And PEP numbers have a fourth purpose when used as jargon (this applies to any numbered formal standard such as RFCs or ISO): they are self-citing. In that sense, they are *inclusive*. They're an invitation to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the things the community cares about.
using the PEP
Apart from PEP 8, I don't know a single PEP id off by heart (not even the PEPs I have authored)
I know more that that (off the top of my head, 0, 1, 7, 8, 263, 383, 393, 484, and 3000, none of which I authored although I was extremely noisy about 263), which is less than 2% I guess.
I think some people simply remember numbers more than others -- I, for one, an NOT a number rememberer -- PEP8 is the only one I know off hand, including the one I wrote.
which isn't to say the numbers aren't useful, just that it would be SO much more communicative to use the number (for easy look up) AND a brief description or title.
Frankly, I get confused when there are discussion on this list (or python-dev, or) about currently PEPs in the midst of active discussion! Is is THAT hard to add a little text?
And it's not just PEPs -- at work, I have to read a LOT of emails about the development of our Annual Operating plan, and most folks talk about "goal 4" or "goal 2", and I have a hard time keeping them straight -- and there are only 6 goals!