DAVID Newnham wishes the change in the asterisk's function to be acknowledged (Friday magazine, June 9). It "used to direct the reader to a footnote", he points out, whereas it now refers to some caveat hidden away in the depths of the small print.

In education a far more serious offender is the GCSE result printd as A*. Having been literate for nigh on six decades, I find when confronted with this that my eyes descend automatically to the foot of the page for the relevant note. It is, of course, never there, nor indeed anywhere else.

Michael J Smith

10 Hillview

North Pickenham

Swaffham, Norfolk

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