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VB adds Ain't Keyword

(Newswire 8-19-2004)

Microsoft has announced that Visual Basic will add the "Ain't" keyword to the language. According to a source on the VB.NET team "With VB, we want the language to work the way you think. Extensive usability studies have demonstrated to us the benifit of adding Ain't to the language."

Addition of the keyword would allow such syntax as

If ThisThing Ain't Nothing Then

According the source "We're just trying to keep up with advances in the English language which, as you know, is changing almost as fast as technology itself." The VB team believes that ain't is poised to finally be a fully supported keyword in the English language, and they feel that if they don't include the keyword in this release, they may fall well behind English before their next chance to update VB. However, hotly debated is what "Ain't" should equate to. In it's most popular form, the above line of code would translate to:

If ThisThing Is Nothing Then

However, everyone's 2nd grade english teacher has made it clear that "Ain't Nothing" actually means "Is Something", as it's a double-negative. Meaning the correct equivelant would be

If ThisThing IsNot Nothing Then

Microsoft is in no hurry to rush through this decision, state sources, "Look, between VB.NET Beta 1 and Beta 2, we had to change the definition of "true". We don't want to go through that again."

However language purists declare that this whole approach is misguided, noting that "Ain't" is a contraction for "am not", and saying "If ThisThing Am Not Nothing" is just poor grammar. Better alternatives, they say, would include resurecting i'n't, as in "If ThisThing I'n't Nothing". But even this may not be far enough states linguist Jacque Leblanc, "I insist that the perpetuation of the double negative is the root cause of this issue, but as of yet, no one is really willing to discuss the obvious éléphant in the room. The true solution would be to allow 'If ThisItem Is Something Then.'"

Microsoft is also reported to be experimenting with "AsIf", "Maybe", and "Totally". In addition, "Catch" will likely be replaced with "Doh!", and "Finally" will be replaced with "Whatever".

August 19, 2004 | Permalink


I hope this is a joke :) I was concerned about the meaning of the word (expression actually), then the incorrect grammar, the the apostrophe that would make the rest of the line be just a comment... Then I read the last paragraph (clearly a joke)...
C'mon.. It's a prank, right?

Posted by: Sergio Pereira | August 19, 2004 10:34 AM

This is good to hear.

I am also hoping that what I heard regarding the new VB keyword "bling" that will auto-create bells and whistles for any VB based Windows Application. This should finally restore VB to its rightful place above c#

Posted by: Kearns | August 19, 2004 12:05 PM

This Ain't no joke :)

Posted by: Hector Correa | August 19, 2004 12:22 PM

sooooooooo funny! i loved it. i ain't kidding!

Posted by: Peg Ratcliff | August 19, 2004 01:38 PM

Arrrgh...now why do you want to go and give ideas to the VB team? Remember - these are the guys who came up with AndAlso and CType for casting

Posted by: Sriram | August 19, 2004 04:55 PM

I propose that 'Finnaly' should be replaced with 'WhatTheFuck?!?!?'

Posted by: | August 22, 2004 12:05 AM

Can someone please throw in GodDammit? Also, I was thinking about a new shortcut - you type in yoru code in C#, then type HowTheFDoesVbDoThisAgain and hit tab - and then it's filled in for you.

Posted by: Bill | August 22, 2004 10:08 AM

Why not replace the Finally statement with "Ctrl+Alt+Del"...

Posted by: lm_coombs | August 22, 2004 04:52 PM

Cute. :-)

Actually, as a joke, I circulated some changes to the "Like" keyword last year (internally). The new wording was to be "Is Kinda Like" and "Ain't Nuthin' Like." So, for example:

If 5 Is Kinda Like 5.202

would evaluate to True

"foobar" Ain't Nuthin' Like 5

would evaluate to True as well (though, presumably, "Five" is kinda like 5).

--Matt Gertz--*
VB Compiler Dev Lead
Microsoft Corporation

Posted by: Matt Gertz | August 23, 2004 11:30 AM

Blog link of the week 34

Posted by: Daniel Moth | August 25, 2004 11:24 AM

Love the idea! But can't we also localize it too? You know, just like there are German and Japanese versions of software. I'd like to see Lancashire regional dialect in the language, words like "flummox" meaning confused and confounded would be handy for trapping application errors - On Flummox go an have a pint - much more user friendly than On error resume next. We could also have a "By eck" number type - so Dim myNumber as By Eck - indicating a number so long that only the class freak with a photographic memory could repeat it.
A second thought is to be able to customise the lingo according to favourite authors. So you add the Faulkner "skin" to VB and nothing becomes nuffin. The Borges skin would be great for some labyrinthine code...

Posted by: John Beardsworth | September 13, 2004 05:15 AM

Hey, i heard this today ;-)

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.

The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.
He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"

Posted by: Jokes Page! | September 29, 2004 12:53 PM

The Dutch version will include the "absoluut" keyword, which can mean anything. The fuzzy logic inside "VB.NET NT Professional Developer Studio For Intel Platforms Version 300.X" (the NTFS and FAT32 format will be amended with special entries to comply to this product naming) will automatically determine the meaning based on intuition.

So if (date1 is absoluut date2)
will equate to true or false based on the context in which the statement is used.

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