@ Michael H.F. Wilkinson -- Re: Just have to say
In all my years of FORTRAN coding for HPC, I really, really, really got to loathe that language.
Many would agree with you including Kemeny and Kurtz who transmogrified the original FORTRAN versions into BASIC thus saving the sanity of many a student. However, think yourself lucky. From a reading of your post it seems you only had to contend with F77 and later, reckon you'd have a bit of extra nail biting with FORTRAN IV/66 or earlier. (It would be interesting to know what type of programs you wrote in FORTRAN, for often I've seen it used where say PL/I would have been a better choice. In such circumstances, I've seen programmers curse and swear constantly and I don't blame them.)
My baptism of fire was FORTRAN IV but even so that didn't stop me hogging the KP26 (026) / KP29 (029) punch card room of an evening until the univ's grey men threw me out. (Evenings were best as there was easier access to the much-fought-over IBM KP-29s, which were then the latest generation card punches and easier to use than the older 026s.)
For me, the Achilles' heel of the early FORTRANs was their horrible I/O, those bloody format statements had me constantly swearing and ripping up punch cards.
Nevertheless, I don't care what anybody says, if you're doing science/maths then wheel in FORTRAN as it's still the best tool for the job. Moreover, you can call on the many well-tested and well-authenticated subroutine libraries, ISML etc. (I have a few scientific and engineering programs that I still use which I originally wrote in FORTRAN IV and punched out on Hollerith cards decades ago. With a few I/O tweaks and such they still compile perfectly in modern environments. The reason why there's still much FORTRAN IV around is that it is so portable.)
I'm not suggesting for a moment that FORTRAN is the be-all and end-all of programming, it isn't (so C programmers, don't have apoplexy, I'm not suggesting you write Windows or OS X in FORTRAN). Over the years I've had to use many different languages, COBOL, PL/I, LISP (a favorite of mine), C and its variants, etc., but I've always compared them with FORTRAN. FORTRAN—far from being dead—is a fine language and still the reference by which others are compared. However, like all others, it's best confined to environments in which it was deigned to work.
BTW, whilst the original FORTRAN 0 (1954/56) has limitations, I reckon there's nothing like it for the ease of examining code, look at a printout and the algorithms almost have a clarity as if their equations were written on a blackboard.
P.S.: I'd have to agree with Phil O'Sophical re Pascal, as I'd reckon most FORTRAN, C, PL/I, BASIC programmer probably would, it's irritating and restrictive. We programmers who've had the freedom and flexibility of say C don't like being constrained in the way Pascal does. Then again, perhaps Niklaus Wirth was trying to bring us programmers down to earth in the way other engineering professions are constrained by the real world and have to structure jobs accordingly—after all, a bridge designer has to set up his complete design, engineering environment etc. before he starts building whereas the C programmer can begin in the middle of the 'river' if he so desires. ...And, of course, that can have many undesirable consequences, bugs and such! ;-)