What Language Would You Recommend To a Beginner?

Someone asked me an interesting question earlier this week that got me thinking quite a bit.  Someone had a son that was interested in building web based applications and wanted to know what they should learn first.  The answer to this question could have many answers depending on who it was asked to.  Should they start with a scripting language (PHP, ColdFusion) or should they start with a more object oriented language (Java, .NET)?

I feel that one should start by learning the core basics of programming.  Get your mind thinking in a logical way that allows you to solve problems.  After all, that is essentially what programming is: You are solving a problem.  I am not sure that learning a script based language would fully accomplish this.  I ended up recommending .NET (C#) to start learning the fundamentals, then moving on from there. 

If someone asked you this question, what would your answer be?  I am very curious to hear the opinions of others on this topic, as I get asked this question more and more.


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