Long S Google Books searches

Posted on 17 December 2010

This page shows a large (but not exhaustive) list of the words in the English language which could be mistaken for other words if they were written in the old-fashioned style where a lot of the time the letter "s" would be written by something that looks more like a modern "f". Each word-pair links to a Google Ngram Viewer graph showing their respective popularities over time.

See here for the background.

With a bit of help from the Ispell dictionary list from here and this Python script.

Python script

def frepls(word):
    if len(word) == 0:
        return ['']
    kids = frepls(word[1:])
    result = [word[0] + w for w in kids]
    if len(word) > 1 and word.startswith('s'):
        result += ['f' + w for w in kids]
    return result