Zip makes sense! was: Re: why not "'in' in 'in'"?

Peter Hansen peter at
Tue Jun 18 02:56:57 CEST 2002

"James T. Dennis" wrote:
>  More over the term "yield" in English has a few distinct senses.

I'd argue all the senses you've presented are extremely similar,
perhaps identical in semantic meaning, but with distinct contexts 
which make them look a little different.

>  One (slightly archaic) is the imperative to "yield" to a conqueror
>  or authority as in:
>         "Yield, Sir knight!"
>  Another is a similar and common traffic imperative meaning to defer
>  to the rights-of-way for others (probably the inspiration for the
>  most common programming semantics associated with 'yield').
>  Another is to refer to the product of a farm or manufacturing process
>  as in: the yield of the corn field last year was X bushells.
>  It is clearly this last sense which inspires Python's use of the
>  term.  The return operator "yields" a result *and* terminates an
>  execution contect.  The yield operator also "yields" a result but
>  it leaves the production machinery or the "field" available for
>  future results.  

In exactly the same manner, if the knight yields he is still
available for future results, such as another fight or, more
usefully, joining the conqueror's own crusade.  In all cases
here, it looks like yielding involves producing an output
of value while preserving the producer intact for future

Were 't not so, the conqueror would but cry "Die, Sir Knight!"
and despatch the hapless knave forthwith.  ;-)


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