The dot intermediate convention is very succinct, and we can use it with base
Rtransforms to get a correct (and performant) result. Like all conventions: it is just a matter of teaching, learning, and repetition to make this seem natural, familiar and legible.
My preference is to use dplyr + magrittr because I really do like that pipe operator. John’s point is well-taken, however: you don’t need to use the tidyverse to write clean R code, and there can be value in using the base functionality.