[Edu-sig] Now I went and did it.
Mon, 9 Oct 2000 10:24:35 -0500
When learning the German language many years ago, my first language
being English, I found it confusing how the verbs tended to end up
near the end of sentences -- almost a "postfix" syntax. But it
started to seem more natural, or at least comfortable, after a while.
Perhaps there are natural languages where the verb tends to come
Or is the prefix structure really that foreign?
(define (square x) (* x x))
Define the "square of x" to be the product of x and x.
I've used Lisp and its ilk on and off over many years, and I don't
find it that hard to shift gears between "Python mode" and "Lisp
Java, etc because I forget details like how to express a false or null
value in the particular language.
Millions of people use HP calculators with their RPN notation. That
doesn't speak directly to prefix notation, but certainly suggests that
people can learn another syntax without much problem -- even if there
is something about our innate linguistic skills that favors some
On Sun, Oct 08, 2000 at 04:15:41PM -0400, Jason Cunliffe wrote:
> This last one is very tricky I know because English is my mother tongue so I
> cannot really know how does programming syntax feel to people around the
> world from different subject-object-verb systems?
> I get a glimpse only from use and study of other spoken languages and when
> speaking with non-English speakers.
Fred Yankowski fred@OntoSys.com tel: +1.630.879.1312
Principal Consultant www.OntoSys.com fax: +1.630.879.1370
OntoSys, Inc 38W242 Deerpath Rd, Batavia, IL 60510, USA