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Session Topics
  • Modifiers- Part I
  • Modifiers- Part II
  • Multipurpose Indicator
  • Miscellaneous Symbols- Part I
  • Miscellaneous Symbols- Part II

  • Writing Exercise

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  • Modifiers and Modified Expressions

    Definition: A modifier is a symbol or combination of symbols occurring directly over or under its related symbol or expression.

    The most commonly used modifiers are listed below. Other symbols of the code may also be used as modifiers.

    Modification Indicators
    Multipurpose Indicator dots 5
    Directly-Over Indicator dots 1-2-6
    Directly-Under Indicator dots 1-4-6
    Termination Indicator dots 1-2-4-5-6
    Concave Upward dots 1-2-4-6dots 1
    Concave Downward dots 1-2-4-6dots 3
    Barbed at Right
    Contracted Form
    Uncontracted Form
    Barbed at Left
    Barbed at Both Ends
    Barbed at Right and
    Dotted at Left
    Barbed at Left and
    Dotted at Right
    Dotted at Right
    (no barb)
    Dotted at Left
    (no barb)
    Dotted at
    Both Ends
    Hollow Dot at Right (no barb)
    Hollow Dot at Right and Barb at Left
    Hollow Dot at Left (no barb)
    Hollow Dot at Left and Barb at Right
    Hollow Dot at Both Ends
    Horizontal (macron) _ dots 1-5-6
    Vertical | dots 1-2-5-6
    Circumflex dots 4-5-6dots 1-2-6
    Inverted dots 4-5-6dots 1-4-6
    Left-Pointing dots 5-6dots 1-2-6
    Right-Pointing dots 5-6dots1-4-6
    Modifiers-Dot dots 1-6
    Hollow Dot  dots 4-6dots 1-6
    Question Mark  dots 4-5-6 dots 2-3-6
    Single ~ dots 4dots 1-5-6
    Extended  dots 4 dots 
6 dots 1-4-6
    Triangle (equilateral)  dots 1-2-4-6 dots 2-3-4-5

    Construction of Simple Modified Expressions:

    1. The Five Step Rule: The following five-step rule must be used for the transcription of a modified expression. (see exception in C below.)

      1. The mutipurpose indicatordots 5 must be placed immediately before the expression to be modified.

      2. The expression to be modified must be written second.

      3. The directly-over indicator dots 1-2-6or the directly-under indIcatordots 1-4-6 must be written third to show the position of the modifier.

      4. The modifying symbol must be written fourth.

      5. The termination indicator dots 1-2-4-5-6 must be written last to show the end of the modification.

    2. The spacing before and after a modified expression is subject to the spacing rules for the symbols preceeding or following it. Two or more symbols in a modifier must be placed in accordance with their appropriate spacing rule.

    3. Contracted Form of Modified Expressions: When a single digit or a single letter (in any type form or any alphabet) is modified only by a single horizontal bar directly over it, the symbol for the bar must be placed immediately after the digit or letter modified, and the five-step rule must not be used. In all other cases, the five-step rule in a above must be applied.

    4. Binomial Coefficient: does not follow the five-step rule for modified expressions. The directly-under indicator dots 1-4-6 Separates the two expressions composing the binomial coefficient. That is, the opening parenthesis is followed by the upper expression. The directly-under indicator is placed next and is followed by the lower expression and the closing parenthesis.

    Expressions with more than one modifier:

    1. When two or more modifiers occur one above the other and apply to exactly the same expression, the second, third, etc. modifiers are "modifiers of higher order." In such cases, the directly-over indicator dots 1-2-6 or the directly-under indicator dots 1-4-6 must be doubled, tripled, etc. before each modifier to indicate its position. The termination indicator dots 1-2-4-5-6 must be used only after the last modifier shown.

      Exception: When two or more parallel horizontal bars are the same length and apply to exactly the same expression, they must be treated as a single modifier. In such cases, the directly-over or the directly- under indicator must be used only once, and the symbol for the bar should be used as many times as necessary to correspond to the print text.

      Note: Two parallel horizontal bars must not be interpreted as the equals sign, and three parallel horizontal bars must not be interpreted as the identity sign unless they occur above or below a sign of comparison. In such cases, the combination must be treated as a sign of comparison compounded vertically.






    2. When two or more modifiers do not apply to exactly the same symbols but cover different portions of the same expression, the longer modification must enclose the entire modified expression, and each inner expression must be modified individually. The five-step rule and the contracted form of transcription may be used together.

      Simultaneous Modifiers: When an expression is simultaneously modified both above and below, the modifier below must be shown first and the modifier above, second. However, the termination indicator must be used only at the end of the entire modification.

      Go to Modifers, Part II

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    in cooperation with the
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    and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind

    Copyright © 1998