Hi there,

I'm fairly new to Ruby, so bear with me. Anyway, on with the question.

What is the benefit of being able to omit parentheses on a method call? 
IMHO, parentheses improves readability; I can instantly discern, whether 
something is a method call or a variable. It would seem to me, that 
readability is, at least, part of the reason for the @-prefix on 
instance variables, thus making it difficult for a human reader to 
confuse them with local variables. Why not force a similar convention on 
method calls, namely explicit parentheses?

In addition, this feature allows you to do stuff like this:

def foo
   42
end

foo            # -> 42
foo = 1 if false
foo            # -> nil

I generally like the language but dead code with side effects makes me 
nervous.

Could anyone explain to me, why it's a good idea to have the option of 
omitting parentheses on a method call?

Best Regards,
   Henrik Schmidt