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  ANSI Common Lisp   3 Evaluation and Compilation   3.5 Error Checking in Function Calls   3.5.1 Argument Mismatch Detection Safe and Unsafe Calls

A call is a safe call if each of the following is either safe code or system code (other than system code that results from macro expansion of programmer code):

The following special cases require some elaboration:

An unsafe call is a call that is not a safe call.

The informal intent is that the programmer can rely on a call to be safe, even when system code is involved, if all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the call is safe. For example, if a programmer calls mapcar from safe code and supplies a function that was compiled as safe, the implementation is required to ensure that mapcar makes a safe call as well.  Error Detection Time in Safe Calls

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