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I can’t figure out what this

enter image description here

symbol is. It is used in the context of “column space of a matrix X”. It is not one of the Greek letters and my guess is that it is just an ordinary “S” with some sort of text style. I have looked through all common ones but could not find an appropriate one.

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The closest I could find from What The Font is S from Chank GFY Handwriting Fontpak #2. \mathcal{S} is a bit too upright compared to your image. –  Peter Grill Dec 5 '12 at 4:50
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Welcome to TeX.SE –  Peter Grill Dec 5 '12 at 5:08
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1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I can't decide whether this is a hit or a miss (yours is a little thinner). It looks like the item is span (or initial of some other word).

\documentclass[border=3mm]{standalone}
\usepackage[mathscr]{euscript}
\begin{document}
$\mathscr{S}$
\end{document}

enter image description here

Personal rant : Math with text decorations sucks big time. Notation is for the reader not for the author's Gaussian fantasies (patent pending).

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Hey, thx this is close enough. This is not my personal fantasy^^. I just go with the notation from author of the book I use. –  Druss2k Dec 5 '12 at 5:24
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As a character, the symbol can be identified as SCRIPT CAPITAL S U+1D4AE. Its appearance varies greatly across fonts (the fairly few fonts that have it), but the one seen here seems to correspond to mathematical practice, though script letters generally tend to be somewhat slanted. –  Jukka K. Korpela Dec 5 '12 at 10:21
    
@JukkaK.Korpela Indeed that's the usual case but whenever I see such symbols I directly think OK, which mathematician did this? :) –  percusse Dec 5 '12 at 19:41
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