We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Section Sign?

By Emily Daw
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The section sign, or §, is a glyph or typographical mark used most often to designate a particular section within a document. It is also known as the double “s” or sectional symbol, or by its Latin name, signum sectionis. Its precise history is not known, but it most likely came from combining the two letters "SS," which is the abbreviation of signum sectionis. The section sign may also be used to designate a footnote or as an abbreviation for the Latin scilicet, meaning "It is permitted to know."

As its name suggests, the section sign's most common use is to refer to a specific section in a longer document, especially a legal document. For example, §11 would refer the reader to Section 11. If Section 11 has more than one paragraph, there might also be a “pilcrow,” or paragraph symbol, to indicate which particular paragraph is referenced, as in: §11¶5. To refer to several sections of a document, two section signs would appear in a row, as in: §§6–12 or §§5, 13. This is similar to the usage of "p." to refer to a single page and "pp." to designate multiple pages of a book or document.

An abbreviation for scilicet is a secondary use of the section sign. Scilicent, which can also be written as Sc. or SS, literally means "It is permitted to know." It is generally followed by a clarification of what came before; for instance, "He saw the situation for what it was, § a robbery."

Occasionally, the section sign will be used as a marker for a footnote when the asterisk mark (*) has already been used in the document or on that particular page. This usage is not very common, however. More often, when a document has multiple footnotes, these will be designated with numbered superscripts such as 1, 2, etc.

The section sign is not found on a typical keyboard, but can be produced on a computer by a variety of codes. In HTML, the code is § or §. In ASCII, it is alt+245. In Unicode, it is U+00A7. Other codes also exist for use with particular software. Anyone needing to know how to insert the symbol in a given program can simply search for "section sign" within the help menu.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.