Inserting random letters into acronyms to make pronounceable words

Posted in Pet Hates at 4:23 pm by blog

Have you ever heard someone refer to SQL (a language commonly used for databases) as “Sequel”?
This really annoys me, they are trying to pronounce an unpronounceable acronym (SQL) by inserting arbitrary vowells into it until it becomes a pronounceable word (SeQueL). Not only does it become a pronounceable word, but it becomes a pronounceable word that has existing meaning!
It’s SQL, pronounced Ess Queue Ell, it’s an acronym! If you dont want to use the acronym, call it “Structured Query Language”, don’t just add additional letters until you get something pronounceable.
I don’t have an issue where an acronym already spells a pronounceable word, like “VOIP”, or “SOAP”, although it can be confusing in cases like SOAP where there is already a word.
But as for adding arbitrary characters until an acronym becomes pronounceable, i submit the following atrocities:

TCP – ToeCaP

1 Comment »

  1. Jeremy Eble said,

    March 3, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Actually, acronyms are typically defined as being pronounceable initialisms, so SQL is only an acronym if you pronounce it like “sequel”. You’re also wrong in saying that those of us who do pronounce it as a word are adding letters to it. I write it “SQL”, and I pronounce it “sequel”, I’m not adding letters to it, I’m interpreting the letters given in the initialism. Which brings me to my last point: has there ever, in the history of ever, been a case where someone pronounced SQL instead of saying the letters that someone else misinterpreted them? No. That would be, to use one of your categories, idiotic.

    And what really gripes me is people complaining about phantom letter sounds being added to speech when they add actual letters to their writing. “Vowel” has one l.

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