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Perl Language Reference Manual
by Larry Wall and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 724 pages
ISBN 9781906966027
RRP £29.95 ($39.95)

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5.4.3 Barewords

A word that has no other interpretation in the grammar will be treated as if it were a quoted string. These are known as "barewords". As with filehandles and labels, a bareword that consists entirely of lowercase letters risks conflict with future reserved words, and if you use the use warnings pragma or the -w switch, Perl will warn you about any such words. Perl limits barewords (like identifiers) to about 250 characters. Future versions of Perl are likely to eliminate these arbitrary limitations.

Some people may wish to outlaw barewords entirely. If you say

use strict 'subs';

then any bareword that would NOT be interpreted as a subroutine call produces a compile-time error instead. The restriction lasts to the end of the enclosing block. An inner block may countermand this by saying no strict 'subs'.

ISBN 9781906966027Perl Language Reference ManualSee the print edition