Polysemy in programming langs (was: Why does the meaning of words change?)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, April 18, 2004, 18:45|
On Saturday, April 17, 2004, at 09:26 PM, Philippe Caquant wrote:
> The same with instructions like: A = B, which in
> reality mean "copy B to A".
Yep - copying the value of location B into location A is, of course, what
goes on in the computer & is probably how one would think of it at a low
level; in high level programming it's rather:
"variable A is assigned the value of variable B."
> Even more disturbing when
> "=" also really means "equals", like in "IF A = B
If you must use such illogical programming languages... :)
Yes, I fully agree. Such sloppy logic does nothing to help students who
find both programming and logical thought difficult. Personally, I avoid
any such language if I possibly can.
The more sensible languages (e.g. the Pascal family, the C family & Java)
do use different symbols for assignment and equality. Polysemy is, I think,
normally avoided in engelangs (with the notable exception of Lin) and
IMHO should have no place in that subset of engelangs known as programming
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760