[plt-scheme] Ambiguous Words

From: Richard Cleis (rcleis at mac.com)
Date: Thu Sep 15 13:24:46 EDT 2005

Ambiguous words lead to clumsy scripts.  E.g., common words like 'open' 
and 'close' can be nouns and verbs; in addition, they have multiple 
useful meanings.  Does anyone have an opinion on using languages other 
than English (Latin?) for scripting in Scheme?

In our laboratory, we might 'open' a file for saving data, then 'close' 
a feedback loop on a translation stage, then wait for the position to 
be 'close' to the commanded position, then 'save' data (or is it 
collect data? or write? or bag?).  In this case, the opposite words 
'open' and 'close' have the same positive context with respect to their 

Establishments resist changing their jargon to suit others (e.g., 
controls engineers won't say 'activate' instead of 'close' or computer 
specialists won't say 'terminate'), so I wonder if choosing a neutral 
language would work... or lead to my firing.


Posted on the users mailing list.