[texhax] Line breaks in plain TeX

zsdc zsdc at wp.pl
Sat Jun 7 07:42:28 CEST 2003

How do I force a line break in TeX?

OK, now please stop laughing at me... I thought \\ (double-backslash) 
did the trick, but it seems to not work, how I thought it would, and 
after spending few hours on finding out what is going on I just gave up.

This is my linebreak.tex:

a \\ b

When I run "tex linebreak.tex" I get:

This is TeX, Version 3.14159 (Web2C 7.3.7)
Runaway argument?
 b \end
! File ended while scanning use of \\.
<inserted text>
<*> linebreak.tex

(When I use \\ in larger, multiparagraph files, I get "Paragraph ended" 
instead of "File ended.") When I hit H to ask TeX for more help, I get:

    I suspect you have forgotten a `}', causing me
    to read past where you wanted me to stop.
    I'll try to recover; but if the error is serious,
    you'd better type `E' or `X' now and fix your file.

How could I have forgotten a "}"? The whole documents has only two 
characters, and I can't make them in two lines of the same paragraph. I 
have really no idea what is going on. I remember using \\ before without 
problems, but now after trying to figure out what's wrong, I'm not sure 
about abything anymore.

I'm obviously doing something terribly stupid, but after you stop 
laughing, please tell me what to write in TeX, to get this output:
i.e. two things in two lines of the same paragraph.

I've spent literally hours figuring it out, only to fail...


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