in reply to Humour – an important mechanism for language learning
Programming Perl, my first Perl book, probably holds the most responsibility for my going on to learn more Perl. And it wasn't any property of the language - it was the writing. It was clever, it was funny, it introduced concepts clearly and concisely. It was a far cry from any other programming text I'd gone through: "This is language structure/property X, it means Y, here is an example, repeat ad infinitum."
I'd been looking at programming as a burden, a work tool I endured because it did the job, but after reading it I started to try to do things for fun. (And eventually I learned to enjoy the programming component of $job).