What is the star on a keyboard called?

The star symbol on a keyboard is commonly referred to as an asterisk. This punctuation mark, represented as a small star-like figure (*), can be found on most computer keyboards, including both desktop and laptop keyboards. The asterisk serves various functions in different applications and contexts. Let’s explore some frequently asked questions to understand more about this particular symbol.

FAQs about the star symbol on a keyboard:

1. What is the history behind the asterisk symbol?

The asterisk symbol has a rich history, dating back to ancient civilizations, where it was used to mark corrections or omissions in handwritten texts. Over time, it evolved to take on numerous uses and meanings.

2. How is the asterisk symbol used in computer programming?

In programming languages, the asterisk is commonly used as a wildcard operator to represent any number of characters or as a pointer declaration. It also serves as an arithmetic operator denoting multiplication.

3. What function does the asterisk symbol serve in mathematics?

In mathematics, the asterisk symbol denotes various operations such as multiplication, convolution, and the cross product. It is also used to indicate complex conjugation or to label footnotes or corrections in mathematical texts.

4. How do I type the asterisk symbol on a keyboard?

To type an asterisk symbol on a standard keyboard, simply press the Shift key along with the number 8 key. The asterisk character will appear on your screen.

5. Can the asterisk symbol be used in passwords?

Yes, the asterisk symbol can be used in passwords, similar to any other special character. Including an asterisk in a password can enhance its strength by adding complexity.

6. What is the difference between an asterisk and a star symbol?

While they may appear similar, the asterisk (*) and the star symbol (★) are distinct. The asterisk is a typographical symbol often used in contexts such as programming and mathematics, while the star symbol is a decorative or symbolic icon.

7. How is the asterisk symbol used in search engines?

In search engines, the asterisk symbol is commonly used as a wildcard to represent unknown or variable characters within a search query. It can aid in finding variations of a specific term or completing partial words.

8. What does the asterisk symbol signify in linguistics?

In linguistics, the asterisk symbol is used to mark reconstructed or hypothetical words, forms, or pronunciations that are not directly attested in written records.

9. What are some common uses of the asterisk in written language?

Apart from its technical applications, the asterisk symbol is widely employed in written language to indicate footnotes, references, or additional information pertaining to a specific context.

10. Can the asterisk symbol be used as a bullet point in word processing software?

Yes, the asterisk symbol can be utilized as a bullet point in word processing software. Its small, star-like appearance makes it an attractive option for creating lists.

11. What is the origin of the word “asterisk”?

The word “asterisk” derives from the Greek word “asteriskos,” meaning “little star.” This name aptly describes the shape of the symbol itself.

12. Are there any cultural or symbolic meanings associated with the asterisk symbol?

While the asterisk does not have any widely recognized cultural or symbolic meanings, its usage has become prevalent enough to be recognizable and understood across various fields and contexts.

In conclusion, the star symbol on a keyboard is known as an asterisk. This small, star-like punctuation mark holds multiple functions in different domains, including programming, mathematics, and linguistics. Understanding the diverse uses of the asterisk symbol can enrich one’s knowledge of language, mathematics, and technological applications.

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