From the article:
> I don't know why Iverson thought the hook was the thing to embed in the language.
There are deep reasons for the choice: http://www.jsoftware.com/papers/fork1.htm
In addition, viewing J as "a worse Haskell" is to misunderstand it. J is a function-level, not a purely functional, language:
From that link:
> When Backus studied and publicized his function-level style of programming, his message was mostly misunderstood, as supporting the traditional functional programming style languages instead of his own FP and its successor FL.
> This restriction means that functions in FP [Backus's function-level language] are a module (generated by the built-in functions) over the algebra of functional forms, and are thus algebraically tractable. For instance, the general question of equality of two functions is equivalent to the halting problem, and is undecidable, but equality of two functions in FP is just equality in the algebra, and thus (Backus imagines) easier.