Before continuing with this chapter, you should review the rules for these contractions:As part-word contractions ch, sh, th, wh, ou, and st
- Are subject to the general rules for use of contractions.
- Are used wherever they occur within a word.
- The sh contraction is not used in sh shown standing alone as an admonition to silence.
- The st contraction is used in St. as the abbreviation for Street or Saint.
- The st and th contractions are used for the ordinals 1st, 4th, etc.
These six contractions follow the general rules for part-word contractions, in that they are used whenever they appear in a word unless it is between syllables. Like part-word contractions, they should not be used if part of the contraction is in a prefix and the rest in the root word, such as is found in the words "mistake" or "prounion". These contractions also follow the general rule that states that part-word contractions should not be used in compound words when the contraction is divided between these part words.
Some peculiarities about this group of contractions. The contraction "sh" should not be used for the notation to "be quiet", since it will appear to the reader that you are saying "Shall". You are also permitted to use the contractions in ordinal numbers, as in "1st" and "5th":
Care also needs to take not to use the whole-word contractions as part-words, as in the words "grandchild" or "without". In these words, the part-word components ("ch" and "ou", respectively) can and should be used, but a trap many braillists fall into is to use the whole-word equivalents by brailling "gr(and)(child)" and "(with)(out)". It is, however, legal to use the part-word contractions here, such as "gr(and)(ch)ild" and "(with)(ou)t".Keep in mind that the use of "child" and "still" as whole words in the words "(child)'s" and "(still)'s" is legal.
It should be noted that the contraction "st" should be used as an abbreviation for the words "street" and "saint" if those words are abbreviated in print. If the period does not follow the abbreviations for either of those words, then the letters should be spelled out and the contractions used. If you think about this, you will recognize that the goal is to avoid confusion between the part-word and whole-word possibilities of this group of contractions. It is probably better to err on the side of not using the contraction if you think that there may be confusion with its whole-word counterpart. Fortunately, you will not encounter this type of situation very often!