James Gosling - Thoughts for Students (at the 1 minute mark, the entire video is 1 minute and 26 seconds long):

And it's pretty easy to explain how object-oriented programming took people who've never programmed before because it's kind of like dealing with objects in the world around you. But if people have already learned how to program COBOL, it's kind of strange and in their head they're trying to map COBOL on Java.

I don't know how to understand took. What does he really mean by OOP took people?

  • 1
    I think in this context it means 'interested'.
    – Vlammuh
    May 30 '15 at 10:39
  • 2
    Compare the figurative use of "captivated" or "grabbed" to mean "interested". To "take someone" is to take them captive (that's the literal meaning). May 30 '15 at 10:44

It's the same idiomatic usage as...

How does that take you?
(How do you feel about that?)

...which is also reflected in...

I'm quite taken by it
(I'm impressed by it)

So if you like, you could see to take here as meaning to create an impression, to affect. But as I said, it's an idiomatic usage, and you probably shouldn't risk using it in many contexts yourself.

For example, the (far more colloquial) usage How does that grab you? reflects the literal sense of take captive, captivate, but few native speakers would ever say I'm quite grabbed by it.


It sounds strange to me --- the kind of thing someone might say when they start speaking with one thought, then change their mind halfway through and end up saying something ungrammatical.

One similar phrase the speaker might have had in mind is "take to", for example,

People took to object-oriented programming because...

This means that people found OOP appealing for whatever reason. But note that in this usage, the people are the subject, and the thing they enjoy is the object, rather than the other way around like in your citation.

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