In the The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2e - Version 5.01, April 06, 2011 it is suggested that:
A backslash in front of a space generates a space that will not be enlarged. (page 39)
It turns out that this is not really the case. I've been told that
\ differs from the normal space token in that it resets the
1000 (see comment here).
So what does
\ actually do? I am not very familiar with the way TeX works and don't really understand what
\spacefactor is really responsible for, either. (I looked up the TeXbook, but still don't have any clue.) Can anybody enlighten me?