Is Python the Esperanto of programming languages?

Alex Martelli aleax at aleax.it
Mon Mar 24 11:45:25 CET 2003


Isaac To wrote:
   ...
> [One interesting observation: in English, if we say "I ate three birthday
> cakes today", it is understood as "three whole birthday cakes", although
> it
> is quite inconceivable that one can eat three cakes in a day.  To be

I gather you don't have teenage children who are physically active in 
sports?

> correct one has to say "I ate three slices of birthday cakes today", which
> becomes
> exactly the same structure as Chinese.  More interestingly, in English the
> above sentence implies that you ate three slices of three different cakes,
> and if you don't mean that you have to say "I ate three slices of the
> birthday cake today", and there is no way to leave it unspecified---even

Actually, "I ate three slices of birthday cake today" *DOES* leave it
unspecified whether it was slices of the same cake or of different ones,
and I think it's the most natural and idiomatic form in this case.  So,
I just think you choose a bad specific example to illustrate what no
doubt remains a valid overall point.


Alex





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