David Black wrote:
> I don't think it's extra.  I would hate to have to parse -- visually
> -- things like:
> 
>    hash = { a = 1, b = 2, 4 = 5 }

That's true.  I guess I was thinking of method calls, like:

start_hockey_game(:home_team = "Chicago", :away_team = "Detroit")

In other words, in reality most of the hashes I create are implicit 
hashes created when passing method arguments.

But you're right, for your canonical case, it would be bad; and that 
alone probably justifies having a separate syntax for the key-value 
pair.

Jeff

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