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  • in reply to: Spacing of Function Names #30324

    I took your advice and contacted both BANA and ICEB.  Below is the answer to our question regarding section 9.3 of the GTM.


    Your primary thought to follow print is correct in my estimation.  As you have noted, math often is not precise in it's use of spacing in print.  They may use "half" spacing or may present equations across the print line, expanding or contracting the spaces to allow it to fit.  The aim is to ensure legibility for the reader.


    In the same way, in braille, we want to ensure that the braille is unambiguous (RUEB 1.2.2).  RUEB 1.2.3 states that "the primary transcribing rule is to produce braille that, when read, yields exactly the original print text (apart from purely ornamental aspects)".  In maths, "spacing should be used to reflect the structure of the mathematics" (GTM 1.1.1).

    GTM 9.3 was written to illustrate how spacing of function names can be used to remove ambiguity when dealing with function names that are unspaced in print (or where the spacing is uncertain, as with half spaces).  It is only when the function names are unspaced that there is possible ambiguity.  If print uses spaces to set them apart it is correct to do so in braille as well.  The resulting braille will not be ambiguous in any way.

    They concluded by saying that removing the blank spaces when they are clearly shown in print doesn't affect the reader's ability to use the braille but is does deviate from the preferred method of following print.

    Hope this helps.


    in reply to: Spacing of Function Names #30086

    Thank you for your fast response.  Unfortunately I am even more confused than before, because you say to follow print when a blank space is clearly (and consistently) shown in the text, but you later say to remove the blank space for numbers.  Nowhere in the rules does it explicitly say to remove spaces for numbers or any of the other symbols.  In all of the rules they use the terms:

    directly preceded or followed by a number

    followed directly by a lower case Latin letter

    preceded directly by a lower case or upper case Latin letter

    To me this means that there are no blank spaces in the print and this is what you need to do to eliminate any ambiguity that can occur when material is unspaced.  To infer that they mean to remove blank spaces when it is not stated, and none of the examples for numbers are spaced, is very confusing to me because it then opens up another series of questions:

    Do we unspace clearly spaced fractions because they contain numbers?

    Do we unspace numbers inside of signs of enclosures when they are clearly spaced?

    Do we unspace numbers inside of clearly spaced radical signs?

    Examples of these questions are shown in the examples at the beginning of my first inquiry.  Wouldn't it make sense that they would have explicit rules telling us what to do for all of these situations when a blank space is shown in print if they needed to tell us what to do for numbers?

    Finally, is there some way to communicate directly with the BANA Math Committee (or is that what you do for us) to find out what they meant by these rules and whether or not they are going to amend them to resolve this ambiguity as well as include clearer examples of what to do with both spaced and unspaced examples?

    Thanks again for your time and assistance with this matter.

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