[Haskell-cafe] Alternative name for return

Donn Cave donn at avvanta.com
Wed Aug 7 16:56:44 CEST 2013

quoth Richard A. O'Keefe,
> If you're familiar with *English* rather than, say, the C family of
> programming languages, "return" isn't _that_ bad, there is certainly
> nothing about the word that suggests providing a value.

The RFC822 headers of your email suggest that you use a Macintosh computer,
so apart from the apparently disputable question of whether you're familiar
with English, you have the same online dictionary as mine.  Second definition:
"give, put, or send (something) back to a place or person", with examples
"she returned his kiss", usage from tennis and football, verdicts, etc.
Third definition:  "yield or make a profit", fourth (re)elect a person or party.
"Return" is all about providing a value, in English.

When a term like "return" is used in a computer programming language in
a sense that confounds any prior expectation based on English or other
programming languages, that's the opposite of "intuitive".  It "is what
it is", and it's silly to talk about changing it at this point, but that
doesn't mean that we have to turn the notion of "intuitive" on its head.


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