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Re^10: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community

by thor (Priest)
on Nov 23, 2005 at 21:48 UTC ( #511263=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^9: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
in thread PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community

(that) you haven't read the good Perl books
If every good Perl book mentioned in it "it's Perl, not PERL", then I'd be very put off if I were someone trying to gain entry into the language (why dwell on such a minor issue?). However, as both you and I know, most books don't explicitly make this distinction. So, even if I had read the "good" Perl books, the "proper" spelling of Perl could be implied at best.
(that) you aren't aware of the good Perl websites
My previous argument in the grandparent node about the monestary and my statements above about Perl literature should sufficiently address this point.
(that) you aren't familiar with the writings of the good Perl authors and programmers
Where else would good Perl authors and programmers write other than in books and on websites? See previous argments.
or if you know all those things, (that) you either haven't noticed that they all write "Perl", not "PERL", or you don't care.
Except, as stated in another part of this topic, here and here
It's like misspelling my name or the name of my company in your cover letter. I know what you mean, but it's a silly mistake you could easily have corrected.
Err...not quite. In looking at a lot of the books on my shelf right now, I see a lot of the titles are in all capital letters ("APPLIED COMBINATORICS", "LINEAR ALGEBRA AND ITS APPLICATIONS", "THE ART OF WAR", etc). Does this mean that it's wrong to refer to them in a different capitalization ("Applied Combinatorics", "Linear Algebra and its Applications", "The Art of War")? Moreover, the logo for my company spells out the company name in all capital letters. However, the name of the company is most often refered to in title case. Misspelling is one thing; differing capitalization is another.

And, because I just thought of it, to paraphrase one of the mottoes of the Perl community is "be liberal in what you accept and strict in what you produce". The attitude that "PERL" is absolutely incorrect flies in the face of this somewhat, wouldn't you say?

thor

Feel the white light, the light within
Be your own disciple, fan the sparks of will
For all of us waiting, your kingdom will come


Comment on Re^10: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
Re^11: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
by TimToady (Parson) on Nov 24, 2005 at 20:21 UTC
    The attitude that "PERL" is absolutely incorrect flies in the face of this somewhat, wouldn't you say?
    If one wants to be absolutely correct, one should follow the usage in the OED, which does not say that "PERL" is incorrect, but that it is irregular.

    Of course, any true linguist (I'm probably not speaking about your high school English teacher here) will tell you that "correct" is whatever communicates what you want to communicate. The fact is, everyone here agrees that "PERL" sometimes communicates something you don't want it to communicate. We just can't agree on whether that's a bug or a feature. :-)

    And that's essentially the meaning of "irregular". A quite useful category, if you're writing a dictionary.

      Of course, any true linguist (I'm probably not speaking about your high school English teacher here) will tell you that "correct" is whatever communicates what you want to communicate.
      Umm...I don't think so. This seems to note that that is not necessarily true: mistakes can and do happen, even if something is effectively communicated. But maybe I'm misunderstanding where you're saying this is applicable.
        If mistakes happen, then the subject has not been effectively communicated. No matter what opinion the communicator may have about their communication.

        This is very frequently a problem for programmers and other technical types. The way I put it is that, Programmers tend to communicate precisely and ineffectively. Meaning that programmers tend to make sure that their communication says exactly what they mean, but then run into trouble because the person they are talking to is simply not ready for a precision where every nuance matters. Therefore, even though you've correctly said everything that needs to be said, you haven't actually communicated anything.

        I think this happens because the mindset that you need to be in to do technical work is extremely precise, and it is hard to switch in/out of that mindset when talking to others, but very few people are normally in that kind of mindset.

        However it doesn't really matter why it happens. What is important is to realize that it does happen, and to try to compensate for that. (A very common and useful method of compensating is to have a person between the technical person and the end user who is good at "translating".)

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