S-comma facts for kids
S-comma (majuscule: Ș, minuscule: ș) is a letter which is part of the Romanian alphabet, used to represent the sound /ʃ/, the voiceless postalveolar fricative (like sh in shoe).
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 /ʃ/ and ț for /ts/.
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
Use of the comma with the letter S
- The Romanian letter Ș/ș (S with comma) represents the voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (as in "show"). On outdated systems which do not support the glyph, the symbol Ş/ş (S with cedilla) is used. Example word: Timișoara.
- Ş (S-cedilla)
- Ț (T-comma)
S-comma Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.