Joe Marshall <email@example.com> wrote:
| firstname.lastname@example.org (Brian Harvey) writes:
| > I'd rather hire someone who has *real* literacy and teach him how to
| > use a computer than hire someone who's a whiz at computers and try
| > to teach him English and critical thinking skills.
| Certainly there are many computer whizzes that could use a little help
| with their English...
I see it's time once again to drag out a few of my favorite Dijkstra
"Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good
mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital asset of
a competent programmer."
Note that he said "one's native tongue", not necessarily "English".
[Dijkstra wasn't even a native speaker of English, although when
writing in English he wrote with great precision.]
"The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on
our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities."
As any Lispnik could tell you! ;-}
"About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil
with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten
blunt axes instead."
And of course:
"Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied
mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure
 Edsger W. Dijkstra, "How do we tell truths that might hurt?" (1975)