Up until a few days ago typing option+s resulted in the German eszett (ß). Currently typing option+s results in the insertion of the surprise emoji (😮). If I bring up the Keyboard Viewer and press the option key by itself, I can see that in theory at least typing s should insert ß as I would expect. Clicking on the ß character in the Keyboard Viewer also inserts a 😮.

I have tried

  • a different keyboard layout which provides option+s as ß: surprise emoji
  • activating the standard German keyboard and pressing the key to the left of 0 (zero): ß
  • disabling Karabiner, although nothing in the settings suggests such a substitution to be active: surprise emoji

As indicated in an older question, the emoji substitution check doesn’t work on Big Sur.

Do you have any idea how I can debug what is causing this? I cannot recall installing anything recently which might be causing such a change.

  • 1
    Does this topic answer your question ? apple.stackexchange.com/questions/106253/….
    – tama
    Mar 22, 2021 at 21:01
  • 1
    @tama I’ve edited this so it’s clear the selected answer has someone that says it doesn’t work. We should get confirmation from the OP soon if that edit is correct or this can be closed against one of the other answers here / there. Thanks for the link!
    – bmike
    Mar 23, 2021 at 7:28
  • Have you checked system preferences > keyboard > text > replace with for an entry that might do this? Mar 23, 2021 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


I have successfully found out where the replacement was coming from - it turns out there was an entry in ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict which mapped option+s to the surprise emoji. I had forgotten putting the entry in there.

  • Thank you for coming back to share how you fixed your issue. Could you mark your answer as accepted? This shows other people that your question has the answer you were looking for, and will help others that have a similar issue.
    – jaume
    Apr 2, 2021 at 14:53

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