When you come across a word with an asterisk (*) symbol in it, you may be confused as to what it means. The usage of an asterisk in the English language is quite common and it can appear in a variety of contexts. So, what does the asterisk mean when it appears in a word?
Asterisk in Grammar
The asterisk is most often used as a grammar tool to indicate an omitted letter. This is often seen in swear words, where the asterisk is used to censor the word. For example, the word “f*ck” is used to denote a swear word without using the actual word.
The asterisk can also be used to fill in a missing letter or letters in a word. For example, “c*m” is used to indicate a word that is often considered inappropriate. This type of usage is often seen in informal writing, such as text messages, emails, and social media posts.
Asterisk in Math
The asterisk is also used in mathematics and science to denote multiplication. This is why it is often referred to as the “multiplication symbol” or “times symbol”. For example, the equation “2*2” means two multiplied by two, which is equal to four.
The asterisk can also be used to denote an exponent. This is a mathematical expression that is written as a superscript number or symbol that indicates how many times the number is multiplied by itself. For example, the equation “2*2*2” means two multiplied by itself twice, which is equal to eight.
Asterisk in Computer Science
In the world of computer science, the asterisk is used to denote something called a wildcard. This is a symbol that can be used to represent any character or string of characters. For example, an asterisk can be used to represent any text or number within a search query.
The asterisk is also used in computer programming to denote a pointer, which is a type of data that stores the address of a memory location. Pointers are used to store and access data from memory locations for various purposes, such as for loops and functions.
Asterisk in Music
In music, the asterisk is often used to denote a sharp or flat note. This is done by placing the asterisk before or after the note to indicate that it should be played in a higher or lower pitch, respectively. For example, an asterisk placed before the note “A” would indicate that it should be played in a higher pitch.
Asterisk in Other Contexts
The asterisk is also used in other contexts, such as to indicate an end note or a footnote. This is often used in academic writing to cite sources or provide additional information. Additionally, the asterisk can be used to denote various sports awards or honors, such as the MVP or Rookie of the Year.
The asterisk is a versatile symbol that can be used in a variety of contexts. In grammar, the asterisk is often used to indicate an omitted letter, while in mathematics and computer science it is used to denote multiplication, exponents, and wildcards. In music, it is used to denote sharp or flat notes, while in other contexts it can be used to indicate an endnote or a footnote. Regardless of the context, the asterisk is a useful symbol that can be used to convey a variety of meanings.