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The description of DESCRIBE says that it prints something on *standard-output*,
just like PRINT. While it doesn't explicitly prohibit DESCRIBE from being
interactive, it also doesn't prohibit PRINT from being interactive too.

So, I don't see any reason to claim that CLtL is any more vague than usual in
asserting that it is output only. If it were me, I'd treat this as a place where
Symbolics Genera diverged from CLtL.

I think that code that uses DESCRIBE to write out an implementation-dependent
description *is* fully portable, and that is part of the reason for having
DESCRIBE in the standard.