I found this in a 1972 essay and thought you folks would be interested.
The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly
limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the
programming task in full humility, and among other things he
avoids clever tricks like the plague. In the case of a
well-known conversational programming language I have been
told from various sides that as soon as a programming
community is equipped with a terminal for it, a specific
phenomenon occurs that even has a well-established name: it is
caled "the one-liners." It takes one of two different forms:
one programmer places a one-line program on the desk of
another and either he proudly tells what it does and adds the
question, "Can you code this in less symbols?"---as if this
were of any conceptual relevance!---or he just says, "Guess
what it does!" From this observation we must conclude that
this language as a tool is an open invitation for clever
tricks; and while exactly this may be the explanation for some
of its appeal, viz., to those who like to show how clever they
are, I am sorry, but I must regard this as one of the most
damning things that can be said about a programming language.
In reply to On Golf
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