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Re: SQL to retrieve all distinct records

From: Mladen Gogala <>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 14:31:11 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 04/15/2004 12:48:13 PM, Michael Milligan wrote:
> Mladen,
> Do you get a kick out of being rude?

Yes, especially when the person who asks the question doesn't do her or his homework. Increased number of perfectly obvious questions decreases usefulness of this list.

> Let me break her question down for you.
> First, since you have problems with the English language, let me help you.
> The correct grammar usage is "I am a foreigner", not "me foreigner".

Thanks. Me grateful.

> As far
> as her question is concerned, it's obvious that she wants to retrieve the
> distinct values of columns a and b, and list the associated value of column
> c. What she wants is not possible.

It's not at all obvious. From the listing that she sent as an example, you can see that there are different values of "c" for the same pair of "a" and "b". I don't find badly formulated questions obvious as they're usually a sign of questionable logic. Experience tells me that if the question looks perfectly obvious, and it isn't, there is a reason. People tend to ask perfectly obvious questions in perfectly obvious ways, in order to get a perfectly obvious answer. The perfectly obvious question is why ask a perfectly obvious question, when the answer too, is perfectly obvious.

> She will have to use an aggregate of the
> values in column c based upon a GROUP BY of columns a and b.

That is true, provided your interpretation of her "perfectly obvious" question is correct. It is an extremely elementary question, which makes it even more annoying. I don't know about you, but I'm in a habit of reading the fine manual first and pestering people with questions later. That's just me, though. I'm no longer in my "mother Theresa" phase, my current role model is ...never mind, you wouldn't understand anyway.

> But there is a
> way to say it without being offensive, and clearly, you haven't found it. If
> you have, you haven't chosen it.
> You would do well to keep your
> "smart-based" remarks to yourself.

Duly noted. Do I have to salute and say "yessir" or the 1st amendment still applies?

Mladen Gogala
Oracle DBA
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Received on Thu Apr 15 2004 - 15:17:15 CDT

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