Asterisk

related topics
{math, number, function}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{system, computer, user}
{language, word, form}
{game, team, player}
{film, series, show}
{build, building, house}
{@card@, make, design}
{work, book, publish}
{rate, high, increase}

Punctuation

An asterisk (*; Late Latin: asteriscus, from Greek: ἀστερίσκος, asteriskos, "little star"[1]) is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star. Computer scientists and mathematicians often pronounce it as star (as, for example, in the A* search algorithm or C*-algebra). In English, an asterisk is usually five-pointed in sans-serif typefaces, six-pointed in serif typefaces, and six- or eight-pointed when handwritten.

The asterisk is derived from the need of the printers of family trees in feudal times as a symbol to indicate date of birth. The original shape was seven-armed,[citation needed] each arm like a teardrop shooting from the center. For this reason, in some computer circles it is called a splat,[citation needed] perhaps due to the "squashed-bug" appearance of the asterisk on many early line printers.[citation needed] Many cultures have their own unique versions of the asterisk.

In computer science, the asterisk is commonly used as a wildcard character, or to denote pointers, repetition, and multiplication.

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