There’s really no definitive answer to this one. But the next time someone challenges your pronunciation of ‘SQL’, you can at least back up your choice with some cold hard facts.
The SQL database standard was invented in the early 70s and was originally called ‘SEQUEL’ – an acronym for Structured English Query Language. As a result of an IP dispute with british Aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, the name was shortened to SQL – Structured Query Language. Despite the change, many people continued to use the old name ‘Sequel’, according to an e-mail from one of the two inventors of the standard obtained by this intrepid blogger. Still, the inventor suggests that the ‘official’ pronunciation is probably ‘S-Q-L’, as it is spelled in the ISO Standard.