Proposal for German capital letter "ß"

Gerrit Ansmann gansmann at
Wed Dec 9 14:57:59 CST 2015

On Wed, 09 Dec 2015 20:55:24 +0100, Hans Meiser <brille1 at> wrote:

> Yet, AFAIK, the current glyph would currently be considered an error.

See it like this: The point of spelling rules is to easy reading. However, the use of SS for capital ß is rather obstrusive, as it is not exactly frequent in everyday texts and if it is used, even professional designers and typesetters do it more often wrong than correct and produce something like FUßBALL. On the other hand, a well-designed capital ß is not even noticed by many readers.

Finally, as I already said, the institution that decides about right and wrong in German orthography implicitly encourages you to use the capital ß if you prefer it.

> Proposal: Shouldn't the glyph be amended to match the natural language?

Nothing of this is really natural. If you go by what most people do, you would have to write FUßBALL. Also, I hypothesise that languages which passed a certain level of alphabetisation do not exhibit natural spelling changes beyond the single-word level anymore, as spelling dogmatists get too dominant – just look at the English orthography. After this point, you can only have centralised changes like the spelling reforms.

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