Following up 2009-02-18 post... (In 1.0.23 (linux x86) and 1.0.19 but not in 1.0.12 nor in 1.0.15, repeatedly triggering some errors generates a substantial amount of persistent simple-character-string garbage.....)

On the off-chance others are interested in avoiding heap exhaustion by traveling down this path, the behavior of the dynamic space glutton

(dotimes (x 10000)
              (handler-case (eval '(setq (list 1 2) 1))
                (error () nil)))

on 1.0.16, 1.0.17, and 1.0.18 is summarized below (dynamic space after refers to after running the above code succeeded by (SB-EXT:GC :FULL T).

  dynamic space before:   23,552,000 bytes
  dynamic space after:   23,750,576 bytes

  dynamic space before: 23,425,000 bytes
  dynamic space after:  23,624,368 bytes

  dynamic space before: 23,392,216 bytes
  dynamic space after: 33,135,312 bytes