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You create a symbolic reference like this:

$a= "this";
Doesn't look like a symbolic reference, does it? But it is. It isn't the creating of symbolic references that is a problem; it is using symbolic references. You use a symbolic reference just like you use a regular reference. So:
$b= $$a;
is where we have a problem. But it is only a problem if $a doesn't contain a real (non-symbolic) reference. That is why use of symbolic references (and not creation of them) is only caught at run time.

Like I said elsewhere, "unsafe" doesn't make a lot of sense to me in discussing helps Perl to catch things that are probably simple programmer mistakes. By catching them explicitly, you usually save time in trying to find the mistake and fix it.

        - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")