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Rici Lake wrote:
Given that Apple came up with AppleScript, it's a bit hard to believe that their corporate culture discourages oddball syntaxes.

I think that the AppleScript concept wasn't born in Apple. If I'm not mistaken, AppleScript roots can be traced to HyperTalk, i.e. HyperCard's scripting language. HyperCard had huge potential but it was badly treated by Apple, due to their usual NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome.

I never used AppleScript, but I played with HyperTalk for a time. I found it to be an interesting concept, but falling rather short of expectations: it was designed to be a "natural language" language usable by a non-programmer, but in fact it turned out to be harder than Basic for a casual user and extremely frustrating for a programmer (despite its dynamic elements).