There is nothing so satisfying as a well-constructed phrase flowing effortlessly from the pen. With so many juicy and wonderful phrases available it can be tempting to write one of them before the speaker has said all the words of it. They may say something else or finish it differently. This is a shorthand trap for the unwary and even worse you can fail to hear accurately in the eagerness to use a particular phrase. The inaccurate words may still make sense so the error becomes invisible, and remains undetected and unnoticed in the transcript, subtly altering its meaning. The answer is to make yourself familiar with the variations that some groups of words can have. Attentiveness and careful* listening are necessary to avoid this type of error. Omission phrases bring benefits but also require diligence and a certain amount* of restraint from the shorthand writer*. A phrase in speaking is a group of words that belong together. In shorthand a phrase is two or more outlines joined together and the official name for this composite shorthand outline is “phraseogram”*.
* "careful" Optional contraction
* Omission phrase "certain (am)ount" This is a unique phrase and is similar to using "-nt" instead of the "-ment" ending order to make a join possible
* Omission phrase "short(hand) writer"
* "phraseogram" This outline (as shown in Instructor and dictionary) is barely able to show the R hook on the G stroke, by flattening the circle slightly upwards. It would be perfectly readable without any attempt at the hook. Similarly "phraseograph" and "phraseography".
One such popular phrase is “all over the world” but the speaker may say “all over our world / your world / their world / this world / this old world”. They may leave out a word and say “all over world politics, people are talking about this” or “all over, world leaders are talking about this.” That is eight variations already and the same can happen with “all round the world” versus “all around the world”. Although one might think it would be obvious that there is a different word in the phrase, it is amazingly* easy firstly to fail to notice it (especially if you are several words* behind the speaker) and secondly, to find one’s hand going its own sweet way and instantly writing what it has always written and finds easiest. Apart from the first one given, all these other phrases above need to be written fully to prevent error.
* "amazingly" Always insert the second vowel in "amaze" and "amuse" and all their derivatives
* "several words" In phrases, "-wd" can be used for "word" instead of the short form, wherever it joins better
We are at a loss to know why he will be leaving in a few days because as a rule he stays till the end of the month.
We did not* think for a moment that they would behave in such a manner as this at the conference last week*.
The directors of the company are to a great extent concerned about the matter of the financial shortfall.
I heard for the first time his interesting stories about his travels all over the world when he was younger.
We will consider the matter today notwithstanding the fact that there is little information on the subject.
We think that in the first instance we must look into the matter to get all the facts*.
* "we did not" Not written as one phrase, where it would look like "we do not". Inserting the I vowel in that phrase would make it the apostrophied version "we didn't".
* Omission phrase "las(t w)eek" "all the (f)acts"
We do not know what is the matter with them, and as a matter of fact we think they will not tell us.
We are not avoiding this subject, on the contrary we will* investigate it as a matter of course.
This report is just an expression of opinion and in consequence of this it is out of place on the agenda.
We have made* some payments in respect of* the costs and expect to receive confirmation in a short space of time.
Do you mean to say that there was an error on the part of the workers in relation to the building plans?
We have had constant trouble from first to last and so we have asked to meet them face to face.
* "we will" Note that the "will" is written in full after "we"
* "we have made" Ensure the Md stroke is thick, as "we met some payments" could make sense
* "in respect of" This phrase has to include the V hook, compare the similar phrase below "in respect to"
I received an email* in reply to my telephone call and it appears to me that the problem has been solved.
Having regard to the report on this matter, it appears to have been written without any knowledge of the facts.
In reference to your comments on the matter, it seems to me* that these things ought to have been done.
With regard to the issues that you have raised, it seems important* that they are discussed immediately.
With regard to the issues that you have raised, it is most important* that they are discussed immediately.
With reference to your complaint last month, we shall be glad to know whether this was resolved.
* "email" Insert the first vowel, as this is similar to "mail"
* "It seems to me" Helpful to insert the vowel, also compare with the two phrases in italics in the sentences below, both of which must have the vowel to differentiate
Thank you for your report, in reference to which I shall be communicating with the directors.
We shall be glad to hear* what has been done in respect to your requests.
They really ought to have known what to do with respect to this problem, and I regret to say nothing was done.
I regret to state that this matter has not been dealt with to our satisfaction.
We regret to state that they have not started the work which they ought to have done by now.
There have been* no changes of policy with relation to the safety issues raised.
* "we shall be glad to hear" Shown in Instructor, but this phrase is overlong and descending, and would be better split up
* Omission phrase "there (have) been" This makes a better join than using "have" with N hook for "been"
The following Instructor omission phrases are best used only when standing apart in the sentence and this pause is shown by setting it off with a comma:
At the present day, I have realised that we cannot afford this item at the present-day prices.
At the present time, I am working. I am working at present. I am working at the present.
By the way, I met Mr Black last week. I wrote him a letter by way of explanation.
In the first place, I would like to give my reasons. In the second place, I will describe what happened.
In the third place, I will draw some conclusions. In the last place the committee will make a decision.
In the next place*, we shall be hearing a report from Mr Smith.
Tom finished in first place, Dick finished in second place, Harry finished in third place and in last place came Fred.
* "in the next place" Note how the L hook is shown, by taking the circle further back and introducing an angle at the beginning of the P, like the outline "explain" and similar words
The following Instructor phrases (in italics) could be unsafe because it is not always clear whether the word “the” is omitted or not. I have used the phrase (underlined) for the version that does not omit anything, and split the other one up, to maintain maximum accuracy and clarity.
I took all the circumstances into account. I took all circumstances into account.
In the circumstances like you describe, we would have done the same thing.
In circumstances like you describe, we would have done the same thing.
Instances* like that are unusual.
On the one hand we thought it was right but on the other hand we knew it would be difficult.
On one hand we thought it was right but on the other hand we knew it would be difficult.
He was disturbed in a great measure by these events. He was disturbed in great measure by these events.
It is with great pleasure* I declare this event open. (1110 words)
* "instances" Keep this clearly through the line, and insert the first vowel if necessary, as it is similar to "in circumstances"
* "great pleasure" Write the second word separately (on the line) if you think it might clash with the "great measure" phrase