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global function namespace given too much weight perhaps?

The justification is that (after some debate), we decided not to try to
make the function name space parallel to the variable name space in all
respects.  These two name spaces do rather different things, and we
decided not to put in all the things that would be needed to make the
two spaces truly parallel.  For example, in addition to the
SETQ-equivalent, we left out functional variables in argument lists.

Whether this is a reasonable justification I leave up to you, but that's
how it happened.  The inconsistency, if any, is that we let FLET and
LABELS sneak back into the language because a few people thought they
would be useful.

-- Scott