It bothered me that sexp navigation commands didn't treat a quoted string as a single expression in text-mode. This is because the quote character
" is in the punctuation syntax class in the text-mode syntax table. I decided to make it a string delimiter:
(modify-syntax-entry ?\" "\"" text-mode-syntax-table)
Similarly, I wanted sexp navigation commands in AUCTeX buffers to treat the initial backslash in a macro as part of the macro (as happens in the built-in latex-mode), so I changed the class of
\ to expression prefix:
(modify-syntax-entry ?\\ "'" LaTeX-mode-syntax-table)
Now, I've been told that modifying syntax tables is "dangerous" and can have "far-reaching unintended consequences", but I've been using those for months and so far I haven't noticed any consequences other than improved sexp navigation.
So my question is: what can actually go wrong? A good answer would be a specific example of some text and some commands that have different outcomes with and without the syntax class change, where the outcome with the change is clearly inferior in some way. Is there any actual danger or is this just an abstract fear some people have?