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In German orthography, the grapheme ß, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt]) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˈʃaɐ̯fəs ˈʔɛs], [ˈʃaːfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. "sharp S"), represents the [s] phoneme in Standard German, specifically when following long vowels and diphthongs, while ss is used after short vowels. The name Eszett combines the names of the letters of s (Es) and z (Zett) in German. The character's Unicode names in English are sharp s and eszett.

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  • In German orthography, the grapheme ß, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt]) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˈʃaɐ̯fəs ˈʔɛs], [ˈʃaːfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. "sharp S"), represents the [s] phoneme in Standard German, specifically when following long vowels and diphthongs, while ss is used after short vowels. The name Eszett combines the names of the letters of s (Es) and z (Zett) in German. The character's Unicode names in English are sharp s and eszett.
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  • In German orthography, the grapheme ß, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt]) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˈʃaɐ̯fəs ˈʔɛs], [ˈʃaːfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. "sharp S"), represents the [s] phoneme in Standard German, specifically when following long vowels and diphthongs, while ss is used after short vowels. The name Eszett combines the names of the letters of s (Es) and z (Zett) in German. The character's Unicode names in English are sharp s and eszett. It originates as the sz digraph as used in Old High German and Middle High German orthography, represented as a ligature of long s and tailed z in blackletter typography (ſʒ), which became conflated with the ligature for long s and round s (ſs) used in Roman type. The grapheme has an intermediate position between letter and ligature. It behaves as a ligature in that it has no separate position in the alphabet. In alphabetical order, it is treated as the equivalent of ⟨ss⟩ (not ⟨sz⟩).It behaves like a letter in that its use is prescribed by orthographical rules and conveys phonological information (use of ß indicates that the preceding vowel is long).Traditionally, it did not have a capital form, although some type designers introduced de facto capitalized variants of ß.In 2017, the Council for German Orthography ultimately adopted capital ß (ẞ) into German orthography, ending a long orthographic debate. While ß has been used as a ligature for the ⟨ss⟩ digraph in early modern printing for languages other than German, its use in modern typography is limited to the German language. In the 20th century, it fell out of use completely in Swiss Standard German (used in Switzerland and Liechtenstein), while it remains part of the orthography of Standard German elsewhere. ß was encoded by ECMA-94 (1985) at position 223 (hexadecimal DF), inherited by Latin-1 and Unicode (U+00DF ß LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S).The HTML entity ß was introduced with HTML 2.0 (1995). The capital variant (U+1E9E ẞ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S) was introduced by ISO 10646 in 2008.
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