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A note on the Esszet

A  quick linguistic diversion on the 'esszet' character ß. It is used where there are 2 separate 's' sounds together, a long 'ess' and the shorter 'ze'. For English speakers it used to be used in words such as Essex. Try pronouncing 'Essex' and there are two distinct syllables 'Ess' and 'zex' - so the 'ss' is being used first as a long s and then as a short one. We did away with the ß character in the 1700s (around the time we also stopped using 'ſ' as the character for a long s) but Germany retained its use. Fascinating, eh?