When I describe a feature of a programming language in an academic document, e.g., Haskell, what might be a proper way to do it out of the four cases?

  1. Haskell is ... ... Haskell ...
  2. The Haskell Programming Language is ... ... The Haskell Programming Language ...
  3. The Haskell Programming Language (Haskell) is .... ... Haskell ...
  4. The Haskell Programming Language is ... ... Haskell ...

The case 1 just use Haskell' instead of more officially soundingThe Haskell Programming Language' where case 2 uses the longer official name all the time.

The case 3 is use the longer name when it is introduced first with a notification that I'm going to use Haskell not `the Haskell Programming Language', and the case 4 is the same as 3 without the notification.

  • 2
    What reason do you have for thinking that The Haskell Programming Language is the "official" name of the language? The only place I find this through-capitalized is as the title of a webpage about Haskell, [www.haskell.org/Haskell]. Elsewhere only Haskell is capitalized. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 18 '16 at 1:16
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about learning English, only about the usage of a proper name in context which will vary by example. – user3169 Jul 18 '16 at 1:41

If you are writing a text that non-programmers will read, the first mention of Haskell should be "The Haskell programming language" (notice "programming language" is not capitalized) and then you can use the proper noun Haskell thereafter without confusion. In fact, it will sound too wordy if you repeat "Haskell programming language" over and over.

If this text is for programmers, you don't even need to say anything further than "Haskell" - it's well-known enough that anyone interested it or knowledgeable about programming already knows its a programming language. You would only need to specify "Haskell, the programming language" if for some reason you were also talking about the person Haskell, which the language is named after, and there could be any confusion.

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