off-topic: Why is lisp so weird?

From: nobody (
Date: 02/29/04

Date: 28 Feb 2004 21:12:28 -0800

Howdy, Mike! (Mike Cox) wrote in message news:<>...
> I'm a C++ programmer, and have to use lisp because I want to use
> emacs. I've gotten a book on lisp, and I must say lisp is the ugliest
> looking language syntax wise. What is up with this: (defun(foo()).


> What were the lisp authors thinking? Why did Stallman use lisp in
> emacs so extensively?

C and C++ did not exist at the time. Do you think he should have used
Fortran for this? *shudder*

If someone, although not RMS, admittedly, was writing a new extensible
editor today, a combination of C++ and Python would have probably be

> Why oh why does such a weird and strange
> looking language end up in a major software package so now I have to
> learn it?

You can use better editors than Emacs. I'll give you a hint: no
12-finger key combinations with right clicking
and waving of a rubber wildebeest are happening in my office.

> My mind boggles at the craziness of lisp, and stallman's
> decision to add so much of it to lisp.

        "do not eval this inside omega-forms unless you know what you
are doing!"
           (HOPE I
                 (FEEL YOU (ADJECTIVE GOOD)))))

                 (USE (MAKE-SYMBOL "LISP")
                    :WHEN (PERIOD :FROM (YEAR 1982)
                                  :TO (YEAR 1991)))))

                 SEE YOU (ONLY (THE (CL::FIRST ICEBERG))))))

        ;; *shudder* is a special variable !

           (CAN YOU (USED GET (TO (THE (MANY PAREN))))
              :WHEN ,(LAMBDA (X) (> X (SEVERAL (MANY WEEK))))))

        ,(LET ((SURFACE T))
                  ((DOUBLE MUCHO) :CONTENT 'ATROCITY
                                  :WHERE? ,(LOCATION :TYPE


--> "I hope you feel better. As someone who used Lisp from 1982 to
1991, I feel your pain, but you have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
You can get used to the parens after a few weeks of using them a lot.
Larger atrocities are beneath the surface"

> If someone can answer my questions, I will spend less time with the
> emacs psychiatrist!

Just walk away and never look back, if you value whatever sanity you
have left in you, mate!