So, I'm watching this lecture. One of the slides (at minute 27) in that lecture contains this sentence:

"Write in the language you are writing."

But shouldn't it be:

"Write in the language you are writing in."

It's about a programming language. Programmers write in that programming language. They do not write that programming language.

Screenshot from Crockford's lecture

  • Or, "Write in the language in which you are writing." Nov 2, 2011 at 17:15
  • @Chris Yes, that sounds good. Nov 2, 2011 at 17:22
  • or, "Write the language you write", if we want to be a bit more minimalist. Nov 2, 2011 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


Since we can say "write Perl" (or PHP, or for that matter, French) as well as "write in Perl", there's nothing wrong with 1.

But 2 is certainly more symmetrical, and it's what I would write.

  • In most contexts I would say that repetition of "in" is distractingly "ugly". But such considerations don't need to apply to "motivational slogans" like this, so you're right - it gains more from the symmetry than it loses from the unusual phrasing. Nov 2, 2011 at 18:28

Your thinking is correct. I wouldn't use the sentence shown in the slide.

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