What “PS” Means: A Guide to Correct Usage

By Alan Reiner – December 18, 2023

In today’s fast-paced world of electronic communication, you may have come across the abbreviation “PS” in emails or messages. What does it mean, and how can you use it correctly in your writing? 

“PS” is used to add an extra thought or piece of information after the main text of a letter or email has been completed. This practice dates back to the days of handwritten or typewritten letters when including a “PS” allowed the writer to add an additional thought once the message had been crafted and signed. 

Today, it is still a useful tool for emphasizing important details or sharing a brief, relevant piece of information in email correspondence without revising the entire message.

PS Meaning: What Does PS Mean in Letters?

PS, an abbreviation for “postscript,” originates from the Latin word “postscriptum,” meaning “written after.” In English, PS functions as an addendum for conveying additional information at the end of a letter or email that isn’t directly related to the main content. For instance, after signing off a letter or email, you can include a line saying, “PS – Don’t forget your umbrella tomorrow.”

In correspondence, always capitalize “PS.” Both “PS” and “P.S.” are acceptable forms, with periods depending on your style guide preference or audience. Essentially, “PS” or “postscript” acts as a convenient tool that allows writers to append extra details or messages, enhancing readers’ understanding or helping to share reminders and important notes.

How to Punctuate and Format PS

When using “PS” in your writing, remember these essential guidelines to ensure its proper punctuation and format:

Capitalization

Always capitalize the “P” and “S.” This helps maintain a clear and consistent appearance.

Periods

You have the option to include periods after each letter or leave them out. American English typically uses “P.S.,” while British English favors “PS.” The Chicago Manual of Style also suggests using “PS” without periods.

Colon

Including a colon after the “PS” or “P.S.” is optional, and your choice depends on personal preference or your organizational style guide. Some examples include “PS.” or “P.S.:”.

Style guide

Since usage varies, resort to your preferred style guide for guidance, especially when your writing falls under a specific discipline.

Remember to keep the “PS” brief, and always format it according to the relevant stylistic conventions for your target audience.

PS in Email

In electronic communication, such as email, PS functions as a tool to add pertinent details or thoughts that you may have forgotten to include in the main body of your message.

Using PS in your emails can suit personal and professional contexts. However, when integrating it into email marketing campaigns or professional correspondence, ensure that the tone, content, and context of the additional information are appropriate. 

In American English, a common format is to add the PS right after the closing signature and before any automated signatures or disclaimers. 

To include the PS, simply insert the abbreviation “PS” followed by a colon or a space, then write your supplementary information or thoughts. Be sure to keep it clear and concise, with a maximum of 80 words per idea.

Here are a few tips for using PS effectively in your emails:

  • Share bonus information that supports the main message.
  • Offer additional resources or links related to the email’s content.
  • Utilize it as a friendly reminder or to emphasize an essential point.
  • Use it sparingly to maintain its impact and avoid redundancy.

In summary, including PS in your emails can help convey extra information while keeping your message organized and engaging for the reader. Remember to maintain a confident and knowledgeable tone, sticking to the second person point of view, while using clear language to present your additional thoughts.

Examples of PS in a Letter

In handwritten and typed letters, the use of “PS” has been prevalent, especially in personal correspondence like love letters. It adds a touch of charm and sentiment, revealing a parting thought or emotion. For instance, in a handwritten love letter:

 two hands holding each other, symbolizing warmth, togetherness, and nostalgia

…I’ll cherish our moments together forever.

PS: I can’t help but smile whenever I think of you.

In British English, adding a “PS” has also been a common practice, reinforcing a significant point in a letter. It can apply to both personal and professional communication:

…I look forward to our team meeting next week.

PS: Please remember to review the project report beforehand.

In the realm of marketing strategy, “PS” has been a popular tool in direct mail marketing and newsletters. It serves various purposes, such as emphasizing a call to action, presenting a testimonial, or highlighting an offer:

…Don’t miss our fantastic promotion this month!

PS: Use code FREEDELIVERY to enjoy free shipping on all orders over £50!

Whether you’re expressing your emotions or crafting an argumentative point, using a “PS” can be both impactful and memorable. Just remember to keep it relevant, concise, and clear.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of using PS in a message?

Using “PS” (postscript) in a message serves to include additional thoughts, emphasize a point, share parting thoughts, or reiterate a call to action. It helps you convey information you may have forgotten to mention in the main text of your message.

How do you properly write a postscript in a letter?

To write a postscript in a letter, simply add “PS:” or “P.S.,” followed by the additional information you want to include. Place this below the main text and your signature, after you’ve ended the letter.

What are some examples of PS in emails?

PS in emails can be used to:

  1. Remind the recipient about an upcoming event: “PS: Don’t forget our meeting next Thursday at 3 PM.”
  2. Add a personal touch: “PS: I hope your vacation was relaxing!”
  3. Emphasize a point or call to action: “PS: Please respond by Monday to confirm your attendance.”

How is PS used in social media platforms?

On social media platforms, “PS” is generally used in a similar way as in emails or letters. You can include it as a comment or response to highlight important information, add context, or share a personal note.

What are the variations of PS in different languages?

The abbreviation “P.S.” is derived from the Latin term “postscriptum.” In different languages, “PS” might have variations that still mean “postscript” or “written after.” For instance, in Spanish and Italian, it’s “P.D.” (posdata / postdata), whereas in French, it’s “P.S.” (post-scriptum).

Are there any etiquette rules when using PS in texts?

While there are no strict etiquette rules for using “PS” in texts, it’s essential to use it sparingly and only when relevant. Keep in mind that including multiple postscripts might indicate poor organization or lack of clarity in your original message.