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I wouldn't know of any stringhandling commands
built into bash, but you could filter the output of
your ls through the colrm-command, or sed
(or use Perl instead of bash-scripting ;})
for instance like that ...
ls -l | colrm 11 | colrm 1 7 will give you the perms for o
ls -l | colrm 8 | colrm 1 4 will give you the perms for g
ls -l | colrm 5 | colrm 1 1 will give you the perms for u
ls -l | colrm 2 will give you directory flag