[R] Returning the name of an object passed directly or from a list by lapply

andrewH ahoerner at rprogress.org
Thu Sep 15 23:11:10 CEST 2011

Dear folks:

Let’s suppose I want a function to print return the name of the object
passed to it. 

> myname <- function(object) {out<-deparse(substitute(object)); out}

This works fine on a single object:
> O1 <-c(1:4)
> myname(O1)
[1] "O1"

However it does not work if you use lapply to pass it the same object from a
> O2 <-c(1:4)
> object.list <- list(O1,O2)
> lapply(object.list, myname)
[1] "X[[1L]]"

[1] "X[[2L]]"

Is there any way to write myname() so that it returns the same objects name
regardless of whether it is handed the name directly or by lapply as an
element of a list?

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Warmly, andrewH

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