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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Mystery Asterisk Destination
If you ever see the † dagger symbol with no unmatched footnote, it means the writer is saying the phrase while threatening you with a dagger.
Title text: If you ever see the † dagger symbol with no unmatched footnote, it means the writer is saying the phrase while threatening you with a dagger.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT*. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

This comic is a reference to the use of asterisks and other symbols for footnotes or endnotes. It indicates that when asterisks appear after words without corresponding footnotes, they are in fact referring to this comic.

It offers closure for missing footnotes (not entirely dissimilar to 391: Anti-Mindvirus), and so has an effect opposite of the unmatched parenthesis in 859: (.

In many contexts, an asterisk or a dagger does not refer to a footnote, and consequently does not constitute a mystery asterisk or dagger even if alone. These include programming languages and math, which regularly use asterisks for various reasons such as for the multiplication operator, as well as dates of birth and death, which particularly in some European countries is indicated with an asterisk and a dagger respectively.

The title text reveals that unmatched instances of † (a dagger; a symbol for a secondary footnote) are threats being made by the author to the reader with a physical dagger. As of this writing, it states "If you ever see the † dagger symbol with no unmatched footnote…", forming a double negative. This is likely a typo. A likely reading appears to be “…dagger symbol with no matching footnote…”. However, if this is the case, then it means that Randall is threatening the reader with a dagger.


[A blank panel with text at the bottom.]
*Whenever you see a mystery asterisk that doesn't have a matching footnote, it points here.

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