I agree with the whole of Ara's response and was debating whether to  
respond to the OP at all... Ara obviates that desire. But, I did have  
to respond to this:

On Nov 13, 2007, at 11:03 , ara.t.howard wrote:

> and of course this isn't even addressing the issue that anyone  
> *really* naming a function transform1 or transform2 should be  
> smothered in their sleep,

OMG I simply love you for this Ara... I totally agree that we need  
more smothering going on. ;)

> nor the fact that such functionality should, in something as  
> beautiful as ruby, end up looking like
>
>  filelist = Filelist.for source_files, :stems => stems, :dir => dir

Exactly...

The real "need" for #as comes from a even more real need to clean up  
one's design in the first place. Do that and #as simply drops away.