syntactic sugar

[coined by Peter Landin] n. Features added to a language or other formalism to make it `sweeter' for humans, that do not affect the expressiveness of the formalism (compare chrome). Used esp. when there is an obvious and trivial translation of the `sugar' feature into other constructs already present in the notation. C's `a[i]' notation is syntactic sugar for `*(a + i)'. "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." --- Alan Perlis. The variants `syntactic saccharine' and `syntactic syrup' are also recorded. These denotes something even more gratuitous, in that syntactic sugar serves a purpose (making something more acceptable to humans) but syntactic saccharine or syrup serves no purpose at all. Compare candygrammar.