Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

xkcd and Braille

xkcd had a comic featuring Braille:

[A stick figure is reading the Braille at the bottom of a sign with his hand. Caption: 'I learned to read Braille a while back, and I've noticed that the messages on signs don't always match the regular text.' The sign says: 'Third floor office' in print and '{caps}sight{ed} people suck' in Braille. The stick figure has a thought bubble saying: 'S-i-g-h-t-e-d-p-e-o-p-l-e-s-u-c-k ... hey!'.

Now I'm wondering why "ed" is contracted to dots-1246 but "gh" is not contracted to dots-126 in the word "sighted". I also wonder whether "people" doesn't have a contraction... *looks up* ah, "p" by itself.

Seeing an uncontracted "people" didn't bother me so much, since I imagine Braille on public signs tends to be relatively uncontracted since not every blind person will know Grade 2 Braille. But I wonder, then why "ed" made it in? And if "ed" is in, why not "gh"? Both signs would seem to me to be part of a reasonably "Grade 1.2 Braille" (along with other letter combinations such as "th", "ing", and "sh"), given that they have (nearly) no other meanings.

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