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sponge: [UNIX] n. A special case of a filter that reads its
   entire input before writing any output; the canonical example is a
   sort utility.  Unlike most filters, a sponge can conveniently
   overwrite the input file with the output data stream.  If a file
   system has versioning (as ITS did and VMS does now) the
   sponge/filter distinction loses its usefulness, because directing
   filter output would just write a new version.  See also slurp.