There is a Python question like this:
>>> import string
>>> s = ‘mary11had a little lamb’
>>> print s
mary had a little lamb
mary11had a little lamb
As Padraic has pointed out in the comments - it looks like the leading backslash is missing before the 11 as a minor typo in the question.
So it should read
>>> import string >>> s = ‘mary\11had a little lamb’ >>> print s mary had a little lamb
It's interpreting \11 as the escape sequence for a numerically defined ascii character, which in this case is horizontal tab (\t). As without qualification,
\nnn is assumed to be octal (as opposed to
\xnn which is interpreted as hexadecimal).
So if you were to write just
>>> s in the REPL, you'd expect it to evaluate to
'mary\thad a little lamb'.
Same outcome if you entered:
'mary\x09had a little lamb'