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Don Burleson Blog 







Is Oracle masculine or feminine?

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonApril 30, 2015


Ever since the earliest days of IMS in the 1960, database system have been referred to as "he" or "him", a masculine reference within the database profession that continues with Oracle to this day.  It's not uncommon to hear Oracle phrases like:

  • "He" failed to allocate enough has area

  • There is a bug in "his" protocol adaptor

While it is tradition to refer to Oracle as masculine, we need to take a close look to funny understand whether this makes sense.  In Spanish, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine:

  • 'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la casa.'

  • 'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'

So what gender should Oracle be? In Spanish is it "El Oracle" or "La Oracle?  Let's look at two arguments:

Oracle is Feminine?

One school of thought ascribes Oracle as being with the feminine gender ('la Oracle), and a group of male Oracle DBA's explained that Oracle must be feminine because:

1. No one but their creator understands Oracle's internal logic;

2. The native language Oracle uses to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to Oracle, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

Oracle is Masculine?

A group of women Oracle professionals concluded that Oracle should be Masculine ('el Oracle'), because:

1. In order to do anything with Oracle, you have to turn it on;

2. Oracle has lots of data but it still can't think for itself;

3. Oracle is supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time Oracle is the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to Oracle, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.


If you like Oracle tuning, you might enjoy my book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.



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