When Did English Lose the Long Letter S?

Above is a selection from a 1711 printing of Milton's Paradise Lost. Notice that what appears to be the modern letter f appears in the place of the modern letter s. This is the "long s"--a typographical practice of past centuries. When did it fade away? Evan Soltas used Google's N-gram function to assess when "Paradife Loft" became "Paradise Lost". This is what he found:

The switch occurred over a century spanning 1750-1850.

Link -via Marginal Revolution | More Info on the Long S

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been conducting a
little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him.
.. lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!
! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your web page.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"When Did English Lose the Long Letter S?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More