I sense that you have no intention in being funny, but such "terse things" is exactly what turns off many people to Perl.
I've often wondered about this. What, precisely, "turns off" someone about having shorthand notation for things?
This, to me, is like saying that contractions are more efficient, but that's precisely why people don't like them. Computer languages are always going to be more terse than the exact descriptions of what the code would do. What's wrong with maximising what you can do with X lines of code, if that code's going to require understanding anyway?
I realize you may be talking about this in the hypothetical, that this doesn't turn you off to Perl -- but you say it as though you sympathize. Can you explain this to me?
You are what you think.