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Math traditionally gives multiplication precedence over addition. In math class (or a skill testing question from a cereal box contest), if you were asked what 2 + 3 * 4 was, you would know the answer was 14.

This is not too confusing if there are only a few functions and only a few levels of precedence (division | multiplication | addition and subtraction). But it gets awkward in languages such as C which have many functions and many levels of precedence.

With the large number of verbs in J it would have been difficult to define the precedence, let alone trying to remember it when reading or writing. Moreover, being able to name things means you would also have to figure out what to do with the sentence:

   2 plus 3 times 4
In a break with traditional math and in contrast to most other programming languages, J has no verb precedence. It will take you a little while to stop doing the multiplication first, but the overall simplification is worthwhile.

Remember: there is no verb precedence.

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