If I'm not mistaken, ss is an alternative to ß. Why is sz not an alternative? The ß seems to be nothing but an antiqua-like representation of the sz-ligature in Fraktur, and so one should expect the alternative to be sz.

  • But you are mistaken. Suisse-German has no ß. They always use ss. In German German, there has been a writing reform. Since then, you use ss for short vocals, and ß for long ones ("Die Straße des Hasses.") but you can't choose between them. Before the reform, it wasn't that consistent. For Austrian German I'm not informed, but they have a ß, that's sure. Jan 25, 2017 at 1:34
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    “Unfall der Rechtschreibgeschichte”. Both, ss and sz (or rather ſs and ſz or ſʒ), have been possible replacements and origins of ß. Wherever the 21st-century orthographic rules still require ß, historically sz would have been preferred, but meanwhile almost everyone and especially the Swiss had already settled on a single replacement, which almost always was ss. While doubling of letters is a feature of German graphotactics it has in common with many others, sz would be a rather unusual digraph (despite Czech), but ſz matches tzch/ck would suggest cs/cſ instead!
    – Crissov
    Jan 25, 2017 at 1:59
  • Sz does exist in the loan words Szene and Szintillation and German speakers pronounce it as a sharp s. (About unusual digraphs common in German: pf)
    – Janka
    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:18
  • @Janka "Szene" is pronounced /ˈstseːnə/, not /ˈseːnə/.
    – Uwe
    Jan 25, 2017 at 13:02
  • Which dialect? I don't know people who pronouce a ts in Szene. Seems like an overcorrection to me.
    – Janka
    Jan 25, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


The Fraktur typeset had ſʒ, but it simply never made it into Antiqua. See


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