Friday, October 17, 2008

Hiſtory of the long “s”

Andrew West has published two fascinating, comprehensive posts about the history of the long “s” and the rules for its use. These posts are a couple of years old, but our attention was just drawn to them today by a mention on Lantra.

For the latter post, West derived the rules empirically, as no contemporary source gave a complete, consistent account. He also examines the evolution over time of the use of the long “s” and its eventual decline and demise.

The post includes the story not only of the “ſ” in English, but also in French, Spanish and Italian.

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