After century of dispute, the German alphabet just got a new character

Source: The Local

After century of dispute, the German alphabet just got a new character

Have you ever been typing in German in a blaze of BLOCK CAPITAL anger, but been stopped short by the inability to write the next letter of the word SCHEI…? Help is finally at hand.

At the end of June, the German Spelling Council decided to add a capital ß (Eszett) to the language, bringing to an end a debate that had raged on in the world of German orthography since the 19th century.

Now, instead of using SS to capitalize the Eszett, Germans should use ẞ.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the progressives among German orthographers see the decision as a great leap forward. But conservatives refuse to accept it on aesthetic grounds, claiming that the new letter’s unwieldy girth make it the SUV of the letter world.

The German Spelling Council defended the decision, saying that it is important for officialdom to be able to distinguish between a name spelled with a double s and one spelled with an ß.

In German passports, names appear in uppercase, meaning that until now, someone with the surname Großmann has had to put up with the humiliation of being confused with a Grossmann.


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