For mention symbol in a transcriber defined Key

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    Lucas Timpe

    Is a transcriber defined “key” a “symbol” for the purposes of including the “for mention” symbol (UEB, §3.13.1) before the key?

    Braille Formats, 2011, §2.5.1 states in part “This page lists all symbols in the following list, as well as those that are <u>made up by the transcriber</u>, which are necessary for the reader's understanding of the text….

    • Transcriber-devised symbols, e.g., icons, shape indicators, <u>etc</u>.
    • Symbols for which the transcriber has assigned a new meaning …”

    UEB, 2013, §3.13.1 states in part “Use a dot locator for "mention" to set apart a braille symbol which is under discussion, <u>as in a symbols list</u>, <u>a transcriber's note </u>or in a publication about braille such as this one. Place the dot locator for "mention" before the braille symbol and unspaced from it.”

    NBA’s Bulletin Winter 2015-2016, p.31, states in part “…The dot locator for “mention” is used anywhere a <u>symbol</u> is defined. Common places you will see this indicator:

    • in the Special Symbols list in the transcriber-generated pages at the beginning of each volume
    • in a special symbols list that is part of a <u>transcriber's note</u> within the text
    • in a transcriber's note that is defining one symbol used in the material that follows…”
    Lucas Timpe

    Bumping this post.


    Do you mean a key as in

    Key to table below:

    an Annapolis

    bl Baltimore

    If that is what you are talking about then no, the key does not need the dot locator in front of it.

    If you define a symbol or a typeform, such as

    In the paragraph below [dots 4, 3456, 2] represents a highlighted word

    Then yes, a dot locator would be required before that symbol. NOTE: I could not get the font to show the braille so I put dot numbers in.


    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by claurent.
    Lucas Timpe

    I can say with all certainty that this is confusing for everyone because it is my opinion that the Dot locator (For Mention) having a double use/meaning tends to muddy the waters quite a bit on this topic.

    Let me give you my interpretation (please correct me if I am wrong) and perhaps that will better frame my question. The Dot Locator has 2 uses:

    Use 1 is for establishing a frame of reference when reading braille that is free floating in space to allow the reader to correctly interpret the braille text.

    Use 2 is for a first time appearance of a transcriber created symbol in the braille text make a clear distinction apart from any text they've seen so far and establishing it as a symbol from that point forward.

    The base question then is this, are the symbols in the key deserving of the Use 2 versions or the (For Mention) aspect of the dot locator even though they are transcriber generated?


    It is very confusing for everyone.  On that we are agreed.

    The dot locator "for mention" is used only in symbols lists or when defining a symbol.  So it will be on the Special Symbols page or in a transcriber's note or some other list of SYMBOLS.  A key is not a symbols is, essentially, letters (or numbers) that are being used to represent words, so the dot locator is not required.  In a pronunciation key, the modified letters are still just letters - they just happen to have modifiers on them.  The stress mark IS a symbol and would require the dot locator for mention.

    If a transcriber devises a symbol - such as any of the transcriber-defined symbols listed in Section 3 of the UEB code, those are symbols and would require the dot locator for mention preceding them on the Special Symbols page (or in the TN) but the dot locator is NOT required when they are actually used within the text.

    The dot locator "for use" is a bit different.  It is used when something (like a grade 1 passage indicator) is standing alone or when a symbol could get 'lost' in space (see the examples 3.14).

    Does that help?


    Lucas Timpe

    Yes, and I couldn't agree with you more. I will pass this along.

    Thanks again!

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