Structured Query Language: Skull

Congratulations to Gillian who got her Core MySQL certification documents yesterday!

By coincidence I happened to sit in on a 90 minutes session at work today about some of the special aspects of Oracle‘s approach to database management. That’s “special” as in “special olympics”). I got a concrete understanding of just why we make special requirements of sites who prefer to run our software against Oracle databases rather than MS SQL Server. There are so many more things that can go horribly badly wrong when you use Oracle! Even … no, strike that .. especially if you use the default settings from Oracle.

Like RSS, SQL is another tech abbreviation where few of the people who know the abbreviation know much about the standard and often even what the letters stand for. And with SQL there is even disagreement about how to pronounce “SQL”. So sayeth Wikipedia:

During the 1970s, a group at IBM’s San Jose research center developed a database system “System R” based upon Codd’s model. Structured English Query Language (“SEQUEL”) was designed to manipulate and retrieve data stored in System R. The acronym SEQUEL was later condensed to SQL due to a trademark dispute (the word ‘SEQUEL’ was held as a trademark by the Hawker-Siddeley aircraft company of the UK).

[…] ANSI has declared that the official pronunciation for SQL is /?s kju? ?l/, although many English-speaking database professionals still pronounce it as sequel.

[SQL in Wikipedia]

I propose a compromise: Wipe the cobwebs off this ancient (in techie terms) abbreviation and embrace a new and more cool pronounciation: Skull

It’s short and sweet, sounds way more cool and vaguely aggressive, and can easily be combined with other words to form product names: MS Skull Server, MySkull, SkullPlus, etc. It also sounds exactly like when Canadians try to say “skål”, the Danish word for “cheers”.

It seems that at least the guys behind MySQL are cool with the idea:

“MySQL” is officially pronounced as “My Ess Queue Ell” [ma? ?s kju? ?l], not “My sequel” [ma? si?kw?l]. However, the company doesn’t mind if others use either the “My sequel” form or other local variations if they are preferred by the speaker.

The “My” portion of the name comes from the name of Monty’s child, spelled “My” but pronounced in the local language as “Me”.

[MySQL in Wikipedia]

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