I’ve been seeing how some of you use asterisks. In emails. In your tweets. In your Skype messages. Sometimes in your SMS texts.

Y’know asterisks, yeah?

This: *. And another one: *. An asterisk and another asterisk. Together – ** – asterisks.

So, yeah, I’ve been seeing how some of you have been using these.

When I say “some of you”, I mean a lot of you.

You do this sort of thing:

*points upwards*


*hides under the sofa*

Asterisks highlight emphasis, boldness. They do not highlight action.

Which is what many of you are doing. You are using asterisks to show you are supposedly doing something.

Except to me. I read that are you highlighting those words in, say, Word, and then hitting the bold button.

And it’s wrong. So very, very wrong.

Here’s an example of correct asterisk usage.

That gal, she can *really* play the guitar.

Here’s another.

Man of the *90’s*.

And another.

Oh my God! That shit was *dope*!

Each of those bits between asterisks? *Emphasised*.

If you want to tell people you point upwards or whistle or hide under the sofa, use square brackets round the action. A [ and a ]. Not a * and a *.


[points upwards]


[hides under the sofa]

Better. Much, much better.

So, please stick to the proper usage of your asterisks and square brackets. Cut out this asterisk abuse.

If you do I might… Well, I might do a little jump for joy.

[does finger guns]

Cheers, Si.

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