The last amusing discussion in firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list was a proposal on renaming Hash to Dict. Perl and, after it, Ruby use the word “hash” for their associative arrays while Python and Smalltalk use “dictionaries” and Java uses “maps”. As so many things are changing while going from Perl 5 to Perl 6, the suggestion was attempting to introduce a “better name” while it is still possible.
Many replied, including Larry which revealed some of his tendencies to name according to linguistic issues rather than standard CS terminology. The thread exposed the purposeful relation of the term “hash” with the disordered nature of associative arrays, which come from the meaning of English expressions like
“corned beef hash”
“hash browned potatos”
“make a hash of things”
Well, after this, the discussion gained a gastronomic dimension and Perl got a new slogan: “At least nobody can say that Perl is bad taste!”
P.S. The thread has more. For instance, (1) insights on how Donald Knuth coined the CS hash term, (2) etymologic discussion of “hash” (it’s French, my friend), (3) the temporary fall of Larry on the dark forces of shell.