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Thanks to everyone for the great responses. Forgive me, but it doesn't let me pick multiple "accept as answer". :) Also, I don't mean to sound so naive as to imply "but the book", just trying to understand the underlying thinking, etc.

It sounds like $LISTTOSTRING is exactly what I am interested in. 

Thanks again, for the responses and for tolerating my rather noob question :). 



Thank you for this. It was confusing because the tutorials for this, nor any of the books I have (I am using the Paul Kadow text) mention that I will have random symbols put in the middle of my list elements. So the book says entering "write [listname]" should return "dogcatfish" but in reality you are telling me that command doesn't do that, and that these symbols will always be there? I guess its frustrating that the Kadow book doesn't warn of this, since I spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong with my system/set up.

 How would one return multiple elements of a list then without having the symbols? Perhaps I am not really asking a great question - but I'd have to wonder what the point is of having a command that prints "garbage" symbols between list items.

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