Subject: Re: The Aesthetics of Symbols (was Re: Uppercasing symbols)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/12/09
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* eric dahlman <>
| For instance, case can be used to mark "important" elements of the text:
| names, the first word of a sentence, objects in German.

  actually, any intrinsic importance of the first word in a sentence is
  lost if you upcase it gratuitously, of course, bad jokes like "Bill Gates
  is great, as long as `bill' is a verb."  for some odd reason, the Germans
  are abandoning the (stupid) rule to capitalize nouns, like the rest of
  Europe did hundreds of years ago and capitalizes only proper nouns.

  incidentally, you don't capitalize your own name in the headers.  why?

| In all of these cases the removal of case will not usually inhibit the
| understanding of what is being presented but it will reduce the ease of
| understanding.

  ever looked at the code and the work necessary to figure out whether the
  first word of a sentence is a proper name or not?  we've grown beyond the
  evolutionary stage where all there is to text is understanding by humans.

| A good Lisp example of this is the practice of using all
| caps to refer to arguments and the like in argument strings.  This
| distinguishes between the two worlds of discourse, that of the natural
| language string and the Lisp program.  This type of comment would not
| be possible where case syntactically important.

  that's an odd argument, considering that Emacs Lisp, a case-sensitive
  Lisp, uses upper-case in documentation strings to refer to arguments.

| If we were to have a case sensitive reader my primary objection would be
| that such a reader precludes the use of case in an extra syntactic way.
| However, if we could go back to the days of LispM's where source code
| could be written with different type faces to communicate many of the
| non-syntactic things that case is used for I would have a lot less to
| complain about.

  then it would matter even less which case the system uses internally.

  The Microsoft Dating Program -- where do you want to crash tonight?