[racket] Confused between strings and symbols

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Sun Oct 27 19:58:39 EDT 2013

You may wish to read through HtDP/2e: 


strings: "silly"
symbols: 'silly 
all lists are made from cons and empty, 
 quote '
 quasiquote `
 unquote ,
are abbreviations that expand to lists: 


If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, use DrRacket's language menu to control the printer: 

  Language -> Choose Language -> Show Details 

choose the constructor-style printing and all lists will be shown as cons-es, which is what they really are. 

-- Matthias

On Oct 27, 2013, at 4:23 PM, Bo Gus wrote:

> If I evaluate this:
> (list 'this '(is silly))
> I get this:
> '(this (is silly))
> I just want to check I understand what is happening here.
> list always returns a proper list hence I see no dotted notation here.
> The return value is quoted which means it is a symbol?  But there are spaces so can it be a symbol?  And in addition, list returns a proper list so it is a list?  A symbolic list?
> Or does the quote in returned just mean it is string data in the list?
> The nested parentheses around is silly is indicating that this is a inner list - a list within a list?  What is in the inner list?  Two strings?  One string made up of the characters i, s, space, s, i, l, l, y ?
> I suppose the thing that confuses me the most is the idea of a symbol.  There are no quotes around the textual information in the returned data so do I assume the text is not string data?  If so are they symbols?
> Please help clarify.
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