SUMMARY: a or an (SQL)

Subject: SUMMARY: a or an (SQL)
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- GJCTECH -dot- FORCE9 -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:09:10 -0000

Hi Gang,

Last Friday, I asked for list members' opinion on whether "SQL" took "a" or
"an" as the indefinite article. My thanks to all who responded.

The general consensus is to pronounce "SQL" 'ess-kew-ell' (an SQL) if you're
writing about the data definition and manipulation language. However, it is
pronounced 'see-kwell' (a SQL) if you're writing about a software product
such as Microsoft SQL Server.

20 responded. Of these:

Glen Whitt and Diane Brennan quoted the Microsoft Manual of Style:
'When referring to the product or the server running the product, SQL is
pronounced "sequel" and takes the article "a" when not preceded by
Microsoft -- for example, "a SQL Server." When referring to the language SQL
(SQL stands for Structured Query Language), SQL is pronounced "es-cue-el"
and takes the article "an" -- for example, "an SQL database."'

John Bell wrote:
"Although most people pronounce it at 'Sequel' or even 'Squirrel', the
correct term, according to its creator, is S Q L (ess que ell). SQL was
created by C.J. Date. Evidently he gets annoyed when people say 'Sequel'
instead of S Q L."

Giving the usage at their workplace, eleven voted for "an SQL" and two voted
for "a SQL".

Thanks again,

Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
geoff -at- gjctech -dot- force9 -dot- net

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