A ‘name’ (also known as a ‘symbol’) is a way to refer to R objects by name (rather than the value of the object, if any, bound to that name).
as.symbol are identical: they attempt to
coerce the argument to a name.
is.symbol and the identical
FALSE depending on whether the argument is a name or not.
object to be coerced or tested.
as.symbol, an R object of type
is.symbol, a length-one logical vector
Names are limited to 10,000 bytes (and were to 256 bytes in versions of R before 2.13.0).
as.name first coerces its argument internally to a character
vector (so methods for
as.character are not used). It then
takes the first element and provided it is not
"", returns a
symbol of that name (and if the element is
as.name is implemented as
and hence will dispatch methods for the generic function
is.symbol are primitive functions.
Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.
plotmath for another use of ‘symbol’.