Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Dealing with Error 1064 in MySQL queries

27th April 2023

Recently, I was querying a MySQL database table and got a response like the following:

ERROR 1064 (42000): You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use

The cause was that one of the data column columns was named using the MySQL reserved word key. While best practice is not to use reserved words like this at all, this was not something that I could alter. Therefore, I enclosed the offending keyword in backticks (`) to make the query work.

There is more information in the MySQL documentation on Schema Object Names and on Keywords and Reserved Words for dealing with or avoiding this kind of situation. While I realise that things change over time and that every implementation of SQL is a little different, it does look as if not using established keywords should be a minimum expectation when any database tables get created.

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