Strange results from 'strings | sort'

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# 1  
Strange results from 'strings | sort'

Using the 'strings' command and piping the result to 'sort' is producing strange results. I get block of lines that begin with asterisks, then a block that begins with some text, then more lines that begin with asterisks. The actual content is correct - lines beginning with asterisks is the actual content of the file. My question is about the resulting sort order. Within a grouping things are in order, but I don't understand why the lines beginning with an asterisk are broken into two groups, separated by a group of lines that begin with an alphabetic character.

oracle:mydb$ strings spfilemydb.ora | sort
*.control_files='+DEV_DATA/mydb/controlfile/control01.ctl','+DEV_DATA/mydb/controlfile/control02.ctl'#Restore Controlfile
*.db_name='MYDB'#Reset to original value by RMAN
*.dispatchers='(PROTOCOL=TCP) (SERVICE=mydbXDB)'
mydb.__oracle_base='/u01/app/oracle'#ORACLE_BASE set from environment

# 2  
You should provide your operating system details and the version of sort you are using if you want an educated reply instead of a guess.
# 3  
OK, for the OS:

oracle:$ uname -a
Linux <redacted server>.<redacted domain> 3.8.13-118.4.2.el6uek.x86_64 #2 SMP Tue Mar 22 20:47:10 PDT 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

I'm not sure how to determine the exact version of 'sort'. The bottom of the man page shows this:

GNU coreutils 8.4

# 4  
My guess is you have some string that sorts between "dispatchers" and "event", separated from "mydb" by a carriage return (<CR> = \r = 0x0D = ^M) character. string can be told to include all white space chars in its output.
Run string's output through a hexdump, e.g. od -tx1c, and look for \r occurrances.
# 5  
No joy.

strings spfiledwdev.ora |od -tx1c  > edslist.lis;view edslist.lis

Then simply searched for every occurrence of 'r'. It only showed up as occurrences of the text 'r' (x'72'). No occurrences as part of a control character.

This is not a show-stopper by any means. Just a very big curiosity.
# 6  
Look for the "mydb..." lines, then. See if there are any abnormalities. Post a small but relevant excerpt of the output.
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