What does PS mean: what does PS Stand For and How to Use it

In both personal and professional communication, you might come across the abbreviation “PS” at the end of letters, emails, or even text messages. But what does PS stand for, and how should you use it? This article will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding the meaning, usage, and history of PS.

Definition and Meaning of PS

PS stands for “postscript,” originating from the Latin word “postscriptum,” which means “written after.” In essence, PS is an afterthought added to a message. Historically, PS became widely recognized in English in the early 1500s and has since been a staple in written communication.

Alternative Meanings of PS

While “postscript” is the most common meaning, PS can also stand for:

  • Public School: In some U.S. school systems, like PS 166 in Manhattan.
  • PlayStation: The popular gaming console.
  • Photoshop: The widely-used image editing software.

However, the primary usage of PS refers to an additional note at the end of a letter.

Purpose of Using PS

The main purpose of PS is to add a remark or additional information that wasn’t included in the main body of the letter. It serves as a convenient tool to:

  • Include forgotten details.
  • Add a humorous or light-hearted note.
  • Emphasize a specific point.

Examples of PS Usage

What does PS mean in a letter (In a Personal Letter):

Dear Sir,
Thanks for your letter! It made my week to hear from you. I’m sorry to hear that Doris is ill. Please tell her I’m thinking of her.
Yesterday, I found out that the committee approved my thesis topic. I’m so excited for this final stage, but now I’ll be buried in research about big cat pathology.
It’s exciting that your ladies’ poker group gets to meet in person again! I can’t wait to hear all the latest gossip from your friends.
Take care, and give Granny Jean a hug for me.
PS: I made your meatloaf recipe for some friends, and it was a huge hit!

What does PS mean in Email (In a Business Email):

Subject: Rodriguez Project Update
Dear Stephen,
The Rodriguezes were very pleased with your proposal to update their restaurant’s website and manage their social media. They were impressed with the design, but they’d like to talk to you about your TikTok plan. I think they’re intimidated by making videos.
Would you be willing to meet with them next week? I’d like to nail down the final price before the end of the month. Let me know your availability.
PS: I submitted your request for time off to Jenna this morning. Hopefully, she gets back to us soon.

What does PS mean in text (In a Text Message):

We’re going out tomorrow night! Meet us at 7 at the bar. Kevin from the coffee shop is coming!!!
PS: You should wear the red dress with the strappy heels.

How to Write and Use PS

When writing PS, the format can vary. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Placement: PS should be placed after your signature in a letter or email.
  2. Punctuation: In British English, it’s common to write “PS” without periods. In American English, you may see “P.S.” However, the most crucial factor is consistency in your writing.
  3. Length: Keep the PS brief. If the note is long, it might be better to include it in the main body of the message or send a separate communication.

Common Formatting Guidelines

CountryPreferred FormatNotes
United StatesP.S. or PSChicago Manual of Style prefers P.S.
United KingdomPSGenerally written without periods


Understanding PSS and PPS

Occasionally, you may need to add multiple afterthoughts. The correct sequence for additional postscripts is:

  • PS: The first afterthought.
  • PPS: The second afterthought (Post-Postscript).
  • PPPS: The third afterthought (Post-Post-Postscript).

Incorrect Usage

  • PSS: This would mean “Postscript Script,” which doesn’t make sense.

The Purpose of PS in Different Contexts

Personal Letters: PS can add a personal touch or include something you forgot to mention.
Business Emails: PS can be used to add a quick note that may not be related to the main content.
Text Messages: PS is often used for emphasis or to add a casual remark.

Practical Tips for Using PS

  1. Consistency: Stick to one format throughout your document.
  2. Relevance: Ensure that the PS adds value and is relevant to the reader.
  3. Brevity: Keep it short and to the point.

In Conclusion

PS is a versatile tool in written communication, allowing you to add afterthoughts and additional remarks in a concise manner. Whether in letters, emails, or text messages, understanding how to use PS properly can enhance your communication skills and ensure your messages are clear and effective.

Summary Table

DefinitionPostscript, from Latin “postscriptum”
UsageAdding afterthoughts or additional notes
Alternative MeaningsPublic School, PlayStation, Photoshop
PlacementAfter the signature in letters/emails
FormattingPS (UK), P.S. or PS (US)
Multiple PostscriptsPS, PPS, PPPS (Post-Postscript)

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