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st: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters

From   Benson Limann <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters
Date   Mon, 2 Feb 2009 15:58:59 -0700

Dear all:
The individual IDs in my dataset are in the string format. I currently use -destring- to make them numeric. But, unfortunately, some individual IDs have non-numeric characters. As a result, -destring- with the -force- option deletes all these individuals automatically. 
Given that I want to sort all the observations, is it possible to keep these individuals with non-numeric IDs?
Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated,
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