From EBAE to UEB

This week we discussed many of the changes that Unified English Braille (UEB) brought from English Braille American Edition (EBAE).

December 5, 2019

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Audio Transcript


Embracing Braille – From EBAE to UEB

Presented by Vileen Shah and Debbie Worman

December 5, 2019

Vileen S: Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all. I'm also so happy that we are becoming more and more international. So, we have a participant from Nigeria. We have a participant from Sri Lanka, and we also have a participant from the Philippines. And I wish that the horizons of our Embracing Braille group keeps on expanding, and we get more and more people from other countries, as well. With that, I would like to do the presentation. Your presenter today is Vileen Shah. That is myself, of course. It is an interesting topic. What they wrote on the Hadley website, From EBAE to UEB. In other words, I'm going to talk about the UEB changes. My presentation is divided into four parts. One: Prelude. That is some introductory talk, prelude. Two: Why UEB? Three: When UEB? Four: What UEB?

So, let's first begin with the Prelude. By prelude, again, I mean introductory statement. And this I am saying because I know that, in this audience, there are nearly half ... nearly 50% of participants who are new to braille, who are beginner braille learners. They are doing Braille Literacy 1 and 2. And for them, EBAE or UEB make no sense. So I would request them, and also include those who are doing Braille Literacy 3 or 4, with any of the instructors at Hadley, that those who are doing Literacy 3 and 4 are also learning UEB. So, for you, UEB is not new. For some others, it may be new. And for many of the participants here who know braille so well and who have learned UEB, may benefit by listening to the three parts: Why, When, and What. And of course, you are most welcome to ask questions.

Perfect. Okay. My friends, you will notice one thing. Between EBAE and UEB, that two words are common. And these two words are English Braille. And once again, EBAE stands for EBAE, that is English Braille American Edition. And UEB stands for Unified English Braille. So in both of these, there is something called English Braille. So certainly, we are dealing with English Braille. And that's probably all of you need to learn. Of course, we do know that there are other languages in the world. And for your general knowledge, I'm able to say that braille was first prepared in France, as you all know. Louis Braille was French. So braille is originally French. Then it became English. Then it spread over all over the world. And every language customized braille to its need. I may just quickly cite an example, that in Indian languages, something that I know. I can tell for sure, because that's my background. Excuse me. So in Indian languages, we have 12 vowels. How many you have? Five or six. People are not sure Y, letter Y is a vowel or consonant. Probably both. Debbie can tell us better. She is so specialized in English language. But you can say five or six vowels. In Indian languages, we have 12 vowels and 36 consonants. Obviously, we need 48 letters in the alphabet, that we need to customize. That's how braille has been customized in Indian languages. So is true about all of the languages, like Sinhalese, spoken in Sri Lanka, or any language spoken in Nigeria, which I do not know, because most Nigerians speak English. And of course, any other language. So going back to our English Braille issue, we are going to talk about UEB changes. And I heard several times, some people, not all ... Some people saying, "Why UEB? Why do we need it? We have thousands and thousands of volumes written in old braille.” I call it old braille, that is EBAE. That is American Edition English Braille. English Braille American Edition, EBAE. "We have thousands and thousands of volumes written there. Are we going to throw them out? Why do we need new things? Why do we need a new code? Why do we need UEB?"

My answer to them is that change, as I said in my write up, change is an integral part of life. If we do not change, we are stagnant. And somebody said stagnant water smells bad. So we don't want to be stagnant. We want to change. And why braille? Print has undergone several changes. The print script is not same as before. Could you ever imagine that in the 15th century, there were no letters J and V in English. When I read that article, I was stunned. That letters J and V, like Victor, were not there. So the language continues to change. Scripts continue to change. Print continues to change. And braille cannot be an exception. However, the question does sustain, "Why do we need a UEB? What's wrong with EBAE?" If at all you want to find any comfort, if at all you want to find why, one strong reason is computer. With advent of computer, we started having computerized braille. We started having computer-braille translator that would translate a braille document into a print document, or a print document into a braille document. And this is where the problem started.

The way EBAE was written, there were certain issues that computer was getting confused. One good example is the contraction for BLE. Those who know EBAE, those who know old braille, and also know UEB, can understand this better. But before saying that, for beginner learners, I would like to make one quick reference here. That braille is just not simple in the sense it's not only alphabetic language or script. Braille, in most parts, in a major part, is used in a contracted format. It's called Contracted braille. Some people used to call it Grade 2 Braille in the past. But now we call it Contracted Braille.

In other words, there are so many words that are not spelled out, but contractions are used in order to save space. So, Contracted Braille is kind of universal, and nearly 90% of publications are made in Contracted Braille. Therefore, when I discuss something about contractions, the beginner learners may keep in mind that there is something called Contracted Braille, and there's something called contractions. At least keep that much in mind. With that, the contraction for BLE, consisting of dots 3 4 5 6. Now, this sign was also used as a number sign. Since in braille, we do not have separate numbers, but we are using A to J, the first 10 letters of the alphabet, preceded by the number sign, to indicate numbers. So, the number sign and the contraction for BLE were same. And until the computers were there, it was okay. Because people are able to identify that it is a contraction ... BLE or a number. For instance, the word marble, M-A-R-B-L-E. And EBAE, old braille, we would write it M, contraction for AR, and then contraction for BLE. Now, this BLE would not be mistaken as a number sign because there was nothing else after BLE. If at all there is any number, then the after the number sign, there are letters, A, B, C, or whatever.

This confusion needed to be avoided, and therefore the people who prepared UEB decided to eliminate such confusing contractions. And therefore, nine contractions have been eliminated. That includes the contraction for BLE, for DIS, COM and also the contraction for to, into, by, and some odd contractions like o'clock. We used to write O'C for o'clock. Nine o'clock, ten o'clock. No longer we need that contraction because nowadays we don't speak that. As I said, even the language continues to change. We barely use that word, nine o'clock. If at all, I say, "Okay, I'll see you at nine." We don't say, "I will see you at nine o'clock." So, o'clock is almost disappearing. And therefore, this contraction has been eliminated.

So certainly, to make braille compatible with braille, we needed a change. And that change came to us in the form of UEB. Now, a bit of history. Since this is the ... as Debbie helped me call, this is called Unified English Braille. It is in a way united, but I'm wrong. Because it unites 10 countries. But it's called Unified English Braille. And there is a council called ICEB, International Council on English Braille, that prepared the new code, or UEB code, Unified English Braille code ... and appealed to the participating country to adopt. Ten countries, countries in Europe, countries in Australian hemisphere, Australia, New Zealand, and of course, England and the United States, Canada. I'm not going to be able to count all 10, but one country is there from Africa, and that is Nigeria. So the code was prepared, and Australia and New Zealand were the first countries to start it. They started using UEB in 2004. Canada followed, and started using. Then England, Ireland joined. The United States was the second last to join, or to decide to use UEB in 2013. And starting January 4, 2016, all the braille production houses decided to publish all books in UEB. So I covered briefly Why and When. Once again, Why: To make computer and braille compatible to each other. That was the basic purpose. Now, I'm not going to cover all changes while talking about What UEB, while talking about nature of UEB. But I'll cover major ones.

First of all, those who are afraid of UEB do not really have a reason. Because the changes that have applied in UEB over EBAE are barely 5%. So if 95% of your braille is same, and 5% of your braille is changing, there's no reason to have a huge cry. I hear a huge cry oftentimes. Very probably our attitude towards change, and therefore we do not want to change, or we are reluctant to change. And therefore, we see people yelling and complaining. But it's only 5%. As I said earlier, that 5% change was necessary. So, the first and foremost thing that has been done in UEB, the major change, is the elimination of nine contractions that we talked about. Another major change they made is the change in typeforms. This is a term, typeform, that needs to be understood first. And those were, at least, no print. Many of you were reading print before. So you understand it better. But even if you did not, you know. I know real print, but I know that in print, there are certain things boldfaced, certain things italicized, certain things underscored.

So these typeforms in EBAE, old braille, were saying whether it is italicized or boldfaced, or underscored, they were only one kind of sign. That was huge. It was necessary to make our braille more closer, bring it closer to print. And therefore, the typeforms needed to be changed. So the UEB provides different braille signs for each typeform. For the boldface, you have dots 4 and 5. For italic, you have dots 4 and 6. And then, of course, for underscore is dots 456. At the same time, we also know or should know, that in print, sometime just a letter is bolded for typeforms. Or a word is shown in a boldface or italicized or underscored. Or a paragraph, passage. So braille provides options to show whether a word has been shown in a particular typeform, or a letter is shown in a particular typeform. Or it is underscored, with just a letter or a word or a passage. Accordingly, there are different signs. I'll briefly just say that. But if you do not understand, or if you find it too difficult, don't be scared. We are going to learn later, those who have not learned. You're not learning everything right now; you are just being introduced. If you have heard this, later on when you learn, you may recall, "Oh, I heard something like that. Yeah, I know this." You know, that kind of feeling you will have. So for the word, they use the typeform sign and dots 23. For the letter ... I'm real wrong here. For the letter, they use, in the UEB they use dots 23. By the typeforms, in boldface, italics or underscored. For the word, they use dot 2. And for the passage, they use dots 2346 ... 56, slip of tongue ... Dots 2356, preceded by the typeform sign.

So this, I believe, is a change to be welcomed. Because now the readers, particularly the students who go to school and have a braille textbook, they have every right to know whether the information is boldfaced, italicized, or underscored. Whether it is fully capitalized, that is yet another thing to be done in a different way. I'm not teaching you [inaudible] here. I'm discussing, so I will not go into details. But they have to right to know whether, in print, it has been underscored, boldfaced, italicized, or it is wholly capitalized. Accordingly, UEB provides all options so that the students with visual impairment are not suffering. Or any other person reading braille, has the right to know how things are in print. And therefore, these changes have been made.

Another change that UEB has made is some changes in punctuation signs. Parentheses particularly, has been totally changed, or rather both parentheses have been changed. In EBAE, it used to be dots 2356 for opening and closing, both. But in UEB, it is dot 5 plus 126 for opening, and dot 5 plus 345 for closing. Now we have a different parenthesis to open, and a different sign for the close parenthesis in UEB. Also, the dash has slightly changed. A hyphen consists of dots 3 and 6. And in EBAE, a dash consisted of two hyphens: 36, 36. In UEB, the dash consists of dot 6 plus 36. Just a minor change. And if you are reading, you may not even notice a lot. A little change, easy to understand. In addition to that, the UEB has introduced several miscellaneous symbols. For instance, accent sign. There used to be one accent sign in EBAE. But there are different kinds of accent signs. For instance, [inaudible]. When we say [inaudible], it is like, there is an accent mark on N, those who know how to spell it. I do not. It means ... It's a sign. And that's a different accent sign than a grave accent sign. So UEB provides different options for different kinds of accent sign.

And that is necessary because with the process of globalization, with more interactions between humans, between cultures, between languages and between peoples ... the English language, which is so flexible, so liberal, has been adopting more and more, words from other languages. Now, the words are not spoken in the same way as we do it in English. And therefore, it is necessary that some signs are used to indicate that this word is to be pronounced differently. Therefore, UEB has included four different kinds of accent signs.

So basically, the changes made to EBAE are necessary, are good, and are helpful. I would say there is no reason to be afraid of, to be scared of UEB. Or there is no reason even to argue, rather to understand. And those who are a little unhappy, and keep saying things, "Why UEB?" They have not really tried to understand why we need a change. In my view, UEB is a modified EBAE. UEB is a modification over EBAE. It's an improvement over EBAE. And it is also a way to make braille more compatible with computer. Because nowadays, particularly many students write their assignments in braille, but since braille now has been made consistent with computer, their teachers can read those braille, transcribe into print, they can grade, prepare their response in print, and put it to the system, and the student will be able to read in braille. So there's a good coordination between print and braille.

Once again, elimination of contractions, introduction of some punctuation marks, and particularly, the introduction of typeforms symbols, in addition to some miscellaneous symbols covering accent signs, are the changes that you will see in UEB. For beginner learners who are going to learn UEB, who have been learning UEB, also carry some importance of this presentation. Because, as I mentioned, there are thousands and thousands of volumes written in EBAE, old braille. So once you have completed learning your braille, and if you think reading some book that is of your interest ... and that book may be available in old braille. So when you get that, and when you see that, "Oh," things that you are not familiar with, then think that that's written in EBAE, and that's slightly different. Once again, it's only 5%. So let's welcome the UEB, which is an improvement over EBAE, which is not entirely different. Which does not turn the world upside-down, so let's not be afraid. With that, I conclude my presentation. I hope everybody understood.

Debbie W: Vileen, this is Debbie. Debbie Worman speaking, your co-host.

Vileen S: Co-host, yes.

Debbie W: Yeah. And I want to thank you for that wonderful presentation.

Vileen S: Thank you.

Debbie W: You mentioned quite a few times that oftentimes people are adverse to change, and isn't that true? I think we all have that quality. But one thing you addressed, and one thing I commend you for, is the Why. When we have the Why of something, sometimes it's easier to embrace change. And I like that you discussed that. And when you talked about computers ... In UEB, there's no need to switch into computer braille code to write like a web or email address or a Twitter handle, like hashtag. So it really helps, the Unified English Braille, really helps to avoid ambiguity and confusion.

Debbie W: Okay. The first hand up I have is, begins with area code 573. I will unmute you, and please state your first name, please.

Rick Andress: I'm another Rick. Andress in Jefferson City. And first thing is just a minor correction. That dropped D contraction you mentioned that's been eliminated is double D, not DIS. Also, another-

Vileen S: Thank you, thank you. Yeah, you know. Sometimes I-

Rick Andress: Another change that hasn't been mentioned yet is that words that could be written together, like combinations of, and, for, of, with, and the and A, cannot be written together anywhere.

Vileen S: Great, great. Okay. That's why we need scholars here. Thank you so much. That's-

Rick Andress: I have to say, I'm no pioneer of change, but I have adjusted to most of the UEB changes. Most of them, I agree, are good or at least understandable. I do miss being able to write to and by the short way. But anyway-

Debbie W: We all have our favorites, don't we?

Rick Andress: I really do applaud the designing of those special accent marks. Just take the expression, a la king, like chicken a la king. Or anything with a la, like that. I just saw the dot 4 A, and then L-A. I wondered what kind of an accent that was. Then I saw something in UEB, and son of a gun, it's a grave accent. Now I know.

Vileen S: Oh.

Rick Andress: Same with the word voila. I just assumed that A had an acute mark over it, but no, it was a grave. So I'm really glad to be able to see that.

Vileen S: Very good. Very good. All right.

Rick Andress: Only one other thing ... I wondered, did they consider, one, cannibalizing a few contractions from Grade 3, like dot 456 F for follow. There are only a few of them that might work, so that might be one of them. And could they have resurrected the ALLY by adding a dot 4, make it 46 Y. Or do they already mean something else?

Vileen S: Okay. All right. Thank you, Richard. Correct? Richard Andress, is that your name?

Rick Andress: That's right.

Vileen S: Okay. Thank you so much. The spacing rule has changed in EBAE. We used to write those five contractions, and, for, of, the, with together. But not in UEB, because the computer gets confused when you write and and for, or for and and, or for and the together. Therefore, the spacing rule has changed. And as Richard said, the accent signs are necessary to indicate whether it is grave accent or other kind of accent. That's good. I really did not cover all, as I said. There are two good examples that I should have included, but I can tell you now, that those contractions that have been eliminated... One was dot 6 N, for ATION. Now, those who at least have learned braille Lesson 3 know that dot 6 is for the capital sign. In braille, we do not have big and small things. We have a sign indicating that this one is capital. So, dot 6 N was used as a contraction for ATION, like determination... So they would write ATION by using dot 6 N. Now, that was conflicting with capital N. And with the web addresses, many times we have funny string of characters, in which some characters are capital, and some not. So, having that dot 6 N was so confusing. Therefore, that has been eliminated. By the same token, dot 6 Y, which represented earlier for the word ALLY, that has been also eliminated. Obviously because dot 6 Y would be confused with capital Y. Those are some changes. Those should be welcomed. Those were necessary.

Debbie W: Next we have Beth. Beth, go ahead.

Beth: Yeah. My question, I get confused with the math, with the number signs. Well actually, the fraction signs. I think it's different in UEB. Over. I get confused what it is versus EBAE and then UEB, I get confused how to make that. Over.

Vileen S: Okay. Let me explain. And I'm pretty much optimistic that you will say that you're no longer confused. Okay? The fraction sign is still same. And that is dot 34.

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: What they change is slash. And in EBAE, a slash and a fraction sign, both consisted of dots 3 and 4. In fact, they had overloaded this sign consisting of dots 3 and 4 that represented the fraction line, the slash. Also, the contraction for ST, and also, independent contraction for the word still. That's too much to do for one symbol. Fortunately, they changed quite a bit. Now, slash consists of two cells, dots for 5 6, and then dots 3 and 4. So, when the dots 345 is preceded by dots 456, it's a slash. And if it did not precede it, it was just dots 3 and 4, it is a fraction line. So fraction line is simple. It consists of one cell. And a slash now consists of two cells. The difference is so discernible, so visible, so easy to be understood. Did you get it, Beth?

Beth: Yeah. Now, a beginning like ... Like in EBAE, it was a TH sign, and then the fraction, then it ended with the number sign. Is that pretty much the same, too. Right? Or do you ... It seems like I read you started with a number sign, like the-

Vileen S: Okay.

Beth: Yeah.

Vileen S: Take two things separately, Beth. Let's take the number sign-

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: ... quickly, and the fraction line sign. The fraction line, which is dots 3 and 4, was mostly confused with a slash. That confusion has been removed by making a slash consisting of two cells. Okay? Now the number thing. The number sign, which is the same. It's just, now it's called numeric indicator.

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: People like to say things differently. That's kind of a human tendency. So in UEB, now they call it numeric indicator, is nothing but the number sign. I don't see a reason why they wanted to call it numeric indicator. It's okay to call it number sign. But people just want to show probably that they have changed. Now, that's a sidebar. The number sign to be used with fractions, that rule has not changed. Like when you have mixed fractions, then there's a little change in using the number sign. Let's take an example. Three and half. In AB, we will write number sign, 3, and then hyphen, one, fraction line, 2. In UEB, we use the number sign or numeric indicator, again. So we write: Numeric indicator, 3, again numeric indicator. And then 1, slash or fraction line, 2. The difference is that there is a repeated use of number sign if it is a mixed number. Does that make sense?

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: Did you [inaudible] you understood something? You will verify when you actually read something, and then you will understand it better. Okay?

Beth: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. Thanks.

Vileen S: [inaudible] the basics. That in UEB, the number sign is repeated in a mixed number. Does that make sense?

Debbie W: Okay. Thank you, Beth, for your question. Vileen, we have a couple more hands up.

Vileen S: Yes. [crosstalk].

Debbie W: And I think 863 is back, and I think that's who I unfortunately had lost. So, welcome back 863. I'm going to unmute you. Go ahead, 863.

Vileen S: [crosstalk].

Allen K: Hi. This is Allen Kmiotek from Kissimee, Florida.

Vileen S: Oh, hi. How are you?

Allen K: I'm fine. A couple things where you were mentioning about vowels, that you have 12 in India.

Vileen S: Yeah.

Allen K: Yes, we have five plus Y in English. People from other languages, such as Spanish to English, they have the same five vowels, and five vowel sounds. Where in English, we have the six vowels, but we have 16 vowel sounds. Which makes it difficult to understand English when you come from different countries. One suggestion that I would have, people having only learned UEB, don't know really, what EBAE is, or EBAE. And don't know the differences from what got deleted.

Rhonda: Yes, this is Rhonda. I am really excited that more people are calling in from around the world. I really ... I'm so far in the beginning of learning braille, that I'm much more interested in the big picture topics. But I like listening to the details. But what I wish to know is if you can address the Where, because it sounds like if Hadley would continue something like the Pen Pal Program, for example, that we could be corresponding with people in this group, for example, all over the world. Last I thought I heard was 12 countries, and if you have an update for that.

Vileen S: Okay. One, yeah, it would be great. Great to have pen pals from other countries, and it would be certainly great that Hadley's participants, or learners, from different countries, communicate with each other. So that's certainly a great idea. How many countries, of course, on Hadley's roster. We used to have [inaudible] 100 countries, but now with the huge change in Hadley's services, I'm not sure. And I don't have the number. I wonder what Debbie can help us here, if at all.

Rhonda: So Debbie, if you know, what I'm interested in, the countries covered by UEB.

Vileen S: Oh. Just ten. Ten-

Rhonda: Oh, just ten? Okay. That's easy. That's easy. Okay. Thank you.

Vileen S: Yeah. Ten countries: England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, Nigeria. This much I remember.

Rhonda: So that covers where. So you've done What, Why, When, and Where now.

Vileen S: Oh, Where. Okay. That's right.

Rhonda: Yeah. Thank you.

Debbie W: Thank you, Rhonda.

Vileen S: [crosstalk]. All right.

Debbie W: I have area code 602. 602, I'm going to unmute you. Go ahead, please.

Vileen S: Roderick.

Roderick: This is Roderick, yes.

Vileen S: Yes. Hello.

Roderick: I take your suggestion ... Was it Allen that made the suggestion about having reverse of your introduction to UEB? To have backwards, to show all the people who ... because there are still a lot of things that are printed in EBAE, that haven't been reprinted into UEB, that we'll run into. So it's a good ... It is a good idea for people who know UEB to be able to-

Vileen S: Read.

Roderick: ... and ... Over.

Vileen S: Okay. Very good. Yeah.

Debbie W: Yeah. I love that idea, only because Latin's a dead language. But Latin's a fun language still, to learn. So why not have a kind of a backwards workshop? I really like Allen's idea, too.

Vileen S: It's a great, great idea.

Debbie W: Yeah. I'm glad you seconded it. Seconded it. That's a hard word to say. Thank you.

Vileen S: Yeah. Thank you, Roderick, for seconding.

Roderick: You're welcome. Over.

Vileen S: Next one.

Debbie W: Okay. Let's see. Oh, Beth. Beth, I have you back. Okay, Beth. Go ahead.

Beth: A UEB question I have is-

Vileen S: Yes. That's good. Yeah.

Beth: ... like the asterisks. The asterisks? I get confused when I was in transition to UEB, I get confused in those, and when some of my magazines, you look, and it feels like an I-N sign. That asterisk? Over.

Vileen S: Oh, right. Yeah. Good, good, good. Let me explain. Let me explain. Okay? Oftentimes, you may want to check what's before that sign. Okay? I-N sign. It is-

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: ... dot 35. However, if that dot 35 sign is preceded by dot 5, then that's not I-N. But that's an asterisk. So punctuation marks consist of two cells. And you may want to take two cells together and understand that sign. You know, like a dash?

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: Consists of dot 6 and 36. Similarly, the asterisk consists of dot 5, and then 35. So that's not to be confused with I-N at all. And had it been capitalized I-N, and that would be dot 6, and then that I-N sign. Now, [inaudible] sometimes get confused. But that's where my theory of alignment ... If you match the dot alignment, dot 6 will align with dot 3 of the next sign, which is I-N sign. And it is dot 6. If it doesn't align, but it shows in-between, which means it's dot 5. And therefore, it's an asterisk. It comes by practice.

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: So you may want to learn how to feel the alignment of dots. When you go home, when this session is over, try seeing that dot 6 and I-N, and dot 5 and I-N. Beth, you are learning Braille Literacy 2, am I right?

Beth: I'm in Everyday Reading and UEB. But I was in, before that transition into UEB.

Vileen S: Yeah, okay. Then you can do one thing. You can take your writing device. Slate and stylus or brailler, and then write dot 6 and I-N, and then write dot 5 and I-N, and see the difference. Okay?

Beth: Okay.

Vileen S: [inaudible] the alignment. Then you will know what I'm talking. Okay. All right.

Debbie W: Okay. Okay. Vileen, it's 12:26. Is this an hour group? I'm sorry. Are we-

Vileen S: Oh, no. We'll take one more question, so that-

Debbie W: One more question. We have one more hand up. So, I'm going to unmute 573. 573, go ahead, please.

Rick Andress: Yeah. Rick Andress again. I personally like the new asterisk. The only difference is it [inaudible] the one is, remove the first dot 3. But what I like is that sometimes, in print, there are spaces between the asterisks and sometimes not. And with the new asterisks, you can show that. With the old asterisk, you had to have spaces around either way, or it would look like I-N I-N. Also, in a name like the Walmart, often it's written W-A-L star M-A-R-T. With the new asterisks, you can comfortably do that. You couldn't before. And any time you have an asterisk in the middle of a word, now you have the flexibility to do that. But again, to repeat the last question I had before, did they consider, when they made UEB, incorporating a few of the old Grade 3 signs like dots 4, 5, 6 F for follow, or 4, 5, 6 X for example? And did they consider salvaging the ALLY by adding a dot 4, making it 4, 6 Y? Over.

Vileen S: Let me answer your second question first. It doesn't look like that they are considering introducing new contractions in UEB now. Because some people are still uncomfortable using UEB. Maybe down the road, and maybe they hear from people using braille like you, and they may. But as of now, I have no knowledge they are thinking of introducing any of the Grade 3 contractions, or new contractions. For instance, I had strongly suggested to use Y-D as yesterday. Because yesterday takes so much of space, and if T-D could be today, Y-D could be yesterday. But it's still not in consideration. So-

Rick Andress: Probably because Y-D's the abbreviation for yard.

Vileen S: Yeah, Y-D is for yard. So then, maybe it's conflicting. Okay. That's right. So your first question, let me recap your understanding. You meant to say that if there is a space before an and after an asterisk, it's hard-

Rick Andress: In the old braille.

Vileen S: In old-

Rick Andress: That's why I like the new asterisk, because it's not necessary if it's not there in the text.

Vileen S: Correct. Okay. So that's kind of a compliment.

Rick Andress: Yes, it is.

Vileen S: I agree with you. Okay. Very good. Okay. Ladies and gentlemen. It's almost, yeah, it's 12:29. It's time to wrap up. If you still have questions, you are most welcome to reserve for our last Thursday, which is for you. I call it your session. The session for open question/answer. And I truly, truly appreciate Debbie, you're being presenter to us, and actively participating, and taking care of co-hosting this session. We would love to have you again. So-

Debbie W: Any time.

Vileen S: Okay, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much once again. With you happy week ahead, and weekend. And see you next Thursday. Bye, now.