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    "I'd like someone to
    point out why you can't simply require 
     (equal (array-element-type (make-array n :element-type x))

    for all legal types x."

    a) nobody does it

I believe there is precedent for correcting buggy behavior, even when
it is shared by all implementations.

Why is it so important to force to the user to be concerned with the
underlying implementation of arrays?  Why are we so unwilling to
let an array remember that, e.g., its elements all satisfy PRIMEP?
I can't see any logical reason.  Is there some historical reason, or
have we arrived at the current state entirely by accident?

    b) its not very useful

I disagree.  It makes the language easier to document and understand,
removes a source of obscure bugs, and increases portability.  What
more do you want?  

    I thought this was in the discussion section, but it seems to be hidden.