Pythonic way to sum n-th list element?

David Eppstein eppstein at
Sat Apr 19 01:01:47 CEST 2003

In article <C8_na.646$dP1.2863 at>,
 "Tim Gahnström /Bladerman" <tim at> wrote:

> > What's wrong with:
> >
> > t = 0
> > for y in x:
> >      t += y[1]
> >
> > The extra variable?  The number of lines?
> I am really curious about that to, I would most definitley say that this is
> the most pythonic way. It is simple and easily readabel by anyone and I am
> sure it is just as fast any of the other way.

If you want the sum of a list of items, you should write it in a way 
that looks like "the sum of a list of items", not in a way that looks 
like "loop over these items, maintain another variable t, perform a 
sequence of additions".  Why do we have high level languages if not to 
express our intentions at a higher level and let the language worry 
about what low-level operations are needed to implement it?

David Eppstein            
Univ. of California, Irvine, School of Information & Computer Science

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