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BASIC: [acronym, from Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction
   Code] n. A programming language, originally designed for
   Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s,
   which has since become the leading cause of brain-damage in
   proto-hackers.  This is another case (like Pascal) of the
   cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately
   designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously.  A novice
   can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10--20 lines) very
   easily; writing anything longer is (a) very painful, and (b)
   encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful
   languages well.  This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents
   hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros.  As it is, it ruins
   thousands of potential wizards a year.