In programming, the term "literal" generally refers to when a source item expresses a fundamental value and doesn't need to be looked up in a variable. It is essentially inert.
int value = 10; // 10 seen here is an "integer literal" printf("The value is %d", value); // "string literal" + "integer variable"
But in Rebol's world, the notion of "what's a literal" is context-dependent, and can be very bent up.
is-this-literal?: func ['word [word!]] [ print ["The word was" word "- you tell me if that was literal!"] ] >> is-this-literal? foo The word was foo - you tell me if that was literal!
So what do you think...is FOO a "literal word" or not?
The answer is that we can't particularly answer whether a value is "literal" or not unless we know how it is being used. The term has kind of lost its meaning.
All we can really say in a particular situation is if a value is being used in a "literal way" or not.
In terms of naming, Rebol historically called quoted things "LIT" things.
rebol2>> type? first ['foo] == lit-word!
But the evaluator gave LIT-WORD!s a behavior...they'd drop their quote mark:
rebol2>> 'foo == foo
So important to notice: "inertness" wasn't implied by what was being called "literalness"