An oddity in list comparison and element assignment

Alex Martelli aleax at
Sun Jun 4 02:03:00 CEST 2006

Terry Reedy <tjreedy at> wrote:

> > it's EXACTLY the
> > concatenation of three copies of that string -- no more, no less.
> Depends what one means by 'copy'.  See below for your alternate wording.

Please give me a reasonable definition of the unadorned word "copy"
which would make this statement false.  (And, just to forestall one
possible attempt: no, I cannot agree that a ``deepcopy'' is a reasonable
definition of the _unadorned_ word "copy").

> >> Or one could say that the result *is the same as* (not *is*) the
> >
> > I find this distinction, in this context, to be empty padding, with zero
> > added value on ANY plane -- including the plane of "pedantry";-).
> Perhaps you should tone down the overwrought emotionalism and take a look
> in a mirror.  In *your* response to Michael you made the *same* 
> distinction:

I did not *DRAW* any distinction (as you did with your parenthetical
note "(not *is*)", emphasis and all) -- rather, I used one of many
reasonably interchangeable ways to word a concept.  ((In the Nutshell, I
always deliberately try to pick the shortest and most concise way; in my
more spontaneous writing, I strongly tend to wilder exhuberance).

So, having deeply delved into the mirror, I still fail to find any
validity in your criticism: the phrases "S*n is the same as the
concatenation of" and "S*n the concatenation of", taken as definitions
of what S*n means, are such that your emphatic distinction has no added
value whatsoever -- I stand by this assertion and fail to see in it any
emotionalism, overwrought or otherwise.  Care to _defend_ your
criticism, with some _objective_ explanation of why that parenthetical
was warranted (particularly the emphasis within it)?  Or would you
rather continue the personal attacks against me and the unproven
accusations of "overwrought emotionalism" in particular?


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