What are 3 asterisks called?

Answered by Willie Powers

A String of Three Asterisks: The Dinkus

In the realm of writing, a string of three asterisks nestled together is commonly referred to as a dinkus. This peculiar term may not be widely known outside the realm of writers and editors, but it holds significance in both fiction and nonfiction realms. Dinkuses (or dinki, as some may prefer) serve the purpose of dividing larger sections of text into smaller, more manageable units. They act as visual markers, aiding in the organization and flow of written content.

Dinkuses find their place in various literary works, from novels and short stories to essays and articles. Their usage is particularly prevalent in fiction, where authors often employ them to indicate transitions between scenes or shifts in perspective. By using dinkuses, writers can effectively break down their narratives into smaller, digestible chunks, enhancing readability and helping readers navigate through the story.

In nonfiction writing, dinkuses serve a similar purpose. They function as signposts, delineating different sections within a larger piece of work. For example, in an academic essay, dinkuses can be used to separate the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. In this context, they assist readers in quickly identifying and locating specific information within the text.

One might wonder why a string of three asterisks specifically became known as a dinkus. Sadly, the origins of this term are a bit elusive. It is one of those peculiar words that have emerged within the writing community, gaining acceptance and usage over time. The term itself seems to have a whimsical quality, indicative of the playful nature of language and the idiosyncrasies that develop within specialized fields.

Now that we have explored the concept of dinkuses, let’s delve into their practical applications. Here are a few scenarios where dinkuses can play a valuable role in writing:

1. Fictional Scene Transitions: Imagine you’re reading a captivating novel with multiple storylines. The author uses dinkuses to signal a shift from one character’s perspective to another. This visual break helps you follow the narrative, preventing confusion and allowing for smoother transitions between different plotlines.

2. Structuring Nonfiction Articles: Let’s say you’re reading an informative article about a complex subject. The writer utilizes dinkuses to divide the article into distinct sections, such as background information, analysis, and conclusions. This clear organization enables readers to skim through the article and locate specific details efficiently.

3. Chapter Divisions: In longer works, such as books or dissertations, dinkuses can mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. By using dinkuses as chapter dividers, authors provide readers with visual cues, signifying shifts in topics or themes. This aids in understanding the overall structure of the work and assists readers in navigating through its contents.

To summarize, a string of three asterisks, affectionately known as a dinkus, is a useful tool in the writer’s arsenal. Its purpose is to visually delineate sections within a larger piece of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. Dinkuses aid in organizing information, improving readability, and guiding readers through the intricacies of a written work. So, next time you encounter this trio of asterisks, appreciate the dinkus for its contribution to the craft of writing.