#TheStoryOfSymbol - The #Asterisk is one of two notae (the other being the obelus in the appearance of the crux †) that have survived intact and in their original form since the Middle Ages. Ask someone from Athen s what it means and they will tell you it comes from the Greek word asteri, which means star. No surprises why the asterisk is st ar shaped, then. The asterisk appears at times in early medieval manuscripts, but wit h less regularity later, to link passages in the text with side-notes and footnotes. In printed books, it appears with its original purpose, to mark omissions, but position ed within the text. It came back to the big time in the twentieth century. Yet its mea ning to us now has altered somewhat along with, on many occasions, its name. As well as linking passages the asterisk is often used to represent missing letters, most ofte n from expletives. If you don’t give a f**k but do not want to give too much offense, then you will use an asterisk (or two). Plus, it has an abundance of uses in IT. Computer scientists use the asterisk in regular expressions to denote zero and it is used in command line interfaces as a wildcard. If you use Excel or any number of programmi ng languages then you will use it to multiply: 4*4 is 16 and so on. The list could go on. However, you will probably call it star rather than asterisk for all of the above.