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There is a negative thinspace \! which is a negative version of \,.

Is there a negative version of normal character space \ too?

I could not find it in: Lengths and when to use them, What commands are there for horizontal spacing?, https://mylatexnotes.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/text-negative-white-spaces/

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    Note that \ could shrink/expand with the text, so it's not fixed. – Werner Dec 19 '19 at 15:42
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    The value of the space is stored in the font parameter\fontdimen2 but as Werner said that can shrink or stretch (\fontdimen3 and \fontdimen4) so the space isn't really fixed. Are you by any chance looking for something like \unskip? – campa Dec 19 '19 at 15:46
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\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

a\ b

a\ \hspace{-\fontdimen2\font plus -\fontdimen3\font minus -\fontdimen4\font}b

\end{document}

The interword spacing is set by the font so you can use \hspace{-\fontdimen2\font plus -\fontdimen3\font minus -\fontdimen4\font} as shown, but it is hard to think of any cases where this is useful. As commented it may be that you are looking for \unskip a \unskip b typesets as ab by removing the glue node rather than adding a second negative glue node.

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