It will be helpful to distinguish between the strings that scalars contain and quoted strings, including string literals. Escape characters and special codes, such as "\r", "\n", "\t", etc. have special meaning in some quoted strings, depending on the type of quotes used (see Quote and Quote like Operators), but not in the values of scalars. The values of scalars are sequences of characters or bytes, depending on whether they are character or byte strings. A string may contain the characters '\' and 'n', but neither has any special meaning in that context - they are just characters (or bytes) in the string.