Ess-zed (was: Ligaturing)

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Aug 15 1997 - 10:58:48 EDT

Timothy Partridge wrote:

> I notice that in the Unicode standard the captial form of sharp s (U+00DF)
> is given as SS, but there is no compatibility decomposition for the character.
> At first sight is looks like a ligature of long s and s. (In some fonts the
> vertical line has a short horizontal line on the left in a similar style
> to a long s.) Was the character a ligature originally?

As its name ("ess-zed", pronounced /Es tsEt/) indicates, it was
a ligature of "long s" and "z". It is still correct, though probably
pedantic, to replace it with "sz", and I was taught to do so when typing
German on an English-language typewriter. "ss" seems to be the more
modern replacement, although there are minimal pairs between "ss" and

> And would it be useful
> to add a compatibility decomposition to the Unicode standard?

Sounds good to me; presumably it should be U+0073 U+0073 ("ss").

John Cowan
			e'osai ko sarji la lojban

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