On Mon, 30 Sep 2013, Lars Huttar wrote:

I found \start and \stop referenced in the context reference manual
(e.g. section 5.5).
While \startXYZ - \stopXYZ pairs are discussed earlier, I can't find any
place that \start and \stop (with no suffix) are described.
They seem to be used like \bgroup and \egroup. Is that right?
They are defined in core-sys.mkiv, but I can't figure out from there
what they actually do.

(Untested, based on what I remember):

\start = \bgroup
\stop  = \egroup

but \start scans the next argument, so there are situations when \start may fail but \bgroup works.

\start[whatever] ... \stop = \startwhatever ... \stopwhatever

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