I understand that GNU grep without -E uses basic regex and that grep -E uses extended regex. Is there any harm in using grep -E even for situations that would work with plain grep?


Not much. Back referencing is not possible in grep -E, so you cannot match the same text as previously matched by a (..) capturing group (though some grep implementations like GNU and BSD grep allow it as a non-standard extension).

And if you want to match literal braces or parentheses,?,+, you now will need to escape them...

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