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Author Topic: Shortening words  (Read 9200 times)
KB4MB
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Posts: 295




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« on: February 10, 2012, 08:12:36 AM »

Still new to CW - at about 10-12wpm, but I can creep up to 15wpm occasionally - still working at it Smiley

Anyway, with my slower speed QSO's, I have been shortening words, but it seems nobody else really does that.   For example, the sentence below:
I RN A HRSE FRM W XYL NW IN NC = VY HPY TO MV FRM NY DWN HR =

To me, that is readable and easier then spelling it all out, never received a complaint - but am I doing the right thing?  I think most higher speed ops do this, right?

Same with my QTH (which bores me to spell it out - Mocksville, NC)  - MOXVL NC

Just want to make sure I am doing the right thing as I progress (and am making it easier for the receipient)
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 08:40:40 AM »

The only thing I see that might be not so good is that at your young age in CW it makes sense to send all the characters because you need the practice in sending them.  Generally it's the vowels that are left out, so maybe it's ok for you to do that.  I've worked very experienced ops who abbreviate a lot, but I don't think I've worked anyone who abbreviates everything, as in your example.
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NR0U
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 08:44:17 AM »

KB4MB,

This will be an interesting thread.  I operate in the same speed range as you.  I have not heard anyone cut regular words like you describe.  Everyone cuts certain words like THX, CUAGN, GE, GL, etc, etc.  If you sent your sentence to me, it might throw me and cause me to think to much about what you are trying to say... and of course 'thinking' is bad for increasing speed.  My preference would be not to cut your city, because I would have no idea what you are saying until I QRZ you...  Nice hex by the way!

Just my cents worth.
73
K0URN
Lance
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 08:54:56 AM »

I use abbreviations all the time and if the other guy doesn't understand them, that's life.

I would not abbreviate the name of a town or city unless it's well known, e.g., NYC or CHI or PHIL.  In Florida, MIA, JAX, ORL etc.  But for a small town nobody's ever heard of, either spell it out or use the name of the nearest large city that people will know.

I find very experienced CW ops "get" all the abbreviations I use, and also "get" the alpha markers for numerals, e.g., 1 = A, 0 = T, 9 = N etc., just fine.  "RST 599" is often sent as "RST 5NN," for example.  Real old timers (and I) often shorten that down even more to "RST ENN" using "E" for the 5.

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NK6Q
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 08:56:53 AM »

Some of the abbreviation makes sense to me; other ones might be confusing and, as Lance noted, might actually detract from copy speed.  For example, FRM could easily be interpreted as "from" and not "farm".  It would certainly cause me to pause and lose concentration.

I'm not too much into abbreviating the QTH, unless an op just gives the state or the city is commonly abbreviated, like LA, SF, KC, CHI, or NY.  With a city name of Mocksville, I'd prefer the full spelling.  What are we talking about, an extra 2 seconds?

Bill in PSDNA
NK6Q
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AK7V
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 09:21:57 AM »

I prefer when people stick to the more common abbreviations.  The ones mentioned by the posters above are fine for me, but I really didn't understand part of your example until seeing what other people said.  I thought you ran a hearse from west wife now in North Carolina... or something like that. Smiley

I tend to qso around 30-35 wpm and spell things out unless there's a common abbreviation.  When receiving, I think if someone sent me your example at 35 wpm, I'd fail to copy.  It would be an effective speed increase, and at those speeds I'm mostly copying whole words. So the fact that your abbreviations aren't common and  increase "words" per minute, I think I'd be bewildered...

I'm sure some better ops would get it, but if I had to decode uncommon abbreviations like that in my head, I might miss whatever you send next, if I'm at the high end of my comfort level.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 10:21:24 AM »

Some people might have a difficult time with abbreviations but I never did.

Then, in 8th grade I took classes in Evelyn Wood's Reading Dynamics and that's a serious life-changer.  The course teaches you how to really read by thoughts and concepts, not by word, and by the time you're finished, you can read a page in a few seconds.  It just teaches you to think differently and comprehension skyrockets, compared with reading slowly and having your mind drift in the process.

When I read I don't see all the little words unless they are a formula or some very uncommon key, so I kind of started sending that way a long time ago.

Some get it, some probably don't.

More on the course, which I see is still offered (anyone interested, I'd strongly advise the classroom instruction rather than the do-it-yourself method which can't be as effective), is here: http://www.ewrd.com/ewrd/index.asp

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KB4MB
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 10:27:57 AM »

I'm not too much into abbreviating the QTH, unless an op just gives the state or the city is commonly abbreviated, like LA, SF, KC, CHI, or NY.  With a city name of Mocksville, I'd prefer the full spelling.  What are we talking about, an extra 2 seconds?

In the above example, MOXVL I am missing CKSILE, so six characters, minus the X substitution, so 5 characters, so 1 words worth, lets say.  At 10wpm, that is six seconds, times two since it is sent twice - 12 seconds.  At work, I showed MOXVL to someone and said what does that say and she said "Mocksville" so I figured I was good with that.  To be honest, it is a chore sending the whole thing twice and bores me to tears Smiley

The nearby city is Winston Salem or Charlotte - WINSLM if I shortened it and I don't think people would figure that one out, or CHARLOTTE which isn't really shorter.

As to the other posters, I can see hw FRM, HRSE, and W could mess people up... which is exactly why I posted - to see if I was making things worse.  At the lower speeds, every character and pause saved helps thoroughput, so I am just trying to maximize Smiley

It looks like some are good to shorten, some aren't - frm being from, hr being hear, hw being how... there are pages out there that have a list of common abbreviations hear on CW...

http://www.kent-engineers.com/abbreviations.htm
http://www.ve1cbf.ca/resource/common-international-morse-code-abbreviations
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 10:43:48 AM by KB4MB » Logged
AK7V
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 10:46:54 AM »

Thanks for the link, Steve -- looks interesting!

I think, as always, context helps. 
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W8MW
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 10:47:37 AM »

In 50 years of pounding brass I've copied many abbreviations.  But most of yours threw me.  Not every character saved helps throughput, not when you introduce confusion and/or take risks with clarity.  My advice: use only the most common generic abbreviations, take pride in sending code that's easy to copy.

73, Mike
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KB4MB
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 11:10:50 AM »

One more link:
http://n1su.com/c27.htm

Well, enough of you have said it is confusing - so even if 10% of you said it was confusing, then it isn't worth doing.  I will try to remember just the "normal" words to shorten like in those links I posted...

However, I still think I might shorten the town to MOXVL - even if you sound it out in your head you get the same result, and it will move it along for the first contact in a QSO Smiley  Unless many of you think I am doing a big disservice...

I can't wait for me to get better at this Smiley  And it is funny, some days, even some contacts I can hold up to 15wpm, but sometimes it drops down to 10wpm and I feel stupid Sad
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VA3TSK
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 07:49:23 PM »

I like doing woodworking with hand tools.  Sometimes people tell me it would be quicker if I bought a router jig to do dovetails.  But I figure I enjoy it and if I was in a hurry I'd just go to Ikea and buy the table or whatever.

Same with sending Morse.  I figure if me or the guy I'm talking to were in a hurry, we'd send an email.  May as well relax and enjoy the process.  So I tend to stick to the really common abbreviations.

If you can work up around 10-15 wpm, that's plenty quick for a casual chat. 

Enjoy.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 09:48:39 PM »

MB: There used to be a "shortened word" list that was acceptable throughout the world.  However, most of the ones you have shortened would not be understood throughout the world and perhaps many in this country.

This shortened word thing has been created by the iPhone texting.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before it spilled over into ham radio. 

Suggest you search (Google) the accepted word abbreviation list and stick with it.
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KB4MB
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 05:12:27 AM »

Apparently I am up to 11wpm according to the reverse beacon network, which honestly bothered me a bit - I thought I was faster, but I guess not.  I know on my practice mp3 files I can get up to 15wpm, but I have my keyer set to where I am comfortable receiving no matter what.

Slow road to unlearn the lookup table I created so long ago.  I have swapped it with a new lookup table where I often have to repeat the character sound and say the letter - Di-Dah-Di-Dit pause L... instead of just hearing the letter and automatically saying L... I do that about 50-70% of the time, but the minute I get lost or miss a character I repeat the character to myself and lose three more.  Its' not pure reflex yet.

More QSO's this weekend! Smiley
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KB3TXH
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 09:59:58 AM »

KB4MB, I worked you last night. Granted, my speed is not what I would like it to be. 10 to 12 wpm, while you were sending a little faster. Thank you for slowing down when I requested to QRS, by the way.
 
I think my bigger problem was that what I was writing down (abbreviations) did not make sense as I wrote them, then as I  tried to figure out where I had gone wrong, I began to miss letters. Then I would fall behind, and finally get lost.

Based on my experience, I suggest sticking with abbreviations that are more easily recognized.
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