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RE: What's the meaning of Dutch in "The Zen of Python"

 
 
Tim Peters
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      05-19-2004
[Li Daobing]
> Does anyone know what's the meaning of Dutch in "The Zen of Python"?
> Thanks in advance


In context, "Dutch" means a person from the Netherlands, or one imbued with
Dutch culture (begging forgiveness for that abuse of the word). I would
have said French, except that every French person I asked "how do you make a
shallow copy of a list?" failed to answer

alist[:]

so I guess that's not obvious to them. It must be obvious to the Dutch,
though, since it's obvious to Guido van Rossum (Python's creator, who is
Dutch), and a persistent rumor maintains that everyone who posts to
comp.lang.python is in fact also Dutch. The French people I asked about
copying a list weren't Python users, which is even more proof (as if it
needed more).

Or, in other words, "obvious" is in part a learned, cultural judgment.
There's really nothing universally obvious about any computer language,
deluded proponents notwithstanding. Nevertheless, most of Python is obvious
to the Dutch. Others sometimes have to work a bit at *learning* the one
obvious way in Python, just as they have to work a bit at learning to
appreciate tulips, and Woody Woodpecker impersonations.


 
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Steve Williams
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      05-20-2004
Tim Peters wrote:
[omissionalized]
I would
> have said French, except that every French person I asked "how do you make a
> shallow copy of a list?" failed to answer
>
> alist[:]
>
> so I guess that's not obvious to them.


Based on my exposure to comp.lang.python over the past four years, I'd
bet every one of the Italian persuasion would answer correctly.

Conclusion? Pragmatics is great in theory, but . . .

 
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