python for loop

Aaron Brady castironpi at
Thu Apr 2 08:47:13 CEST 2009

On Apr 2, 1:29 am, Steven D'Aprano
<ste... at> wrote:
> On Wed, 01 Apr 2009 21:58:47 -0700, Lie wrote:
> > On Apr 1, 7:06 pm, Steven D'Aprano
> > <ste... at> wrote:
> >> There is a major clash between the names of ordinals in human languages
> >> and zero-based counting. In human languages, the Nth-ordinal item comes
> >> in position N. You can keep that useful convention with zero-based
> >> counting by inventing the ugly word "zeroth", but that just leads to
> >> bizarro-talk like "the zeroeth item comes first, the first item comes
> >> second, and so on".
> > No, there won't be any bizarro-talk. There is no argument: the zeroeth
> > item comes zeroeth, the first item comes first, and so on. The index for
> > the very zeroeth thing in a list is 0, so to get the zeroeth item you
> > use s[0]. While to get the first item you use s[1]. It's very intuitive,
> > isn't it?
> No, because "first", "second", "third" etc. have existed in the English
> language for hundreds of years and everybody knows them. "Zeroeth" was
> probably invented a few decades ago, and is known by maybe 1% of the
> English-speaking population.
> Given the list [a, b, c], if you ask even a C programmer *in English*
> "what's the first item?", they will almost invariably answer a rather
> than b.
> --
> Steven

However, if you ask him/er, "What is the item that is 0 items from the
start of the list?", what will s/he say?

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