The term ‘P.S.’ is an abbreviation that stands for ‘postscript’, deriving from the Latin term ‘post scriptum’ which directly translates to ‘written after’. It traditionally gets used in written correspondences such as letters. However, in the present-day digital age, you might have noticed ‘P.S.’ employed in emails, messages, and even social media posts.
In written communication, ‘P.S.’ is a way to add further thoughts or information that were neglected or thought of after the letter or message was completed. From an etymological point of view, the Latin term ‘post scriptum’ is quite literal in representing this concept, as ‘post’ means ‘after’ in Latin and ‘scriptum’ refers to ‘write’. Thus, ‘P.S.’ refers to the writing done after the main body of a document or message.
This additional element conveys something relevant or significant that the writer has remembered only after signing off on their original message. Consequently, instead of rewriting the entire content or disrupting the original flow of the material, the author includes a ‘P.S.’ to relay the additional thoughts.
Traditionally, in handwritten letters, ‘P.S.’ usually appears after the signature of the writer, distinguishing it clearly from the main content. Besides, it is also applied in books and documents to add last-minute additions, corrections, or afterthoughts.
In modern communication, the application of ‘P.S.’ has retained the conventional rule. You would typically see it at the end of emails, beyond the main content and after the signatory. Despite this, given the flexibility digital platforms offer, sometimes a ‘P.S.’ might appear somewhere else in a message, email, or post, wherever the writer feels its placement make the most sense.
The usage of ‘P.S.’ not only pertains to formal communications but also casual correspondence too. Often in emails, a ‘P.S.’ could be dedicated to a personal side-note that’s unrelated to the primary content but is worthy of mention. In social media captions or posts, it’s often used to highlight an important detail, a joke or an additional thought in an attention-grabbing way.
To sum up, ‘P.S.’ represents ‘postscript’ and is a tool used to insert an additional thought, idea or information that the writer didn’t include in their initial message. It’s flexible in its use and can make communication more efficient, personal, and eye-catching.