English Braille
American Edition



Definition of Braille

Rules of Braille
  1. Punctuation Signs
  2. Special Composition Signs
  3. Format
  4. Asterisk, Footnotes, References
  5. Accent Sign, Diphthongs, Foreign Languages
  6. Abbreviations
  7. Numbers and Roman Numerals
  8. Coinage, Weights, and Other Special Symbols
  9. Poetry, Scansion, and Stress
  10. General Use of Contractions
  11. One-cell whole-word contractions
  12. One-cell part-word contractions
  13. Lower Signs
  14. Initial-letter contractions
  15. Final-letter contractions
  16. Short-form words

  • Index
    Typical and Problem Words

  • Index
    BRL Courses
  • Intro to Braille
  • Braille Transcribers
  • Specialized Codes


    34. General Rules Governing Part-Word Contractions:  Contractions forming parts of words should not be used where they would obscure the recognition or pronunciation of a word.

    a.  Contractions may be used:

    (1)  Where the letters of the contraction are in the same syllable. Ex:

    standing /&+         cringing cr++
    withered )]$         Wright ,w"r
    inform 9=m         pssst pss/
    shhhh %hhh         benevolent 2nevol5t

    (2)  Contractions may be used where the letters of the contraction would overlap a minor and/or incidental syllable division. Ex:

    handle h&le sofa s(a tiny t9y
    Reno ,r5o astringent a/r+5t
    Vanderbilt ,v&]bilt Kingston ,k+/on
    Seattle ,s1ttle Eden ,$5
    Minneapolis ,m9n1polis
    Tennessee ,t5;see andante &ante
    Monterey ,mont]ey

    b.  However, a contraction must not be used:

    (1)  Where the usual braille form of the base word would be altered by the addition of a prefix or suffix. Ex:

    uneasy uneasy        unlessoned unlesson$

    disingenuous 49g5u\s         squally squally

    fruity fruity         undisturbed undisturb$

    Exception:  The "ea" and the double letter signs "bb," "cc," "dd," "ff," and "gg" should be used even where a word ending or a suffix is added to the base word. Ex:

    seaman s1man eggplant e7plant
    ebbing e2+ stiffly /i6ly

    (2)  A contraction must not be used where it would violate the primary syllable division between a prefix or a suffix and the base word. Ex:

    mishandle mish&le         mistrust mistru/

    predate predate         infrared 9frar$

    prounion prounion         twofold twofold

    freedom freedom         changeable *angea#

    (3)  A contraction must not be used where a primary syllable division occurs between the prefix and the root of a word. (See §34.c. below.) Ex:

    reduce reduce edict edict
    benediction b5edic;n erupt erupt
    profess profess deduce deduce
    predict predict erect erect
    malediction maledic;n
    profound prof.d Benedict ,b5edict
    (4)  A contraction must not be used where base words are joined to form an unhyphenated compound word. Ex:

    sweetheart sweethe>t

    stronghold /r;ghold

    blowhard bl[h>d

    painstaking pa9stak+

    Jamestown ,jamest[n

    stateroom /ateroom

    pineapple p9eapple

    kettledrum kettledrum

    Bighorn ,bighorn

    (5)  A contraction must not be used where the use of contractions would disturb the pronunciation of a digraph or trigraph (two or more letters pronounced as one sound). Ex:

    sphere sph]e         Boone ,boone

    hoity-toity hoity-toity

    tableau tabl1u

    (6)  A contraction must not be used where two adjoining consonants are pronounced separately. Ex:

    shanghaied %anghai$
    isinglass is9glass towhee t[hee
    nightingale ni<t9gale dinghy d9<y
    fiance fiance meningitis m59gitis
    lingerie l9g]ie Gingold ,g9gold
    Stalingrad ,/al9grad
    Vandyke ,vandyke Wingate ,w9gate

    (7)  A contraction must not be used where the use of a contraction would cause difficulty in pronunciation. Ex:

    Airedale ,airedale

    battledore battledore

    tweedledum twe$ledum

    oleaginous oleag9\s

    skedaddle skeda4le

    genealogy g5ealogy

    impermeable imp]mea#

    c. General Exception:  Contractions should be used in such easily read words as:
    around >.d arise >ise arose >ose
    acknowledge ac"kl$ge
    baroness b>o;s governess gov];s
    drought dr"\ doughty d"\y

    d.  Contractions should be used in entry words found in the dictionary. In general literature, contractions should be used in common terms for a particular subject, such as botany, medicine, etc., when they are listed in a glossary of the book being transcribed or when they are explained in the text as they are originally presented. Similarly, contractions should be used in coined words in science fiction.

    e.  Part-word contractions should be used rather liberally in dialect. Ex:

    silance (silence) sil.e

    depity (deputy) dep;y

    bofe (both) b(e

    thet (that) !t

    impedent (impudent) imp$5t

    huccom (how come) hu3om

    must er (must have, must of) m/ ]

    'stracted (distracted) '/ract$

    (1)  When "t" is replaced by "th" followed by "e," the "th" contraction should be used. Ex:

    matther (matter) mat?]

    sisther (sister) sis?]

    (2)  When "you're" is represented in print by "your," the short-form word must not be used, since it does not retain its original meaning.

    35. Preferred Contractions:  Unless their use violates any of the principles of the Rules of English Braille, where there is more than one possible choice in the use of contractions, the selection should be made on the following bases:

    a.  Preference should be given to the contractions which save the greatest amount of space. Ex:

    Leander ("and" not "ea") ,le&]

    wither ("with" not "the") )]

    oneness ("one" and "ness" not "en") "o;s

    thence ("th" not "the") ?;e

    bubble ("ble" not "bb") bub#

    b.  One-cell contractions should be used in preference to two-cell contractions as parts of words. Ex:

    prisoner ("er" not "one") prison]

    opponent ("en" not "one") oppon5t

    stoned ("ed" not "one") /on$

    adhered ("ed" not "here") adh]$

    haddock ("dd" not "had") ha4ock

    Exception: The contraction for "ence" should be used before the letters "d" or "r." Ex:

    commenced (not "en" "ed") -m;ed

    silencer (not "en" "er") sil;er

    c.  Where a choice must be made between two consecutive contractions in order to avoid misspelling, preference should be given to the contraction which more nearly approximates correct pronunciation. Ex:

    wherever :]"e

    dispirited di_s$

    coherence coh];e