in reply to First word
|match a single word character||/\w/|
|match a word||/\w+/|
|match a word at the start||/^\w+/|
|bind the pattern to a string||$x =~ /^(\w+)/|
|assign captured word||my ( $word ) = $x =~ /^(\w+)/|
The parentheses around $word are important.