How to render a ^ (carrot) in normal LaTeX text

Here are two ways to render a ^ (carrotcaret) in plain text within LaTeX:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}
A caret: \verb|^|
\end{document}

\textasciicircum


I tested them and both work as prescribed. They produce different carrotscarets.
(via comp.lang.texcomp.text.tex)
Corrected spelling of caret.