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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6 comments

  • 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.)

  • 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.

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