After having witnessed the same mistake on several occasions in recent weeks, I thought I’d write a post about asterisks.* The mistake I heard was an incorrect pronunciation of asterisk, the typographical name of the symbol “*”. It was pronounced as if it were spelled asteriks (that is, [ˈæstərɪks] instead of [ˈæstərɪsk]). Of course, asterisk and its plural, asterisks, are not the easiest words to pronounce. If you feel uncomfortable, you can almost always get away with saying star instead. While I don’t have concrete evidence, I believe that the mispronunciation may have something to do with the popular series of comic books and movies called Asterix, the star of which is a character named Asterix.
* Asterisks are frequently used to refer to footnotes or small print.