S is the nineteenth letter in the modern
Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled ess or occasionally es (pronEng|ɛs), generally "es-" when part of a compound word, plural esses. ["S" "Oxford English Dictionary," 2nd edition (1989); "Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged" (1993); "ess," op. cit.]
Semitic Šîn ("teeth") represented a
voiceless postalveolar fricativeIPA|/ʃ/ (as in "sh"ip). Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma (Σ) came to represent IPA|/s/. The name "sigma" probably comes from the Arabic word "samak" (fish; spine) and not "Šîn". In Etruscan and Latin, the IPA| [s] value was maintained, and only in modern languages has the letter been used to represent other sounds, such as voiceless postalveolar fricativeIPA| [ʃ] in Hungarian and German (before p, t) or the voiced alveolar fricativeIPA| [z] in English, French and German.
Care must be taken for incompletely anglicized words from German and proper names from that language. The trigraph "sch" is pronounced like the English digraph "sh." When S is followed either by a p or t, it is pronounced with the same "sh" sound, but when starting a word followed by a vowel, it is pronounced like the English "z," (not the German one).
An alternative form of "s", ſ, called the long "s" or medial "s", was used at the beginning or in the middle of the word; the modern form, the short or terminal "s", was used at the end of the word. For example, "sinfulness" is rendered as "ſinfulneſs" using the "long s". The use of the "long s" died out by the beginning of the 19th century, largely to prevent confusion with the minuscule "
f". The ligature of ſs (or ſz) became the German " ess-tsett" ( ß ).
In a high-school
biology textbookused in the 1960s, a text discussing the discovery of cells in animal tissue by the English biologist Robert Hookewas photostatically reproduced, including the long "s." The explanation read, "The type is quaint, but once you notice that an "s" is often much like an "f," you fhould have little trouble reading it."The long "s" has often been parodied in Mad Magazine, including the usage "Poor Alfred'f Almanack."
S is one of the most commonly used letters of the Latin Alphabet in the Basic English language.
Codes for computing
Unicodethe capital S is U+0053 and the lower cases is U+0073.
ASCIIcode for capital S is 83 and for lowercase s is 115; or in binary 01010011 and 01110011, correspondingly.
EBCDICcode for capital S is 226 and for lowercase s is 162.
numeric character references in HTMLand XMLare "&#83;" and "&#115;" for upper and lower case respectively.
Similar letters and symbols
* Ş, ş — S-
Š, š — S-caron
* — S with
commabelow (used in Romanian)
* — S with
acute accent(used in Polish)
Ŝ, ŝ — S with circumflex accent(used in Esperanto)
* — S with hook (used in the for the
voiceless retroflex fricative)
* — S with dot above (used in old Irish Gaelic)
* — S with dot below (used in
* — S with acute and dot above
* — S with caron and dot above
* — S with dots below and above
* — reversed S (used in Zhuang transliteration)
* ſ —
* — Esh (used in the for the
voiceless postalveolar fricative)
* ∫, ∫ — the
* $ — the
* ß — the German "
Eszett" or "sharp s"
* Ѕ, ѕ — Cyrillic letter
* -dd — Is treated with an "S" sound in Gaelic, especially at the end of words
§the Section Sign
af:S als:S ar:S arc:S ast:S az:S bs:S ca:S cs:S co:S cy:S da:S de:S el:S es:S eo:S eu:S fa:S fur:S gan:S gd:S gl:S ko:S hr:S ilo:S is:S it:S he:S ka:S kw:S sw:S ht:S la:S lv:S lt:S hu:S mzn:S ms:S nah:S ja:S no:S nn:S nrm:S pl:S pt:S ro:S qu:S se:S scn:S simple:S sk:S sl:S fi:S sv:S tl:S th:S vi:S vo:S yo:S zh-yue:S bat-smg:S zh:S
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