I purchased the PickAxe book this evening (in PDF format).
The 'PickAxe book' is a book about the Ruby programming language, formally "Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmersí Guide, Second Edition, by Dave Thomas with Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt".
The Ruby programming language was invented by Yukihiro Matsumoto. He's Japanese.
I'm going to take a wild stab, and guess that Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt are westerners, probably North Americans. ( I paid $US for their book which was printed in the USA, that's about all I have to go on, not knowing anything about them. )
So, particularly with respect to the context, what is it about this list of examples of a method call from the first chapter of the book that seems somewhat odd/bizarre/disturbing..?
-1942.abs††††† ->†† 1942
sam.play(song) ->†† "duh dum, da dum de dum ..."