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My beef is that by calling various unrelated notations "computer languages", you further smudge the fine line between machines and people. It used to be pretty straightforward. A loom is a loom -- you don't "communicate" with it when you work it. Once you have "computer languages", it's a small step to think of a computer and programming in anthropomorphic terms. As well as being detrimental, it's silly and harmful.

You don't instruct a loom how to do any thing, you just use it; that's a bad analogy because you do have to give instructions to a computer. Those instructions are written in a synthetic language that humans can read and write; humans not computers. Computers don't understand "computer languages", they are just translate them into a machine code that they do understand.

A computer is not a living being. It has no consciousness, you cannot talk with it, and it doesn't have a will. It's brilliantly constructed machinery, but still a machine. As well as elevating this machine to the status of a human, the phrase "computer language" makes us more similar to the machines. That in turn perpetuates thinking about people as a resource to be exploited, and generates inaccurate analogies such as your memory being "like a harddisk".

You haven't been programming long, have you? I talk to computers all the time and I know that I am not the only one who does it! Sometimes they respond and sometimes they don't. "Come on you crummy thing, work!" ;)

Coming back to Perl 5, yes, some features were inspired by natural language constructs, such as $_. It doesn't make it a natural language in any way.

I do not think that anyone has ever called Perl a natural language but it is more than just another synthetic language because it was inspired by natural language. Well written Perl when spoken just rolls off the tongue like a song. :D


In reply to Re^2: Perl and Linguistics by Mr. Muskrat
in thread Perl and Linguistics by Cody Pendant

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