measurement units within Nemeth switch indicators

Home Forums Nemeth Code for Math and Science measurement units within Nemeth switch indicators

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
  • #27032

    please advise as to the extent of the measurement unit in these examples which are embedded in word problems.

    2/3 of a yard

    3/4 of an hour

    Is  "of a yard" or "of an hour" included within the Nemeth switch indicators?




    to continue ...

    now I've encountered 3/4 cup of water.

    Cup is a measurement unit but is the complete unit "cup of water"?

    what about 5x5 array?

    is "array" part of an expression?

    I'm having difficulty identifying the extent of a mathematical expression!

    Thanks for any clarification,



    In response to your first question, I would say that "of a yard" and "of an hour" should be included within the Nemeth switch indicators that are necessitated by the fractions 2/3 and 3/4.
    These phrases perform the same function that "centimeters" or "km" would if they followed the numeric measurements; they are integral to the meaning of the numbers. So, they should be included in the "Nemeth bubble" uncontracted and without using single-word switch indicators.



    Further discussion and consideration have led to these conclusions:

    • A phrase like "of a yard" or "of an hour" is not a unit of measure like "yard" and "hour" and would not be put inside the switches.
    • When a word is not directly adjacent to a number that must be in Nemeth mode, the word is not considered a unit of measure.
    • Some examples
      • ".5 yard" and ".5 of a yard" would be treated differently, with ".5 yard" all in Nemeth and ".5 of a yard" having only ".5" in Nemeth
      • ".75 cup of water" would have ".75 cup" in Nemeth but not "of water"
      • ".5 bag of marbles" should probably have only ".5" in Nemeth ... because "bag" is not a standardized unit of measure

    The conclusions above must change my answer to your original question. However, I urge you to do what is necessary in order to produce a consistent and clear transcription.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by kdejute.

    Your follow-up information raises a good point: Including "of a yard" and "of an hour" is one thing. It begs the question of what ELSE to include (or not). At this time, I cannot provide a sweeping rule for what to include and what not to include in Nemeth mode. I can, however, offer some thoughts:

    I follow your reasoning about "cup" versus "cup of water". And, by extension I would only include "cup" in the Nemeth mode that is necessitated by the "3/4". I say this because "'3/4 cup' of water", "'3/4 cup' of oil", or "'3/4 cup' of hydrochloric acid" would all be the same "3/4 cup" in volume, so the "of water" does not affect the meaning given by "3/4 cup".

    Similarly, I would not include the word "array" in the Nemeth mode needed for "5×5", because 5×5 is the dimension, whether those dimensions are of an "array", a "lawn", or a "room," the dimensions would have the same value.

    As with other questions concerning Nemeth material within a UEB context, it is likely that our approach to these issues will evolve as time goes on and our experience grows. Thank you for keeping the conversation active. Please do continue to share your questions.



    Thank you for your clarity! It's kind of like taking the 3rd person out of a sentence to determine whether to use "I" or "me," which I do with regularity!

    As your response posted, I was contemplating "1/2 of each bag of popcorn" and "3/2 bags of popcorn" and will now apply your insights, ending the Nemeth bubble before "of popcorn" in both phrases.

    Thanks again, Trumbull


    I wouldn't consider "bag" as a mathematical measurement unit any more than "quarter" is in Example 52 of 2016 Provisional Guidance where "1 quarter" was transcribed as UEB. In this case, wouldn't 3/2 be enclosed in Nemeth by itself?



    I tend now to agree with your assessment.

    The Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts helps to clarify this point in item #5 under Additional Guidelines.

    5. Measurement units (e.g., feet, ft., min) adjacent to related numbers transcribed in Nemeth Code are part of the technical expression and are transcribed within the Nemeth switch indicators."

    Now that we have the Guidance to study (This document was not available when Trumbull and I started this discussion.), I think we can conclude that measurement units which should be included in Nemeth mode are those which are standard units of measure, namely from the US customary units system, the metric system, and the International System of Units. Since, "bag" is not such a "measurement unit," it should not be transcribed within Nemeth switch indicators.

    Of course, Trumbull provided the best, most consistent transcription he could given the information available at the time. With the full Guidance now available, I think we would transcribe “1/2 of each bag of popcorn” with only 1/2 in Nemeth and “3/2 bags of popcorn” with only 3/2 in Nemeth.

    How does that sound?


    Ok, thank you for clarifying. I didn't realize this discussion happened before PG 2016 came out.


    I was under the impression that these switch indicators are new and came with PG216. When did BANA first introduce them?



    I'm glad you brought this up.

    BANA has published two documents providing rules for using Nemeth Code and UEB together. The first was "Provisional Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts" (approved November 2014). The second, and current, is "Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Context" (approved June 2016). This replaces the first publication and is now the only document dealing with using Nemeth Code within UEB that is available from BANA's website. It provides expanded and more honed rules than did the Provisional Guidance.

    This Ask an Expert thread was started when only the more brief Provisional Guidance was available, before the release of the current Guidance.



    • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by kdejute. Reason: add specific dates for documents' approvals

    Hi Kyle,

    What do you say about "unit" as a unit of measure, including or excluding from the nemeth switches?

    While it doesn't fall under the categories you mentioned (US/international/metric systems),  it seems just plain wrong not to consider "3.2 units" a math expression.

    FG p5. 4. When words are part of a ... math expression, they are as much a part of the technical notation as are the letter variables, numbers, signs of operation, etc.

    And this statement doesn't preclude other words being part of a math expression ... it sure would be helpful if the wording was more definitive! Do you know if BANA has any plans to expand/hone the current Guidance?

    FG p7 5. Measurement units (e.g., feet, ft., min) adjacent to related numbers transcribed in Nemeth Code are part of the technical expression and are transcribed within the Nemeth switch indicators.

    I'm sorry to keep nagging you with this issue ... it's a real bugaboo for me!

    Thanks, Trumbull





    Good day! Kudos to you for working to subdue your bugaboo.

    I would say that the word "unit(s)" is not a "measurement unit" in the way that feet or minutes are. So, I would say that #5 on page 7 of the Guidance does not apply to the word "unit."

    As with other words, if "unit" appeared in a math expression such as x units + y units = 1 order, then you should include the whole math expression "x units + y units = 1 order" within Nemeth switch indicators (uncontracted).

    I have not heard any talk of changing the Guidance for Transcription Using the Nemeth Code within UEB Contexts. I believe what we have now is the official guidelines document that we will have for some time.

    However, a new Nemeth course that introduces Nemeth while working within UEB context is in the works, and that new Nemeth course will include further examples and discussion of the Guidance.

    Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful question.




    Thank you, Kyle! Your responses are always most helpful and provide for thought 😉

    and this one prompted me to google "math expression," the definition of which has clarified everything for me ... it's the missing link!

    I have been mistakenly interpreting a math expression as a number paired with its "unit"  -- wrong, wrong, wrong! Without a sign of operation, it's just a number paired with its unit!

    this from "An expression is a group of connected numbers, operations such as addition and multiplication, and unknown variables represented by letters of the alphabet."

    Now I get it ... I feel a huge weight lifting!



Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

Everyone is free to read the forums, but only current NBA members can post. Become a member today. Click here to Login and return.