When Adding a Second “PS” at the End of a Letter, It’s “PPS”, Not “PSS”

This, of course, is because “PS” stands for “postscript”. This comes from the Latin “post scriptum” (sometimes written “postscriptum”), which translates to “written after”, or more to the point, “what comes after the writing”.

Thus, PSS would mean “postscript script”, which doesn’t really make sense in this context. Rather, the correct way to write this abbreviation is “PPS” for “post-postscript” or “after what comes after the writing”. This continues to PPPS, PPPPS, and so on.

Also note, both forms “P.S.” and “PS” are considered correct, though the latter form, without the periods, is considered the preferred method today as “postscript” is now considered one word.

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  • Actually, PSS is Post-Super-Scriptum

  • I completely agree with everything here. It’s all very logical. Unfortunately, language doesn’t often follow the most logical path. (Take Hamburg+er -to- Cheese+burger as an example.)

    I’m subscribed to dozens of email newletters from the top names in the email business, and I see PSS probably twice as often as PPS. With time, one will win out through sheer usage, and my money’s on PSS.

    • Even though it’s wrong?

      I see then instead of than several times a day. Doesn’t make it right.

      Just because a large number of people get something wrong, it doesn’t make it right. It just makes them ignorant.

      The internet is killing the English language. It’s up to those of us who still love and respect it to not let that happen.

      (See what I did there? With the split infinitive? Wasn’t easy, but I made myself do it.)

      • PPS right, PSS wrong. Same thing as Etcetera or ETC. pronounced correctly ET-CETERA. Yet way too many people are heard to pronounce it EC-CETERA, including professional speakers. And they never self-correct themselves, so are obviously hearing it form others and imitating, rather than learning the correct way to say this word. While it’s true language tends to modify based on popular usage, it also helps with communication (meaning relaying through and ideas in clear and consize ways) to attempt to use the existing language correctly. Ongoing sloppy use of the language doesn’t help except to wind up changing the meaning of words, as quickly as within a few years or decades — including use of too many colloquialisms rather than learning actual words with which to form meaningful sentences. The very fact that some of you are likely annoyed at this post (some will say peeved which is a colloquial or slang term) shows the lack of desire to learn the actual language. But to throw a monkey-wrench into the mix, the modern English language started off as an Old Germanic (West Germanic) language, and over the centuries changed through influences from other languages — in Brittan they spoke Celtic languages, but were influenced by old Anglo-Saxon (Old Germanic) peoples, the Roman Latin language, then onto the Norman Conquest (which was also Germanic early on), and Old Norse, and Norman French, and on and on, where Old English developed to Middle and later, finally to modern English. As such the language most definitely developed fairly wildly, so such change is difficult to resist. Our current modern English will probably be unrecognizable hundreds of years hence. And speaking of “hence” it sounds old, but works nicely.

  • So in addition to minding our p’s and q’s we should also mind our p’s and s’s?!

    I think you’re right, Jacob, but I plan to continue using p.p.s. until/if it becomes improper to do so. The older I get the more old school I become as well. Aarrgghh! And apparently I don’t read enough because this is the first I’ve seen that not using periods is acceptable. It just doesn’t look right, but something tells me I better get used to it.

    • Carolina, please resist getting used to it for as long as possible, preferably forever.

      “Getting used to it” is surrendering to the forces of ignorance which are destroying our beloved language.

      Evolution of a language is a good thing, devolution is not.

  • p.s.s. is what I was taught well before the Internet (1970s). I wanted it to be p.p.s. for the rationales given by many here, but was instructed the opposite. If anything, I think it is the Internet driving the alternate usage. People on Wikipedia like to pontificate from how they think things should be versus how they are. See a lot of trends for migration of inconvenient grammar practices.

  • So 1 P.S. is P.S.
    A second P.S. can be P.P.S. or P.S.S..
    What is a third P.S..
    P.P.P.S., P.S.S.S., P.S.P.S., PS-PS-PS?

  • Couldn’t Agree More! ☺

  • I was taught P.P.S. WAY before the internet. I completely agree with those that believe “going along with pss and misspellings, is just feeding ignorance.”
    We have so many kids AND adults that can’t spell and can barely read anymore. People just seem to be lazy. It’s sad.
    (And for the record, I’m under 40…and a teacher)