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Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]

on Sat, 25 Oct 2003 11:05:22AM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> >on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 12:11:49PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> >
> >>Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> >>
> >>>now, think of an example in which you encounter anything remotely like
> >>>full sentence structure in code, and try to apply this.  good luck.
> >>
> >> what about if the function name is verb? what if it's not a question?
> >>
> >> e.g. getRed(apple), or make(red, apple) etc.
> >
> >boolisch bekommRot( Apfel ) { }
> >mach( rot, Apfel );
> >
> >what's different from English about those two?  again, the implied
> >sentences are clear; the underlying code is equally as ungrammatical
> >in both.
>   shouldn't rot in these cases follow gender of subject?

no.  the implied sentence from the latter example above, were one to
translate it into german prose, would be "mach der Apfel rot" -- "make
the apple red."  note that the adjective follows the noun, not
precedes, so the rule does not apply.

>   are you arguing that while in german language there has to be 
> agreement in gender of verb/adjective and noun when you use german
> in computer language this need suddenly disappears?


i'm arguing that _neither_ english _nor_ german is perfectly suited to
code, since one needs to do some translation to get the sentence into
the form in which a human would say it.

on top of that, i'm arguing that _no_ language fits this bill.  think
about it -- if there were a human language that could be described as
easily as a computer language, we would be able to express that human
language as a finite state automaton, thereby solving the language
problem, and the whole of AI with it.  there's a reason we write in a
formal, simplified language when we code!


    .~.      nori @ sccs.swarthmore.edu
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