(lispref.info)Classifying Lists

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Classification of List Forms

   A form that is a nonempty list is either a function call, a macro
call, or a special form, according to its first element.  These three
kinds of forms are evaluated in different ways, described below.  The
rest of the list consists of "arguments" for the function, macro or
special form.

   The first step in evaluating a nonempty list is to examine its first
element.  This element alone determines what kind of form the list is
and how the rest of the list is to be processed.  The first element is
*not* evaluated, as it would be in some Lisp dialects including Scheme.

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