Because I was not familiar with $/ and had to look it up. :-)
Seriously, since this code was written to be looked at by other (non-Perl) types, I figured the long name would help.
Now if it seriously causes performance problems, then by all means use $/, but comment what you are doing. And using local to scope the change is a good idea.
BTW, that was my first post to Perl Monks.
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