(lispref.info)Syntax Table Type

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Syntax Table Type

   A "syntax table" is a vector of 256 integers.  Each element of the
vector defines how one character is interpreted when it appears in a
buffer.  For example, in C mode (Note: Major Modes.), the `+'
character is punctuation, but in Lisp mode it is a valid character in a
symbol.  These different interpretations are effected by changing the
syntax table entry for `+', i.e., at index 43.

   Syntax tables are only used for scanning text in buffers, not for
reading Lisp expressions.  The table the Lisp interpreter uses to read
expressions is built into the Emacs source code and cannot be changed;
thus, to change the list delimiters to be `{' and `}' instead of `('
and `)' would be impossible.

   Note: Syntax Tables, for details about syntax classes and how to
make and modify syntax tables.

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