degrees symbol spacing.

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• #37105
Mary Mosley
Participant

In a physics book, they show some temperatures normally, such as 100 °C, which are clear in how to format and account for the vast majority of the given degrees in the book. However, some of them they hyphenate like 1-°C. I can see how this could be #1-^.* ;,c since "the temperature value is given", even though it is separated by the hyphen, or #1-^.*",c as though the °C is a separate entity from the temperature value because of the hyphen. Secondly, there is at least one instance that would refer to my previous question regarding SI Units and spacing. How would you space a °C in a SI Unit such as 30.4 J/mol °C. Again, the temperature value is given, but is now being separated by the J/mol.

#37109
Lindy Walton
Moderator

Veeah, you raise an interesting point. The symbol is °C which stands for the temperature unit "degree Celsius". When printed correctly, it will be spaced away from its value as in your example, 100 °C. A period is not associated with this unit. The Nemeth Code calls "C" an abbreviation, but I think by understanding that °C is the full symbol, this topic will make more sense when you are confronted with a transcribing dilemma. Regardless, we have guidelines regarding how to transcribe it.

Printed with a hyphen? That is curious. I have noticed that voice recognition software will often insert a hyphen between a number and what follows. I don't know how this started, or if it is related to your observation. Publishers are free to follow their own typographical rules, but I wonder why it is printed this way in a book that has otherwise been using a space? If you are in possession of a pre-publication copy, that hyphen could be indicating a non-breaking space that wasn't caught yet by their proofreaders. Regardless, we must transcribe what is printed.

My first braille mentor, Connie Risjord, taught us well that a Hyphen Connects (and a dash separates). That distinction helps me figure out what to do in unfamiliar situations. I would transcribe 1-°C just as it is printed (unspaced): #1-^.*",C

In 30.4 J/mol °C, follow print spacing: #30.4 ;,J_/MOL ^.*",C

By the way, °C is known as a "derived" SI unit. The SI base unit of (thermodynamic) temperature is the symbol K (for kelvin). It's complicated. Luckily, all we need to do is TRANSCRIBE WHAT WE SEE IN PRINT regarding spacing with the °C symbol.