A couple of years ago, I accidentally came across the strange word Clojure, which I later came to know as a LISP style programming language on the JVM. At that point I was a total newbie to functional programming (and LISP), having spend most of my programming time on C, C++, Java, etc.
The first impression I had when looking at a medium size Clojure program was that of a mess of parenthesis. Why in the world would anybody want to write programs of this sort?
As many others, it took a while for me to truly appreciate the simplicity, elegance and beauty of functional programming in general and LISP in particular.
Clojure might have a popular future due to its clean way of handling concurrency and light weight threads (through Software Transactional Memories aka STM)
Hats off to John McCarthy for creating LISP and Rich Hickey for creating Clojure.