What is the X in X-mas?
The opposite of syntactic sugar, a feature designed to make it harder to write bad code. Specifically, syntactic salt is a hoop the programmer must jump through just to prove that he knows what's going on, rather than to express a program action. Some programmers consider required type declarations to be syntactic salt. A requirement to write "end if", "end while", "end do", etc. to terminate the last block controlled by a control construct (as opposed to just "end") would definitely be syntactic salt. Syntactic salt is like the real thing in that it tends to raise hackers' blood pressures in an unhealthy way. Compare candygrammar.