Off-topic- acronyms (was Re: [] Essay: The Joy of Perl)

Scott Weisman sweisman at
Sun Feb 15 05:41:44 PST 2004

I guess I grew up in an age when only various subspecies of technically
inclined people even KNEW what Cobol (or COBOL) was AND what it means.

However, IIRC, Perl's acronymical (is that even a word?) status was added
after the fact. The word, in appropriate Perl fashion, means nothing and is
really shorthand for Pearl. The Camel book gives two meanings, depending on
whether you "merely like" or "love" the language. I guess they assumed no one
would ever hate it! But then again, aren't love and hate merely two sides of
the same coin? I'm really digressing here...


On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 15:05:19 +0200 Jason Elbaum <Jason.Elbaum at>

> Scott Weisman wrote:
> > COBOL (as an acronym, it is properly capitalized) 
> Not all stylebooks agree on this. Some (such as the New York Times) say 
> that an acronym which is usually pronounced as a word, and which is more 
> than three (I think) letters long, should be written as a capitalized 
> word: Cobol. Basic. Perl (it's also an acronym!). Fortran.
> Jason Elbaum
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> YAPC::Israel::2004

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