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the hot new database

Was telling this story on the phone earlier today and just had to repeat it here.

At work in recent weeks I'd been working on some forms everyone could use in Microsoft Access. When more people became interested in said database, I called the support line to ask what the proper procedure was for sharing an Access database.

The support person said I shouldn't be sharing it at all because Access sucks. Agreement. She was like, "You need to speak with the database group, they'll turn it over into a sequal database for you."

I was like, "Okay sure." But inside I'm thinking, "sequal?" I hadn't heard of it. Was it like Oracle? I didn't know much about that. dbm? I'd been databasing away like a madperson both at home and at work for the last month, and couldn't believe there was a format I hadn't heard of. But as I talked to others in the department they were like, "Sequal, yup, it's all we use here, it's great."


Got on the intranet and went to the database group's web page. Was looking for sequal database information for formatting my table, but I couldn't find anything. All the databases I'd heard of were there... when to use Oracle or Access or MySQL. But no sequal.

Then something happened in my brain. SQL. SeQuaL. ohmigod. And it was like a lightning storm in my head... all this time, they'd been talking about fucking ES-QU-EL, or what I thought was ES-QU-EL, I'd just never... talked to anyone about it before or said it out loud.

It was that feeling you get when that really cool guy you've been chatting with online drops a sentence about how he's a woman, and even though s/he never claimed to be of any gender before, you'd just assumed one or the other, and changing it in your head takes a system reboot. You know, that feeling?

Maybe no one can relate, but let me say it was REALLY weird for me, I had to get up and walk around and make a cup of tea just to deal with it all. Let this be a lesson to all of you. Some people say "sequal".


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2003 06:37 pm (UTC)
I always thought it was silly to say "Sequel". It's SQL. It stands for something (structured query language). And it's not like you say "HoTMetaL" for HTML (sorry for conjuring images of that horrible application). S Q L. Thanks.

Oh. And the PostgreSQL website has an audio clip on how to pronounce PostgreSQL. And it's definitely "post-gres-que-el", not "post-gre-sequel". :-)

The only time I'll accept a phoenetic pronounciation is when there actually is one there. Like NATO. You just can't add letters in to make it pronouncable. :)
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:10 pm (UTC)
I was about to comment here, "It was basically settled as sequel, then the stupid kids at PostgreSQL posted a damn audio file with an idiotic pronunciation of their name, with zero clue about the history of their own project and how they mangled it up." And post-gres-que-el is the stupidest thing ever, post-gre-sequel forever! If they don't agree, they can change the spelling in their name to PostgresQL or deal with it. :-P

The MySQL people say it MySequel. I think I've heard both from Oracle?

I cringe as much when people say Es-cue-el as when people pronounce GIF as JIF.

Oct. 19th, 2003 07:20 pm (UTC)
I disagree with you, and so does Jim Melton, the editor of the ISO SQL-92 standard who I'd assume knows a thing or two about it :P. In his book Understanding the New SQL, he says:

"1.2 What is SQL?
SQL (correctly pronounced "ess cue ell," instead of the somewhat common
"sequel"), is a data sublanguage ..."
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:29 pm (UTC)
Two of my friends just told me they call it squeel where they work, lol, fun. :-)
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:33 pm (UTC)
Ha! That's a new one :) Cute.
Oct. 19th, 2003 06:48 pm (UTC)
Eugh. "Sequal" is awful. Heh.

It always lowers the perceived IQ of a person by about 5 points if they call it Sequal. heh.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:11 pm (UTC)
Eugh. "Es-cue-el" is awful. Heh.

It always lowers the perceived IQ of a person by about 5 points if they call it es-cue-el. heh.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that utterly enlightening bit of imitation.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:29 pm (UTC)
Any time.
Oct. 19th, 2003 06:58 pm (UTC)
please join </a></b></a>kansas_is_dead
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:49 pm (UTC)
already got a kansas community, thx.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah I was so confused when my boyfriend started making a database for an emulator, and he'd always say he was working with Sequal... I was like what the hell is that? Looked at his screen and it said MySQL. :P My stupid little story.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:35 pm (UTC)
At work, we alternated between "es-cue-el" and "sequel" depending on how fast we wanted to say it.

Our general opinion was that it didn't matter, everyone pretty much knew what it was anyways.

But it was always "Pee Es Es Cue El".
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:41 pm (UTC)
SQL is Structural Query Language. (Ess-Que-Ell)

It used to be called Structural English QUEry Language. (Sequel)

A lot of people still throw around the old name when they talk about SQL. Most of them don't even know it's an old name they're throwing around. People should know what you're talking about if you say it either way, so I wouldn't really worry about what is the "right" way to say it.
Oct. 19th, 2003 07:50 pm (UTC)
the truth at last! makes sense. interesting.
Oct. 19th, 2003 08:26 pm (UTC)
I can SO relate to this. I can't count how many times this has happened in my life ...

Back in the day, I heard people talk about having "problems with their dose." Dose? Turns out they meant DOS. Omigod ...

And my favorite, which still gets me sometimes, is people referring to the "jiff" image format, when talking about GIFs.
Oct. 19th, 2003 09:33 pm (UTC)
There are people here who refer to Mac's new OS as "Oss ex."
Oct. 20th, 2003 05:02 am (UTC)
heard that before, too. find it very painful, along with "mac-ose" and "be-ose". *shudder*
Oct. 19th, 2003 08:37 pm (UTC)
SQL specifically aside, I love making those types of reboots. I think one of the first I remember was "wissy-wig" or "wizzy-wig" for WYSIWYG for "What You See Is What You Get," back when word processors were stepping out of the text based zone and looking on screen like they would when you printed. I never had a pronunciation of WYSIWYG in my head and always thought it as the expanded version (you can think a lot faster than talk). First time I heard the ...-wig version, I just lost it. :D
Oct. 19th, 2003 09:04 pm (UTC)
weird things happen when you don't talk to ppl
back in the BBS days (of middle school) my best friend at the time and I decided we wanted to be sysops. We called them sigh-sops. It was only a few years ago (when I was working as a system adminstrator) relaying the story to the other admins and getting very funny looks, that I actually looked at the word again and realized that it was sis-ops - for system operators.

So yeah, at least you didn't embarras yourself in front of your collueges and boss. :)
Oct. 19th, 2003 09:09 pm (UTC)
You could look it at one of two ways
1. It's a throw back to ancient writings where they omit the vowels because writing is readable without vowels and it's faster to write. It's a time honored tradition with it's roots in the most venerable annals of history that go back to the dawn of civiliztion.
2. It's just a stupid thing that caught on and now it's part of our culture.

Use whichever explanation suits you today ;)
Oct. 20th, 2003 12:21 am (UTC)
Wow... that's just insane. I really can't imagine someone calling it Sequel, rather than S-Q-L. Sort of like calling "ICQ" "ick".

Also, it's just stupid. Calling a database sequel? Unless the acronym itself was SEQUEL (as was mentioned) it's stupid and sounds stupider.

Oct. 20th, 2003 03:16 am (UTC)
Us old folk knew it as SEQueL first (see this for an explanation). Of course some of us managed to move with the times! :)
Oct. 20th, 2003 09:15 pm (UTC)
I know, I mentioned that I thought.
Oct. 20th, 2003 12:34 am (UTC)
All the geeks I know over here that I've heard talk about it call it by the letters and not by saying "Sequel" or "Squeal". I think really that nobody knows what it's supposed to be, and most people who learn it, learn it from books or the internet where you can't hear anybody say it...so when they get to work or a goth club and hear people talking about it, they just copy the pronounciation everyone else uses. So there might be little clusters of people who pronounce it a certain way...the only geographically local thing about the internet.
Oct. 20th, 2003 03:24 am (UTC)
I'm going to sound really dumn now but I had that same thing with ICQ, I must have been using it for about a year before I realised.
Oct. 20th, 2003 03:25 am (UTC)
You might be interested in the following article : explaining the differences between SQL and SEQueL

About half way down the page "Don't you mean SeQeuL??"

Shame the author can't spell SEQueL!
Oct. 20th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yup, that threw me for a loop the first time I heard it.
Dec. 14th, 2003 11:33 pm (UTC)
what's the difference between MySequel and MySQL?
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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