The *, or asterisk, is an old typographical symbol. The name derives from the Latin asteriscum, which translates literally to "little star" in English. There are variations of the asterisk, typically in the number of arms the star has with six arms being the standard. The modern asterisk is used to signify a new item in a list, exclude letters from an obscenity, or indicate a footnote. The footnote use has become most popular recently in regards to popular athletes who use performance enhancing drugs, with commentators saying there will be an asterisk next to their names in history books. According to JONNRG, we can expect this symbol in future GM press releases since Toyota has become the world's largest automaker.
Here is a preview of the new footnote at the end of all corporate press releases:
GM is still the World's Largest Automaker. *
* Excludes sales and profits. Largest based on number of brands, models, dealers, factories, workers, retirees, and executives. World's largest autos made by GM include the Chevy Suburban, the Hummer H2, and the Cadillac Presidential Limousine.
Still, one presidential limo is worth a few million Corollas.
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