On Nov 13, 2010, at 2:35 PM, Phillip Gawlowski wrote:

> SQL's syntax is unlike any programming language I
> know.

Broaden your horizon! :)

> Pure SQL contains no looping constructs, for example.

Indeed, it's declarative and set based.

> It can only retrieve and store data.

"What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?"?
-- Monty Python, Life of Brian
http://www.epicure.demon.co.uk/whattheromans.html

At the risk of repeating oneself:

"Double-thinking in SQL"
http://explainextended.com/2009/07/12/double-thinking-in-sql/