Ok my answer needs to be in two parts.
Firstly, in accordance with the currently defined given set of symbol definitions, db_select is an aXML tag, whilst query is just meta that db_select requires to function but is not defined as an active tag by itself. (it has no code associated with it)
Secondly, if you don't like the given tag definitions you can change them to suit your requirements since they are simply perl subs contained in a hash table. Thus if your application requires that you work with an xml file containing tags which correspond to existing definitions, and you don't want those tags to trigger code functionality in the subs, you can just rename those definitions to something else (or delete them from the table, or overload them with a plugin localised to the given action). It's completely soft-coded and your in complete control of your abstractions.