US and Canadian Style Differences: The Asterisk

Syllabus Montreal TranslationWhen it comes to editing, the devil is in the details. The job gets even tougher when you’re editing Canadian texts because the rules are almost the same as for American ones, but sometimes they differ by a hair—or a single space.

That’s where the asterisk comes in. According to The Canadian Style, you should put a space between an asterisk and a word when the asterisk comes first, but no space between them when the asterisk comes second. That may sound complicated, but when you look at the following example, it’s probably what you’ve been doing all along:

Win big!*
* Prizes are not guaranteed.

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, there is no space either way:

Win big!*
*Prizes are not guaranteed.

Luckily, both The Canadian Style and The Chicago Manual of Style agree on one thing: “Relative to other punctuation, the [asterisk] follows any punctuation mark except for the dash, which it precedes.”

Stumbled across any pesky style points lately? Let us know!

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