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Is it The SQL Server?

In writing for a tech book one of the things that happens is a copy editor looks over your work and comments on the spelling mistakes, miswordings, grammatical errors and all the other "English" stuff you hated in high school. But it's good because many of us write more casually than is appropriate is some places, so it helps to have a second set of eyes. The problem comes in, however, when we're talking about technical terms, which the editor may not be aware of since they are usually non-technical people.

So one of the comments I got back from my first chapter was that I used "SQL Servers" to refer to the installed product in some places and "the SQL Server" in others. This was intentional, such as "The CPU performance of the SQL Server can be measured..." However the editor didn't like that. Her argument was that would I say "I used the Microsoft Word?"

I wouldn't, and then I got to spend 20 minutes writing a long email to explain how they are different and "SQL Server machines" isn't appropriate because of instances and "the SQL Server" refers to the specific instance and sometimes the specific database. It's a term that's colloquial and easy for me to drop into when I should be more specific. Granted, I expect that most readers of the book will know what I mean, but I guess I've got some rewriting to do.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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