Therefore my vote is for requiring `except* E` and keeping `except *E` as a SyntaxError.
You can't do that with our current lexer+parser.
Then what is the purpose of this thread? I understood from the OP that the question was which to allow and which to prohibit. If it's impossible to require either or prohibit either because the lexer/parser can't tell the difference, then it's going to end up as a never-ending style argument just like C pointers, so what are we even discussing? (Other than an entirely different syntax, of course, which now seems like the logical way to go if we can't enforce a single way to do it with the original proposal.)