[texhax] "@" : vowel or glottal stop ? (was : Some puzzling TeX)

Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Sat Feb 19 14:14:45 CET 2011

Heiko Oberdiek wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 10:37:16AM +0000, Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:
>> I have never understood (and continue to fail to understand)
>> why, when Don made it quite clear in Plain.TeX that "@" is a
>> vowel, Leslie and his followers insist on treating it as
>> a glottal stop.  Why one earth did they use the horribly
>> ugly :
>> 	\@firstofone
> Because it's easy to read?

"read" as in "comprehend", or "read" as in "mentally verbalise" ?
To be honest, I find it neither : its ugliness just jars.

>> instead of the far more intuitive and elegant :
>> 	\first at fone
> What's "fone"?

I don't see "fone", I see "slash first @f one".

> There is \@ne, thus it must be \firstof at ne? Or
> \f at rstofone, or \firstofon@, or ...?

No "must", but a definite "could".

> In my taste, \@firstofone is much more clear
> than \first at fone. "@" is used for many purposes,
> as marker for internal commands, as separator,
> as prefix, ..., but using as vowel it's counterintuitive
> in my opinion.

Then you must have read about LaTeX before reading
The TeXbook, so Leslie had already subversively
indoctrinated you without your realising it :-)

** Phil.
Not sent from my i-Pad, i-Phone, Blackberry, Blueberry, or any
such similar poseurs' toy, none of which would I be seen dead
with even if they came free with every packet of cornflakes.

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