[quote=djkevin]Ok maybe no one is answering this because I'm being too general with my question?
So at 2.5a it says this about spacing with dashes:
"Print is often inconsistent in the spacing before and after a dash. In braille, no
space is left between a mid-sentence dash and the words that immediately precede and
follow it, regardless of print spacing."
It then shows an example:
He is tall -- six feet anyway.
and the brailled sentence indeed has no spacing before or after the dash. So far so good...
But then later on page 2-7 it says this regarding spacing and incomplete sentences:
"One space is always left before beginning a new braille sentence. Thus, if a dash
begins an incomplete sentence, or a fragment of a sentence or thought, it is preceded by a
space. And, when a dash falls at the end of an incomplete sentence or thought, it is
followed by a space. Examples:
Oh, my— Jessica wept."
And the brailled sentence above does have a space between the dash and Jessica. Maybe I just don't know what an incomplete sentence is but in the first example "he is tall -- six feet anyway" the second part seems like an incomplete sentence to me so why isn't there space between the dash and "six"?
For that matter...another rule says: (also on 2-7)
"When a dash represents a pause and separates complete sentences, it is recommended
that spaces be left before and after the dash."
Hooray! We won. — Oh, boy! — I am truly happy.
And if I go back to the original first sentence "he is tall -- six feet anyway" one could argue that there is a pause there...and if so...there should be some spacing after the dash.[/quote]
I have been away and just got to this question ... my apologies ... also, please remember this is a volunteer organization, and as a moderator, I am a volunteer as well. On occasion, a day or two may pass between my checking this board. 🙂
You pose a very good question so let's look at this and see if we can't come up with a satisfactory answer. First of all, the Instruction Manual is a guideline ... and as such, sometimes the information is open to interpretation. 2.5a states "... no space is left between a mid-sentence dash and the words that immediately precede and follow follow it, regardless of print spacing." According to Rule I.6, English Braille American Edition (EBAE), "When the dash is used as a mark of punctuation, no space should be left before or after the dash, even though the spacing or the length of the symbol may vary in print.. However, a space is necessary after a dash if it ends an incomplete sentence. A dash may begin or end a line, but the sign must not be divided." So there is the concrete rule.
When you are dealing with a dash at the beginning an incomplete sentence, sentence fragment or incomplete thought, a space is left before the new sentence begins, and when the dash falls at the end of an incomplete sentence or thought, the space is left there. That is pretty clear cut. "It is sad, but-- Oh,do not cry." The space follows the dash.
In the third instance you refer to, page 2-7 in the Instruction Manual, reference is made to a recommendation."When a dash represents a pause and separates complete sentences, it is recommended that spaces be left before and after the dash." This is a recommendation only. I don't believe I personally have ever seen a dash sitting on a line with a space before and after it ... In looking at the example, one could argue that there are three sentences, separated by dashes. "Hooray! We won. (period indicates the end of the sentence) -- Oh, Boy! -- I am truly happy.
My recommendation to you - if you are uncertain as to whether or not the dash is spaced ... is to always refer back to the rule and let it guide you. "Regardless of print spacing, when used as a mark of punctuation, no space is left before or after it." You would not be wrong.
I hope this helps clarify a little more for you. 🙂
edited by JanaBrailles on 3/7/2011