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There is an interesting language called SequenceL which has implicit mapping.

See the Search example at:

A Lua-like equivalent syntax would be something like:

Search = mapper (Target,{Subscript,Word}) return Word == Target and Subscript ;

Search('f'ox',[{1,'dog'},{2,'cat'},{3,'fox'},{4,'parrot'}}) → 3

This is not a syntax or a Lua extension suggestion ;)  Just another
neat way to look at the map issue.  It's the kind of thing which
Metalua or LuaMacro could implement relatively easily.

steve d.