Syntax tends to get people unusually upset in the programming world. Heck, virtually any introductory talk on Erlang (Haskell, Clojure, whatever) invariably contains a self-deprecatory quote about the syntax. The thing people forget is that this isn't new. Syntax has been upsetting hominids since the first australopithecus said "Urghk" instead of "Oook" - getting thumped for its pains - and has continued to the present day (Look up "French is better than" on The Googles)
In this talk, I will explore the similarities between spoken and programming languages, with particular emphasis on the process of learning them, as well as the almost reflexive hatred of this process in most cultures. You'll learn to appreciate the role of syntax in languages, how it can help - or hinder! - your understanding of the semantics, and most importantly, how to appreciate syntax as an element of the language that is valuable in its own right.