In the realm of written communication, whether it is a formal letter, an email, or an instant chat message, you may have come across the term ‘PS’. ‘PS’ is an abbreviation for ‘postscript’. The term was widely used in the days of handwritten or typed letters and is still in use in digital communication today.
The word ‘postscript’ has Latin roots: ‘post’ translates to ‘after,’ and ‘script’ translates to ‘written,’ together, it means ‘written after.’ As such, ‘PS’ is traditionally employed at the end of a letter after the main message and closing sign-offs like ‘Yours sincerely,’ ‘Best,’ or ‘Regards’.
The use of ‘PS’ points to a piece of information that you want to add to the letter or message but didn’t include it in the main body for various reasons. It could be because the information was forgotten when writing the original message, or it could be something that is secondary to the main point of your communication but still necessary or relevant to the reader.
Sometimes people use ‘PS’ strategically to highlight information. Because ‘PS’ is often used for significant, exciting, or secret information, it tends to draw readers’ attention. It is also used casually in many informal settings such as a text or chat message, for adding information that may have slipped your mind while writing the original message.
An example of a ‘PS’ in a formal letter could look like this:
“Dear Mr. Smith,
[Main body of the letter]
PS: I can also provide further testimonials if required.”
In an informal setting like a chat, it might look something like:
“Hey, don’t forget our lunch date today!
PS: Could you bring my book that I left at your place?”
Note that if you have multiple points to make in your postscript, you could use ‘PSS’ for the second point, ‘PSSS’ for the third, and so on. This is, however, not commonly used and generally, if there are multiple points to add, they are included in a single ‘PS’.
In conclusion, ‘PS’ is a convenient and effective tool to add afterthoughts or additional points to your messages. However, in professional communication, it’s usually best to include all necessary information in the body of the message to maintain a structured and comprehensive communication.