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How is it pronounced? Why? Let's discuss...

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Video transcript

At this point, you've probably heard me pronounce SQL two ways-- sequel or S-Q-L. Some of you might even be mad that I'm pronouncing it one way or the other, and you may have very good reason for believing that your favorite pronunciation is the correct one. So what's the deal? Well, SQL was originally invented at IBM in the early 1970s. And the first version was called SEQUEL, and it stood for Structured English QUEry Language. That acronym, SEQUEL, was later changed to SQL, because SEQUEL was already trademarked by an airplane company, and companies really don't like getting into trademark lawsuits. Nowadays, many of us still pronounce it sequel, because it's shorter to say, and we've got historical reasons to claim that it's the right way. However, when I surveyed developers across the world, I found that in non-English languages, many of them pronounce it S-Q-L, or, for example, ese cu ele in Spanish. Since our videos get translated here on Khan Academy, I figured I'd make it easier for translators to match the pace of our videos, by pronouncing SQL the long way. But in everyday life, I'm used to calling it sequel, so both of them come out of me. Now you know, it can be S-Q-L or sequel, and you'll probably hear both the rest of your life. The world is a messy place, but at least you now have a way of structuring your queries about it, right?