Er, no, open(my $fh, "...") is correct usage. $fh is autovivified into an actual filehandle (not just a symbolic reference). It is the preferred method for opening a filehandle without clobbering an existing one.
The excerpt you are referring to does mean an undefined scalar variable ($fh), not a bareword (FH).
perldoc perlopentut provides several examples of this in the Indirect Filehandles section.
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