][Thread Next][Date Index
[Python-ideas] Fwd: Re: PEP: add a `no` keyword as an alias for `not`
A truly marvellous aspect of Python is its world-wide spread! Many
people use Python with greater ease than they speak or write English,
despite Python appearing to be a sub-set of the English language!
Native English-speakers often* have difficulty following
negatively-worded sentences, eg "if there were no sales".
(* coming from certain cultures/languages this evaluation changes to:
We, of the computing world, must become familiar with Boolean Algebra;
and thus learn to compose a Truth-Table matrix in our heads.
Psychologically this suggests we first seek "logic", and only thereafter
"meaning" - is this "normal" behavior?
(humor, not question)
We are all familiar with the injunction: do not to use "double
negatives" in a sentence, eg "I can't get no satisfaction" or "A rolling
stone don't gather no moss"; because it confuses people - regardless of
their English-language facility. (even more than 'big words' such as
"facility" have the potential to reduce understanding!)
In fact, to continue analysing our own specific language-skills, when we
double-up on something, eg a BASH switch like -vv, doesn't that mean
'don't just -v, but do it MORE-SO'? Thus, doubling your negatives would
mean: 'even more negative', surely? Is that what "English" says though?
NB repetition, in both a positive, or negative, sense; means "more" in
many cultures, even good, old English: "hear, hear!".
Accordingly, I feel for the OP. Personally I dislike reading, and recoil
if not something_positive:
On the other hand:
whilst acceptable, probably doesn't look or read any better.
Perhaps an answer is to use a "flag":
no_sales_today = total_sales <= 0
The descriptive variable-name IS 'negative', but the if-condition
becomes (somewhat) positive, removes the comprehension-reducing "not",
and the construct remains a simple if-then (ie no -else).
(it also uses "no" in the flow-of-communication, per OP's suggested