Don't abbreviate rare names

Some languages are too consistent about keeping their names short. Arc and Wart call their macro-defining operators mac instead of defmacro or define-macro.

I understand how a designer could see mac as an important operator. If you think of macros as a central, distinctive feature of your language, and if you use quite a few of them to bootstrap your standard library, they feel important enough to deserve a short name.

mac does almost nothing for the length of programs, though. Macro definitions, however fundamental, aren't common enough for it to matter. define-macro is short enough. I prefer defmacro, but only because it follows a naming convention that makes other, more common names shorter; it's not common enough itself to justify an irregularly short name.

Save the aggressive abbreviation for common operations like make-hash-table. Giving that a one-word name (or even {}) makes more difference.

It's a normative theory.

When a theory fails to usefully describe reality, one bad response is to demand that reality stop disobeying it. Cosma Shalizi illustrates:

A: Hey, you over there, the one walking! You're doing it wrong.
B: Excuse me?
A: You're only using two feet! You should keep at least three of your six in contact with the ground at all times.
B: ...
A: Look, it's easily proved that's the optimal way to walk. Otherwise you'd be unstable, and if you were walking past a Dutchman he could kick one of your legs with his clogs and knock you over and then lecture you on how to make pancakes.
B: What? Why a Dutchman?
A: You can't trust the Dutch, they're everywhere! Besides, every time you walk it's really just like running the gauntlet at Schiphol.
B: It is?
A: Don't change the subject! Walking like that you're actually sessile!
B: I don't seem to be rooted in place...
A: It's a technical term. Look, it's very simple, these are all implications of the axioms of the theory of optimal walking and you're breaking them all. I can't get over how immobile you are, walking like that.
B: "Immobile"?
A: Well, you're not walking properly, are you?
B: Your theory seems to assume I have six legs.
A: Yes, exactly!
B: I only have two legs. It doesn't describe what I do at all.
A: It's a normative theory.
B: For something with six legs.
A: Yes.
B: I have two legs. Does your theory have any advice about how to walk on two legs?
A: Could you try crawling on your hands and knees?

Cosma is thinking of Bayesian statistics, but I sometimes feel the same way about type theory.

In both cases the problem is not with the theory, but with the movement that insists that the theory should be used for everything, whether it works or not.