SQL, gif, e-mail... (was Re: [thechat] who thought *this* was a good idea?)

.jeff jeff at members.evolt.org
Thu Feb 21 13:38:00 CST 2002


> From: Erika Meyer
> SQL is pronounced "sequel"


wrong answer

just for a second, think about what you're pronouncing.  it's an acronym.
that usually (except only in *very* rare cases) means you pronounce each
letter individually, rather than the string as a word made up by the sounds
that combined letters might make.

in other words, it's "ess cue ell" and nothing else.

as rudy noted, the one exception to this is when talking about microsoft's
sql (sequel) server.  the only reason it's an exception is because it's the
most common usage when talking about this product.  pronouncing it
"microsoft's ess cue ell server" will likely get you some funny looks from
people who know about the product, but aren't tech savvy and therefore not
really understand what "ess cue ell" is (read: business types).

this brings me to another acronym that is unbelievably slaughtered by
some -- url.  it's an acronym.  therefore, it's "yew are ell".  it is *so
not* "earl".  earl is a dude's name and makes for an ultra-confusing
conversation when i hear a techie person pronounce url that way.

> I also say  pronounce "gif" like "jiff" (peanut butter),
> even though logically I think the "g" should be hard.
> But it's better to be right than logical, right?

i pronounce it "gif" (like gift, but without the "t") because that's how i
originally learned to pronounce it.  somehow, pronouncing it like "jiff"
just feels wrong to me, probably because the name sounds so similar to

> anyway... I *know* that I pronounce SQL and gif
> correctly...

gif maybe, but *definitely* not sql.

> It's hard to gloat when you have to constantly defend
> your correctness.

or accept your incorrectness humbly when you just don't know how wrong you
really are.  ;p


jeff at members.evolt.org

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