[Haskell-cafe] Alternative name for return

David Thomas davidleothomas at gmail.com
Wed Aug 7 17:07:18 CEST 2013

Return is all about providing a value *when used transitively*.  When used
intransitively, it's about moving yourself.  There's nothing about the
latter sense that implies providing a value.

Which is not to say Richard did not overstate the case - "return needn't
necessarily (in English) suggest providing a value" would be more correct,
but isn't that far from a charitable interpretation of what he'd said.

On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM, Donn Cave <donn at avvanta.com> wrote:

> 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.
>         Donn
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