One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mark (‸, ⁁) placed below the line to indicate a proposed insertion in a text.
- ‘Not only do I underscore; I use brackets, carets, and braces; I annotate all four margins and I copiously turn down the edges (both top and bottom) of certain especially memorable pages.’
- ‘In fact, there is a linguistic analog: the use of carets, superscripts, and footnotes - all vertical operations - to embed new information in a finished text.’
- ‘But what's even better is Pikachu's tough side, which his animators represent simply by transforming the pocket monster's normally circular mouth into a caret (the ^ symbol) to illustrate his competitiveness.’
- ‘A dart (>) marks the last nucleotide for each gene and indicates the direction of transcription; nucleotides participating in termination codons of protein-coding genes are underscored with carets.’
- ‘If used inside brackets, the caret is interpreted as the negation operator.’
- ‘A caret mark appears between the words ‘paid’ and ‘to’ and the words ‘in cash’ are inserted.’
- ‘Some of it gets through though - this is because subject titles are ‘cleverly’ crafted so that the spam filter doesn't recognise them (putting a full stop or caret in a word seems to work occasionally)’
Late 17th century: from Latin, ‘is lacking’.
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