I apologize if this is a dumb question, but I'm just starting out in ELisp, and I'm wondering how you pronounce the word 'sexp'.

I.e., if I was talking to someone, how does one say this word?

  • 6
    I usually say "Es expression", even if I write "sexp". – NickD Jun 20 '18 at 18:54

This isn't really an answer, but...

if I was talking to someone, how does one say this word?

I tend to pronounce it "form" :)

C-hig (elisp)Intro Eval says:

A Lisp object that is intended for evaluation is called a “form” or “expression”(1).

(1) It is sometimes also referred to as an “S-expression” or “sexp”, but we generally do not use this terminology in this manual.

This approach tends to circumvent the problem you're probably trying to avoid.

Otherwise, like NickD, I would normally say "ess expression".

I would add that if you absolutely need to pronounce "sexp" as written, you're probably talking to someone who already knows what that is and isn't going to bat an eyelid at any of the possible ways you might say it.

| improve this answer | |

I never heard this word enunciated, despite using Lisp for over quarter of a century.

I always pronounce it "sexp", like it is written. The "p" is not very loud.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Ditto. For me, it's just a normal English word ;-), pronounced as it would be normally. – Drew Jun 20 '18 at 21:13

Peter Glickstein, in a footnote on p. 9 of Writing GNU Emacs Extensions, says the following about the pronunciation of "sexp":

Pronounced "sex pee."  Unfortunately.

Unfortunate indeed.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    Please, let us all say "no". – NickD Jun 20 '18 at 18:55
  • 1
    I support @NickD.... It looks like S Expression so it must be S expression – manandearth Jun 20 '18 at 20:49

Expanding it to "symbolic expression", which is its meaning.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.