Functions help

Roy Smith roy at
Mon Feb 24 02:28:49 CET 2014

In article <mailman.7297.1393204171.18130.python-list at>,
 Mark Lawrence <breamoreboy at> wrote:

> On 24/02/2014 00:55, alex23 wrote:
> > On 23/02/2014 3:43 PM, Scott W Dunning wrote:
> >> I had a question regarding functions.  Is there a way to call a
> >> function multiple times without recalling it over and over.  Meaning
> >> is there a way I can call a function and then add *5 or something like
> >> that?
> >
> > The same way you repeat anything in Python: with a loop construct.
> >
> >      for _ in range(5):
> >      func()
> For the benefit of newbies, besides the obvious indentation error above, 
> the underscore basically acts as a dummy variable.  I'll let the 
> language lawyers give a very detailed, precise description :)

As far as I know, it's purely convention.  _ is a legal variable name in 
Python, and the convention is that unpacking something into _ means, "I 
don't care about that value".  It's also used to ignore several values:

   _, _, foo, bar, _ = blah

unpacks a 5-tuple, of which you only care about the 3rd and 4th values.

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