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We also want our code to be readable.

I can't read APL but perhaps that is readable. I'm unsure that other common dynamic languages like Ruby or Python are readable purely in comparison purely for using http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBOL#Verbose_syntax.

I think a really simple rule-of-thumb for code is: "can you dictate it through the phone?"

Code has nested structures which are commonly shown with indentation, which it's difficult to communicate vocally with say, intonation. E.g. think about how differently you'd dictate this variation on your reply...

I think a really simple rule of thumb-for-code is "can you dictate it?" through the phone.

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