I am confused about "ten," "den," "time," and "dim." Of course, equivalent phonemes could occur in words like "tendency," "density," "temporary," and "demonstrate." I gather from a source like lesson 2 in "Refresher Course in Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee Series," by Strony, Garvey, and Newhouse, that there are only two shapes: a huge version of "the" for "time" and "dim," and an intermediate-sized version of "the" for "ten" and "den." But I can't recall seeing a clear statement about it and I tend to overthink the question, drawing a bigger upstroke for "den" and "dim" than for "ten" and "time," and drawing a longer ending stroke for "time" and "dim" than for "ten" and "den." And, of course, I shouldn't be drawing anything, but writing without thinking, so I need some help with this question!
EDIT: Adding the obvious parallel question about "net," "met," "ned," "mad:" four shapes or two?
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2019 14:53:00 GMT -5 by rebcabin
A good way to memorize this is to learn the spelling of a few words that use these blends. I'll suggest these examples: ten (tn), indent (n-dn-t); time (tm), temporary (tm-pr-r-e); end (e-nd), and (nd), entire (nt-i-r); empty (e-mt-e).
Note that when tn and tm are written, most commonly there's a vowel between the consonants that is not written, as in the examples above. But when nt and mt are written, most commonly a vowel precedes the blend, whether that vowel is written or not. Again see the examples above.
Very few words use the mt (= md) blend. The only one that occurs to me right now is "empty", lisetd above.