Daggers and Double Daggers

Ever written a research paper? Ever had to label each co-author with a mark to tie them to their specific institution in the address block? It’s a pain in the neck in Word as the program doesn’t seem to have the dagger and double dagger marks commonly used by journals.

There might be a reason for this, of course. When I was an editor on one of those very academic journals, we had an author who used to insist that we not use the dagger symbol next to his name. His rationale was that because in a sans serif font it looks like a cross, some readers may be misled into thinking we were indicating that he was deceased. Worse, another atheist author refused to allow us to label his name with the dagger/cross because it somehow implied he might be a Christian (wouldn’t that be one of those little fish?), or might even offend non-Christian readers. Such is the world of political correctness.

Anyway, we had our housestyle and couldn’t, at that time, accommodate the individualistic foibles of every single author, so they were generally stuck with he dagger or double dagger regardless. These days, I don’t think the editors of that particular journal make any changes to what an author submits, so papers are published almost as is.

Anyway, in case you want to label someone with a dagger you can use the code † to produce †. A double dagger is produced using ‡ and gives this ‡. That’s for html coding of a web page, of course. In Word you have to go into the Insert, then Symbol menu. Tap in 134 or 135 for Character Code and switch it to ASCII (decimal) mode. If ASCII decimal is not available, then the equivalent hex codes would be 0086 and 0087.

Just be sure not to offend any easily offended academics by tagging them with a dagger or cross, unless of course they really are dead, and then you can offend away.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.