One can argue that Perl is more featureful in its implicit behaviors that are massively confusing to people who don't them. In C you generally have to be pretty explicit with what you're doing, but in Perl you can leave out some of the details and let the interpreter figure them out for you. This is the first area where newcomers get lost. Much of the "crazy punctuation" ends up being helpful once you spend a couple of minutes understanding the basics of the language, clearly denoting which tokens are variables and what kind of access the coder wants. Complex data structures are far far less ugly now than they were in the early days of Perl 5 too, and a normal human being can actually make them without trying a thousand different combinations of dereferencing operators to figure out exactly which one they need. I wouldn't call them "good" or fun to use, but it's not like pounding nails through your dick anymore.