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Nov
4
awarded  Teacher
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
@David Thornley: apart from obvious historical roots, for example "concerto" is literally "concert" but you want to name a piece written in the form of a "concert" to be distinguished from the act of performance on stage in general. Foreign words help you to build a finer terminology system.
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
One doesn't have to learn the entire English language to code, thus people external to the language can learn fast - doesn't sound like a good argument: in the medical science there are a lot of Latin words, and you don't need to know Latin to study medical science.
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
I disagree. The Greek alphabet, for example, is as small; diacritical marks could have been eliminated for programming specifically, same for the German ß; collation nowadays is normalized, i.e. brought to some "straightforward" form for computing/databases etc in virtually all existing languages. Just like the English "the" and "a" articles are basically not used or avoided in computing, any other language could have gone through some optimization.
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
@Jeff O: absolutely, and not only gender. Basically all your verbs should be neutral, because otherwise you end up thinking in what exact form (tense, gender etc) the "do" in your "while...do..." should be. The morphology of verbs in English is so relaxed compared to many other European languages that I think that's, among other things, what makes English so good for programming.
Nov
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awarded  Supporter
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
@HedgeMage: because technologies that long predate computers were mainly developed in English - oh no, that's just not true. The whole Europe contributed a lot in mathematics, physics, logic, philosophy - everything that predated computing. There are plenty of French, German and other names in these areas. (BTW, many of the scientists used Latin back in the day, which could have made another good candidate for a computing language)
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
The English technical vocabulary is rich because computing was mainly developed in EN-speaking countries, and not the other way around. Kind of a chicken-egg problem really ;) As for accented characters, interesting point indeed.
Nov
4
comment How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?
@Michael: you say "Computers were invented and established primarily in English-speaking countries", now that's historical/economic circumstances. For example we can bring up the industrial revolution in the 19th century in the U.K. (and the whole empire actually), or the "brain drain" during/after WW2 to the U.S., or that the U.S. probably had the least losses during WW2 among the industrial countries, etc.
Nov
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awarded  Student
Nov
4
asked How do programming languages benefit from being based on English?