BRL: Braille through Remote Learning

Intro to Braille Course

Session 9 page

Session Topics
  • Short-Form Words
    Session Exercises
  • Writing.
  • Reading
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  • Special Codes Course

    BRL Reference Desk
  • Summary of Rules
  • Contractions Lookup
  • Contractions List
  • Braille only contractions
  • Problem Words
  • Webster's Dictionary
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  • Session 9: Short-Form Contraction

    This session looks at the 76(!) short-form words that are available to you as a braillist. These contractions do not involve specific braille dot patterns that must be memorized; they are simply short-forms of words, usually involving the removal of vowels or other parts of the word. A typical example is the short-form of the word "braille" -- "brl". Obviously, all of the vowels and the repeated "l" have been removed to shorten this word by four cells.

    The rules for these contractions are very straightforward. While it might seem that 76 is a large number, simple repetitive use and frequent consulting of the table below will help you to commit these contractions to memory.


    Word Meaning Short-form Word Meaning Short-form
    about ab above abv
    according ac across acr
    after af afternoon afn
    afterward afw again ag
    against ag(st) almost alm
    already alr also al
    although al(th) altogether alt
    always alw because (be)c
    before (be)f behind (be)h
    below (be)l beneath (be)n
    beside (be)s between (be)t
    beyond (be)y blind bl
    braille brl children (ch)n
    first f(st) friend fr
    good gd great grt
    immediate imm letter lr
    little ll must m(st)
    necessary nec o'clock o'c
    paid pd perhaps p(er)h
    quick qk said sd
    together tgr could cd
    should (sh)d would wd
    either ei neither nei
    much m(ch) such s(ch)
    today td tonight tn
    tomorrow tm him hm
    himself hmf its xs
    itself xf your yr
    yourself yrf yourselves yrvs
    herself h(er)f myself myf
    oneself (one)f ourselves (ou)rvs
    themselves (the)mvs thyself (th)yf
    declare dcl declaring dclg
    rejoice rjc rejoicing rjcg
    conceive (con)cv conceiving (con)cvg
    deceive dcv deceiving dcvg
    perceive p(er)cv perceiving p(er)cvg
    receive rcv receiving rcvg

    The rules for the use of these contractions are as follows:

    1. Short-Form Words
      1. May be used as parts of words as well as whole words.
        (above)bo(ar)d un(necessary)
        (be)(little)d (first)-born
        (immediate)ly (good)(ness)

        1. May never be divided at the end of a line, but may be separated from any added syllable.

        2. May never be used as parts of words unless the original meaning is retained.
          (sh)(ou)ld(er) mu(st)a(ch)e
          bloodlett(er) Port Said

        3. May not be used in unusual words.

        4. The short forms after, blind, and friend are used when followed by a consonant, but may not be used when followed by a vowel unless the vowel begins a line in a divided word.
          (after)ma(th) (blind)(ness) (friend)ly
          aft(er)e(ff)ect (bl(in)d(ing) (be)fri(en)d(ed)

      2. May represent a whole proper name, but never part of a word in a proper name.
        (Th)omas (Little) Jimmy Doolittle
        (The) Quicksilv(er) Fri(en)d(sh)ip Hei(gh)ts

      3. May be used as parts of common words that are not regarded as proper names in the titles or headings of books, chapters, articles, or songs and in the names of companies or organizations.
        (The) (Great)e(st) (St)ory (Ever) Told
        N(one) (such) Bak(ing) Co.
        (Children)s Press

      The rules for this group of contractions are fairly clear and straightforward. These contractions can be used as both whole-word and part-word contractions. Part-word usage is permitted for both compound and divided words. Caution should be taken not to use these short-form words when the "e" is dropped prior to adding a suffix, such as in the word "declaration". If you use the contraction, you would have "declareation", which is, of course, spelled incorrectly!

      As the rules state, these contractions can also be used for proper names, as long as the short-form word represents the entire proper name. Think about why this is so. If you look at a name like "Goody", the use of the contraction would give you "Gdy". There is no reason, although it is certainly unlikely, why someone might not have the proper name "Gdy" -- for example, if you notice proper names from the Middle East, there are often some interesting names, especially after being transliterated from a foreign alphabet such as Cyrillic. You can, however, use these contractions in titles, names of books, and other names that are unlikely to be confused.

      Caution should also be taken in that these contractions should only be used as a part-word if they retain their original meaning. Likewise, be careful with the contractions "after", "blind", and "friend". You should not use these contractions as part-words if a vowel follows the contraction. For example, (after)math is permitted, but (after)effect is not. The rationale behind this is that it is highly unlikely that there will be a word consisting of three consonants in a row ("afmath"), but it is possible for there to be a word with two ("afimage"). This rule is not in place if the word after the contraction comes at the beginning of a new line in a hyphenated word.

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