Follow-up Comment #1, bug #53196 (project groff):

Some general observations.

> The user should not have to know or care whether groff
> hyphenates a word using a pattern or an exception-file
> entry; groff should follow the restrictions specified in
> .hy regardless.

I disagree.  There are languages like German where the default setup is to
hyphenate both the first and last two characters (Ho-se, ei-ne, etc.). 
However, it normally gives much better typographical results *for long lines*
if you disable this.  The recommended value for both \lefthyphenmin and
\righthyphenmin (to use the finer control instructions of TeX) is 3.

On the other hand, there are German prefixes like `un-' (which is kind of a
negation) that are normally the best hyphenation points in the whole word.  It
thus makes sense to re-enable such words explicitly within a hyphenation
exception.

In other words, I don't see a bug w.r.t. to `.hw' and the `.hy' request.

The bug is somewhere else: The file `hyphenex.us' is read with the `.hpfa'
request, and all data read in with this request should indeed be subject to
`.hy'.

> Additionally, a user asking groff not to split words by
> leaving only two characters on a line might reasonably
> expect this to include words already containing hyphens.

Again, I disagree.  An explicit hyphen is *always* a place to break.  This is
true for *all* typesetting programs I'm aware of.  If you want to suppress
hyphenation after a hyphen you should use U+2011, NON-BREAKING HYPHEN,
instead, or protect the word with a leading `\%' escape.

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