[Practical Extraction and Report Language, a.k.a
Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister]
n. An interpreted language
'patch(1)' and 'rn(1)') and distributed over USENET.
Superficially resembles 'awk(1)', but is much hairier (see
awk). UNIX sysadmins, who are almost always incorrigible
hackers, increasingly consider it one of the languages of choice. Perl has been described, in a parody of a famous remark
about 'lex(1)', as the "Swiss-Army chainsaw" of UNIX programming.