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The NaNny State


"Avi Gross" <avigross at verizon.net> writes:

> It is about the recent discussion about the concept and word "nan" as used
> in python and elsewhere. As noted, the correct spelling in python is all
> lower case as in "nan" with a minor exception that creating a nan using
> float(string) allows any combination of cases such as string="nAN".

Who says that the ?correct spelling in python is all lower case "nan"??

The text representation of a Python ?float? NaN object is 'nan'. That is
what the object emits as its text representation; it is not the same
thing as "the correct spelling".

As you note, the ?float? type accepts several spellings as input to
create a NaN object, all of them correct spelling.

Similarly, I can spell the number one thousand ?1000.0?, ?1.0e+3?
?1.000e+3?, ?1000.00000?, and so on. Those are all correct (and, as it
happens, they all result in equal ?float? values).

The resulting object will, when I interrogate it, represent itself *by
default* as ?1000.0?; Python is not showing *the* correct spelling, just
one possible correct spelling.

-- 
 \     ?I wrote a song, but I can't read music so I don't know what it |
  `\    is. Every once in a while I'll be listening to the radio and I |
_o__)        say, ?I think I might have written that.?? ?Steven Wright |
Ben Finney