Perl is not a "genuinely bad language". A CS professor might tell you that because Perl was not designed as an academic innovation. It was designed to, as Larry Wall said, "make easy things easy and hard things possible"(or something like that). The academics denounce Perl because it does not boil down to some beautiful simple rule. These are the people that love Lisp and think the idea of such a context sensitive language like Perl is absurd. Lisp can be boiled down to a small set of Beautiful Rules, but do you know anybody who solves any problems with it? These languages have their place. They innovate new ideas, but typically only seem to focus on doing that one thing well. Since Perl is designed for solving problems, it picks and chooses from these vast academic achievements and lets you use them at your discretion.
Here is what it comes down to:
A monk wants to solve a problem in as few lines as possible.
An academic wants to be able to write compilers with as few lines as possible( because every statements is broken down into executions of the few Beautiful Rules).
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