Talk:Turing tarpit

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The concept of symbol

I have a feeling that what Minsky and Bobrow meant by "symbols" wasn't the same thing as saying that, say, binary combinatory logic only has "2 symbols". In fact, BCL is only a binary representation of a system that has 3 symbols. It's like saying that UTF-8 is an advanced encoding because it only has 2 types of bits – the 0 and the 1. You can format any language as binary and hence unary if you want to. Rather, I would argue that reserved words in C are symbols as well. Kumiponi (talk) 08:10, 7 August 2013 (BST)