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The construct is a rather trivial macro which disappears when macro expanded and which does not macro expand its subterm. Thus, it protects its subterm x against macro expansion.
The protect macro may be used to protect against macro expansion, e.g. in the left or right hand side of macro definitions. It may also be used to protect blocks of definitions against macro expansion. As an example, it may be useful to protect the name and charge definitions generated by the ""N and ""C directives. Otherwise, macro defined constructs will not end up having correct name and charge.
The protect macro is essential during the bootstrap which occurs when lgc(1) loads the base page.
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