Throughout this manual, the phrases “the Lisp reader” and “the Lisp printer” refer to those routines in Lisp that convert textual representations of Lisp objects into actual Lisp objects, and vice versa. See Printed Representation, for more details. You, the person reading this manual, are thought of as “the programmer” and are addressed as “you”. “The user” is the person who uses Lisp programs, including those you write.
Examples of Lisp code are formatted like this:
(list 1 2 3).
Names that represent metasyntactic variables, or arguments to a function
being described, are formatted like this: first-number.