So tab completion is great... unless you're a n00b... and you type the first part of
ifconfig and then hit tabenter real quick... in which case you end up with:
(not actual terminal input)
~$ if > > >' > " > end > ^C > > ) > () > ] > >  > ] > ; > > >  > ;aognf' > >
What's really weird is ctrlc didn't even work. I know about quotation marks (which is why that's what I tried first), but that knowledge didn't help.
How can I break out of one of these fat-fingered mistakes next time, without closing the terminal?
Bonus point for answering what is this thing that I've accidentally started doing?