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Re^2: Another day, another nit

by Anonymous Monk
on Dec 21, 2005 at 17:27 UTC ( #518364=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Another day, another nit
in thread Another day, another nit

The whole distinction between "perl" and "Perl" was a similar declaration on my part during the writing of the initial Camel. I told Larry that the name of the language "disappears" when it is in the middle of the sentence, and we agreed that we could call the language Perl, and the interpreter perl (in a constant font), so that neither of them would disappear in text.

Uggh! It's your fault! :-( Sorry, but I've always hated the capitalization convention, because it breaks English capitalization rules for no good purpose.

How often did you really need to distinguish between the language and the interpreter that translates the language? In the rare case that you did, why could't you use the extra word instead of forcing the reader to remember that when the non-proper noun Perl is capitalized (contrary to the expected rule for capitalization), it is secretly a macro that expands to mean "the perl language", whereas, in all other cases, "perl" means "the perl interpreter", and not "the perl language". This is contrary to what is done with all other computer languages I know of; and contrary to the rules for English, as well.

I guess I'm annoyed because now people on PerlMonks act like I'm the one who's wrong when I don't mis-use the English language standard like everyone else.

It's a real problem. I'm losing my ability to speak my native language, because people keep breaking the few patterns we still have that keep it cohesive and comprehensible. I don't understand the people on my street; they don't speak the same dialect of English that I do. I've watched in bemusement as two foreigners struggle to say two words to each other, because each one mangles their English in an incompatible way.

And when I finally spend time with literate people who should know enough to respect a language, I instead get these kinds of linguistic abuses to contend with. I've got enough legitimate exceptions to remember how to deal with without tripping over deliberately engineered trickiness.

Sorry to rant, but it's just another straw on the camel's back for me.

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Re^3: Another day, another nit
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Dec 21, 2005 at 20:14 UTC

    I usually don't care for linguistic drift, but remember that English capitalization "rules" developed quite a while before reprinting literal commands for computers accurately became necessary. Some American English quoting "rules" tend to break other commands if typed literally as written too.

Re^3: Another day, another nit
by phaylon (Curate) on Dec 22, 2005 at 12:12 UTC
    Doesn't english differentiate between nouns and names? The name of the language is 'Perl', like Peter, Paul and Mephistopheles, and the noun meaning the interpreter is 'perl'. I don't see any problems with the distinction of those two, but maybe that's because I'm not a native english speaker.

    Also, language is evolving, Perl moves on to version 6, maybe english should come along too *scnr* ;)

    Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley
Re^3: Another day, another nit
by Eimi Metamorphoumai (Deacon) on Dec 22, 2005 at 18:08 UTC
    It's clear to me that the English language you're referring to isn't the one I grew up speaking. "Perl" is the name of a particular langauge. Therefore, it's a proper noun, like "Larry", the name of the guy who wrote it, and for that matter "English", which you don't seem to have a problem with (not "the english language"). What in the world makes you think that "Perl" isn't a proper noun?

    If anything, object to "perl" being used uncapitalized for the name of the interpreter. But be aware that it's in conformance with a lot of tradition for computers (since the names of commands are usually case sensitive, it's common to leave them in all lower case even at the begining of sentences).

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