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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 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 majiscule and miniscule eszett

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 for use in all- and small-cap typography. Occasionally, and especially pre-Unicodification of the character, the capital eszett would appear as . 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 modern orthography; archaically, the latter was an accepted variant). 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").

Long S

The miniscule long and short s

Unlike the eszett, the long s (ſ) has no majiscule approximation. In all-caps and small-caps, it is always replaced with a short s (s). Rules for the use of the long s are, by virtue of the two characters being alternative glyphs of each other, combined with rules for use of the short s (s).

English and related

The following rules apply to the use of the long and short s in English, Welsh, Cornish, and Lowland Scots. With the exception of the abbreviation and line-break rules, substitution of the long s can be completed automatically using Michael von Preußen's English Long S Replacer.

  1. A short s is used when in the majuscule form;
  2. A short s is used terminally, except in abbreviations;
  3. A short s is used before an apostrophe or a hyphen;
  4. A short s is used before the letters 'f', 'b', and 'k';
  5. A long s is used after a hyphen, the above-mentioned rules withstanding;
  6. A short s is used after the letter 'f';
  7. A short s is used after the letter 's', except after the second 's' in 'sss';
  8. Compounds having the base stem ending in 'ss' and the trailing stem beginning with 's' may be hyphenated or not;
  9. A long s is used initially and medially, the above-mentioned rules withstanding; and
  10. 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.
  1. Sileſia
  2. ſays; ſ.
  3. clos'd; bird's-neſt
  4. ſatisfaction, husband, ask
  5. off-ſet
  6. offset
  7. ſucceſsful; croſsſtitch
  8. croſs-ſtaff; Croſsſtaff
  9. ſtupid; empreſs
  10. huſ-band

Note that the above-listed rules are as they applied when the long s fell into disuse in English. Variations in its use evolved over time before then, and may still be occasionally seen in reproductions of antiquated text. The 1765 printing of Danby Pickering's Statutes at Large, for instance, made liberal usage of ſſ, only adjusting to ſs at word-end.