To understand how functions work, it's helpful to think of them as real-time manipulators of data. I say real-time because the manipulation occurs at the moment a user views a template page including your expertly coded function.
Functions use the format SomeFunction(SomeVariable), where the variable you want to manipulate is placed between the parentheses. When you use functions within <CFOUTPUT> tags, you enclose the entire function string in hash marks (rather than enclosing the variable), like this:
ColdFusion reads the entire hash-delimited string, performs whatever manipulations the function requires, and returns the results as output.
When functions are used as part of a ColdFusion ...