SQL (was RE: FAQ (was Re: TIPS))

Seán Fitzpatrick grendel.jjf at VERIZON.NET
Sat Jul 8 12:06:14 UTC 2006

Pronouncing "SQL" as <see-kwel> is one of the better grounded bits of tech
mumbo-jargon.  Both pronunciations of "SQL" are universal among programmers.
IBM's predecessor (not ancestor) language was called SEQUEL (structured
English query language).  When Oracle commercialized SQL in 1979, it
specified <see-kwel>, and Microsoft uses the <see-kwel> pronunciation for
its SQL Server product.  The pronunciation is a matter of contention among
English-speaking database types, driven at least in part by anti-Microsoft
feelings.  Foreigners (and the international ANSI standard) use
<ess-kew-ell> or a near-equivalent in their native language.

Alternate pronunciations include "SQueaL", and there is a data base query
tool called SQuirreL.

The above was gleaned from Google.  Personal experience:  when I learned SQL
the first time (1984), the professor said <ess-kew-ell>.  When I learned it
the second time (2004) using SQuirreL, the programmers around me used both
pronunciations, and the Asians tended toward  <ess-kew-ell>.

Seán Fitzpatrick
Techie-mumbo jargon:  shoot first . . . don't ask questions.
Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>:
> On Fri, Jul 07, 2006 at 06:34:38PM +0100, Chris Waigl wrote:
>> whose boss says "sequel" for SQL
> Hate. That.
> What makes it worse is that several people I know who are really
> great programmers say it this way. Drives me crazy.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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