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GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

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9.2 Kinds of Forms

A Lisp object that is intended to be evaluated is called a form. How Emacs evaluates a form depends on its data type. Emacs has three different kinds of form that are evaluated differently: symbols, lists, and "all other types". This section describes all three kinds, one by one, starting with the "all other types" which are self-evaluating forms.

9.2.1 Self-Evaluating Forms  Forms that evaluate to themselves.
9.2.2 Symbol Forms  Symbols evaluate as variables.
9.2.3 Classification of List Forms  How to distinguish various sorts of list forms.
9.2.4 Symbol Function Indirection  When a symbol appears as the car of a list, we find the real function via the symbol.
9.2.5 Evaluation of Function Forms  Forms that call functions.
9.2.6 Lisp Macro Evaluation  Forms that call macros.
9.2.7 Special Forms  "Special forms" are idiosyncratic primitives, most of them extremely important.
9.2.8 Autoloading  Functions set up to load files containing their real definitions.

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