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Re: weird \s

From: Doug McIlroy
Subject: Re: weird \s
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:41:05 -0400
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.5 7/5/10

I've been writing the ugly \s360 since ancient times. Groff still thinks
this means a 36-point 0. But man 7 groff says it means a 3-point 60:

       \s±N   Set/increase/decrease the point size to/by N scaled points; N is
              a one-digit number in the range 1 to 9.  Same as ps request.

By convention ± is optional. Groff does as the man page says when
a sign is present, but does as Joe Ossanna did otherwise.

I would happily endure the breaking of a whole lot of old [gt]roff for the
sake of making the man page true. That would unify the syntax of
\s, \n, and \*. It would be as easy to recover from the change
(with a sed script) as was groff's imposition of a gap in .sp12.


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