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The Language Of The Language

I found it amusing that “Gotcha” number 9 in Stephen Dewhurst’s wonderful “C++ Gotchas: Avoiding Common Problems in Coding and Design” is titled “Using Bad Language“. At first, I thought: “Come on, why require such stuffiness and rigid formality on matters so trivial?“. However, upon reflection, it does make sense that the careless abuse of the “language defining the language” can contribute to time being wasted and bugs being inserted and BBoMs being created.

Since it’s a powerful general purpose programming language, C++ is necessarily complex. Thus, it requires a creative mangling of the English language to carefully define C++’s features, syntax, semantics, and usage idioms. Understanding and memorizing this myriad of details in order to continuously move toward excellence is a time consuming process – no matter what those “Learn C++ in 24 hours” type books promise.

I consider myself a decent, intermediate level C++ programmer, but I’m constantly probing, sensing, and discovering new terms along with having to refresh my memory and understanding of “the language of the language“. How about you? Do you practice continuous learning and refreshment about your job and tool set?

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