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S-comma facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Virguliţa şi sedila
Appearance of comma (upper row) and cedilla (lower row) in the Times New Roman font. Note that the cedilla is placed higher than the comma.

S-comma (majuscule: Ș, minuscule: ș) is a letter which is part of the Romanian alphabet, used to represent the sound the voiceless postalveolar fricative (like sh in shoe).


S signo mediae lunulae in Lexicon de Buda
S "half moon" proposed as a letter in the Buda Lexicon.
Ş, ţ and cedilla in Ortografia limbei române 1895
S-cedilla, T-cedilla and a cedilla illustrated with a comma in Ortografia limbei române published by the Romanian Academy in 1895.

The letter was proposed in the Buda Lexicon, a book published in 1825, which included two texts by Petru Maior, Orthographia romana sive latino-valachica una cum clavi and Dialogu pentru inceputul linbei române, introducing ș for and ț for.

Unicode support

S-comma was not initially supported in early Unicode versions, nor in the predecessors like ISO/IEC 8859-2 and Windows-1250. Instead, Ş (S-cedilla), a character available since Unicode 1.1.0 (1993), was used for digital texts written in Romanian. In some contexts, like with low-resolution screens and printouts, the visual distinction between ș and ş is minimal. In 1999, at the request of the Romanian Standardization Association, S-comma was introduced in Unicode 3.0. Nevertheless, encoding for the S-comma was not supported in retail versions of Microsoft Windows XP, but a later European Union Expansion Font Update provided the feature. While digital accessibility to S-comma has since improved, both characters continue to be used interchangeably in various contexts like publishing.

The letter is part of Unicode's Latin Extended-B range, under "Additions for Romanian", titled as "Latin capital letter S with comma below" (U+0218) and "Latin small letter s with comma below" (U+0219). In HTML, these can be encoded by Ș and ș, respectively.

Use of the comma with the letter S


acute, apex( ´ )
double acute( ˝ )
grave( ` )
double grave(  ̏ )
breve( ˘ )
inverted breve(  ̑ )
caron / háček( ˇ )
cedilla / cédille( ¸ )
diaeresis, umlaut)( ¨ )
circumflex / vokáň( ˆ )
dot( · )
hook(  ̡  ̢ )
hook above / dấu hỏi(  ̉ )
horn / dấu móc(  ̛ )
macron, macron below( ¯  ̱ )
ogonek / nosinė( ˛ )
ring / kroužek( ˚, ˳ )
rough breathing / dasia( )
sicilicus(  ͗ )
smooth breathing / psili( ᾿ )
Marks sometimes used as diacritics
apostrophe( )
bar( | )
colon( : )
comma( , )
hyphen( ˗ )
tilde( ~ )
titlo(  ҃ )
Diacritical marks in other scripts
Arabic diacritics
Greek diacritics
Gurmukhi diacritics
Hebrew diacritics
Indic diacritics
anusvara( )
chandrabindu( )
nukta( )
virama( )
IPA diacritics
Japanese diacritics
dakuten( )
handakuten( )
Khmer diacritics
Syriac diacritics
Thai diacritics
Quick facts for kids
Punctuation marks

  • Romanian
    • The Romanian letter Ș/ș (S with comma) represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative (as in "show"). On outdated systems which do not support the glyph, the symbol Ş/ş (S with cedilla) is used. Example word: Timișoara.

Character encoding

Character information
Preview Ș ș
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 536 U+0218 537 U+0219
UTF-8 200 152 C8 98 200 153 C8 99
Numeric character reference Ș Ș ș ș

See also

  • Ş (S-cedilla)
  • Š
  • Ț (T-comma)
  • D-comma
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