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Sometimes, when I am typing really fast in bash, I accidentally do something and I get an underlined u diplayed at the prompt. After that, bash behaves strangely (I'm sorry, I can't remember what it does). I can never figure out what I pressed to enable the behavior. Usually I just have to resort to mashing keys to exit this mode. Can anyone tell me what's going on?

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It's like you pressed Ctrl-Shift-u. This will show an underlined u indicating you can enter a hex code of a unicode character. It is not a bash specific feature, as it works in quite some apps.

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    This is actually not a bash feature but a feature in the window manager/application's libraries like GTK+. – nitro2k01 Dec 7 '13 at 12:09
  • I assumed as much; but I would also think it strange if it were implemented in the wm. I think GTK is indeed the most likely candidate. – A.J.Rouvoet Dec 7 '13 at 13:25

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