[mercury-users] "Parameter" vs "argument"

Ralph Becket rafe at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Mon Oct 11 11:29:38 AEST 2004

I've taken up writing the Mercury tutorial book again.  So far I have
used `parameter' to mean "variable appearing in the head of a clause (or
type definition)" and `argument' to mean "value appearing in a goal (or
instance of a type)" --- in other words, an argument is the reification
of a parameter.

It occurs to me that maintaining the distinction might end up confusing
readers more than if I just used the term `argument' for both senses.

Merriam-Webster would seem to support this usage:
"argument: ... 6 a : one of the independent variables upon whose value
that of a function depends".

Are there any strong opinions one way or the other out there?

-- Ralph
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