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(declare (type fixnum ---)) considered etc.

    Date: Wed, 23 Jul 86 12:32 EDT
    From: Guy Steele <gls@Think.COM>

    One thing one can say is (OR FIXNUM (SIGNED-BYTE 20)), say, which a
    sufficiently clever compiler (heh, heh, heh) would understand to mean
    "use a fixnum, unless fixnums are less than 20 bits, in which case use
    at least 20 bits (whatever that takes)".

What is the advantage of using this instead of (SIGNED-BYTE 20)?