[plt-scheme] Re: Why "lambda"?

From: Stephen Bloch (sbloch at adelphi.edu)
Date: Tue May 26 22:00:40 EDT 2009

On May 26, 2009, at 3:43 PM, wooks wrote:

> On May 26, 8:22 pm, Noel Welsh <noelwe... at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ... you either
>> have to change the world or learn to read it. One of these is
>> practical.
> I tend to go for a 3rd option. Put the textbook back on the shelf and
> find one written in English.

The problem with that is that English (like most natural human  
languages) is notoriously unclear and ambiguous, and mathematicians  
don't like things being unclear or ambiguous.  So they invent  
specialized symbols and terms that mean EXACTLY what they're defined  
to mean, no more and no less -- not in order to be unclear, but in  
order to be clear.  It IS possible to write clear, precise  
mathematics in the vernacular, without specialized symbols and terms  
-- it was done for thousands of years -- but that style tends to be  
so verbose that you forget what you were trying to prove by the time  
you get to the end of it.

Stephen Bloch
sbloch at adelphi.edu

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