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I'm trying to rebind the backspace key to actually do backwards delete instead of C-h ? in emacs on ubuntu.

In my .emacs.el init file i have (global-set-key [(control ?h)] 'delete-backward-char')

and on emacs start up i get Invalid read syntax: )

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You have an extra ' at the end of delete-backward-char it should be
(global-set-key [(control ?h)] 'delete-backward-char)

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