I hate to say this, but that's a pretty stupid argument. If your syntax for doing things the right way is long or complex, abstract it, wrap around it, fiddle with it, chuck it in a function or fold it to an object or obfuscate it in a Perl module or however else you'd like to make things simpler. This is what programming is all about, no? This is why annotations are popular. This is why Groovy is groovy. This is why Python is cool and Ruby shines. And it's why PHP isn't as bad as the PHP developer.