From the History of Smalltalk by Alan Kay
"The biggest hit for me while at SAIL in late '69 was to really understand LISP. Of course, every student knew about car, cdr, and cons, but Utah was impoverished in that no one there used LISP and hence, no one had penetrated the mysteries of eval and apply. I could hardly belive how beautiful and wonderful the idea of LISP was. I say it this way because LISP had not only been around enough to get some honest barnacles, but worse, there were deep flaws in its logical foundations. By this, I mean that the pure language was supposed to be based on functions, but its most important components -- such as lambda expressions, quotes, and conds--were not functions at all and instead were called special forms. Landin and others had been able to get quotes and conds in terms of lambda by tricks that were variously clever and useful, but the flaw remained in the jewel."
So I guess you can't please everybody.