Do you think that exposure to BASIC can mutilate your mind?
BASIC, and related dialects, have long been branded "bad". I've seen it said by some of the best programmers I know, professors at Stanford, and even one of the most brilliant computer scientists:
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration - Edsger W. Dijkstra
Now, I think that quote may have been taken slightly out of context, and was meant to be something of an exaggeration, but at the same time, anyone who says something along those lines clearly does not like BASIC.
When I started programming a while back, I started with BASIC and I don't consider myself a bad programmer, and I know of many good programmers who also started with BASIC.
Now, the obvious reason for dislike is that it teaches bad habits, skills, and methodologies. I'm just wondering why people say that, and if it's even correct to say that.
In my opinion, any programmer who is bounded by their language is a bad programmer, and that even if BASIC was somehow the boogeyman everyone made it out to be, it still shouldn't significantly hamper someone's "programming life".
tl;dr - Why do people consider BASIC a bad programming language (especially for beginners) and why do people say it teaches bad skills? What is the "mental mutilation" that Dijkstra speaks of?