, but nowadays it is often spoken "fye-". Take care not to misreading is as "findings".


Some of these acts have been carried out* using vehicles to kill and injure pedestrians, with attackers then running through the streets brandishing large knives and axes, causing panic and severe injury to passers-by at random, and in one case killing a police officer. Unlike explosives and other disruptive devices, these are normal everyday items that are freely available and employing them as offensive weapons requires no planning or technical knowhow to use them to such devastating effect. This means that our main way of dealing with threats of this kind has to be* prevention of radicalisation of those who carry out these atrocities, and the identification of those who are at risk of the type of indoctrination* that results in the glorification and justification of violence and murder*, often claimed by themselves to be in the name of their religion or belief system. As these recent attacks have led to the shooting and death of the assailants, this has allowed the police services to identify them immediately and rapidly close the net on known contacts and associates who are suspected of sharing and promoting their radical ideology, and their brutal and murderous intentions.

* "carried out" Halving for the word "out"

* "has to be" This and the phrase "is to be" are safe. "it is to be" can be phrased because the "is" will remain in position, but for the words "it has to be" write the "it" separately, so that the "as" remains in position.

* "indoctrination" Alternative contraction that omits the K. The full outline would include the K and be written in position through the line.

* "murder" The outline for "murderer" just adds an R stroke


With the recent phenomenon* of attacks on crowds using vehicles, we are seeing an increased number of concrete barriers and blocks appearing throughout the capital city, these being large slabs placed at close intervals* to prevent vehicles from entering certain areas but allowing pedestrians free access. These have gone from serving as a purely* road safety or crowd control feature, to being* a counter-terrorist attack measure. Surveillance of people in the streets and vehicles is now easier to carry out with the ever-increasing use of security cameras in a wide variety of locations, and the smart technology that can recognise people, faces, specific vehicles and their number plates. Although some may not like the thought that our movements can be extensively* monitored if necessary, we are grateful for it when a suspect* is identified and tracked, and major terrorist incidents intercepted or prevented, or if it allows further intelligence to be gained on the identities and meeting places of accomplices* and collaborators.

* "phenomenon" Write the F stroke first, in the order spoken. The contraction for the plural "phenomena" is the same but without the N hook. Easier to learn if you see the N stroke as representing the last syllable "F-non" and "F-na".

* "intervals" It is the VL stroke that is in position through the line, so it does not matter where the doubled N stroke ends up

* "purely" Distinguishing outlines "pure" has Ray, "poor" has Ar

* "to being" Based on the short form phrase "to be"

* "extensively" Keep the T vertical, and insert its vowel. With the similar "expansively" keep the P shallow and insert its vowel.

* "suspect" Full outline for the noun, which has its emphasis on the first syllable. The contraction is only used for the verb, which has emphasis on second syllable.

* "accomplices" The outline for "accomplice" does not join the prefix as that would look too much like "couples"


When these tragedies, injuries and fatalities have occurred, communities come together even more closely, supporting each other and ignoring their* superficial differences, in order to* present an unbroken front against those who wish to sow discord, shatter trust and destroy the otherwise peaceful lives of the citizens of this country. Every reaction of those involved in the immediate event and aftermath is brought to our television screens by the myriad of news reporters, asking everyone they can to describe how they were involved or affected by the event, and what was going through their mind. Those who are caught up in events are generally willing to share their experiences immediately and this may help them process such traumatic* experiences. Unfortunately, amongst the mostly* good reporting, one still occasionally hears questions like “how did you feel when this atrocity happened” or worse “you must be feeling devastated” when the answer is obvious. This type of insensitive enquiry from a reporter is unnecessary, unprofessional and prurient, and serves only to gain extra video footage, rather than being helpful to the person and informative to the viewers. Trauma* counselling is offered to victims and emergency* service workers, and this is a more appropriate* setting for this type of exchange.

* "ignoring their" Doubling to represent "their"

* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)"

* "traumatic" "trauma" Always insert the first vowel, as these are similar to "drama, dramatic" in shape and meaning

* "questions" Optional contraction

* "mostly" Omits the lightly sounded T

* "emergency" Omits the N for convenience

* "appropriate" Always insert the diphone, and the 2nd vowel in "proper", as these are similar in shape and meaning.


The recent terrorist attackers seem to have completely misjudged the reactions that the British public will show in response to their action, especially as it is designed to affect and demoralise the nation as a whole, not just those who are directly involved as victims. As the perpetrators are gripped by their fanaticism, the high emotions behind their chaotic and violent actions are the polar opposite of the typical customary British response which, when faced with such things, just gets more resolute, unyielding and strong-willed, harder to move to incapacitating emotion, and more determined to refuse to do anything remotely resembling what the aggressors were hoping to accomplish, in order to* deprive them of their chief objective. Determination to resist and overcome becomes immovable, teeth are firmly gritted, heels dug in, and faces and minds are defiantly* set like flint against those who attempt to undermine and destroy our normal law-abiding everyday lives. (915 words)

* Omission phrase "in ord(er to)

* "defiantly" Written thus to distinguish it from "definitely"