How are we to represent the pronunciation of the "TR" in words like "TRain," "TReat," & "counTRy"?
The Quikscript Manual does not give us a literal answer to this question. However, it does give us several examples of how these words should be spelt. On pages #14, #23, #24 & #25, there are handwritten examples where a "Half-T" is coupled with an "R" to represent the "TR" sound, regardless of whether it is at the start of the word or elsewhere.
With all these examples given to us, it ought to be an open-&-closed case. "TR" should be spelt with a "Half-T" followed by an "R," with the resulting combination looking like an upside-down question mark.
Yet, how is the "TR" in the above-mentioned words pronounced?
If you listen closely to words that have the "TR" sound in them, you will notice that the accepted pronunciation of them sounds like "CH" (as in CHurch) plus an "R." This pronunciation is prevalent not only in American English but also British English as well.
Also, examine these "YouTube" videos & listen carefully to the words that begin with "Tr-":YouTube Video #1 (British accent)
So, what do we do? We now have two dipthongs that sound exactly alike! "Half-T" + "R" sounds no different then "CH" + "R"! Which one do we use?
One problem with using "Half-T" + "R" is that nowhere in the Kingsley Read manual is it ever specifically mentioned that it is the accepted method for symbolizing the "TR" sound. The pairing of "Half-T" + "R" is clearly a dipthong, as the two letters, when combined, makes a new sound then if the two letters were pronounced separately but in sequence. In fact, "Half-T" + "R" is the ONLY dipthong not mentioned specifically in the Kingsley Read manual. Even the optional letters for both "X" sounds get some token representation in the manual.
There is no need for two sets of symbols to represent one type of sound. While it could be argued that the writing of "Half-T" + "R" is more economical then "CH" + "R," this argument does not stand up under scrutiny. "CH" + "R" are core letters while the "Half-T" is a Senior Quikscript letter. Although beginners can no doubt substitute the regular "T" for the "Half-T," "T" + "R" looks like the English lower-case "b"!
Quikscript was built on spelling words as they would be pronounced correctly. The proper pronunciation for these words speaks for themselves; The "TR" combination starts off with a "CH" & ends with an "R." The reason for using "Half-T" + "R" for use as "TR" is mystifying; Perhaps it was an honest mistake or merely falling into a "My dialect is the right dialect" trap. Maybe it was a concession for those who felt that "T" + "R" WAS phonetic, despite the evidence to the contrary.
Regardless, Quikscript is simplified for the better by having one way & one way only to spell the "TR" sound & that is by using "CH" + "R". Thus that is how those types of words will be spelt on this website.