Most people who use R on the regular learned the language in the context of a subject outside of programming. They learned R as they learned statistical methods, or they picked up bits of R as they learned about visualization. However, if you learn R purely as just a language — without the domain-specificity — or you already program in a different language, R might seem strange at times.
In this talk, John D. Cook explains some of the "quirks" in R and why, maybe, they're not so strange.
I picked up R after three semesters of computer science in college, and that little bit of background actually seemed to make learning R a lot easier for me. So maybe the key is to be a horrible programmer at first (I was and still am in some ways), and R won't seem so quirky. [via Revolutions]