metacharacter

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metacharacter

Informatics
A character interpreted by UNIX shells and Wisconsin Package programs in a pre-defined manner.
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Indeed, the creation of metacharacters, who inhabit the text alone and not the mimetic reality produced on stage, suggests that Friel intends them to be even more attenuated than traditional choric figures: their generically formal clothing and limited range of emotions suggest that they present an objective truth outside the play's world.