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redefining Common Lisp functions

    Date: 11 Apr 87 14:44:52 PST
    From: masinter.PA@xerox.com

    Everyone (including Guy Steele!) seems to be challenging me to quote
    "chapter and verse" in Guy Steele's book supporting my assertion that it
    is an error to redefine any of the predefined Common Lisp functions and
    macros.  (The appropriate verse which claims that it is an error to
    redefine one of the predefined special forms with DEFUN having been

Larry, the point is that the phrase "is an error" has a precise
technical meaning in CLTL, and is furthermore understood in
conversations on this mailing list to mean "is explicitly stated by CLTL
to `be an error'".  If it's just your opinion, then you can legitimately
say "It is stupid to ..." or "It is wedged to ..."  or even "It is
erroneous to ..." or (best) "I think it should be an error to ..."; but
if you say simply "It is an error to..." then that is understood to be a
statement of fact about what is in CLTL, and it is reasonable for others
to ask what part of the book backs it up.

We all like you, and we don't mean to challenge you or give you a hard
time.  Many of us even agree that it SHOULD be an error.  But (unless
I have overlooked the relevant passage) it isn't an error yet.