BF 2011 Questions

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    Chris Clemens

    Mrs. Taylor, we’d like to welcome you to the Ask an Expert forum. We are excited to learn under your tutelage and guidance. We have attached a document with several questions concerning the wonderful new Braille Format Guidelines. We look forward to your insight. Thank you.

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    Chris Clemens

    This is going to take me some time to get through but I will post the answers when I get them.


    BF 2011
    1.7.1 & 2.3.4a & c Why isn’t the order of title info the same for the title page and the first page of text? 1.7.1 has series before subtitle and 2.3.4a has subtitle before series. Does it matter? If so, what is the correct order?

    It should be the same and I hope to have it corrected before the print edition is published. The purpose of the on-line edition and the delay of the print edition is for people to find errors and let the committee know about them.

    p. 2-54 4.4.3 says, “Headings should be balanced and divided at a logical location when longer than one line.” When the heading “Special Symbols Used In This Volume” is divided after “Used” instead of before it is unbalanced according to cell count. This is shown on p. 11 of the workshop, “Overview of Format Changes” Part 1? Also, wouldn’t it more logical to divide it between subject and predicate

    This is up to the transcriber to decide, the headings do not need to be exactly divided.

    2.5.3 Nothing is mentioned about the capitalization of category headings. Are we still initial capping them?

    This is a common sense decision, they should be capped.

    6.2.1 & 6.2.2c We have a picture to be omitted that has no caption. Do I still include the copyright and/or source information? 6.2.1 says, “copyright info is included after the completion of the caption” and 6.2.2c says, “source citations for an illustration are shown immediately following the caption.” Being there is no caption, the info cannot go after or following thus is omitted. Correct?

    Yes, the source information is omitted. There is no need for source information when you are not reproducing the illustration or if there is no caption to be sourced.

    6.3.1 Says descriptions “follow the caption” and 6.2.1 says copyright is included “after” the caption. When you have both, which goes first after/following the caption?

    The copyright follows the caption which is followed by the description.

    6.13.1d Says, “Speaker’s notes, if included, are in 7-5.” Yet Sample 6-16, braille lines 13-14 and 24-2 show normal paragraph indention? What is the correct way?

    Speaker’s notes are text not on the slide. They may be in a handout or something of that nature.
    Sample 6-1 6.3.1 says, “Some images may require a description, which is enclosed in a transcriber’s note following the caption.” But Sample 6-1 shows the description before the caption? What is the correct way?

    Sample 6-1 is in error.

    Sample 6-12 6.10.1c says, “Include the first and last date shown, with or without an associated event.” In option 1, under Politics & Government, shouldn’t the last date, 1525, be shown in braille on line 8? Also, in option 1, why is line 13 in cell 1 instead of cell 3?

    Yes, 1525 should be shown and line 13 should be in cell 3.

    Sample 6-13 Option 2—Why is the column data aligned by value? The tn describes the bar graph being shown as a table and 11.6.1c says “items are left adjusted” unless as 11.6.1d says “numerals aligned by place value in print are transcribed as shown.” These values aren’t aligned in print.

    There is a discrepancy between 11.6.1c and d, c says items are left adjusted except numbers and then d goes on to say that numbers are aligned as in shown in print when print has them in value alignment.

    7.1.4 Do box lines go on the special symbols page? In section 7 of the Braille Formats 2011, box lines are listed as special symbols. Yet, no where are we instructed to place them on the special symbols page. Every listed symbol in BF 2011 has an accompanying guideline in BF 2011 to place it on the special symbols page. Except box lines.

    Yes, they should go on the special symbols page, the definition of the box line usage has changed, especially for the full cell box line.

    10.3.3 This guideline says” Numbered or lettered directions are in 1-5.” Wouldn’t the runover indention of numbered or lettered directions correspond to the furthest runover (actual/implied) of the exercise below it? 10.4.2b does tell us this but it seems to conflict with 10.3.3.

    10.3.3 is talking about simple directions/exercise materials, section 10.4.2b expands that to cope with materials with further levels of indention.

    Sample 10-3 Including the lettered directions and the two levels of subdivisions, has three levels of info. Shouldn’t the runover for all be 7? 1-7, 3-7, 5-7 Such as Sample 18-2? Shouldn’t the displayed paragraph follow print blocked format? §9.2.2.d

    Sample 10-3 is on the error list, something happened between the first proofing and the last one and the paragraph got shifted.

    11.2.4c Will you clarify the intent of the 2nd sentence please? It says, “Boxing lines may be omitted when a table will fit on a single page without them.” We understand this to mean when a boxed table is too big to fit on a single braille page and omission of the box lines allows the table to fit on a single braille page, then you “may” omit the box lines.

    That is correct. It would be silly to divide a table between pages if the omission of the boxing lines will allow it to fit on one page.

    11.17.1k Is the 36, 36 dash used for a blank column entry when the reader is to provide an answer as it says in 11.6.4? Or do we insert three unspaced dot 5’s for all blanks in a linear table?

    You need to distinguish between blanks that are omitted information in print and blanks that the reader needs to fill in, for blanks the reader needs to fill in use the dash.

    Sample 13-13 Why isn’t a tn used per §13.11.1 for the omission of the music notation?

    The focus of the example is the song title and associated information, the entire example was not shown. The tn would have been before the title.

    Sample 15-8 Why is a transcriber’s note used here? We’re not instructed to do so per §15.7.3 or anywhere else that we can see.

    The tn is inserted to explain the unusual print situation. It is fairly rare to have both the rhyme scheme and the line numbers. This would be up to the transcriber to decide.

    16.5.5b & c Wouldn’t the note referencing the first note be the main item with the referenced note being the subitem? On Sample16-7 line 15, note 5 referencing note 4 is the main item and on line 16-14 the referenced note is the subitem.

    First you need to reference the note on the page you are reading which was note 5, then you repeat the note in the subitem position.

    Samples16-2, 16-4, Why is the bold retained for the line numbers? 16.4.1h 16-9 says, “do not retain font attributes for line numbers.”

    I do not see that the line number emphasis is retained. In Sample 16-4 the references begin with the reference indicator, followed by an indicator for the type of print mark, followed by the letter l for line and then the line number.

    Sample 16-2 On lines 3-4 and 8, why isn’t the bold retained for the words? 16.4.1h says, “Font attributes are retained, unless all notes using the same reference indicator are entirely emphasized.” These aren’t entirely emphasized, thus shouldn’t the bold be retained?

    All of the reference words are emphasized, therefore it is unnecessary to differentiate between types of references.

    17.5.1 17.5.1 says, “Use the primary bullet when only some of the items in a list are marked.” What if they’re all marked? This seems to suggest that the bullet is used only when some of the items are marked. We think that if some or all are marked with the same bullet the primary bullet is used. Is this correct?

    If there is only one style of bullet used, use the primary bullet, for two styles use the primary and secondary. When all of the words have the same bullet, use the primary bullet on all of them.

    21.4.2a-c The wording states that the compound hyphen (25, 25) is used only at a line break when the hyphenated compound word splits between lines. Yet Ex. 21-9 shows otherwise. In diacritics, is the compound hyphen used to represent the hyphen between the component words of a hyphenated compound word regardless if it’s at the line break or not? Such as stated in 21.3.1b. 21.4.2c and 21.3.1b seem to conflict.

    21.4.2c is just a reinforcement of 21.3.1b, so that the regular hyphen would not be used for hyphenated compound words at a line break.

    21.1.3 (21.8.1b) Pronunciation enclosure symbols are special symbols except for parentheses & brackets. Is that both square and angle?

    No, it is just the normal bracket.

    21.5 In the “Overview of Format Changes” presented by Lynnette Taylor and Debbie Brown April 2012, §21.5 on p. 22 in Session 3 says, “Pronunciation symbols in instructional content, that is when the use of the symbol is being discussed, have the dot numbers added after the symbol. The symbol does not have a dot 4. This is intended to show the student the symbol exactly as it is brailled.” But BF 2011 §21.5.1a says, “When an identified freestanding diacritic symbol, e.g., stress mark, or macron, appears within text, the symbol is preceded by dot 4.” Both texts use the same print example and braille it according to their respective statements. Which is correct?

    Formats is correct, that was a change between the time I wrote the workshop and the latest version of Formats.

    22.6.3 In the “Overview of Format Changes” presented by Lynette Taylor and Debbie Brown April 2012, §22.6.3 on p. 24 in Session 3 it says, “In dictionaries and glossaries, spellings that are acceptable but are different than the normal spelling are contracted first and then uncontracted.” But BF 2011 says’ “Variant spellings of an entry word, with or without syllable breaks, are uncontracted. Retain font attribute for variant spellings.” Which is correct?

    Formats is correct, that was a change between the time I wrote the workshop and the latest version of Formats. This section was one of the last ones completed and there were several changes between the two events.

    Sample 22-10 In the print definition of agree, second sentence, “parents is not italicized in print yet is part of an italicized phrase in braille. Why is that?

    It is an error and is on the error list for correction before print publication.


    Wow!! What a speedy response! Thank you so much for the insightful answers to our queries. They’re so helpful. We have 7 follow-up questions to your responses and 3 new questions if you would be so kind.


    Attached is my response to the follow-up questions.

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