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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 > THEN..."
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 languages Ray =============================================== (home) (work) =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Ph. D. <phild@...>