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This page lists the rules for the use of the eszett and long s in various languages, as used by Michael von Preußen in his roleplay as the Emperor of Großgermania. This usage specifically ignores the alterations in the usage of the long and short s in the English language in the mid-eighteenth century, as well as the alterations in the usage of the eszett as prescribed by the German orthography reform of 1996, which he considers to be an illegal usurpation and degradation of the German language.
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The eszett, or sharp s, is an integral part of the German language and its dialects. One of only a handful of letters worldwide with no orthographical majiscule form, the eszett is rendered ß, and may be capitalized as ẞ for use in all- and small-cap typography. When the character is unavailable, it may be substituted with 'ss' or 'sz', depending on situation.
The eszett is only natively found in the German language and its dialects, and as such, only German-language orthography rules apply to its use. Despite its ability to be substituted with 'ss', one should not consider the eszett a replacement for a double-s, only the other way around. The eszett is usually a distinct letter, and only replaces a double s when such is formed irregularly at the end of a word or word component. Words written with a double-s may not have such substituted with the eszett. Verfassung, for example, must never be written as Verfaßung. In addition, if an eszett is unavailable, one should always use 'sz' to replace the eszett if substituting in 'ss' would form a different word. For example, substituting 'ss' into the phrase in Maßen ("in limited amounts") would produce the phrase in Massen ("in massive amounts").
Unlike the eszett, the long s has no majiscule approximation, generally being rendered identically in all-caps, small-caps, and conventional typography—as ſ. Rules for its use are, by virtue of the two characters being alternative glyphs of each other, combined with rules for use of the short s (s).
The following rules apply to the use of the long and short s in English, Welsh, Cornish, and Lowland Scots:
- A short s is used when in the majiscule form;
- A short s is used terminally, except in abbreviations;
- A short s is used before an apostrophe or a hyphen;
- A short s is used before the letters 'f', 'b', and 'k';
- A long s is used after a hyphen, the above-mentioned rules withstanding;
- A short s is used after the letter 'f';
- A short s is used after the letter 's', except after the second 's' in 'sss';
- Compound words with the first element ending in double s and the second element beginning with s may be divided by a hyphen or written as a single-word, following the above rule;
- A long s is used initially and medially, the above-mentioned rules withstanding; and
- A long s is used before a hyphen at a line break, even when a short s would be otherwise used in that medial position.