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Naturally I know #"..." only handles the FORMAT subset which takes no args
and is only shorthand for #.(FORMAT NIL string). I just think that's a 
worthwhile piece of shorthand which I've had need for frequently. I often
sit around trying to think up shorter strings just because the one I want
doesn't fit in the space allotted. #.(FORMAT NIL ...) is just too clumsy.

My earlier comments about losing information on READ had to do with losing 
semantic information, not syntactic information. The information loss on 
reading (defun f () #"This is a return value~%with two lines") is on par
with the information loss of reading (defun f () #o177) in a base-10 reader,
or reading (defun f () '((a . (b c)) (b . (c d)))). No semantic content is 
lost, only syntactic sugar. Whereas, reading something like
(defun f (x) #+maclisp (g x) (h x)) on the LispM loses semantic content
that cannot be recovered. Hence, I don't consider my views on these two issues
to be inconsistent.

I am completely baffled by your remark about using up the ~ char in a way
that may not be obvious. No one should use #"..." if they don't want to put
~'s in their string. Those who do, will know what to expect.