Uppercase medial S

I’ve got a secret thing for the now completely discarded medial s, which looks like this: ſ

Prior to the early 1800s, the lowercase letter S would be written as ſ when not at the end of the word (hence, “medial” or in-the-middle). On old colonial (United States/Canada) documents, it is common to see it in printed matter where it looks almost exactly like a lowercase F.

medialsIf you know the Greek language or alphabet, this is sort of a reversed terminal sigma in that it never appears at the end. There may be an actual connection between them, but I don’t know and am currently disdaining looking on WikipediA to find out, although I’m curious… OK back: WikipediA says there “may” be a connexion, but it’s inconclusive. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/long_s.

If you know the German language, this is the first part of the double or “sharp” S: ß You can see how the medial S forms the “up and over” part of the letter, and then a normal S follows. This has nothing to do with the Greek letter lowercase beta: β

There has since been a somewhat-general (I gather from WikipediA) decision to have a “capital sharp S”, ẞ, however there has not, to my knowledge, been such a development for the medial S. I propose that the capital medial S be defined as having a glyph of Γ. This is the uppercase Greek alphabet gamma. Using this we have:

UNITED ΓTATES of AMERICA (first thing that came to mind after about 15 seconds of thinking)
ΓTATE OF NEW JERΓEY
PENNΓAUKEN TOWNΓHIP

medialsupperThis has several benefits. The glyph is almost identical in geometry to the original. The more pointed form of the Γ v. ſ accords more with the more angular form of most uppercase letters v. their lowercase forms. It is already included in almost all fontfaces so implementation is easy. However, it is taken from a foreign alphabet, so is unlikely to confuse anyone who isn’t overly literate.

I have no idea if it is going to be useful at all, but I will have it ready incase it is called for!

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One thought on “Uppercase medial S

  1. Pingback: The Newgate Calendar: John Stanley | FlowCoef

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