I have two names I often go by —
Name them both to identify
Who I am and where to find me
(This is not hyperbole).
By one name I'm high and mighty,
Often stalked by paparazzi;
Towns, songs, games, films, a war movie
proudly share a name with me.
"Star" means "idol", and many movies have "star" in them (including "Star Wars"!).
People see me night and day, and
That's how I want it to stay.
I can be a brilliant way to
Tell someone "Good job! Hurray!"
Stars are in the night sky, and there's one big star in the daytime sky. Gold stars are used for congratulating someone.
By the other name some call me.
(Really. Think telephony.)
Or I might be something you'd see
Used during a liturgy.
"Asterisk" is the term used for the key in telephones, and it represents the Star of Bethlehem.
Asterisk is a free, open-source IP-PBX telephony system.
And here's a bit more info on the Star of Bethlehem reference.
Truth be told, the name I'm called by
Matters less than how I act —
I might highlight something special
Or from crucial facts distract.
Well yes, highlighting things that are special is certainly common.*
*Warning: Only common in websites with Markdown or no text formatting at all.
Sometimes giving coders pointers,
Sometimes keeping codes from view,
In certain languages,
* indicates a pointer type (for example,
int* x means pointer to integer).
/* ... */ is multiline comment syntax in many C-like languages, and it can be hidden with a press of a button in some editors.
Asterisks also often replace PINs, credit card/CCV numbers, etc. in entry fields.
Sometimes strengthening your strong points,
Sometimes working against you.
I might be close enough to you,
Right now, to spit in your face.
Over 8 times, in this poem,
I appear (check the right place!)
Well, if you're looking at the post source, you can easily see the asterisks! And the phrase "Over 8" refers to the position of the asterisk on a standard computer keyboard.
Also, "times", as * is used as a multiplication operator in computing.
Now it's time for you to answer,
Time to get with the program....
Tell me both the names I go by!
Then show who I really am!
You are a STAR/ASTERISK. $*$