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Dagger (typography)

From Academic Kids

Punctuation marks

apostrophe ( ' ) ( )
brackets ( ( ) ) ( [ ] ) ( { } ) ( Template:Unicode )
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( Template:Unicode ) ( ) ( ) ( )
ellipsis ( ) ( ... )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
hyphen ( - ) ( Template:Unicode )
interrobang ( Template:Unicode )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’ ) ( “ ” )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/solidus ( / )
space (   ) and interpunct ( · )

Other typographer's marks

ampersand ( & )
asterisk ( * ) and asterism ( Template:Unicode )
at ( @ )
backslash ( \ )
bullet ( , more )
dagger ( † ‡ )
degrees ( ° )
number sign ( # )
prime ( )
tilde ( ~ )
underscore ( _ )
vertical bar/pipe ( | )

A dagger (, †, U+2020) is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is also called an obelus, from a Greek word meaning "roasting spit" or "needle"; or obelisk, an alteration of the above (see obelisk). A double dagger (, ‡ U+2021) is a variant with two "handles", and is also called a diesis.

The symbol was first used in Roman Catholic liturgy, marking points at which the priest had to make the sign of the cross.

The dagger is used to indicate a footnote, in the same way an asterisk is. However, the dagger is only used as a second footnote when an asterisk is already used. Third footnote employs the double daggers. Additional footnotes are somewhat inconsistent and represented by a variety of symbols, some of which are non-existent in early modern typography. Partly due to this, in modern literature, superscript numerals are used in the place of pictorial symbols. Some texts use asterisks and daggers alongside superscripts, using the former for per-page footnotes and the latter for endnotes.

Sometimes it is substituted in ASCII by a plus sign (+).

Since it also represents the Christian cross, in certain predominantly Christian regions, the mark is used in a text after the name of a deceased person or the date of death, as in Christian graves. (For examples, see biographies on German Wikipedia.)

In European railway timetables, the dagger (Christian cross) is frequently used as a conventional sign meaning "Sundays and holidays".

Trivia

The names of the comic-book heroes Astérix and Obélix come from a pun on the French names of the asterisk and the obelisk. fr:Obèle ja:短剣符 nl:Obelisk (leesteken)

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