[plt-scheme] Ambiguous Words

From: Richard Cleis (rcleis at mac.com)
Date: Thu Sep 15 17:05:00 EDT 2005

On Thursday, September 15, 2005, at 10:26AM, Jay McCarthy <jay.mccarthy at gmail.com> wrote:

>I'm not sure where the question is, but you can create a language
>level that performs any sort of maping of names you would like.

... and since any mapping can be performed, I would like to know what language to map.  Ironically, the word 'language' here is being used for two purposes.  

To clarify a bit, I did not intend to imply that Scheme's use of 'open' etc is the problem.  Many words, like 'complete' or 'read' are useful for scripts even if they are used to express non-computational concepts.  Unfortunately, the action-forms of such words are the same as the description of state following the action (e.g., after we read something, it is read).  It would be better if the two forms were different.  I like Scheme since we can form predicate functions like (read? ...), but that doesn't look quite right so we might use (is-it-read? ...) for a test and 'it-was-read to indicate state.  It seems better words would make this less clumsy.   

I am merely fishing for words to use for scripting... words in an ideal language which doesn't overlap nouns, verbs, and basic definitions as much as does common English.  Perhaps the pond is empty.


>On 9/15/05, Richard Cleis <rcleis at mac.com> wrote:
>> 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
>> discipline.
>> 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.
>> rac
>>   For list-related administrative tasks:
>>   http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
>Jay McCarthy <jay at cs.brown.edu>

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