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I have a usable workaround, so I don't need a solution, but I thought I'd share this weird little quirk. I don't recall seeing this discussed before. I'm curious whether others can reproduce this result.
I had a table that wouldn't produce any output even though it truly seemed like it should. It was just a bunch of lines of plain text, nothing fancy. I finally wound up experimenting with EndTable: in various spots until I homed in on the problem line:
When I removed or commented out that line (only) from the table, the table produced output as expected. When I included the line, the table didn't produce any output. This small example reproduces the problem.
Table: X this elder-born:aha that
It's a weird one. If I change the offending string to elderborn, elder-bored, elder, elderly, elder-schmelder, elder-born:, and other variations, the table works fine. If I use elder-borne, elder-ly, e-born, e-mail, e-ieio, weird-born, weird-ly, e-, just a dash, or seemingly any letter followed by a dash (all of these examples followed by a colon), the table stops yielding any output. The dash and the colon are apparently necessary to reproduce this, although as I just noted, there are strings using a dash and a colon that don't have this problem.
For the case in hand,
elder-born: gives me the result I'm after, so I don't need a fix. I typically replace colons in text with
: anyway because of occasional IPP syntax issues.