1. Esszett

    ß is not a stylistic ligature. As the name suggests it is a ligature froms S (“ess”) and Z (“zett”) in Fraktur-Script.

    • I understood that that was a ligature for two ‘s’s — A long s (rendered similar to f) and a short s as in “Essen”. Maybe that’s the same thing you’re saying, but I guess my question is about the ‘z’ as opposed to a short s — which may be the same sound in germanic languages.

      (Apologies, I’m on a windows computer and I don’t know how to type non-standard ASCII characters.)

      • tom

        According to Wikipedia, the long s is not a ligature, but a letter that developed when upper and lower case letters became established.

        In case you find it useful, here’s a way to typeset the short, long, and sharp s-es:

        \def\longs{{\fontencoding{TS1}\selectfont s}}
        Short s: s
        Long s: \longs
        Sharp s (esszett): \ss
  2. “TeX was the first digital typesetting system that made use of ligatures.”

    There were several companies doing digital ligatures long before Knuth released TeX: Autologic, Computype, Logidec, Alphatype, etc.

    • tom

      Thanks for pointing this out. I rephrased the part of the paragraph which was wrong. I’m curious to learn more about these other companies.

    • tom

      Was playing with different file encodings and forgot to set it back to utf8. Thanks for the notification, I updated it.

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