"From within the limited environment of an IDE like Microsoft's Visual C++, C code is actually sort of a "scripting" language,"
I really like this point you made. Once you pointed it out, it makes great sense to me.
In this sense, pre-c is also kind of mixture of real c code and mini-scripting language. In pre-c source code, you can directly embed SQL statement, but before it goes through the c compiler, it will first go through a pre-c "compiler", which will convert SQL statements to c code.
By the way, I like what pre-c allows me to do, as I don't need to concate a series of ugly string into a SQL statement, which is not visually clear and pleasant to me.