The idea would be to use it as... a pipe in a command. For instance: say there's some kind of long path which has to be retyped again and again, followed by a pipe and a second program, i.e.
"directory1/directory2/direcotry3/file.dat | less -I "
I'd like that part to be stored in a variable, so it could be used like this:
r="directory1/directory2/direcotry3 \| less -I -p " $ cat path1/path2/$r <searchterm>
Instead, I get
cat: invalid option -- I Try `cat --help' for more information.
... meaning the pipe clearly didn't work.