Lisp: Wikis


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Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F80.8
ICD-9 307.9

A lisp (OE wlisp, stammering)[1] is a speech impediment, historically also known as sigmatism or Σtism.[2] Stereotypically, people with a lisp are unable to pronounce sibilants (like the sound [s]), and replace them with interdentals (like the sound [θ]), though there are actually several kinds of lisps. The result is that the speech is unclear.

  • "Interdental" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue protrudes between the front teeth and "dentalised" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue just touches the front teeth.
  • The "lateral" lisp, where the /s/ and /z/ sounds are produced with air escaping over the sides of the tongue, is also called 'slushy ess' or a 'slushy lisp' due to the wet, spitty sound. The symbols for these lateralized sounds are in the Extended International Phonetic Alphabet for speech disorders, [ʪ] and [ʫ]. Notably the former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, has this type of lisp.[3]
  • Finally, there is the "palatal lisp," where the speaker attempts to make the sounds with the tongue in contact with the palate.[2]


Cause of lisps

The cause of a lisp can vary. In some instances, the cause is physiological, and the patient has some sort of deformity or medical condition which causes a lisp. For example, a child with swollen adenoids may tend to lisp, as will people who have recurring stuffy noses. More commonly, a lisp appears to be psychological in origin, and lisps often emerge as a reaction to stress. Children may start lisping, for example, to gain attention, or someone may develop a lisp after a traumatic incident.

Treating lisps

Treating lisps in children usually involves speech therapy treatments and is generally successful. Speech therapy sessions include a wide variety of activities and speech drills, though what specifically happens in any given session will depend upon many variables. The length of the therapy session (usually between a half hour and one hour), the location of the therapy session (whether at home, school or a private facility), the age of the child involved, whether the therapy session is private or involves a group, and the type of lisp that is being treated will all affect the content of these sessions.

One popular method of correcting articulation or lisp disorders is to isolate sounds and work on correcting the sound in isolation. The basic sound, or phoneme, is selected as a target for treatment. Typically the position of the sound within a word is considered and targeted. The sound appears in the beginning of the word, middle, or end of the word (initial, medial, or final).

Take for example, correction of an “S” sound (lisp). Most likely, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) would employ exercises to work on “Sssssss.” Starting practice words would most likely consist of “S-initial” words such as “say, sun, soap, sip, sick, said, sail.” According to this protocol, the SLP slowly increases the complexity of tasks (context of pronunciations) as the production of the sound improves. Examples of increased complexity could include saying words in phrases and sentences, saying longer multi-syllabic words, or increasing the tempo of pronunciation.

Using this methodology, the SLP achieves success with his/her student by targeting a sound in a phonetically consistent manner. Phonetic consistency means that a target sound is isolated at the smallest possible level (phoneme, phone, or allophone) and that the context of production must be consistent. Consistency is critical, because factors such as the position within the word, grouping with other sounds (vowels or consonants), and the complexity all may affect production.

The repetition of consistent contexts allows the student to align all the necessary processes required to properly produce language; language skills (ability to formulate correct sounds in the brain: What sounds do I need to make?), motor planning (voicing and jaw and tongue movements: How do I produce the sound?), and auditory processing (receptive feedback: Was the sound produced correctly? Do I need to correct?). A student with an articulation or lisp disorder has a deficiency in one or more of these areas. To correct the deficiency, adjustments have to be made in one or more of these processes. The process to correct it is more often than not, trial and error. With so many factors, however, isolating the variables (the sound) is imperative to getting to the end result faster.

A phonetically consistent treatment strategy means practicing the same thing over and over. What is practiced is consistent and does not change. The words might change, but the phoneme and its positioning is the same (say, sip, sill, soap, …). Thus, successful correction of the disorder is found in manipulating or changing the other factors involved with speech production (tongue positioning, cerebral processing, etc.). Once a successful result (speech) is achieved, then consistent practice becomes essential to reinforcing correct productions.

When the difficult sound is mastered, the child will then learn to say the sound in syllables, then words, then phrases and then sentences. When a child is able to speak a whole sentence without lisping, attention is then focused on making correct sounds throughout natural conversation. Towards the end of the course of therapy, the child will be taught how to monitor his or her own speech, and how to correct as necessary.

See also


  1. ^ Concise English Dictionary Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 1994, ISBN 1-85326-328-1
  2. ^ a b Bowen, Caroline. "Lisping - when /s/ and /z/ are hard to say". Retrieved 2006-03-07.  
  3. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (2007-08-20). "Mayberry Man". CondéNet Inc. Retrieved 2008-07-31.  


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Lisp programming language article)

From Wikiquote

Lisp is a family of computer programming languages based on formal functional calculus. Lisp (for "List Processing Language") stores and manipulates programs in the same manner as any other data, making it well suited for "meta-programming" applications. One of the oldest "high level" programming languages (second only to Fortran), Lisp continues to be popular in the field of artificial intelligence down to the present day.


About Lisp

  • Lisp has jokingly been called "the most intelligent way to misuse a computer". I think that description is a great compliment because it transmits the full flavor of liberation: it has assisted a number of our most gifted fellow humans in thinking previously impossible thoughts.
  • Common Lisp is politics, not art.
    • Scott Fahlman [citation needed]
  • Lisp is a programmable programming language.
    • John Foderaro, CACM, September 1991
  • Lisp is the red pill.
    • John Fraser, comp.lang.lisp [citation needed]
  • SQL, Lisp, and Haskell are the only programming languages that I've seen where one spends more time thinking than typing.
    • Philip Greenspun, blog, 07-03-2005
  • One of the most important and fascinating of all computer languages is Lisp (standing for "List Processing"), which was invented by John McCarthy around the time Algol was invented.
  • God wrote in Lisp code
    When he filled the leaves with green.
    The fractal flowers and recursive roots:
    The most lovely hack I've seen.
    • Bob Kanefsky, "Eternal Flame" [1]
  • The greatest single programming language ever designed.
  • Lisp isn't a language, it's a building material.
  • The conception of list processing as an abstraction created a new world in which designation and dynamic symbolic structure were the defining characteristics. The embedding of the early list processing systems in languages (the IPLs, LISP) is often decried as having been a barrier to the diffusion of list processing techniques throughout programming practice; but it was the vehicle that held the abstraction together.
  • Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot.
  • Emacs is written in Lisp, which is the only computer language that is beautiful.
  • We all know that Lisp is the best language around, but in the hands of most it becomes like that scene in Fantasia when Mickey Mouse gets the wand.
  • Lisp is like a ball of mud - you can throw anything you want into it, and it's still Lisp.
    • Anonymous [citation needed]

Comparing Lisp to other languages

  • Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.
    • Philip Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming
  • Pascal is for building pyramids -- imposing, breathtaking, static structures built by armies pushing heavy blocks into place. Lisp is for building organisms -- imposing, breathtaking, dynamic structures built by squads fitting fluctuating myriads of simpler organisms into place.
  • Java was, as Gosling says in the first Java white paper, designed for average programmers. It's a perfectly legitimate goal to design a language for average programmers. (Or for that matter for small children, like Logo.) But it is also a legitimate, and very different, goal to design a language for good programmers.
  • LISP has survived for 21 years because it is an approximate local optimum in the space of programming languages
  • And you're right: we were not out to win over the Lisp programmers; we were after the C++ programmers. We managed to drag a lot of them about halfway to Lisp. Aren't you happy?
    • Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs (about Java)
  • Schemer: "Buddha is small, clean, and serious." Lispnik: "Buddha is big, has hairy armpits, and laughs."
    • Nikodemus Siivola
  • No [programming] language feels more natural than Lisp. There's a real sense that while Python was invented by a brilliant programmer, Lisp is built into of the structure of the Universe.
    • Anonymous
  • I can't escape the sensation that I have already been thinking in Lisp all my programming career, but forcing the ideas into the constraints of bad languages, which explode those ideas into a bewildering array of details, most of which are workarounds for the language.
    • Kaz Kylheku
  • Programming in Lisp is like playing with the primordial forces of the universe. It feels like lightning between your fingertips. No other language even feels close.
    • Glenn Ehrlich
  • You can use C++ if you want with GNOME, but we don't assume that you're going to write C++. It's to a large extent based on Scheme, which is a dialect of LISP. LISP being the most powerful and cleanest of languages, that's the language that's the GNU project always prefers.
  • In an attempt on making a program language where you shorten everything and make it as small as possible, I suddenly found out that I'm only recreating Lisp without the parentheses.
    • Anonymous

Lisp macros

  • In Lisp, if you want to do aspect-oriented programming, you just do a bunch of macros and you're there. In Java, you have to get Gregor Kiczales to go out and start a new company, taking months and years and try to get that to work. Lisp still has the advantage there, it's just a question of people wanting that.
    • Peter Norvig
  • DOLIST is similar to Perl's foreach or Python's for. Java added a similar kind of loop construct with the "enhanced" for loop in Java 1.5, as part of JSR-201. Notice what a difference macros make. A Lisp programmer who notices a common pattern in their code can write a macro to give themselves a source-level abstraction of that pattern. A Java programmer who notices the same pattern has to convince Sun that this particular abstraction is worth adding to the language. Then Sun has to publish a JSR and convene an industry-wide "expert group" to hash everything out. That process--according to Sun--takes an average of 18 months. After that, the compiler writers all have to go upgrade their compilers to support the new feature. And even once the Java programmer's favorite compiler supports the new version of Java, they probably still can't use the new feature until they're allowed to break source compatibility with older versions of Java. So an annoyance that Common Lisp programmers can resolve for themselves within five minutes plagues Java programmers for years.
    • Peter Seibel, Practical Common Lisp.

Attitude of Lisp programmers

  • I have heard more than one LISP advocate state such subjective comments as, "LISP is the most powerful and elegant programming language in the world" and expect such comments to be taken as objective truth. I have never heard a Java, C++, C, Perl, or Python advocate make the same claim about their own language of choice.
    • A guy on Slashdot.
  • What theory fits this data?
  • Just because we Lisp programmers are better than everyone else is no excuse for us to be arrogant.
    • Erann Gat
  • Only Lisp gods are omnipotent.
    • Anonymous
  • There are no average Lisp programmers. We are the Priesthood. Offerings of incense or cash will do.
    • Kenny Tilton at comp.lang.lisp
  • Common Lisp people seem to behave in a way that is akin to the Borg: they study the various new things that people do with interest and then find that it was eminently doable in Common Lisp all along and that they can use these new techniques if they think they need them.
  • If you want to know why Lisp doesn't win around you, find a mirror.
  • You seem (in my (humble) opinion (which doesn't mean much)) to be (or possibly could be) more of a Lisp programmer (but I could be (and probably am) wrong).


  • Although my own previous enthusiasm has been for syntactically rich languages like the Algol family, I now see clearly and concretely the force of Minsky's 1970 Turing lecture, in which he argued that Lisp's uniformity of structure and power of self reference gave the programmer capabilities whose content was well worth the sacrifice of visual form.
  • Q: How can you tell when you've reached Lisp Enlightenment?
    A: The parentheses disappear.
    • Anonymous
  • More than anything else, I think it is the ability of Lisp programs to manipulate Lisp expressions that sets Lisp apart. And so no one who has not written a lot of macros is really in a position to compare Lisp to other languages. When I hear people complain about Lisp's parentheses, it sounds to my ears like someone saying: "I tried one of those bananas, which you say are so delicious. The white part was ok, but the yellow part was very tough and tasted awful."
  • You are in a maze of twisty little parentheses, all alike.
  • Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in.
  • LISP stands for: Lots of Irrelevant Sets of Parentheses.
    • Anonymous
  • These are your father's parentheses. Elegant weapons, for a more... civilized age.
  • Some said the world should be in Perl,
    Some said in Lisp.
    Now, having given both a whirl,
    I held with those who favored Perl.
    But I fear we passed to men
    A disappointing founding myth.
    And should we write it all again,
    I'd end it with
    A close-paren.

External link

Wikipedia has an article about:


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also LISP, and lisp



Wikipedia has an article on:



Contraction of list programming language.

Alternative spellings

Proper noun




  1. (programming languages) A functional programming language with a distinctive parenthesized syntax, much used in artificial intelligence.

Derived terms


Simple English

LISP (or Lisp) is the name for a programming language. It is among the oldest programming languages that are still used today. Only Fortran is older. LISP was designed by John McCarthy in 1958. The two best-known versions of LISP are Common Lisp and Scheme. Many concepts that are used in modern programming languages were first created in Lisp. Linked lists are a very important data structure in LISP. The basic concepts behind LISP are easy to learn. Logo is another version of Lisp that was made for children. Logo can help young children develop skills and become efficient within the programming language.

Hello world Example (Scheme)

(display "Hello world!")


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