[Haskell-cafe] Please allow beginners to vocalize code. >>= :: -> &&& <- -<

Richard Kelsall r.kelsall at millstream.com
Tue Jan 8 10:44:38 EST 2008

A tip for people explaining Haskell to beginners:

The acts of reading and speaking are closely integrated in the brain.
When I am unable to 'say' something it is much more difficult to 'read'
and absorb the text. There appears to be a misconception that it somehow
helps beginners to understand things if they are not told how to 'say'
these strange new symbols. Certainly for me, and I would guess for most
people, this idea is completely wrong. When I 'read' a new operator
such as  >>=  I want know how to 'say' it.

I don't mean that posts on Haskell-Cafe should do this, but books
and articles aimed at people who haven't used Haskell before should
always vocalize the symbols as soon as they are introduced.

On a related note, if there isn't already, it would be nice to have a
page in the wiki that gives good ways of vocalizing the operators and
vocalizing them in simple code snippets. I might get round to doing
this sometime, maybe just a table something like this :

Operator          Formal       Informal
--------          ------       --------
::                has type
->                maps to        to
f :: Int -> Int                  f has type Int to Int

Or, to descend into trivia, a subtle distinction might be usefully
made between  =  and  ==

f i = 54 * i                     f i is 54 times i
x == 27                          x equals 27


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