People equate the presence of [^\w\s]
characters with "unreadable", because they require some prior knowledge to interpret. On the other hand they argue that the absence of such non-word characters means that everything has a proper name, which makes code understandable without knowing the programming language.
So even if you show them a piece of very clean Perl code, some people just notice the presence of sigils, and refuse to even try to understand what the code does.
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