I wasn't gonna do this, but

Subject: I wasn't gonna do this, but
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 1994 15:35:43 PDT

Really, I wasn't going to get involved in one of those nitpicky, endless
threads that can never be resolved. But here I am, feeling defensive because
Gary Mason said that it was "presumptuous" that Oracle "suggests the erroneous

In all fairness, Oracle introduced SQL to the world. We created the SQL
industry, and we are the largest database company in the known universe. Why
is it presumptuous for us to suggest how to pronounce it? Geez, even the
members of the ANSI Standards Board refer to it as the ANSI SQL (pronounced
sequel) Standard. (OK, that's unfair--we're on the board.)

I'm not trying to rah-rah my company, nor am I saying I'm right (well, I guess
I did try to imply it). Clearly, some folks prefer to say the letters. For
some, it's a matter of language pollution. For others, it's a matter of
generally accepted pronunciation. The bottom line is, do you buck the trend
or do you accept it? That's up to you--there are no absolutes here. So as
someone pointed out, just be consistent in your usage.

This is an issue I saw a lot of when I was on on the English department
faculty at Michigan. The creative writing folks seemed to favor the idea that
English is a living, changing language, and we should embrace the vagaries of
"generally accepted usage." The composition folks tended to favor more
absolute judgements. I guess I was one of the former.

By the way, I once read that the Apple folks lobbied hard to have "sexy" be
the accepted pronounciation of SCSI, but it just didn't go that way. Too bad.

I'm gonna try and stick to technical matters.
Rich Julius Oracle Corporation
Senior Technical Writer Box 659504
Decision Support Systems 500 Oracle Parkway
(415) 506-4971 Redwood Shores, CA 94065

President, Berkeley Chapter, Society for Technical Communication

"The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise
the wealth which it prevents you from achieving." --Russell Green

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