We can drop except. Say:
Or ‘catch’, or something else.
We're going around in circles. We considered 'catch' early on, but decided against it since, comparing 'except E' and 'catch E', there would be no good way to tell which is the recommended one (and the same would apply to another single keyword like 'handle'). At least with 'except*', it's easy to remember that this is a modified version of 'except', so it's probably meant for a special case.
I also think that the bar should be pretty high before we reopen the *syntax* -- the PEP was approved without anyone (neither the SC, nor Nathaniel, nor anyone else) providing any feedback on the use of 'except *'. So I think it's a bit late to be bikeshedding the syntax. This thread was meant to solicit feedback on how to *format* it: does the space go before or after the '*'.