Lisp (historically LISP ) is a family of programming languages with a long history and a distinctive, fully parenthesized prefix notation .Originally specified in 1958, Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language in widespread use today. Only Fortran is older, by one year. Lisp has changed since its early days, and many dialects have existed over its history. Today, the best-known general-purpose Lisp dialects are Racket , Common Lisp , Scheme and Clojure . History John McCarthy developed Lisp in 1958 while he was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Lisp was first implemented by Steve Russell on an IBM 704 computer using punched cards . Major dialects : Common Lisp and Scheme represent two major streams of Lisp development. These languages embody significantly different design choices. "With a few very basic principles at its foundation, it [LISP] has shown a remarkable stability. Besides that, LISP has been the carrier for a considerable number of in a sense our most sophisticated computer applications. LISP has jokingly been described as “the most intelligent way to misuse a computer”.