The VARCHAR controversy

Posted by Double Compile on Tuesday, September 1. 2009 in Databases

Today's exchange originated from a short-lived discussion on Twitter.  Everyone familiar with the acronym VARCHAR? It's short for variable character, which is a SQL data type.

Since it's short for variable character, one would think the correct pronunciation is /ˈvær.ˈkʰæɹ/.  (For those of you who don't read IPA, that's var—rhymes with bare—and char—also rhymes with bare).

It drives me up a wall when I hear someone pronounce it like it rhymes with "Far Car", or worse still, soften the "Ch" like in Charbroiled.

Anyway, these are my favorite tweets in regards to the matter:

  • @RealBigDannyT: VARCHAR STARE!!!
  • @rizza: I, too, char varry much about how people pronounce this.

Now, don't even get me started on how you should pronounce "SQL".

5 Comments for this entry

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  • Rob Speed
    *But var-car sounds better!
  • Rob Zienert
    *I like the proper pronunciation more because I get a mental image of Care Bears programming every time I say it.
  • icesurfer
    *1)just pronounce it the way it looks. var as in varsity, char as in charbroil. I'd never hire a deve;loper who did otherwise, unless they were from India or Liechtenstein. 2)a mental image of care bears? image this: me soaking your care bears in lighter fluid and using them to light my CHARcoal.
  • Scurvy
    *Solved: "var" in variable rhymes with "hair." "var" alone rhymes with "far." "char" is an actual word, pronounced just as it looks.
  • Anonymous Coward
    *Sorry, but... phuck you.

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