Python and Flaming Thunder

John Salerno johnjsal at
Thu Jun 5 15:43:57 CEST 2008

"Dave Parker" <daveparker at> wrote in message 
news:a95c09d9-94c3-4dac-9439-9176038d93d9 at
On May 20, 7:05 pm, Collin <collinye... at> wrote:

For example, consider the two statements:

     x = 8
     x = 10

The reaction from most math teachers (and kids) was "one of those is
wrong because x can't equal 2 different things at the same time".

Aw, come on. I'm a novice programmer but even after reading the most basic 
of introductions to a programming language I can tell that x is being 
assigned one value, then another.

It doesn't seem fair to take statements like the above out of the context of 
a program and then ask teachers and students about it. This statement:

2 + 2 = 4

means something in the context of an elementary math class, but is clearly 
not an assignment statement in Python. But I've never encountered anyone who 
was confused by this distinction, as long as you know where this line 

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