You might have seen it in a letter or email before or even used it on several occasions, but you don’t know what it means.
In a world where the new and saucy LOLs, BTWs, LMAOs, and TBHs are taking over, P.S. is still among the relevant professional and personal correspondence abbreviations.
The fact that “P.S.” can flourish in both personal and professional communication spaces makes it a “general fitter.”
But what does P.S. mean in texts like emails, letters, and shorthand messages?
Let us answer this question and take a look at several uses of this abbreviation.
Let’s get started.
What Does PS Mean In Text?
PS stands for postscript. It has ancient roots, and was derived from a Latin word, postscriptum, which translates to “written after.”
The Latin word “post” means “after,” and “scriptum” means “written.”
A postscript is used to indicate an additional thought or additional information that is added to a body of text (i.e., an email, text message, official document, etc.).
A postscript is convenient when you are hand-writing a document (especially a letter) because you don’t have the neat delete option available on your computer or phone. If you forget to include something in the main body of your letter, you can just add it using PS.
This way, you don’t have to rewrite or use a caret and an awfully squeezed sentence or phrase to insert the missing content.
In the end, you still have a neat letter and you save some time in the process.
How Do I Punctuate PS?
There isn’t a fixed set of rules that govern the use of PS. After all, this word can be used in so many different ways or styles. For example, if I’m using it casually in a text or social media post, the rules won’t matter that much.
And I believe different style guides have different rules on the usage of PS.
However, there are things we can all agree on, for example, capitalizing the entire word. When it comes to using periods after PS, a debate still rages on.
Grammarians and other figures of authority still have divergent views on this. And… when you move from one English-speaking region to another, you notice differences too. People writing in British English tend to use PS, while others using American English prefer P.S.
Examples of PS Punctuation
- PS The movers are coming next week, so get everything sorted out this week.
- P.S. The movers are coming next week, so get everything sorted out this week.
- PS: The movers are coming next week, so get everything sorted out this week.
- P.S.: The movers are coming next week, so get everything sorted out this week.
Examples of PS in Famous Letters
Here’s a letter that John Lennon wrote to a groupie who had “dissed” Yoko Ono.
Yoko’s been an artist before you were ever a groupie. Why don’t you open your box and dig ‘Mind Train’ on [Yoko/Plastic Ono band album] “Fly?” Your prejudices can’t be that deep.
Love, John Lennon.
P.S. You might have an aging problem. Me? I wouldn’t go back one day!
Here’s an excerpt from a letter Ronald Reagan wrote to his son, Mike, in 1971:
There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.
P.S. You’ll never get in trouble if you say “I love you” at least once a day.
6 Best Ways to Use PS
1. Emphasize a Subject
PS can be used to stress the importance or gravity of a point. If you’ve already tackled a certain point, you can use PS to reiterate that detail and show emphasis on that particular point.
And PS facilitates this by being in a separate part of the document that is visually highlighted.
P.S. The company wanted to compensate all the affected individuals.
2. Show Anger or Protest
Let’s imagine you are writing a letter in response to something that you didn’t like or to stress a rule that has been broken by someone (your subjects, workers, children, etc.).
Let’s say, in that letter, you’re trying to put a point across or present some sort of a stance on a particular matter. You can include the last words of the main argument in the PS.
P.S. This should be the last time I hear of this.
3. Make the Letter More Interesting
If you’re writing a letter to a loved one, adding a witty, funny, kind, or sweet line at the end can make the letter way better.
And you can use a postscript to add and highlight this sentence, potentially leaving your loved one with a wide smile.
P.S. I miss you like the night misses the moon’s sparkle.
4. Add Extra Comments
You can use a postscript to add information that isn’t really necessary in the main body of the letter. If you have an afterthought or an idea that is a bit unimportant but needs consideration, you may use PS to include it in your letter.
P.S. This might not be on your agenda, but just in case, the stocks are at their lowest and this is the best time to buy them!
Sometimes, you write a letter or note that tries to convince the reader or communicate an idea as an intermediary.
This is a perfect opportunity to share your opinion or a persuasive take on the matter.
P.S. I know it’s not for me to say, but you can settle all this out of court.
6. Deliver a Call to Action
Say you are a marketer or a campaign manager and want to share testimonials, advertise special deals, or make a call to action.
A postscript can be used to include discounts, promotions, or a call to action, whether in cold email campaigns or one-on-one customer offers.
The good thing about the P.S. is that it isn’t part of the chunky email body and the reader must skip the email and read one line at the end. That way, you save the receiver much-needed time, and the likelihood of them getting your offer is high.
P.S. You can get two months’ worth of content for just a month’s subscription fee.
The Importance of PS in Emails
You could ask yourself why someone would want to use PS to add an afterthought or a missing sentence from the body when all they have to do is edit the email.
Well, you’re right, it’s not like we used ink and we can’t erase it from the paper. However, PS is still as useful as it was before word processors. In fact, most of the five best ways in the previous section apply to emails too.
Take, for example, the point under the section “showing anger or delivering a call to action.” Those are perfect for emails.
Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Therefore, email campaigns and postscripts are a perfect match because a PS seems more effective than a large email body.
No one has got the time to read all the junk that lands in their emails. One line is enough.
PS on Social Media
PS has also made it onto social media, especially on apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Messenger.
Social has no time for long reads, so a PS often seems like a perfect way to put a point across. A PS is also effective when you’ve already sent the message and forgot an important detail; all you do is bundle the info together with a PS and press enter.
With the advancements in instant messaging, you can even go back to a conversation from days or months ago and add a PS.
Alternative Meanings of PS in Text
The most famous logo in the video gaming industry is PS. This PS, though, stands for PlayStation, a game console by Sony.
In the photo editing and manipulation industry, the letter PS usually stands for “Photoshop.”
Adobe Photoshop has been in and still tops the photo editing software market.
P.S. and a lot of uses: it can be used to emphasize something important in a formal letter or add a little humor or a personal note.
Although you rarely see P.S. on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, it is still as cute and charming as it was when The Beatles sang, “P.S. I Love You,” or when President Reagan sent that letter to his son.
And… We still write letters. We’re just doing it electronically, so there are still plenty of uses for this antique abbreviation.
P.S. I love you for reading the entirety of this post.