A while ago on these boards, I expressed suprise that there were two s’s in “asterisk”, because as far as I knew it was only pronounced with one. I got the internet equivalent of a lot of strange looks. A few people opined to the effect that they would probably regard a person who said “asterick” as an illiterate hick. I said sorry, but everyone around here says it that way. It must be a dialect thing.
I’ve been sporadically putting the idea to the test (“Excuse me, but how do you say the name of the star symbol on the keyboard?”) and so far there’s been a clear pattern. People from outside of New Jersey say “asterisk”. People from New Jersey (our corner, at least) say “asterick.” People from everywhere have never really thought about it until I asked them, and have been surpised that it was said any other way.
So now I’d like to take a Doper survey. How do you say it, and where are you from?
Personally, I pronounce it “Asterisk”, except when I’m referring to old British military firearms, where it’s pronounced as “Star”- thus, a SMLE Mk III* rifle would be spoken as “Mark Three Star” and not “Mark Three Asterisk”.
I hate to hop in and be “that person” but I grew up in Middlesex County so I believe in the existence of Central Jersey. That’s why I went with the last option. As far as asterisk goes, I pronounce the word -ick unless I am teaching. In the classroom, I try to force the -isk.