**Repetition in Characterie** # The Role of Repetition Compared to all other methods of shorthand, Characterie dedicates a large component of its theory to repetition. Whenever a word, phrase, or even a characterical root, is repeated, then you can often save many strokes by having a simple way to represent this. For example, consider the following quotes from Shakespeare: * "Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, shrunk to this little measure?" (*Julius Caesar*, III, i) * "Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!" (*King John*, II, i) * "That never words were music to thine ear, That never object pleasing in thine eye, That never touch well welcome to thy hand" (*Comedy of Errors*, II, ii) * "Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, all, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak." (*Othello*, V, ii) * "O, cursed be the hand that made these holes; Cursed the heart that had the heart to do it; Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence." -- *Richard III* Act 1, Scene 2. Literature of the time loved to include various repetitive literary devices, and Characterie was built to support many of them. In particular we will see that Characterie is very well built to be able to benefit from *polysyndeton* (listing similar words or phrases with a conjunction between) as you may end up with repetition of words that derive from the same characterical root. !!!
**Relation to modern text compression** This portion of the theory is fascinating to me, as I am professionally a mathematician and computer scientist by training and trade. Many of the techniques here are very close to the way that digital computers losslessly compress text with things like *run-length encoding* (which encodes direct repetition), or even some *dictionary-based encoding* systems (which encodes variations from a growing dictionary) being similar to the rules he employs. As a result, when these rules apply, they can result in a massive reduction in the number of words that need to be written.
# Techniques of Repetition To support these various types of repetition, Characterie has a variety of rules of differing levels of complexity. ## Repetition of a Word The simplest type of repetition is the repetition of a single word multiple times in a row. For instance, recall the way that Othello contained the line:
let them all, all, all, cry shame against me
If we converted this into Characterie, we would write this as: !["let them all, all, all, cry shame against me"](./repetition/all_all_all.svg) The repetition of the *all* character takes up a full third of all the characters you write for that phrase! If we can instead write a single character, we will save a lot of space. This can be done in one of two ways: 1. Put a certain number of dots after the character to mark each additional repetition, or 1. Write the number to the left for the total number of repetitions. This means it could be written either as: !["let them all, all, all, cry shame against me"](./repetition/all_all_all_dots.svg) or: !["let them all, all, all, cry shame against me"](./repetition/all_all_all_number.svg) The resulting phrase requires seven instead of nine characters to write, and indeed the dot based method in particular would be very easy to do live as you just write a dot for each additional repetition as you hear them. ## Repetition of a Concept Often times, pure repetition would be viewed as dull in literature, and instead the repetition would happen with various synonyms or antonyms. For instance consider the following quote:
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, shrunk to this little measure?
Here, all the words of the list can be derived from *glory*. If written directly, this would be: !["Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, shrunk to this little measure?"](./repetition/glories.svg) The repeated root of *glory·s* is clearly inefficient to write repeatedly, so the rule will be that in such a case, you can write a dot instead. To provide additional detail: 1. for consenting meanings, write the accompanying letter on the left of the dot, 1. for dissenting meanings, write the accompanying letter on the right of the dot, and 1. if the repetition is of the root itself, just write a dot. Thus, we may simplify this by writing: !["Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, shrunk to this little measure?"](./repetition/glories_dots.svg) It is very important that the dots are aligned with each other, and with the original character for readability. Notice that this also works for a mix of synonyms and antonyms, as in the following example where both *heavy* and *light* derive from *wait* as a homonym for *weight*. !["Oh, heavy lightness!" -- *Romeo and Juliet* Act 1, Scene 1](./repetition/heavy.svg) ## Repetition with Conjunctions The same rules apply for repetition with conjunctions between by simply replacing the dot with the conjunction. For instance, in the phrase "heaven and men and devils" you can take *devils* (normally written in opposition to *holy*) to be in opposition of *man*, or potentially take both *man* and *devils* in opposition of *heaven*, depending on how readable you think those concepts are. ![Three ways to write "heaven and men and devils" -- *Othello* Act 5, Scene 2](./repetition/devils.svg) To put this together with the previous section, we may take the original quote from: !["Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, all, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak."](./repetition/othello.svg) to: !["Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, all, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak."](./repetition/othello_repeats.svg) If you want to repeat with one of the repetitions being the root, simply place a dot to the side instead. !["pleasure and delight"](./repetition/pleasure_and_delight.svg) The word *neither* is also used for *nor*, and so when you write a phrase like *neither good nor bad*, you can attach the modifying letter to a second copy of *neither*. !["neither good nor bad"](./repetition/neither.svg) ## Repetition of a Phrase The final rule is the most flexible, but potentially most prone to misreading. Suppose you have a quote where the repetition is more in the structure of the phrase like:
Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!
This is clearly repetitive, and the resulting Characterie looks very repetitive. !["Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!"](./repetition/mad.svg) The method here is this: place a circle on the right hand side of the first part of the repeated phrase, then only write the difference. I'll refer to this as a loop. So this can also be written as: !["Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition!"](./repetition/mad_loop.svg) This can be taken very liberally in how you interpret it, and it is essentially up to the author how far you think you can take it before it becomes unreadable. We'll work through some extreme examples in the exercises. # Exercises **Exercise 1.** Write the following quote:
Oh, blood, blood, blood! -- *Othello* Act 3, Scene 3.
**Solution.** This is a single repeated word, so we need only mark it with the dots or the number. !["Oh, blood, blood, blood!" two ways](./repetition/blood.svg)
-------- **Exercise 2.** Write the following quote:
The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear,
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savour'd in thy taste,
Unless I spake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carv'd to thee. -- *Comedy of Errors* Act 2, Scene 2
**Solution.** Let's start by writing out the phrase in full. ![A direct translation.](./repetition/errors_raw.svg) Note that you have the repeated initial portion of the phrase *that never*, so you may mark the word *that* with a circle on the right to indicate the looping of the phrase, then only write the portions after the word never. ![Capturing the repeated phrase.](./repetition/errors_loop.svg) As a challenge, try to find a way to write the last line using the repeated conjunction rule. I do not know of a word like *sense* that can be used there to cover all the cases, so the best I could come up with is to add a loop on the word *or*. ![Capturing the repeated phrase.](./repetition/errors_loop2.svg) There is almost certainly a better way.
-------- **Exercise 3.** Write the following quote:
If there be cords, or knives, or poison, or fire, or suffocating streams, I'll not endure it. -- *Othello* Act 3, Scene 3.
**Solution.** The key to this example is to notice that these can be viewed as all kinds of punishment, and thus can all be taken as derived from *punish*. Once you take that point of view that, these are all words derived from the same root separated by a conjunctions. As these are not as obvious, I'll be using double letters to increase potential readability. !["If there be cords, or knives, or poison, or fire, or suffocating streams, I'll not endure it."](./repetition/punish.svg) This goes beyond the exact letter of the stated theory, but the repeated *or* word can also removed and replaced with a dot, since now they all again derive from the same root word. I'll let you decide on the legibility of this solution. !["If there be cords, or knives, or poison, or fire, or suffocating streams, I'll not endure it."](./repetition/punish_more.svg)
-------- **Exercise 4.** Repetition of a phrase is inherently ambiguous, and allows for a lot of flexibility in how a phrase is represented. Find as many different ways as you can to represent the following famous quote:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. -- *Tale of Two Cities* by Charles Dickens
**Solution.** There are a lot of possibilities here. I'll start with just the direct translation to get us thinking: ![The raw translation.](./repetition/best_raw.svg) Now, there is the most obvious repetition of *it was the*. We can save that with a single loop to obtain: ![Repeating only "it was the."](./repetition/best_loop1.svg) But, also notice that the repetitions come in pairs where there is extraordinary repetition within each pair. In this way you can repeat the first part of each pair, and then only write the difference. ![Repeating only the pairs.](./repetition/best_loop2.svg) Since the differences are often different senses of the same characterical word, this can be combined with removing the repetition of concept by putting in the dots. This is my preferred way. ![Repeating the pairs with repeated concepts.](./repetition/best_loop2b.svg) However, you can push this even further! You can loop the *it was the* phrase, and then loop the second half in each pair *within that same looped phrase*. Essentially this is noticing the remaining repetitions in the first way we removed the repetition, and making those loops too. I'll also mix in the repetition of concepts. ![Trying to leverage all the repetition.](./repetition/best_loop3.svg) This is rather ambiguous, but it provides maximal abbreviation. However, if you cannot use whitespace to help guide the reader, as I have done here, it would be nearly impossible to tell the original intention. There are certainly more ways to get at this, and I encourage you try to find them! At the end of the day, this is, of course, only an intellectual exercise. Nobody can find these subtle solutions when taking a live dictation, but it is certainly interesting that it is supported by the system.
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