candygrammar n. A programming-language grammar that is mostly syntactic sugar; the term is also a play on `candygram'. COBOL, Apple's Hypertalk language, and a lot of the so-called `4GL' database languages share this property. The usual intent of such designs is that they be as English-like as possible, on the theory that they will then be easier for unskilled people to program. This intention comes to grief on the reality that syntax isn't what makes programming hard; it's the mental effort and organization required to specify an algorithm precisely that costs. Thus the invariable result is that `candygrammar' languages are just as difficult to program in as terser ones, and far more painful for the experienced hacker.
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