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3.7.2 Read Articles

All the following marks mark articles as read.

r
These are articles that the user has marked as read with the d command manually, more or less (gnus-del-mark).
R
Articles that have actually been read (gnus-read-mark).
O
Articles that were marked as read in previous sessions and are now old (gnus-ancient-mark).
K
Marked as killed (gnus-killed-mark).
X
Marked as killed by kill files (gnus-kill-file-mark).
Y
Marked as read by having too low a score (gnus-low-score-mark).
C
Marked as read by a catchup (gnus-catchup-mark).
G
Canceled article (gnus-canceled-mark)
Q
Sparsely reffed article (gnus-sparse-mark). See Customizing Threading.
M
Article marked as read by duplicate suppression (gnus-duplicate-mark). See Duplicate Suppression.

All these marks just mean that the article is marked as read, really. They are interpreted differently when doing adaptive scoring, though.

One more special mark, though:

E
Marked as expirable (gnus-expirable-mark).

Marking articles as expirable (or have them marked as such automatically) doesn't make much sense in normal groups—a user doesn't control expiring of news articles, but in mail groups, for instance, articles marked as expirable can be deleted by Gnus at any time.