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Do spelling and punctuation really matter in code? I’m a freshman
studying computer science at college, and one of my professors actually takes points off of our programs
if we spell things incorrectly or make
grammar mistakes in our comments.
This is completely unfair. Programmers aren’t English majors and we
shouldn’t be expected to write like
Dear miss Spelled,
Who is your professor and can I
please send him or her some flowers?
Normally I find myself wanting to
send people black roses, or a horse’s
head wrapped in paper, but your letter makes me want to send whoever is
teaching you to code a big bouquet of
fresh flowers, and a card, and maybe
one of those ridiculous balloons that
people now send as well.
While it is true that “program-
mers aren’t English majors,” there
are days—many, many days—that
I wish they were, or that they knew
one, even tangentially, and offered
to help with their science or math
homework in return for some help
making themselves better under-
stood. The amount of code I have
had to beat my head against because
the original author did not make his
or her intent clear in the comments,
when there were comments, is le-
gion, and all that head beating has
given me many headaches. It cheers
me to know someone else out there is
beating your head for me, so maybe,
someday, my headaches will go away.
I also think the voices might stop at
that point, too.