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Hands-On Microsoft Access: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Access Skills by Bob Schneider

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What Is Normalization?

Publisher William F. Buckley Jr. told a wonderful story about a waiter who had a complaint about Buckley's journal, National Review. “I love reading the articles,” said the waiter. “But why do you have to use so many big words?”

A year later, Buckley met the same waiter, who thanked Buckley for taking his advice and dumbing down the vocabulary. Of course, Buckley had done no such thing. The waiter had learned the “big words” that had given him such trouble, so they were longer “big.”

The database term normalization reminds me of that story. The word itself sounds peculiarly technical and opaque. The database theory that it defines is difficult and, for many, impenetrable. (This is by no means a put-down: Database theory ...

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