Question mark in variable and function names

Eric Pederson whereU at
Thu Oct 7 07:11:41 CEST 2004

Andr? N?ss wrote:

> One thing I liked about Lisp was the ability to use the question mark
> (and the exclamation mark) in function names. I found this
> particularily useful when checking boolean properties of a object like
> for example myObj.isContextSet. It just feels so much more natural to
> write myObj.contextSet?
> I also found it neat that destructive operations were clearly marked
> with !.

I guess any programmer who likes LISP has an extra gear in their gear box (perhaps), but I think non-alphanumeric symbols in names reduce the readability.  We live in a world of text where words have letters in them, and punctuation means something different.  When I see punctuation my brain goes "STOP.  ABSORB SOME LOGIC BEFORE PROCEEDING."

sorry for the caps, but to my mind's eye punctuation symbols in names is like e-mail in all caps.

> Is there anything preventing this from being possible in Python?

Maybe the desire to have visually clean code?

I think underneath it all some Python programmers really _miss_ the semicolon, and are dying to work more punctuation into the language to make it seem more complicated.  Then it will look more impressive.

<tongue_in_cheek />

ePrefix="".join([chr(ord(x)+1) for x in "do"])

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