Another place where the effect of my $x;
and my ($x);
differs is in matching regular expressions. Assigning a match in scalar context just records whether the match was successful, like this
perl -e 'my $x = "abcdefg" =~ /(cd)/; print "$x\n";'
whereas matching in list context assigns the captures in the match
perl -e 'my ($x) = "abcdefg" =~ /(cd)/; print "$x\n";'
Normally, or rather probably, you would be making more than one capture in the regular expression so you would do something like
my($this, $that) = $string =~ /abc(def).+?(pq)$/;
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