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Adenine. A purine base for DNA and RNA that pairs with the pyrimidine base thymine (T) in DNA and Uracil (U) in RNA. GMW of the isolated base is 135.1 grams per mole.

A designation of the standard time one hour ahead of universal time (UT), and of the zone for which it is the local time. Thank God for adenine; this one would be a hell of a discouraging entry to start off a glossary.

This is called a ``standard time zone,'' so naturally there must be multiple standards... Simplest is the ideal standard time zone: ideal standard time zone A is centered on the meridian 15° east of the prime meridian; specifically, it is the lune between 7.5° E and 22.5° E. Nautical time, used in radio communication by ships when they are outside territorial waters, is based on nautical standard time zones that coincide with the ideal time zones away from land (and apparently are not specifically defined within territorial waters). On land, standard time zone A is the union of those regions by or for which it is adopted. Time zone A includes most of western continental Europe and a continuous swath of countries in Africa.

In continental Europe the zone ranges from Spain to Albania to Norway. Standard time for this part of Europe is more frequently called by descriptive names like `Central European Time' (CET) or the equivalent (e.g., MEZ). The time-zone boundaries within Europe all coincide with international borders. In continental Europe, only Portugal is in time zone Z -- standard time the same as universal time. (The UK and the Irish Republic are also in the Z time zone.) In the northeast, the time-zone boundary runs along the borders of Norway and Sweden (A) with Finland (B). Finland is the northernmost land in time zone B; islands to the north are Norwegian or Russian, and keep the corresponding times. The line where Norway and Russia abut north of Finland is the border between time zone A and time zone C.

From the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the time-zone boundary line runs for a ways along the border of Poland with the former Soviet Union. It starts generally eastward along the border of Poland with Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to the north. (That bit of Russia is most of the northern part of old East Prussia, which included Prussia's historic capital Königsberg. The region was assigned to Russia at the Yalta conference. The capital city, and hence the region, was renamed for Kalinin, an old Bolshevik who finally kicked the bucket shortly after the end of the Great Patriotic War. The surviving German population of the region was deported, or allowed to flee. Hey, it just occurred to me: expelling people from their homeland is against international law!) Kaliningrad Oblast is the only part of Russia that keeps standard time A.

It's big world, so it's possible someone besides the author may read this entry.

The time-zone boundary continues east along the border between Poland and Lithuania (you know, those were a single kingdom not so many centuries ago), then south along the western borders of Belarus and Ukraine (time zone B) with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary (A). So far, it looks pretty systematic: former bits of the USSR, including the Slavic-language countries that use a Cyrillic alphabet, are all on the B side of the line between zones A and B, while former Warsaw-Pact members other than the USSR, including Slavic-language countries that use a Roman alphabet, lie in time zone A.

Further south, however, this convenient and mnemonic system begins to break down. It seems that some extraneous matter, such as longitude, was allowed into consideration. (That wasn't allowed to interfere on the west: Spain and France are almost entirely within 7.5 degrees of the prime meridian; most of the Portuguese-Spanish border runs just east of the 7.5° W meridian, so Portugal would be mostly in the N time zone, if astronomy mattered very much.) At all events, Romania (with Moldova) is the northernmost former Warsaw-Pact country (aside from the USSR) to be in time zone B. The time-zone boundary continues south along Romania's western border with Hungary and then with Serbia, making the latter southerly country (jugo- means `south-') the northernmost Cyrillic-using country in time zone A.

[This is by a little bit only. Bosnia, which extends almost as far north, uses both Cyrillic and Roman alphabets. A Bosnian immigrant who manages at a local Walgreen's told me that before the war (when she fled to Germany), television news in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina would alternate alphabets, using Roman characters for captions one day, then Cyrillic captions the next day. (As far as she knows, the practice continues.) She found the Cyrillic inconvenient: although she studied and used both alphabets in school, she was always more comfortable with the Roman characters. Her husband professes surprise that she could find the Cyrillic difficult. Her grandparents used a version of Arabic script adapted to the same language (Serbo-Croatian, called ``Bosnian'' in this context). But Arabic script is a challenge even for Arabic. Even though the whole family speaks the same language, the Arabic script was practically a secret code; grandma would leave a note for grandpa, and he was the only one who could decipher it. Nowadays I'm told that in the US, cursive is similarly impenetrable to schoolchildren.

The spelling of German by Yiddish-speakers may be regarded as a similar situation. My mother studies Yiddish every so often, despite her vow to stop learning new languages. I suppose Yiddish is a fair exception, since German is her native language and Hebrew is one of those languages she studied and half forgot.

Yiddish is mostly German, with quite a bit of Hebrew and some influence from Slavic languages, written in Hebrew characters. Of course, Germanic phonology, no less in the Yiddish language than in the standard German, was not a very good fit to the Hebrew script, originally. Heck, just think what the Greeks had to do with a related north Semitic script to write their own Indo-European language. The way the problem was solved in Yiddish was to give up a single set of pronunciation rules: Hebrew words in Yiddish retain their Hebrew spellings, and non-Hebrew words are written using a completely different set of rules and a somewhat different set of sound correspondences.

Something similar happens in many languages. Coming up with rules for the pronunciation of words spelled in English works better if one distinguishes Latinate and non-Latinate classes of words. (It was not always so. Latin words absorbed into Old English were pronounced according to their Latin spellings and common English pronunciation rules for Latin characters. Then again, since the pronunciations of the Latin characters were based on their pronunciation in Latin, the situation wasn't so bad.) Of course, Yiddish spelling is rather more phonetic than English, although you have to reason out the vowels in the the Hebrew vocabulary. A similar effect, but on a smaller scale, is the fact that patterns of vowel devoicing in Japanese are different for gairaigo than for Yamato and Sino-Japanese words.

Yiddish-speakers normally use the Ashkenazi (northern and eastern European) pronunciation of Hebrew. The main traditional alternative, the Sephardi pronunciation (originally Spanish, common around the Mediterranean in the modern era), was taken as the basis for modern Hebrew. When my mom was in school (in Nazi Germany), she learned the two pronunciations as liturgical and modern pronunciations. One indication that Sephardi pronunciation is not true to Biblical Hebrew is the fact that it uses the same sound for various alphabetic characters marked for different pronunciation.

Getting back to the writing-German-words-in-Yiddish thing... A big part of the problem is vowels. When you count long and short separately, standard German has 14 to (including diphthongs) 19 vowels, and Yiddish (``Yiddish'' is an English transliteration of the German and Yiddish word spelled jüdisch in German, meaning `Jewish') has not much less. In standard German this profusion is handled partly by digraphs and Umlauts, partly by using doubled consonants to indicate that a preceding vowel is short, by other onsonant-based clues, and occasionally by memorization. By contrast, Hebrew script represents vowels mostly by indirection. (Okay, and also by matres lectionis.]

The time-zone boundary continues along the western border of Bulgaria with Serbia and Macedonia (or FYROM or whatever), then west along the northern border of Greece with FYROM (don't even think of calling it Macedonia; Masodonia, perhaps) and Albania, on out to the Adriatic.

Gee, time zones are interesting. Time zone A in Africa (where it is typically called the ``West Africa Time'' zone, WAT) includes about 15 countries I know little about, from Tunisia and Algeria in the north to Namibia (a German colony before WWI) in the south. Among these only the Democratic Republic of the Congo (old Zaïre) is in two time zones. That is quite appropriate, as it's about the least unified country. Only Tunisia and Namibia observe Daylight Saving Time (DST) -- Tunisia in the Summer and Namibia in the Winter. Man, those guys are crazy. Please don't ask me about Antarctica.

Adjective. One of the ``parts of speech.'' Further discussion, possibly surprising, at the noun entry.

Advanced. A prefix that is productive in the grammatical sense. A temporary attribute. A retarded name, as we would have said (and known) in elementary school). SBF offers an initiation into Advanced Smileys.


Aeschylus. This is the established conventional abbreviation used by classicists (writing in English) in citations. It doesn't stand for Aristophanes (Ar.), Aristotle (Arist.), or Athenaeus (Ath.). Aeschylus is reckoned ``the father of tragedy.'' Mnemonic for the abbreviation: ``A tragedy should be brief.''

Alpha. Not the expansion here, just the FCC-recommended ``phonetic alphabet.'' I.e., a set of words chosen to represent alphabetic characters by their initials. You know, ``Alpha Bravo Charlie ... .'' The idea behind the choice is to have words that the listener will be able to guess at or reconstruct accurately even through noise (or narrow bandwidth, like a telephone). Hence, ``Artisan'' would be no good because it might be heard as ``Partisan.''

Personally, I prefer ``Aorta.'' If they ask you to repeat you can say ``Aneurysm.''

A Greek friend of mine has the surname Petr... He made a phone reservation at a restaurant (in the US), and when he arrived they couldn't find him listed: Because the ``p'' is unaspirated (in contrast with initial plosive consonants /p/ and /t/ in English) they had heard ``Etr...'' For a similar but more widely experienced misunderstanding, see the enema entry.

Symbol for a metric unit named after Anders Jonas Ångström. Å is also a character used in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. For some information about that, see this Aa entry.

In a 1913 article in Annalen der Physik (Leipzig), I noticed the use of Å.-E., evidently for Ångström-Einheit, `Ångström unit.' The article was by Peter Paul Koch (fourth series, vol. 42, no. 11: ``Über die Messung der Intensitätsverteilung in Spektrallinien. II''). Other articles just used Å. Perhaps this was an earlier usage that was trailing off.

Late in the nineteenth century there was an equivalent expression that is now not only obsolete but unlikely to be understood by most scientists: ``tenth-meter.'' (Actually, I've only ever seen it as ``tenth-metre.'' I don't find much occasion to read 19th c. scientific journals from the US.) Tenth-meter meant 10-10 meter, and was part of a fairly systematic terminology pattern. It was particularly common in electricity and magnetism.

Amp, Ampere. Abbreviation and symbol for the ampere (also amp), the SI base unit for electric current, named after André Marie Ampère (1775-1836). The electric charge unit is the coulomb, a derived unit defined as one ampere-second (C = A s).


Annus. Latin, `year.'

A+, A+
A-plus is A programming language. It has a strong APL flavor to it. Well duh. A+ is an extension of the A language, the latter created with the intention of replacing APL in 1988. Both A and A+ were created at Morgan Stanley, which gives a hint of the intended applications. A itself was created by Arthur Whitney, who went on to create the K language (1993), a proprietary array language. The worst feature of the A language is its name, which makes it hard to google for help. It is hard even to confirm my conjecture that A was never released as such (rather than wrapped in A+). For help with A+, start at <aplusdev.org>. K, unlike A+, got rid of the extra special characters used by APL, but replaced them by sequences of ordinary punctuation marks.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft. See AG.

Until 1957, the chemical symbol for argon (Ar since then).

Arts & Sciences. (Shhh!) For an even more extreme abbreviation of A&S, see NATAS.

Assist. Scorecard abbreviation.

Atlantic Reporter. Legal publication.

Atomic mass number. Also mass number for short, but don't call it atomic mass: the mass number is an integer (the number of nucleons in the nucleus) that is numerically close to the atomic mass -- the mass of the atom in atomic mass units (amu) -- because both kinds of nucleon have a mass close to 1 amu.

Don't you just hate it when writers do that (define important stuff [like a head term in its glossary entry, say] parenthetically)? Me too.

Another thing not to confuse A with is atomic number -- the number of protons in a nucleus. Don't be too embarrassed; I've been guilty of this myself, recently. At some point, I had stopped using the term (atomic number) altogether and started thinking of it as a quantity called ``zee'' (or maybe ``zed,'' by those folks from whom we are separated by a common language) and represented by the variable Z.

Maybe chemists prefer the long name (viz. atomic number). In chemistry and atomic physics, Z is vastly more important because chemical properties and atomic spectra depend primarily on Z, and much less on A. [The quantitative differences are typically on the order of the ratio of the electron mass to the nuclear mass, and so a fraction of a percent even in the extreme case of hydrogen.] In nuclear physics, A and Z are of comparable importance. (To take a well-knwn example, the liquid-drop model gives a nuclear binding energy whose dominant terms are powers of A, and Z only comes in as a smaller but important Z2/A1/3 correction.)

A very visible asymmetry between A and Z is that each Z has its own associated name (``hydrogen'' for Z=1, etc.), so the Z=3 nuclei, for example, can be referred to collectively as ``lithium isotopes.'' By contrast, since there is no specific name corresponding to an A value (other than ``nucleon'' for A=1). The composition of a nucleus is thus specified by the combination of a number for A and a chemical symbol for Z (e.g., 6Li and 7Li for the stable isotopes of lithium). I know of no elegant way of naming an isobar (the family of nuclei with a common value of A). At least, you typically have to specify a number. There are special cases, of course. You could refer to the A=3 nuclei as the ``tritium isobar.'' People would probably look at you funny for not just saying ``tritium and helium-three.''

Attendance. Scorekeeping abbreviation, if you're keeping score on what's happening in the stands.


Latin, Aulus. A praenomen, typically abbreviated when writing the full tria nomina.

There are rather many other words which A abbreviates in Latin inscriptions.

Diode imperfection factor. Alternate symbol and name for nonideality factor n. I've only ever seen this symbol used in solar-cell work (the conventional solar cell is a diode). See also A0.

Time Zone A. UTC+1. Also called CET and MEZ.

AbAmpere. An old abbreviation for an old unit. An abampere was the base unit of current in the cgs electromagnetic units. The same current was expressed in cgs electrostatic units as ``c statamperes.'' That is, using an approximate value for c of 3×1010 cm/sec, an electric current of 1 abampere was equal to an electric current of 3×1010 statamperes (and 10 amperes, in the MKSA system). Cf. this spiffy new electromagnetic unit aA.

Aa, aa
Aa is the two-letter symbol for Å. (Naturally, aa is used for the lower-case form å.) Å is a special (i.e., non-English) vowel symbol used in all the major Scandinavian languages. It's also used by scientists to abbreviate a metric unit that when not abbreviated is typically written Angstrom. It also seems to occur in some English-speakers' pendants (twice for ANNA). (Follow this link for HTML-related information on the ISO-Latin-1 issues.)

Because of some fussy alphabetical-order issues with å, this entry is probably as good a place as any to discuss the alphabets used in Swedish, Icelandic, Danish, and the Norwegian languages, with particular attention to the special vowel symbols.

We start with Swedish, either because the eponymous Ångström was a Swede, or because Swedish is the language for which I am aware of the fewest confusing details. In Swedish, the alphabet starts with the same 26 letters as the English alphabet, followed by å, ä, and ö in that order. I.e.,

a, b, c, ... v, w, x, y, z, å, ä, ö.

The letters c, q, w, and z occur only in a few names. The letter w used to be treated as a variant of v, and alphabetization usually ignored the difference. (Words beginning in v and w could be mixed up in a dictionary the same way words beginning in v and V can be mixed up in an English dictionary.) Thus, while the Swedish alphabet was (sometimes) read off with v and w separately named, from the perspective of alphabetization, the alphabet was best regarded as just 28 letters:

a, b, c, ... v, x, y, z, å, ä, ö.

In 2005, the Swedish Academy decreed or suggested or whatever that the v and w be thenceforth treated more distinctly for alphabetization purposes, so the w has its place as further above.

In Danish, æ is used where Swedish uses ä, and ø is usually used in place of Swedish ö. The symbol corresponding to Swedish å, and its place in the alphabet, have changed once or twice in the last couple of centuries. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the double-a was often treated as a distinct symbol on a par with single letters like a or b, the same way ch, ll, and rr were traditionally treated in Spanish. In some cases but not all, the double-a assumed the same position in the alphabet as å did in Swedish. Hence, the alphabet was either

a, b, c, ... v, w, x, y, z, aa, æ, ø,

or it was

a, b, c, ... v, w, x, y, z, æ, ø.

and aa was alphabetized like a pair of letters a. By the 1940's the latter pattern had become common. In 1948, however, there was a spelling reform that replaced aa with å. The question of order was not immediately settled, but in 1955 it was decided to place that symbol at the end of the alphabet, yielding

a, b, c, ... v, w, x, y, z, æ, ø, å.

This means that the word for river (aa) was once usually near the end of the dictionary (ordbog), then sort of drifted up to nearly the front, and then in 1955 got kicked even further back than where it began (as å). It must be discouraging to be an aa. (Cf. aa.) Just as in Swedish, w was once treated as a variant, and not distinguished for purposes of alphabetization. [Another item that is (or was) read off as part of the alphabet (in English) but which doesn't (and didn't) count equally in alphabetization: ampersand.] Danish practice was officially conformed to the international pattern (w distinct from v) in 1980.

Again as in Swedish, the letters c, q, w, and z are in fact rare. In addition, the x is also rare in Danish.

Norway had a distinct national language at one point, but over the course of four centuries of Danish rule, Danish became the national language -- both officially and for the creation of literature. After Norway finally became independent of Denmark in 1814, there was a broad desire to distinguish Norwegian from Danish, and to recover a distinct national language. It's a long and lugubrious story, but happily for this entry the Norwegians didn't tamper too much with the alphabet. It is the same now as the Danish alphabet, though they may have been quicker to adopt (and place at the end of the alphabet) the letter å. Hence, the order for Norwegian is again

a, b, c, ... v, w, x, y, z, æ, ø, å.

Norwegian replaced aa with å in 1917. Presumably, commingled feelings of pride and resentment must have accompanied Denmark's conformation to å in 1948.

Icelandic has enough letters. Here is their order for the purposes of alphabetization:

a, á, b, c, d, ð, e, é, f, g, h, i, í, j, k, l, m, n, o, ó, p, q, r, s, t, u, ú, v, w, x, y, ý, z, þ æ, ö

I'm serious about the acute-accented characters: floti (`fleet') precedes fló (`flea'). The letter á corresponds to the å in Danish (so á means `river'). The é was only introduced in the twentieth century, to represent a palatalized version of e that was previously very reasonably written je. One is inclined to suspect that they did it just to have a complete set of acute-accented vowels. The acute marks were originally intended to indicate vowel quantity (i.e., accented vowels were of longer duration), but like the long-short vowel distinction in English, that's gone rather by the boards.

This list is a few too many letters long for schoolchildren to sing. The sung alphabet consists only of

a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u (or v), x, y, þ æ, ö.

(Although ð is the voiced version of þ, it is considered ``subordinate'' to d.) The letter z was abolished in 1974, but I left it in the alphabetization alphabet because abolished or no, it is part of names, and some people and institutions continue to insist on using it.

Academy of Aphasia. I had the impression that this organization became moribund along with the late chair of its Board of Governors, linguist Victoria A. Fromkin. What was the matter with my head!? Here's the website.

Try also Alicia Courville's Speech Disorders page or the National Aphasia Association (NAA).

Acceso Abierto. A loan translation to Spanish from and for the English `Open Access.'

Acronyms Anonymous. See AAAAAA.

Administrative Assistant. Someone not a secretary who handles a share (tending toward the more bureaucratic component) of an administrator's workload. Cf. PA.

Administrative Authority. (ISO term, at least.)

Advertising Association. A UK federation of about 30 ``trade bodies representing the advertising and promotional marketing industries including advertisers, agencies, media and support services.'' They have a logo that consists of two lower-case alphas vertically aligned.

Advising Associate.

Aerolineas Argentinas.


A. A.
Aeschylus, Agamemnon. Standard abbreviation for classicists (writing in English) in the citations of scholarly papers. Yes, it's meant to be obscure. Hadn't you figured that out yet?

Affirmative Action. As in the EE/AA or EO/AA.

The current use of the term affirmative action goes back to a 1965 executive order (EO) issued by US President Lyndon Johnson. The order required federal contractors to ``take affirmative action'' to see that ``employees are treated fairly during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color or national origin.''

As initially understood, if it was initially understood, the term referred to positive efforts by employers (or educational institutions) to seek out and hire qualified applicants from under-represented groups and to be proactive in eliminating illegitimate causes of that under-representation. It was initially supposed that mere outreach efforts would suffice to right the historical imbalance.

The landmark Civil Rights legislation of 1964 (which does not use the term affirmative action) was intended to illegalize discrimination based on race alone (rather than any possible statistical correlates of race) and to encourage recruitment of minorities. When the crucial bills were being debated in the Senate, Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), later to be vice-president in the second, full LBJ administration, famously offered to eat the bill page by page if it led to preferential treatment for blacks. (At the time, blacks were the only group recognized as under-represented; afterwards, other groups were given official recognition as under-represented. This official recognition is not affected by the fact that the recognized group is -- as a mathematical necessity -- over-represented in some other field. It is virtually assured as a matter of probability that all groups are under-represented in some field, so we can look forward to a day when all groups enjoy the protection of equal-opportunity laws.)

Black representation in professional, managerial, and other kinds of employment deemed desirable or high-status had been increasing steadily for a number of years before the passage of equal employment opportunity legislation, so it was reasonable to suppose that aggressive recruiting and the elimination of artificial barriers to employment might substantially solve the perceived imbalance problem. In the event, progress was not deemed satisfactory, and during the Nixon administrations affirmative action took on a new meaning. A series of executive orders, administrative-law rules and landmark court cases led to a system of set-asides and quotas, and a supporting system of official lies and evasions. Concomitantly, the meaning of ``qualified'' was adjusted to meet the psychological and ideological needs of the political moment. People who think of themselves as liberal today, and who curse the memory of Richard Nixon, generally subscribe to the cynical vision of civil rights progress put in place by him.

The contradiction in meaning and in underlying assumptions, between AA as initially understood and as eventually implemented, offers the creative pollster the opportunity to prove any desired thesis. If you want to show that people favor affirmative action, you ask people whether they support the principles of the early, minimalist definition of affirmative action. If you want to demonstrate widespread opposition to affirmative action, you describe the most egregious examples of its implementation and ask whether the respondent approves.

Agricultural Area. Abbreviation that occurs in EU statistical literature.

A. A.
Alan Alexander Milne. His series of Winnie-the-Pooh books began in 1924, with Christopher Robin, the young friend of Winnie the Pooh, modeled on his own four-year-old son, Christopher Robin, friend-at-a-distance of a bear named Winnie at the London zoo. The nonfictional Christopher Robin went on to become a bookseller (cf. Zola, discussed at Aix entry).

Christopher Robin Milne was always uncomfortable with his fame.

The rights to the use of the Pooh characters and images are nowadays held by Walt Disney.

A. A. also got his son a teddy bear. That bear currently resides in New York City.

I wonder if these Milnes are any relation to E. A. Milne, the mathematical physicist and Bruce Medalist?

Alcoholics Anonymous. (Also this URL.)

The same abbreviation is used in French (for Alcooliques Anonymes -- sounds kinda cool), German (Anonyme Alkoholiker or Gemeinschaft der Anonymen Alkoholiker) and Spanish (Alcohólicos Anónimos). The Spanish adjective alcohólico is slightly unusual: since the aitch is silent, the word has an o-o diphthong, the two component vowels clearly distinguished (in careful speech) by the stress on the second. FWIW, when the word alcohol was borrowed into Japanese, the -oho- was collaped into a long o: arukôru.

Alzheimer's Association.

We have an Alzheimer's disease (AD) entry.

American Airlines.

American Association. A late-nineteenth-century baseball league.

Amniocentesis and Abortion. This is really a pro-life shibboleth for amniocentesis. Anti-abortion groups tend to take a dim view of amnio. They figure, if you're not considering abortion, there's nothing you need to know in advance. (Not exactly true, particularly nowadays with in utero medical interventions.)

A.A., AA
Anadolu Ajansi. Normally translated `Anadolu Agency,' which isn't very informative to me. Anadolu looks like it could be Turkish for `Anatolia.' In any case, AA is the Turkish national news agency. It was founded on the evening of April 6, 1920, as you will learn on this page, where the word great occurs five times. ``We are proud to do our share towards globalization with perfectionism, accuracy and speed. ANADOLU is a front-runner in the use of communication technologies for the high-end. WE ARE THE LEADING AGENCY'' and an EANA member.

In one of his books, Bernard Lewis describes, inter alia, the history of newspaper publishing in the Muslim world. I think the book's title is What Went Wrong.

An[a]esthesiologist's Assistant. See AAAA.

Anesthesia & Analgesia. A technical journal.

AntiAircraft (gun[s] or fire). Or Antiaircraft Arms. Slang equivalent ``ack-ack.''


Antike und Abendland. Beiträge zum Verständnis der Griechen und Römer und ihres Nachlebens, Berlin.

Application Association.


Archäologischer Anzeiger. A German archaeology journal catalogued in TOCS-IN.

Arithmetic Average. The thing usually meant by average or mean, when not otherwise qualified. Dictionaries seem overwhelmingly to prefer the term ``arithmetic mean'' to ``arithmetic average'' as a more specific term, but in ordinary usage ``arithmetic mean'' seems to be not even twice as common as ``arithmetic average.'' Frankly, neither the editor nor I can recall encountering the term ``arithmetic average'' before. The term doesn't seem to be limited in distribution to the RotW (outside North America, in this instance). What probably happened is that google invented 800,000 bogus web pages to fake us out. Either that, or it's a dumbed-down term invented and used by people who didn't absorb (very deeply) mathematics and its conventional terminology in school.

The words average and mean, if not explicitly qualified, both mean a sum divided by the number of its addends. This is, in general terms, a ``measure of central tendency.'' Two other measures of central tendency are the median and mode. One might call these discontinuous measures, since their values are discontinuous functions of the numbers whose distribution they describe the central tendency of. Other continuous measures of central tendency are usually named with the word mean. The most common such alternatives that I can think of are ``geometric mean,'' ``harmonic mean,'' and ``logarithmic mean.''

In Hong Kong, the phrase ``AA <system>'' (with AA pronounced as an English initialism and <system> representing a Chinese or Cantonese translation of the English word system) is the practice of splitting a restaurant or entertainment bill. Presumably this arose specifically from the practice of dividing the bill equally, so each person paid the AA cost. I'm not sure whether the term is still used strictly in this sense or may also now refer to an arrangement in which all individuals pay their own expenses. The latter is called ``Dutch treat'' in English-speaking countries (and ``pagar a la americana'' in South America). I needn't have explained my uncertainties. I could have just said the AA system means ``to go Dutch'' without further specification and left it at that, but I wanted to share.

(In China as in the US, Chinese restaurants usually serve dishes to the table, and individuals serve themselves. Hence, there is only one straightforward way to share the expenses, and no ambiguity.)

(US) Armed Forces (in the rest of the) Americas. Designation excludes US and Canada. This region is loosely called ``Central and South America,'' which technically would exclude the Caribbean and also (irrelevantly for the foreseeable future, though not for the foreseeable past) Mexico. Two-letter ``state'' code used by the MPSA and USPS. (For USPS purposes, US Armed Forces stationed out-of-country are served by ``domestic mail,'' and so require a ``state'' code.)

Mail bound for the AA region used to be (and I believe still is) routed through processing centers at Miami, and used to be nominally bound for Florida. Using FL (for Florida) instead of AA still works for mail, but will probably cause problems with credit-card verification, so don't do it. For more on MPSA/USPS military mail, see the MPO entry.

Associate in Arts. A two-year post-secondary degree.

Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Atomic Abs. Ventral annihilation. A six-pack of twenty-ounce cans of U-235. Buff b... Oh. Actually, AA is short for Atomic Absorption. Never mind. See AAS instead.

AttoAmpere. One ampere equals 1018 attoamperes, demonstrating that the ampere is an unimaginably humongous unit -- so ginormous as to be of no practical use.

German, Auswärtiges Amt -- `Foreign Office' (FO).

Author's Alterations. Authors' Alterations, if the work is a conspiracy. Changes to the proofs after they're in galley. Doesn't that sound cool and insiderish? It's probably nonsense. AA is changes made to the text that's done up in galley proofs. Book contracts usually have a clause that you didn't notice, to the effect that if AA's are substantial, the author is penalized. I contributed to an encyclopedia, however, which due to time constraints was typeset during reviews. I don't know what they do when the reviews are unfavorable or ask for extensive changes.

Auto Answer. A standard light on an external modem.

Automobile Association. The name of the Automobile Association of Britain. There's also a Royal Automobile Club (RAC), but I couldn't find anything about it using the search engine at AA.

Average Audience. A broadcast-industry variable whose value is a number. The number is not a measure of audience intelligence, average or otherwise.

Double-A. When letters are used to indicate sizes, as in shoe or brassiere sizes, it is necessary to select an appropriate range. As time passes, if the system is successful, it often occurs that the customer base begins to include individuals outside the original range. Since A typically refers to the smallest size (or ends up doing so), something must be done. Hence, AA electric batteries, AA shoes, and AA cup sizes. (Sometimes this repeated-letter scheme is used even though a single-letter scheme is possible. For an example of this puzzling and inexplicable phenomenon, see the grade inflation entry.) Batteries are available down to AAAA at least (vide 9V battery entry); I'm not sure about shoes and bras, but here's the latest information we have managed to uncover on bra sizes.

If shoulders are back in fashion and you're thinking about fixing up your old blouse but can't find the right-size shoulder pad in the ``Home Fashions'' section, experiment with bra cups. This reminds me of the scene in the movie theater from Summer of '42. Now let's get back to...

This just in (from Reuters, dateline May 2003, Taipei): ``Villagers in southern Taiwan are strapping bras to their faces to guard against the deadly SARS virus due to a shortage of surgical masks.'' A local factory is actually recycling its own colorful bras, cutting them and sewing on new straps. I don't understand why the factory has to cut anything to begin: don't they have a supply of cups or something? I should probably say that I will be following this story as closely as is decently possible, but I won't.

The first sports bra was invented in 1977 by Lisa Lindahl, a jogger, and her childhood friend Polly Smith, a costume designer. Lisa's sister dubbed the project ``a jockstrap for women.'' While Lisa and Polly were working on a prototype, Lisa's husband came in and playfully pulled a jockstrap over his head and around his chest. They were inspired, and Polly fashioned a model constructed of two jock straps sewn together. (The story here is condensed from this page.) From (the general vicinity of) athletic cups to bra cups, and from bra cups to shoulder pads, it seems fashion moves ever upwards. The German word for glove is Handschuh (yes, literally `hand shoe').

In the US in 1999, 130,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery, a factor-of-four increase from 1992, the year that silicone implants were banned for cosmetic use. (In November 2006 the FDA reapproved them for all uses where saline implants were approved.) To any mathematically competent person, it had already been clear in 1992 that silicone implants are just as safe as saline implants, but people are stupid about statistics. Silicone is also more natural-looking unless there's a leak. (If saline leaks, it's absorbed.) During the dark ages (1992 to 2006) silicone remained legal to replace a failed saline implant and in certain other applications. Also, the shell that holds the saline solution in saline implants is made of silicone, meaning that most of the time, the total surface area of living tissue exposed to silicone is the same whether the prosthesis contains saline or silicone.

But you know, those implants require more upkeep than the sealed battery on my old Honda, and they don't necessarily last much longer. Research has been ongoing; alternatives studied have included polyvinylpurolidone (PVP) implants and reconstruction using fat from elsewhere in the body. (I guess moving it from the wrong places to the right places kills two birds with one stone. Liposuction is gaining in popularity too, you know.) Last I heard, the clinical trials were being conducted in Europe, where the litigation risk is lower. Apparently the only alternative that has been widely commercialized is the gummy-bear implant, which is an incremental modification of the regular silicone implant: the filling is silicone polymerized with more crosslinking monomers, resulting in a rubbery gel rather than a viscous one.

Sixty percent of women getting augmentation in 1999 were aged 19-34. Thirty-five percent were aged 35-50. (The other 5% includes about 1% under 18.) Often the augmentation is to achieve symmetry or for prosthetic purposes after other surgery. A smaller number of women go under the knife to decrease their size.

Dr. Judith Reichman, regular guest physician on the Today Show, wants you please to understand that ``Very few women do it [get augmented, that is] to please a male figure in their lives. When we say that, we are under-valuing a woman's concerns.'' It's not about that at all! It's about looking good in clothes or looking good out of them. As you know, women dress for other women. Men don't matter. Women engage in competitive dressing -- that's what public events are for.

[A brief shot of realism: an ad (noticed 1993 or earlier) for Bodyslimmers once included this text: ``While you don't necessarily dress for men, it doesn't hurt, on occasion, to see one drool like the pathetic dog that he is.'' I guess this is aiming low.]

There was something relevant in the December 2006 issue of Psychology Today. (That should have set off your BS monitor, of course, so you won't be perturbed that the article contradicts Reichman's PC pieties.) It was an article by Marcelo Balive on page 19 (in the INSIGHTS section; you may find it helpful to raise the trip level on your BS monitor) entitled ``A Model Society: South America's Obsession with Plastic Surgery.'' More than half of the article's real estate is taken up by a very informative illustration of Miss Venezuela 2005 Monica Spear apparently literally disrobing. Color caption: ``Latin Americans have won 11 of the last 25 Miss Universe titles.'' In the booooody of the article: ``Although no official statistics are compiled, Argentina is among the top-ranked countries in per capita rates of cosmetic surgery, says Guillermo Flaherty, president of the Argentine plastic surgeons' association.'' The article ends with the recollection of an American woman who had recently lived in Argentina: her gym's locker room was an exhibition hall of breast implants. It reminds me of an American I knew who spent his last year of high school in England (ca. 1979). He was the only one circumcised. I mean, he was the only one who was circumcised. I mean he, oh never mind. He said he felt like an alien -- which, of course, he was.

In theater seating, X, Y, Z may be followed by AA, BB, CC. I'll have to check next time, if I arrive before the lights dim. Dang! I was at an amphitheater that seated eight hundred, and the top row was K. I'm going to have to choose more popular events.

The desire to look good in clothes, and not for a male figure in one's life, is sometimes called the ``Academy Awards Effect.'' Another Academy Awards effect is that the stars who attend them are often too poor (in money) or not poor enough (in judgment) to buy the million-dollar jewelry and hundred-thou duds they wear there. Those're on loan from jewelers and fashion designers, who sell them to less or more poor customers who only wish they were movie stars. See the AD entry for more on the male figure.

AA also occurs in a kind of positional numbering scheme based on letters. These differ from ordinary positional systems (such as the decimal system, say) because there's no zero. In this kind of numbering, or labeling, X, Y, Z are followed by AA, AB, AC, .... Ordered lists can be numbered using this scheme in HTML (see our example), as well as nroff and troff.

Rough, cindery lava. Aa is often found lying loosely on the smooth surface of a Scrabble® board. All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept it and its plural aas.

The term was adopted by geologists (C.E. Dutton in the first place, in 1883) from the Hawaiian language. (Geologists like to do that. They adopted cwm from Welsh, when they could have used an English cognate like coomb. Obviously, geologists are closet Scrabble freaks.) In the original Hawaiian, this (aa, not cwm) is spelled a'a. In Hawaiian, Hawaii is spelled Hawai'i. That apostrophe represents a glottal stop consonant, something like the sound that substitutes for intervocalic /t/ in Cockney as well as in some words (e.g., cotton) in much of the US. The name of the capital of Yemen (.ye) -- Sana'a -- has a similar sound.

I wonder if a'a didn't get its name from the sound people make when they try to walk over it barefoot. Then it would be an onomatopoeia'a. No wait, don't blame me, I didn't make it up, honest! Apparently the opportunity to neologize with as many as four or more consecutive vowels overcomes all restraint. See this posting by David Lupher (to the famous classics list) for other examples.

Much nicer stuff than aa is pahoehoe, which has a smooth, lined surface that looks like thick rope or driftwood. It gets this appearance from the cooling process: the surface cools and begins to harden while the interior is still fluid. As the interior moves and drags the surface along with it, the outer surface is stretched, giving rise to the lines. This is possible only if the interior is not very viscous, so it continues to flow even when it is close to solidifying. The smoothness of the surface is also a consequence of the low viscosity (equivalently, the high fluidity): surface tension acts to smooth exposed surfaces, and is most effective when it has to overcome a smaller rather than a larger viscous resistance. Another difference, again consistent with the viscosity trend, is that aa tends to come in larger blocks, while pahoehoe is thin (and fast-moving while molten, get out of there!).

The difference in viscosity that determines whether aa or pahoehoe will form corresponds to a slight difference in silica content, and a single eruption can produce both (usually pahoehoe precedes aa). High silica content (60%) gives a viscous magma and aa. Because the high viscosity prevents gases from escaping easily, this is associated with explosive volcanoes like Mount St. Helens. Magmas with low silica content (50%), like those of Hawaiian island volcanoes, are more fluid and less explosive. That's why the Hawaiians have lots of cool-looking (or hot) pahoehoe.

Abbreviations And Acronyms. Well, I've seen at least one instance of this usage.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm[s]. The two main methods of repair are open repair and endovascular repair (EVAR).

Against All Authority. A South Florida punk band whose logo is a parody of the automobile-club AAA's.

Age Anaesthesia Association. ``[A]n association of anaesthetists with an interest in the anaesthetic problems of the elderly, under the auspices of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland [AABGI].''

See also John Ascah's Aged Anaesthesia page.

Aging Active Adult.

Agricultural Adjustment { Act | Administration }. A New Deal project to limit agricultural overproduction. Some of its more controversial methods were plowing under crops instead of harvesting them, and slaughtering livestock and discarding the carcasses.

Air Avenue of Approach. Aviation acronym. Duh.

Always Add Acid. Mnemonic for the lab safety prescription: when mixing strong acid or acid anhydride with water, (slowly) pour the acid into the water, rather than the other way around. Another mnemonic, which works better with rhotacizing and derhotacizing accents, is ``Do like you oughta, add acid to water.''

Alternating Aerobic-Anoxic. Refers to wastewater processing systems. AAA systems are used to remove nitrogen from sludge that has it in the form of both ammonium [(NH4)+] and nitrate [(NO3)-] ions. I write ``used'' above, but perhaps I should write ``promoted,'' ``studied and proposed,'' or ``meant.'' Everything I've read about AAA systems describes studies of laboratory systems or modeling of proposed systems, and control or comparison systems are typically described as ``conventional activated-sludge systems.''

Amateur Astronomers Association of NY.

American Academy of Addictionology.

The presence of the above name in this glossary does not imply an endorsement of that last word. The presence of the acronym does not imply an endorsement of the entity, of whose existence, happily, little sign appears to remain on the internet. This page by Steven Barrett, M.D., provides some interesting information on Jay Holder, perpetrator of addictionology seminars, president and cofounder of American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (ACACD), graduate of assorted non-accredited quackery mills, and apparent inventor of ``torque-release technique.'' Jay Holder is a legitimate holder of a DC degree from National College of Chiropractic, which might say something about that degree. (For some reason, perhaps including the esteem in which the word chiropractic is held, that college has taken a new name.)

The word ``addictionology'' has come to be widely used. It may well be that some nonquacks use it.

American Academy of Audiology. Funny, I never heard of them.

American Allergy Association.

They're not trying to promote it.

American Anthropological Association. Founded 1902, became a constituent society of the ACLS in 1930. ACLS has an overview.

American Arbitration Association.

American Association of Anatomists.

American Athletic Association. Yes, yes, there are indeed Amateur Athletic Associations as well as American Athletic Associations, but there used to be an organization called simply the American Athletic Association.

American Automobile Association. No one says ``Ay Ay Ay.'' It's ``triple-ay.''

Anesthesia Administration Assembly. Not a mechanical device, but an assembly within the context of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). Founder and first president is Edward L. King, FACMPE.

Animal Acupuncture Academy. It's about humans performing acupuncture on animals, not the other way around. Veterinary acupuncture. In this context, those who do acupuncture on humans are called human acupuncturists, which under the circumstances is clear enough.

Animal-Assisted Activities. Human activities assisted by animals, like eating beef. No? Oh, I get it: seeing-eye dog, hearing-ear dog, fox-hunting. (Cf. AAT.)

Actually, fox-hunting almost doesn't qualify, because the hounds do all the work of pursuing the fox and killing and eating it (except for the comb, mask, and pads, of course). It might be called a human-assisted activity, since a human (the master of the hounds or his assistant) trains and may otherwise assist the hounds -- by, for example, sealing off before the hunt some foxholes that the fox might try to escape to. (They say there are no atheists in foxholes? How could they be sure?) But it is animal-assisted, in fact, because in the classic English fox hunt, the human activity is trying to keep up with the hounds, and horses assist in this activity by carrying the humans as they perform it. That's how I see it, anyway.

Seeing-eye dog work is the only AAA I have even the slightest direct experience of. One day on the main ASU campus, I saw a man a few yards ahead of me, standing patiently before a chain-link fence that closed off part of the sidewalk. A dense traffic of students was flowing around him. I came up and said ``...your dog stopped because they tore up the sidewalk.'' ``Can you lead me around it?'' ``Sure. How does it work?'' ``Just talk to me, and the dog will follow you.'' So we did that, and as I described our surroundings it turned out that we almost immediately overshot his next turn.

The dog's behavior surprised me, because the section of sidewalk closed off was only about four feet in diameter. The street had negligible traffic (it was sealed off by a card-entry gate) and one could actually continue by walking along the curb or by going only slightly off the sidewalk on the side away from the street. The dog could easily see how to go around, but was apparently trained not to take that initiative. (I wondered whether the dog conceived the task in terms of a destination and a preferred path, or in terms of an unmotivated sequence of specified paths.) On the other hand, the dog was expected to respond appropriately to its perception of the owner's social interactions. I guess I'm not surprised if dogs are better at understanding social interactions than pedestrian traffic. Still, for a long time afterwards I was haunted by the idea that I might have retrained the dog to overshoot the next turn and then do a dog-leg to get back to it.

The training of a seeing-eye dog has elements resembling the design of an interactive computer program. So many possible inputs! So many failure modes! Actually, the main resemblance to programming is that it rarely works correctly the first time. Both must be debugged or whatever. I gather from what I've read that part of the training involves focusing on isolated situations (e.g., how to exit a bus). So that would be like teaching ``methods.'' It seems that at least the terminology of OOP is a better fit to dog training than to programming. It typically takes about three years to program a new pup into a seeing-eye dog (a/k/a guide dog).

I remember reading a news item some years back, maybe around 2000, about a seeing-eye dog that was abused by its owner and that killed him by leading him into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The dog survived, so I recall. This story has its improbabilities, and it resembles a widely retold joke (in which both dog and owner survive) that you can find on the Internet. I've checked Lexis-Nexis and Google (News, Web, and Blogs) with a variety of search strings, and I've failed to turn up the story. You can take it for what it may be worth: either I have an extremely retentive memory for obscure and evanescent news stories, or I'm a highly creative author of fiction without even knowing it.

Here's another kind of AAA that I'm not very familiar with: picking up members of the apposite sex. I remember, or at least I think I remember, that Freud mentioned this somewhere. He referenced the idea that prostitutes were well-known to walk their dogs, as a way to start conversations with prospective customers. I was a child when I read this; perhaps there was also the idea that walking a dog excused what might otherwise be loitering. You could look it up, I suppose, by reading enough of Freud's works. (There's a list of the ones you can skip below.) Anyway, I was reminded of this by an AFP news item on July 31, 2008: ``Saudi bans sale of pet dogs and cats.''

The previous day, according to the report, Othman Al Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of the Al Hayat daily that the commission had started enforcing an old religious edict against selling pet cats and dogs or exercising them in public. The reason for reviving the enforcement of this edict was an alleged rising fashion among some men of using pets in public to make passes at women and disturb families. No further explanation was offered. It seemed that the new enforcement of the old edict might be restricted to Riyadh only, but one never knows.

Here is a list of the works of Freud for which I can easily find complete etexts (mostly Gutenberg) in English or German. The observation mentioned above doesn't appear to be in any of these.

Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology (Liverpool).

Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Also AA. The most common sense of AAA in military usage. See ack-ack. I heard a troop (that would be the singular, right?) interviewed by CNN pronounce this ``triple-Ay.''

Archives of Asian Art. ``Archives of Asian Art is a journal of the Asian Society, one of the world's foremost institutions dedicated to building bridges of understanding between Americans and Asians. It provides information and insights about Asia and the Pacific, and offers fresh perspectives on the forces and issues that are shaping Asia's relations with the United States and the rest of the world.'' Published once per year, and an annual subscription costs WOW! I mean, where WOW is 55 euros in the EU and 58 euros in the ROW.

Area Agency on Aging. Uh, yeah, could you have a look at my knee area? See n4a.

Association of Authors' Agents. An industry organization in the UK, for collective discussion and representation. Agents must be three years in the business before they can join. (This business of establishing membership thresholds seems to be a book-industry thing. In the US, PEN has a threshold for prospective writer-members. In contrast, to join the typical scientific membership society, you mostly just need a couple of current members to vouch for you.)

If you're a writer looking for an agent, try the Writers' Guild of Great Britain (this link may be more robust), the SoA, or the ALCS. The US organization corresponding to the AAA is the AAR. More general discussion of agent associations there.

Australian Automobile Association. ``The official voice of motoring in Australia since 1924... represents'' six state-wide motoring organizations and one each for the Sydney area and the Northern Territory.

Autos, Avus, Attraktionen. (Berlin.)

Triple-A. A size smaller than AA, q.v.

Amateur Athletic Association of America.

American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

American Association for Advertising Agencies. ``Four A's.''

Selected Letters of James Thurber, p. 209, has a letter of August 15, 1959, rejecting a request for Thurber to participate in some project of the A.A.A.A. While he pleads ill health and lack of time, his contempt for the organization is not entirely concealed. He seems to go off on a tangent:

... Youngsters now bring babble boxes for me to talk into, as we sink further and further into the new Oral Culture. The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future.

    Thanks anyway and I hope those creative spirits learn how to get through to people the literate way.
American Association for Affirmative Action. They're in favor of it. See also the CCRI entry.

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers. (Here's an alternate link.)

Quad-A. A size smaller than AAA. Vide AA entry for yet more profound enlightenment. Some nine-volt batteries are packages of six series-wired 1.5V AAAA batteries.

American Association Against Acronym Abuse.

Association for the Abolition of Abused Abbreviations and Asinine Acronyms. [Like maybe A7NHY (Aaaaaaardvark No homepage yet). Cf. TLA.] Considerably older than...

Association for the Alleviation of Absurd Acronyms and Asinine Abbreviations. An international organization ``to tax and control the proliferation of initials'' so we don't choke on our alphabet soup. Proposed in The Economist, in a tongue-in-cheek article entitled ``AA (acronyms anonymous)'' [issue of Dec. 11, 1999]. Amelioration or Abatement would have been better words than Alleviation.

As of January 5, 2004, there were 85 entries whose head terms included the letter A and no other letter. Oh sure, we could expand this number considerably, but we're very selective. Cf. AAAAAA.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. See also FAN.

American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. ``A voluntary program of inspection and accreditation in surgery facilities to ensure excellence and quality care to patients.'' The October 2001 symposium in Dallas was cancelled. See also AAAC and AAAHC.

American Association of Acupuncture and Bio-Energetic Medicine. Look, why don't you just buy yourself one of those copper bracelets? Convert the money you save into US dollar bills (while the mint still deigns to keep them in circulation) and put a few pictures of pyramids next to your hip.

Academic Affirmative Action Committee.

American Academy of Ambulatory Care. Related entries: AAAHC and AAAASF.

Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada -- Association des agences d'agrément du Canada. ``To ensure the highest[-]quality education of professionals, the Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada pursues excellence in standards and processes of accreditation.'' Corresponds to ASPA in US.

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. Cf. AAAC.

Maybe you have in mind A3CR2.

American Athletic Association of the Deaf. Old name of the USADSF.

Asian Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry. It doesn't have any very obvious official website, even as of late 2008.

The official publication of the AAAD is the Asian Journal of Aesthetic Dentistry, published in Singapore. Articles are in English, and the first volume was published in 1993. The AAAD holds a general meeting biennially; with the first meeting apparently in 1990.

American Association for Adult Education.

Archives of American Aerospace Exploration. ``[F]ounded by the Digital Library and Archives of the University Libraries of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in April of 1986. Its purpose is to find, preserve, and make available to researchers collections of correspondence, notes, photographs, written or recorded reminiscences, memorabilia, oral histories, as well as any other items that document American aeronautical and space history.'' Hint: not just any reminiscences. Don't call with recollections of your own first flight unless it was so interesting that you got killed. ``The AAAE seeks such collections from pilots, astronauts, researchers in industry and academia, NASA administrators and project managers, and any others who have played a part in the development of United States aerospace history.''

Association for the Advancement of Arts Education. ``The AAAE is the direct result of a comprehensive two-year study which surveyed hundreds of superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, school board members, artists, professional arts administrators and community leaders regarding their views on arts education. The study found a positive element for change in arts education priorities and programs in the Cincinnati area.''

American Association of Alternative Healers. God help us! -- sometimes literally. Cf. AQA.

American Amateur Arabian Horse Association.

Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association.

Reserve this letter sequence now! Five-letter sequences in this desirable region of the dictionary are going fast! Contact the initialism registry today!

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Ambulatory health care: treating the walking pneumonia (and the boogy-woogy blues). Hence, an alternate expansion: A -- A -- AH -- Choo!

Cf. Achoo! -- The Medical Search Engine. (Gesundheit!)

Related entries: AAAC and AAAASF.

Associação dos Amigos do Arquivo Histórico-Diplomático do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (MNE). Portuguese `Association of the friends of the historical diplomatic archive of the ministry of foreign businesses.'

American Association for Artificial Intelligence. AAAI homepage had a nice, understated background texture, and very intelligently included the URL address of the AAAI homepage. AI is a fast-paced field, however, and all that has changed. Founded in 1979.

American Association of Applied Linguistics.

The AAAL passed resolutions opposing ballot initiatives in California and Arizona to end the ghettoization of Hispanic students in bilingual education programs, although that isn't exactly the way the AAAL sees it.

American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Created by the ACP in 1965 to test the waters of the Aardvark region of name space. Alack and alas, deciding not to go the whole three consecutive A's, ACP changed its name to AALAS in 1967.

American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine. Committed to squeezing your lemon back into shape. Ohnowait -- I should have visited the website first. It turns out they want to decrease the risk of injuries and fatalities. One way to do that: cancel the 45th Annual Meeting, in San Antonio, Texas, originally scheduled for September 23-26, 2001. No final decision on whether to reschedule had been made when I first wrote in this entry on October 9, 2001, but it was eventually held in that city on October 24-26, 2001.

The AAAM was founded in 1957 ``by the Medical Advisory Committee to the Sports Car Club of America by six practicing physicians whose avocation was motor racing.''

American Academy of Ambulatory Nursing Administration. For nursing administrators who are on their feet, so far as I know -- no webpage yet. Next time I'm in Pitman, New Jersey, I'll be sure to walk over and ask. Hmmm... there're some names -- AAAASF, AAAC, AAAHC -- in which ``ambulatory'' doesn't modify ``administration.'' Oh! Now I get it!

The Alliance of Arkansas Animal Organizations. ``God Bless the Animals, America, and the World.''

Bring back Eric Burdon.

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. (No ``other'' in the name.) Aaah: om.

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. It's got a snappy jingle -- let's go back again! The ABPN offers certification in the subspecialty of addiction psychiatry.

American Association of Avian Pathologists. The pathologies, not the pathologists, are avian. On the other hand, the rhinovirus flu that peaks each Winter uses domestic-animal hosts that include not just mammals (especially pigs) but also fowl (ducks and chickens). Actually, the important nonhuman host population is supposed to be in Asia, so for my purposes they're foreign domestic animals.

Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies. Never ``AAAPS'' or ``AAAAP.''

American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. The AAAPP has an eponymous mailing list.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780. Membership by invitation only. Society's journal named after the Telemachus of James Joyce's Ulysses.

A constituent society of the ACLS since 1919. ACLS has an overview.

American Association for the Advancement of Science. ``Triple-Ay Ess'' was founded in 1848. Membership by invitation: anyone who can pay the dues is invited to join. I wonder what it takes to become a Fellow. They publish one of the various magazines that have the title Science.

Austrian Association for American Studies, founded in 1975. A constituent association of the EAAS. ``AAAS'' is the standard abbreviation, but their name is also (or officially?) Österreichische Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien.

The current (early 2004) officers of the AAAS are distributed among an Institut für Amerikanistik (`Institute for Americanistics') at Karl-Franzens-Universität in Graz, an Institut für Amerikastudien at Universität Innsbruck, and units called Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik (* Englistics -- what a word! what a word!) in Salzburg, Klagenfurt, and Vienna. Recent AAAS conferences (including the EAAS conference 2000, held in Graz) have been in these cities. Why have you got a problem with this? It's a small country.

Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology.

American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, founded in 1948 for the purpose of publishing an American journal in the Slavic field; it was not a membership society until 1960. It grew out of the Committee on Slavic Studies, which was established by the ACLS in 1938, and the AAASS did not itself become a constituent society of the ACLS until 1984. ACLS has an overview.

According to itself, AAASS is a ``nonprofit, nonpolitical, scholarly society which is the leading private organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Russia, Central Eurasia, and Eastern and Central Europe.''

As it happens, not everyone in these areas is a Slav, so the statement constitutes a political, nonscholarly statement that does not advance knowledge. People who think you can't please everybody are optimists; you can't please anybody.

African Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology / Association africaine pour l'avancement des sciences et techniques.

Allergiker- und Asthmatiker-Bund. (Germany.) Interesting that English lacks a shorter word for ``Allergy-sufferer'' when it has words like hypoallergenic.

American Association of Bioanalysts.

American Anorexia Bulimia Association.

American Association of Blood Banks. ``Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide.'' Hemocyte therapy by phone? Cool! Taking ``outpatient'' to the next level!

Axis-Aligned Bounding Box. For a graphic object. AABB's (or AABB'ss, if you get into the rhythm of the thing) are used in video games. The rest of this entry is fairly obvious.

Not infrequently, video games involve one or more moving images representing objects, and often it is necessary to determine whether a collision appears to occur between such objects -- i.e., whether certain regions of different images overlap. This collision detection becomes computationally expensive as the borders of the regions become complex. A first step in the process is to define AABB's. For 2D graphics, AABB's bounding rectangles aligned with the screen axes for moving objects and for any objects, moving or not, that they might collide with. (In 3D, AABB's are the natural generalization: right rectangular prisms aligned with, you know, whatever. This is very obvious, but I just like to use ``right rectangular prism'' instead of ``cuboid.'') rectangles needn't be minimal, and for a sprite (loosely, for an object represented by different images at different times), it can be efficient to use a single AABB rather than a time-varying one. It is easy to check for collisions between AABB's.

If AABB's don't overlap, no collision has occurred and no further collision detection is needed. The cheaper the game, the faster the object movement, or the faster the game development, the likelier it is that AABB collisions will be treated as equivalent to object collisions.

The <realtimerendering.com> website has a page with a comprehensive list of links to resources for computing the intersection of many simple objects, including AABB's. As of late June 2017, it was updated just a couple of months ago.

Association of Ambulatory Behavior Healthcare. ``A powerful forum for people engaged in providing Mental Health Services.''
``Promoting the evolution of flexible models of responsive cost-effective ambulatory behavioral healthcare.''

Based in Alexandria, Virginia -- conveniently close to the nation's capital.

The Association for the Advancement of Brain Injured Children. (``Brain Injured'' here refers to something more severe than an impaired facility for inserting hyphens in attributive phrases requiring them.) AABIC is an organization in the state of Western Australia that is a ``support group for families who have a family member undertaking a rehabilitation treatment programme. The Association also provides equipment, library facilities, incontinence pad scheme and family support officers.''

American Academy of Behavioral Psychology. Now the AACBP.

American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

It's good to have a ready comeback when she says ``You're such an animal!'' Cf. AASP.

Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. Founded 1968, became a constituent society of the ACLS in 1991. ACLS has an overview.

American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences. ``[A]n interdisciplinary professional society designed to serve faculty and administrators at four-year colleges and universities. The annual meeting offers a collegial forum for participants to share research, ideas for professional development, and academic concerns in all areas of the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Student participation is encouraged.''

Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Now the ABCT.

AntArctic Bottom Water.

Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada. AAFC en anglais.

American Anglican Council. The AAC and the ACN are two American Anglican organizations similarly dedicated to ``biblical authority, the Great Commission and the historic faith and order of Anglicanism.'' The AAC is trying to reform (i.e., undo recent reforms of) the Episcopal Church (ECUSA); the ACN is trying to build a lifeboat in case AAC fails and the ECUSA sinks.

You know, I'm really impressed with the passion, dedication, and faith of these, um, zealots, errr, re-reforming crusaders, err, whatever. I'm considering burning in hell for eternity so that they can be right.

Amperes AC. Term parallel to ADC and VAC.

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. A journal published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), but of greater interest for pharmacology than for microbiology as such.

Asia-Africa Conference. This conference, held in 1955, was so important that the name is normally spelled out, so that it is not confused with all of the many other AAC's with which context might allow it to be confused. (AAC? AAC?) In fact, David E. Hall's African Acronyms and Abbreviations: A Handbook, only lists AAC, AAC, AAC, and AAC. All that mutually validating bellyaching led to the formation of the NAM.

Association of American Colleges. Now known as the AACU.

ATM Access Concentrator. Interfaces legacy system to ATM.

The Audiology Awareness Campaign.

American Association of Certified Appraisers. Has members throughout the English-speaking parts of North America.

Australian ACupuncture Association. Earlier name of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA). It would have been pretty interesting if the Australian aborigines had independently developed acupuncture medicine. It could have been called puncturango.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The University of Michigan used to host a site for AACAP, and still has a useful page.

Association for the Advancement of Central Asian Research.

American Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology. Previously the AABP. See also ABCT.

Just offhand, I'd have to say that <americanacademyofbehavioralpsychology.org> is the longest domain name I can recall.

Airport Associations Coordinating Council.

Alburtis Area Community Center. Alburtis in Pennsylvania.

All Africa Conference of Churches. You can't get any web content until you choose English or français (for CETA) on the start page. For a moment, I thought it was the All Africa Conference of Canadians.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

The American Association for Contamination Control. The existence of an organization with this initialism and expansion is alleged in a few glossaries and one of that putative organization's standards is even referred to in a .com page, but I have my doubts.

American Association of Cereal Chemists.

American Association of Community Colleges. Holds its annual convention in April.

Anne Arundel Community College. Anne Arundel County is in Maryland. ``Anne Arundel'' is pronounced there as a single word with primary stress on the third syllable and secondary stress on the initial syllable. The county, founded in 1650, was named for the wife of Cecil Baltimore, the second Lord Baltimore.

The county seat of Anne Arundel County is Annapolis, which was settled in 1649 by Puritans who had fled Virginia. They originally called their settlement Providence. The Puritan town successfully revolted against the Roman Catholic government of Maryland in the 1655 battle of the Severn River, but lost its independence after the English Restoration. In 1694 the settlement, which had come to be known as Anne Arundel Town, became the provincial capital of Maryland and was renamed Annapolis in honor of Princess Anne. As Queen Anne in 1708, she granted the town its first charter.

Too little too late, I guess. On Oct. 19, 1774, Annapolis staged its own Tea Party (seems to have been a fad). Once Philadelphia was occupied by the British, the Continental Congress met in Annapolis, making it the effective US capital (all major cities were under British control). Sir Robert Eden, the last royal governeur of Maryland, lies buried in the graveyard of St. Anne's Church in Annapolis; he was an ancestor of the British Prime Minister Anthony Eden. Today Annapolis is best known for the US Naval Academy, founded in 1845.

Annapolis became the state capital after independence. Information on the city is offered by The Mining Company and by Covesoft.

The largest city in Maryland is Baltimore. Further Maryland information in this glossary can also be found at the MD entry.

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Committee for Cartographic Materials.

Asociación Argentina de Criadores de Caballos de Polo. `Argentine Association of Polo Pony Breeders.'

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. It's a member of the International Federation of Esthetic Dentistry, whose page for it explains that AACD ``is the largest international dental organization dedicated specifically to the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. Founded in 1984, the AACD has over 7600 members in the United States and in more than 60 countries around the globe. Members of the Academy include cosmetic and reconstructive dentists, dental laboratory technicians, corporations, educators, researchers, students, hygienists, and dental assistants.''

There's also an American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. Go read the AAED entry. If you can figure out from that what the difference between aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry is, then you're a better man than I, unless you're a woman, in which case you're a better woman than I, even if you can't tell the difference (between aesthetic and cosmetic, of course).

American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry.

Read it here now! (The rest of this entry will probably be transferred into a stool entry as soon as I feel like it.)

For me, the expansion of AACDP evokes an image of a warehouse piled high with four-legged instruments of discomfort. Which reminds me -- in German there is a word Stuhl meaning `stool.' It's cognate with the English word, of course. [It's pronounced something like ``shtool.'' The difference in the initial consonants reflects a regular sound shift that took place in German, and the similarity of the vowels represents luck, although there are other instances (e.g., cool and kuhl, shoe and Schuh, school and Schule).]

I find it interesting that the words stool and Stuhl, in addition to their principal meanings, both mean ``a unit of feces,'' not to put too fine a point on it. It's obviously an instance of metonymy, but the question is whether it is two instances of metonymy. In English the, um, let's call them eliminatory meanings, are plentiful, but the OED has no instances before 1410. The Grimm describes the instances of the corresponding senses in German as being since the fourteenth century [seit dem 14. jh], with the earliest specific instance dated to 1513. It looks as if it might have been borrowed, but both languages contain some intermediate meanings that explain the connection locally. For example, German has expressions corresponding to `go to the stool,' and English has many recorded instances of stool referring specifically to the stool in a certain little room. (And speaking of small enclosed spaces, the German cognate of stove, Stube, means room -- as in bedroom.)

The proverbial use of stool, in expressions like ``falling between two stools,'' is also paralleled quite precisely in German with Stuhl, but this figurative use doesn't strike me as needing to be borrowed.

American Association for Cancer Education. Just what we needed: smarter cancers. Oh well, maybe if they go to college they won't reproduce so much. The AACE publishes JCE jointly with the EACE.

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. ``The Voice of Clinical Endocrinology® - Founded 1991.''

It reminds me of Einstein's comment about ``hormones of general circulation.''

AOBA Apartment Community Excellence (award).

Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel. An immigrants' support organization, founded 1951.

Afro-Asian Common Market. I found this in the New Japanese-English Dictionary of Economic Terms (The Oriental Economist, 1977). A search of the web suggests that this entity exists only as a vague proposal. The only web instances of the name where it was not clear that AACM does not exist were in Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries. At least the Japanese is consistent, using kanji for kyoudou shijou (`common market') and katakana transliterations for Asia and Africa (ajia and afurika). These are not ad hoc transliterations: the English words have been adopted in Japanese, but borrowings that have occurred recently (i.e., in the last few centuries) are written in the katakana syllabary (rather than in the hiragana syllabary used for native words). It's something like the use of italics in English to indicate young adoptions like naïve. A borderline case would be the word tempura, derived from Portuguese tempero (`spice, seasoning') in the sixteenth century and now sometimes written in hiragana. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (Shogakukan) lists tempura (te-n-pu-ra) in katakana.

The same twenty-volume dictionary lists arigato (a-ri-ga-to-u, English: `thank you') in hiragana. There's a good reason for this. Although it is widely thought that arigato is a borrowing of the Portuguese obrigato (cognate of English 'obliged'), it clearly is not. There are recorded instances of arigato from before Portuguese contact, and the Japanese would more likely have been something like o-bu-ri-ga-to. In fact, the etymology of arigato is known, follows regular Grimm's-Law-type rules for Japanese, and is encoded in the two-kanji way of writing the word. (See the 2001 discussion on the Linguist List, summarized in this posting.)

Kyoudou (`common, general') is also written kyodo -- the o's are long, and in a strict version of the Hepburn system I think they require macrons. One of the girls' names that is transliterated Yoko is written with hiragana characters for yo-o-ko, but I've never seen it transliterated (as would be appropriate, just as with kyodo) as ``Youko.'' Probably too confusing.

Shijou (or shijo) has various of the noun senses of the English word market, but common market is also sometimes rendered by the somewhat pleonastic kyoudou doumei (doumei is `union, confederation').

Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association. Previously known as the Australian Acupuncture Association (AAcA).

American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. The AACN initialism seems to be a heavily contested namespace region within the health professions. Considering that this organization represents clinical neuropsychologists in both the US and Canada, they might have called it the Academy of American and Canadian Neuropsychologists. Wouldn't that have worked out better?

American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Visit the website to hear a medley of patriotic tunes.

American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. ``The American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists was founded in 1975 by George Winokur MD and others (including many of his students). They shared the belief that a wealth of clinically relevant data is available in every psychiatrist's personal practice experience. The organization was created to provide a forum to share information for psychiatrists engaged in direct patient care; and to keep abreast of the latest scientific developments relevant to the practice of psychiatry.''

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Hey -- it takes a village. Okay, that was just a joke. Here's the official scoop: ``The Mission of AACP is to inspire, empower, and equip Community Psychiatrists to promote and provide quality care and to integrate practice with policies that improve the well being of individuals and communities.'' My gawd -- they really do want to treat the community!

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. This was not a single standard but at least two: an American and a British version. The current version (as of 2003) is AACR2R.

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 1st edition. This abbreviation started to be used when AACR2 appeared. As such, it's a retronym (and an acronym, but not a backronym). Each update lengthens the acronym: AACR, AACR2, AACR2R... Seems to me we're overdue for ``AACR2R+.''

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition. Promulgated in 1978. The same acronym is widely used for AACR2R, a revised version of this.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, 1988 revision, prepared under the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR; edited by Michael Gorman and Paul W. Winkler. (Ottawa: Canadian Library Association; London: Library Association; Chicago: American Library Association, 1988.) The current standard.

A very informative web page for a Monash University course explains:

``While the Editors are at pains to point out that it is not a 3rd Edition, some consider that it should have been called a 3rd Edition.''

Not-so-fast there, dust boy!

American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. Founded in 1916 to accredit schools of business. At some point, the acronym was temporarily sealed and AACSB was officially ``AACSB -- International Association for Management Education.'' In March 2003 I learned that they were giving out the expansion ``Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business,'' and as of 2013 the website uses ``AACSB International--The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.''

AACSB accredits 672 business schools world-wide as of June 2013; a bit over 500 of those are in the US and Canada. I admire the deft maneuver by which they eased the obsolete or undesired qualifier ``American'' out of the name. But they never replaced either A with ``Accreditation'' or a similar word. It seems that all the names beat around that bush. In the US, AACSB is in fact the premier accrediting organization for MBA programs. (Actually, they accredit the institution, so that, say, a management program in the industrial engineering department of an AACSB-accredited university may be part of the accreditation process. See this page for details.)

It may be that the absence of ``accreditation'' in the name prevents confusion of AACSB with the second-most prestigious B-school accreditation group, which is called the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The AACSB, ACBSP, and straggler IACBE can refer to themselves as the Association, the Council, and the Assembly without risk of confusion, little though the latter might mind. But that's probably not the intent.

Nota bene: Membership in the AACSB is not the same as accreditation by the AACSB. Some member schools describe themselves as candidates for accreditation.

AACSB is based in Tampa, Florida, and maintains an office in Singapore. Internationally, the three largest and most influential business-school accreditation associations are AACSB, AMBA (Association of MBAs, based in London), and EQUIS (European QUality Improvement System, based in Brussels). Writing about accreditation makes me groggy, so entries for AMBA and EQUIS will have to wait.

American Association of Community Theatre. (Sic.)

Apartment Association of Central Texas.

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Association of American Colleges and Universities. A generous source of empty educationist rhetoric. One of their projects is GEx.

From a faculty POV, this is an organization of administrative types who seek to wrest from faculty types the power to control curriculum, the method being to weaken and de-emphasize majors. So I've read, from third parties, anyway.

Hmmm, les'see here... I notice that the annual meeting of 2006 was held in conjunction with the American Conference of Academic Deans. The conference title was ``Demanding Excellence.''

The organization was established in 1915 as the Association of American Colleges (AAC) at a meeting of college presidents in Chicago. There were 179 founding member schools. It changed its name to the current one in 1995.

To judge from its website and publications, the organization itself prefers the initialism with an ampersand. In unofficial contexts, others generally use plain AACU.

Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus.

Aerosol-Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Vide J. A. T. Norman and G. P. Pez, J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Comm., 971 (1991). Cf. Spray CVD: C. Roger, T. S. Corbitt, M. J. Hampden-Smith, T. T. Kodas, Appl. Phys. Lett. 65, 1021 (1994).

Access to Archival Databases. A nightmarishly badly catalogued ``system'' for retrieving files online from NARA, reportedly much better than the old alternatives, if you can imagine.

Allgemeiner Anlagedienst. (Germany.)

American Academy of Dermatology.

Analog-Analog-Digital. Audio CD's may be designated AAD, ADD, or DDD. The successive letters indicate whether analog or digital equipment was used in the respective stages of production: (1) original recording, (2) mixing and editing, (3) mastering (transcription).

Australian Association of the Deaf. ``The Australian Association of the Deaf Inc. is the national peak organisation for Deaf people in Australia. It represents the views of Deaf people who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language).''

Abbreviated Antibiotic Drug Application (to the FDA). As bacteria keep evolving greater immunity to existing antibiotics, we keep needing more new ones. Although bacteria reproduce asexually, they can exchange genetic material (this is relevant in attempts to trace the origin of diseases such as syphilis). Thus, immunity developed by one bacterium may spread to other bacteria. It is especially for this reason that long-term low-level administration of antibiotics to livestock as a growth enhancer is considered a dangerous incubator for immunity. Another use perceived to pose widespread risk is among drug addicts with tuberculosis (TB): TB has a long course, and someone not continuing to take antibiotics for the full term provides an opportunity for bacteria to evolve incremental increases in antibiotic resistance.

American Association of the Deaf-Blind.

American Association of Dental Editors. I really don't think you should put a comma after your canine.

American Association of Dental Examiners. Heck, I know how to do this. Open your mouth. Let me see...yes, yes, you have teeth. Founded in 1882, when this was probably a big deal. Now anyone can do it.

Mission Statement: ``To serve as a resource by providing a national forum for exchange, development and dissemination of information to assist dental regulatory boards with their obligation to protect the public.''

American Association of Diabetes Educators.


Asociación Argentina de Estudios Clásicos. `Argentine Classical Studies Association.' A member of FIEC.

American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians.

American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. I imagine they didn't have to haggle to become owners of the <aadprt.org> domain.

American Association of Dental Schools. Now the ADEA.

Average Annual Daily Traffic. That's one official expansion, but it seems to mean the average daily traffic, determined by sampling or averaging over an entire year, which might be better expressed as Annual-Average Daily Traffic.

Affirmative Action Employer.

Alliance for Arts Education. Existed around 1976, anyway. I remember in grad school in the early 80's, my composer friend Lee explained that ``we'' (music people) didn't care about federal funding for the arts being reduced further: ``Nixon already cut us out.''

American Association of Endodontists. The E-word is calculated to minimize the terrifying thought of root-canal work.

American Academy of Equine Art. They don't mean the art of being an equestrian.

Alabama Art Education Association. ``[A] professional organization of art educators dedicated to advocating art education by following national standards, providing membership services, professional growth and leadership opportunities.''

American Agricultural Economics Association.

Advanced Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor.

AgChem Alliance for Electronic Communication. US and Canada agriculture-industry electronic-commerce action group. Working to put zebra codes on black-eyed peas, I think. The preponderance of web evidence suggests that the first A in AAEC stands for AgChem, but the successor organization's thumbnail history remembers it as just Ag.

The successor was RAPID, Inc. Details can be found quickly at our RAPID entry.

Agricultur{e|al} and Applied EConomics. An academic department in some schools.

I visited the homepage of the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech in 2003 and was invited to join in celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. Eagerly, I followed their link to a history of the department, divided into the first thirty years, and the second thirty years. Uh... Oh, of course, that document is from 1997. Umm... Ah, clarification (inferred from intimations on pages six and seven): the department was founded in 1921, so in 1996 began its seventy-fifth year. Almost. Actually, VT has probably had agricultural economics faculty since 1921 (one that year), and a list of ``Course Requirements for First B. S. Degree Program in Agricultural Economics'' survives from 1924, although there was only one student. It was apparently an optional curriculum within the School of Business Administration. In 1927, a Department of Agricultural Economics was finally established within the School of Agriculture. Documents celebrating the 75th anniversary were scheduled to remain on the website until April 5, 2004. (Ah, what the heck -- leave it up.)

I have to say that we are so used to thinking of education in formalized and institutionalized terms that it is often surprising to return to the beginning and see how loosely things initially came together. Often the most important conceptions and intentions of the initial participants, and basic facts about entities and members, are lost in the recycle bin of history. The history of universities and colleges generally, dating back to the schools in Paris and Bologna at the end of the twelfth century, are similarly uncertain.

The sixty-year history also explains subsequent department name changes:

In 1929, rural sociologists were added to the faculty, and the name was changed to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. The rural sociology faculty were transferred to the new Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1964, and the department's name was again changed to the Department of Agricultural Economics. To better describe the scope of department's work, the name was changed to the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in 1993.

So perhaps the ``Agriculture and'' form is an unofficial variant. Whatever.

TTU has a Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, also (as at VT) abbreviated in course offerings as AAEC.

UGA has one too. Oh no! They want us to celebrate their 75th anniversary too: ``The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2004. Professor William Firor organized and chaired the department in 1929.'' Ahh -- now that's the way to do it. Everyone should have such foresight.

Okay, I think I've made my point by now, whatever it was.

Incidentally, I think in most places AAEC is called informally ``Ag Econ.''

Australian Atomic Energy Commission. In 1986, the AAEC was formally replaced by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Avid-Authorized Education Centers. Avid Technology, Inc., offers ``Products for StoryTellers.'' It's so interesting that I'm sure you'll be happy to find out for yourself whatever it all is about.

American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. A member of the International Federation of same (IFED, which it cofounded in 1994). According to IFED's page for AAED, ``[f]ounded in 1975, the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry has members throughout the world. AAED's unique, multidisciplinary membership is comprised [sic, of course] of dentists in the following specialties: dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxiofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics, along with general practitioners and certified dental technicians.'' Cf. AACD.

Aeronautical and Aircraft Experimental Establishment. (British.)

American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

American Association for Employment in Education, Inc. They appear to be in favor of it.

Founded in 1934 as the National Institutional Teacher Placement Association. Teachers complain of lack of respect, but it doesn't help when the AAEE describes itself as ``comprised of colleges, universities, and school districts whose members are school personnel administrators and college and university career services officers.''

American Association of Electromyography and Electrodiagnosis. Later became the AAEM.

Aviation / Aerospace Education Foundation, Inc.

American Association of Exporters & Importers. ``The national voice of the international trade community since 1921.''

Australian Adult Entertainment Industry, Inc.

American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Bzzzzzzzzzd-pop! Bzzzzzzzzzzd-pop! Used to be the ``American Association of Electromyography and Electrodiagnosis'' (AAEE). Here's a page served by an online exposition.

Whoops! AAEM namespace is gettin' ta be as crowdid as AAEE! In these hyar prairies, when you can see your neighbah's fahm, it's tahm to move on. Now they're AANEM.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. This is probably equivalent to EO/AAE, but you better chant all the mantras, just to be sure no one sues the deep pockets off your sorry butt. (See the ADEA for a longer, safer, more ridiculous version.)

Couldn't they just say they obey the law? By pointing out that they obey these particular laws, aren't they implying that whether they obey other laws is a matter of discretion? Did you ever wonder what really would happen if the ob-AA/EOE or equivalent information were somehow omitted from an advertisement? The experiment has been performed! In the August 18, 1986, edition of C&EN (p. 63, center bottom), a help-wanted ad appeared that only described the qualifications sought and instructions for applying (by the following October 1). The vigilant AA apparatus of the employer (Arizona State University) sprang into action, managing to get the following emergency correction into the September 15 edition (p. 64, right bottom):

The advertisement for the position of MATERIALS TECHNICIAN in the ... which appeared in the Academic Positions Section of the August 18, 1986 issue of Chemical and Engineering News inadvertantly [sic] did not include the facts that Arizona State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and minorities are encouraged to apply. Application deadline extended to October 15, 1986 or until filled. Submit resume and 3 references to...

It is certainly true that the AA/EOE status of ASU is a ``fact'' distinct from the encouragement of minorities to apply. Still, the ability to deduce the latter fact from the former would not be surprising in someone with the required B.S. or M.S. degree in chemistry or a related field (let alone the ``highly desirable'' ``experience on the synthesis and characterization of solid state materials, including a working knowledge of crystal growth, vacuum system and inert atmosphere techniques'').

Okay, now for a pop quiz. Everyone loves a quiz! Here are two percentages: 3.0% and 4.4%. They represent the fraction of physicians who were black, based on the US censuses of 1960 and 1990. Here's the quiz question: which year had the lower percentage, 1960 or 1990? Think it over, take your time.

American Association of Equine Practitioners. There's no longer a DNS listing for <aaep.org>. I'm worried. Have they gone the way of the AASP?

They're back! Yippee-aye-ayy!!! Cool horsehead-shaped yin-yang logo, too.

``The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) is the world's largest professional association of equine veterinarians. The AAEP's mission is to improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry.''

There's also an international association (IAEP). Donkeys still don't get any respect.


[Publications of] American Archaeological Expedition to Syria.

American Association of Engineering Societies.

Astrological Association of East Tennessee. ``Welcome, Fellow Seekers!''

American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Is that pronounced ``eats''? That's what I does when I is stressed. Or is it ``ates''? I wisheds they explaineds this -- it's beginning to freak me out!!!

``A multidisciplinary network of professionals who are committed to the advancement of intervention for survivors of trauma. The Academy aims to identify expertise among professionals, across disciplines, and to provide meaningful standards for those who regularly work with survivors. Today, the Academy's international membership includes individuals from over 200 professions in the health-related fields, emergency services, criminal justice, forensics, law, business and education. With members in every state of the United States and over 45 foreign countries, the Academy is now the largest organization of its kind in the world.''

(Is D.C. counted among states or foreign countries?)

AAETS defines traumatic stress as ``the emotional, cognitive and behavioral experience of individuals who are exposed to, or who witness, events that overwhelm their coping and problem-solving capabilities.''

Squaring the circle using only compass and straight-edge, finding the roots of a general quintic equation, expressing the indefinite integral of the Gaussian in closed form, finding a polynomial-time algorithm to solve a traveling-salesman problem, solving the quantum measurement problem, combining all four fundamental forces in a GUT. Oh yeah, I'm a survivor. (See Eric Zorn's report at the FLT entry.)

``Traumatic stress has many `faces.' In addition to the devastating effects of large-scale disasters and catastrophes, the Academy is committed to fostering a greater appreciation of the effects of day-to-day traumatic experiences (e.g., chronic illness, accidents, domestic violence and loss [and nonintegrability]). Our aim is to help all victims to become survivors and, ultimately, thrivers.''

Advanced Authoring Format. It's a ``multimedia file format that enables content creators to easily exchange digital media and metadata across platforms.'' So shouldn't that be the Advanced Co-authoring Format? It seems someone may have noticed the problem; during the first quarter or so of 2007, the AAF Association, Inc. (AAFA) became the AMWA (Advanced Media Workflow Association). Considering the groups involved, this seems to be of interest to television-related people and therefore almost inconceivably boring.

Affordable Art Fair. The idea is that no one should have to pay a lot of money to have a nice piece of abstract, pretentious crap to adorn the home. ``AF is the place for new and established collectors to discover and buy paintings, drawings, sculptures, video, photography and limited edition prints from distinguished galleries, all priced from $100 - $5000. This year [2007] the Fair will host more than 60 galleries with approximately a quarter of the exhibitors from Europe, Canada and South America.'' (Update 2010: ``priced from just $100 up to $10,000.'')

It is well known among artists that the way to get your work in the public eye and establish your name as you're starting out is to give your work away for free to established collectors. They then turn around and lend it for free to galleries. (Galleries would never display work that an artist tried to fob off on them directly. After all, curators have taste and perception, and one thing that just screams bad taste is giving it away for free.) That's one way the rich get richer and the poor poorer, but the real salt in the wound is that the poor have no place to display this ugly stuff except their own homes.

Alien Ant Farm. Their web pages advertise DVD's and talk about record labels and about being artists. I've never heard their stuff, but I'm sure it's music to some ears.

American Advertising Federation. They're trying to buy a good reputation. There ought to be money in flattering that vanity; check out their ``College Connection.''

Remember, the escape key turns off moving gifs (in Netscape, anyway).

They have

  1. ADDY awards,
  2. an Advertising Hall of Achievement, and
  3. an Advertising Hall of Shame, er, Fame.
If blots on the escutcheon are anything like those on ordinary cloth, these correspond to
  1. remove with water,
  2. remove with bleach,
  3. remove with scissors.

The Hall of Achievement is for those under forty, and the Hall of Shame is for those who are dead or soon will be (``[t]hose men and women who have completed their primary careers''). The Hall of Shame is unusually repulsive, as befits AAF.

``Upon induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame, each honoree receives a `Golden Ladder' trophy signifying membership in the Advertising Hall of Fame. This trophy, designed by the late Bill Bernbach, carries an inscription created by the late Tom Dillon, both of whom are members of the Hall of Fame.'' Both indeed.

The inscription: ``If we can see further, it is because we stand on the rungs of a ladder built by those who came before us.'' This inscription is a perfect epitome (epitomy) of advertising crassness. Firstly, because like typical advertising copy it is derivative. Specifically, it is derived from an expression that dates back at least to the twelfth century. The original form involves seeing further by standing on the shoulders of giants (midgets seeing further in the standard versions). Secondly, because it is clumsy. (I'll come back later and express as elegantly as possible the inelegance of Dillon's locution. Now I have to move the computer.)

American Architectural Foundation. It ``educates individuals and communities about the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work, and play.'' AAF has teamed with Target in ``Great Schools by Design,'' a ``national initiative to improve the quality of America's schools and communities.''

Target stores are right rectangular prisms with a minimum of windows or architectural interest. Bauhaus Kaufhaus, sorta. Your average 1940's brick schoolhouse seems an ornate cathedral by comparison. A common quick orientation to some engineering disciplines not unrelated to architecture: civil engineering makes targets, mechanical and aerospace engineering destroys them. The thought that this might not be a bad thing withal was expressed by John Betjeman in 1937, with Slough as the contemplated target. (This was not John Bunyan's parabolic Slough of Despond, but instead a hyperbolic Slough for desponding of in a real England.)

American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Why isn't that ``armored''? There's an AAF Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia; I'm not sure what the AAF comprises besides the museum.

Advanced Authoring Format Association, Inc. Often partially abbreviated as ``AAF Association.'' During the first quarter of 2007, AAFA became the AMWA.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. AAC in French.

All America Football Conference. A professional football league that operated for four seasons (1946-1949). Their teams included the Baltimore Colts (which only started up in 1947), (they replaced) the Miami Seahawks (which folded after one the first season), a Buffalo team that was known as the Bisons (1946) and (the first time the name was used by a pro football team) the Bills (1947-9), the Chicago Rockets (name changed to Hornets for 1949), Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Dons, and the San Francisco Forty-Niners.

Two teams -- the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, took the names of existing local baseball teams (see Dodgers). What makes this unusually confusing is that there were just previously, or would soon be later, NFL teams with the same (or similar) baseball-team names. But first some general history...

With the end of the post-war boom in 1948, the AAFC could not sustain its battle with the NFL, and scrappy AAFC Commissioner Kessing -- I'm sorry, that was AAFC Commissioner Scrappy Kessing -- sought terms. At the end of the '49 season, the NFL merged-in three teams from the AAFC -- the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts -- and held a special draft for players from the four other surviving AAFC teams.

The Colts francise folded after one season (1950) in the NFL and the 49ers endured many lean years, but the Browns, which had dominated the AAFC and won all four AAFC titles, went on to win the 1950 NFL title against the LA Rams (formerly of Cleveland) in Cleveland. Cleveland continued to be dominant in the NFL, though less overwhelmingly than in the AAFC.

Now about those NYC-area teams... The NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers changed name to the Tigers for 1944 (please don't ask me about Detroit) and merged with the Boston Yanks for 1945. The owner of the defunct NFL Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers became a founder of the AAFC and owner of the AAFC Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946.

For 1946-1948, there were two AAFC teams in the five boroughs: the New York Yankees and the sorry Brooklyn Dodgers. The Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team was eventually offered a chance to buy their ailing namesake but passed. For 1949, AAFC Dodgers merged with the stronger local AAFC team to become the Brooklyn-New York Yankees, the same year that the NFL's Boston Yanks moved and became the New York Bulldogs. With the folding of the AAFC, the Bulldogs changed their name back in 1950, becoming the New York Yanks.

It happens that the first regular-season game ever played by the San Francisco Forty-Niners (and the first played by a California pro football team) was a 21-17 loss to the (AAFC) New York Yankees in September 8, 1946. In 1950, with the AAFC Yankees defunct and many of the players distributed by draft to other NFL teams, the San Francisco Forty-Niners played their first regular season game in the NFL on September 17 -- a 21-17 loss to the New York Yanks.

The NFL's Yanks did poorly and were sold to a group in Dallas, where they failed by midseason (1951, I think) as the NFL's Texans. They stayed on the road for the rest of the season and went to Baltimore for 1952 to become the new Baltimore Colts. Don't hold me to the precise years, or names or anything, 'cause I just blew a brain gasket.

Someday when you're older and have plenty of spare RAM, I'll tell you about the White Soxes.

Association of American Feed Control Officials. I imagine that AAFCO does good work, whut-everrr it is, but all I can think of is like, gag me with a spoon!

American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians. It's ``an organization of veterinarians whose professional activities and interests encompass the many contributions of veterinary medicine to a hygienic food supply.'' Kill them and eat them, but keep it clean?

AAFHV is also ``the United States constituent of the World Association of Veterinary Food Hygienists; the only professional food hygiene group represented in the AVMA House of Delegates.'' The AVMA ``House of Delegates''? It sounds so 1776.

American Academy of Family Physicians. They also offer a site with ``health information for the whole family.''

American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. ``The Academy consists of over 500 specialists around the world, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and competency in research, in teaching, and in the clinical practice of crown and bridge prosthodontics.'' Dentures.

American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

American Association of Feline Practitioners. They're veterinarians, not cat burglars.

American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. You know, with a little nip here and a tuck there, I could make a much more attractive and youthful-looking acronym for you. It's not about vanity, you know: it's simply good business sense. Your organization name is the face you present to the world; you'd be amazed how a pretty face draws customers. It makes you wonder what you're really selling.

Average Annual Full-Time Equivalent (students registered). A SUNY-specific acronym, apparently. More are explained at the end of this document.

Afdeling Agrarische Geschiedenis. Dutch `Department of Agrarian History.' See A.A.G. Bijdragen.

Association of American Geographers. Everyone agrees that it was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, but no one explains why. Did it have to do with the San Francisco earthquake (1906), the Russian-Japanese war, Einstein's special theory of relativity?

A constituent society of the ACLS since 1941. ACLS has an overview.

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

A.A.G. Bijdragen
A.A.G. Bijdragen. `[Department of Agrarian History] Contributions,' a journal published approximately annually by the A.A.G. (the department whose name is abbreviated in the journal title) at Wageningen UR. It's a monograph series, usually one per year, in Dutch (usually with an English summary).

American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Publishes a journal.

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. It iexisted from 1943 to 1954. It is now defunct. And if they were to bring it back now they wouldn't use the word girls.

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players' Association. Not defunct.

Average Annual Growth Rate.

American Association of Geodetic Surveying. Member organization of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).


Association of Ancient Historians. With members like Herodotus and Thucydides? No... historians of antiquity, not from it. You know, like tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste. There's a directory of Ancient Historians in the USA in Canada.

Association of Art Historians.
We are the leading subject association for art history and visual culture in the UK. The AAH plays a key role in helping shape and secure the future of art history. We support those involved in teaching, learning and research.
You can inhale now.

They seem to work with rather a long timeline. I received a general announcement for the 2018 annual conference, to ``be co-hosted by the Courtauld Institute of Art and King's College London on 5th-7th April 2018,'' on April 2, 2017. Then again, the ``theme of the conference is `Look out!'.''. (Kind of them to single-quote that for me.) The expectation is that they'll attract ``around 1000 researchers, practitioners, museum curators and heritage partners'' whatever that last is. Isn't it amazing that huge events like this occur and don't make the news?

Australian Academy of Humanities.

American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys. I'm hurt! Quick -- get me a personal injury lawyer! It's an emergency: call an ambulance chaser!

Phew! Okay, now that I'm convalescing I'll be needing a malpractice specialist.

American Animal Hospital Association. (The link is to a website aimed mostly at veterinarians, with conference information and such. The AAHA also has a healthypet.com website with information for pet owners.)

American Association of Homes for the Aging. Now AAHSA.

Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians. It ``provides education, resources and support that enhance the ability of veterinarians to create a positive, and ethical relationship between people, animals, and their environment.'' When I visited in Jan. 2009, the homepage had a picture of someone in green scrubs and white lab jacket with one hand on the pet and one hand on the owner. ``Please add http://AAH-ABV.org to your list of favorite Web sites.''

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. Ah-- ahem, we'd like a word with you about your bill.

According to a partner organization, it ``is the premier professional organization in healthcare administrative management. AAHAM was founded in 1968 as the American Guild of Patient Account Management. Initially formed to serve the interests of hospital patient account managers, AAHAM has evolved into a national membership association that represents a broad-based constituency of healthcare professionals.''

American Association for History and Computing.

You say you wanted the Association of Academic Health Centers? That's the AHC.

American Association for Health Education. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

American Association for Higher Education. Take another drag if you're not high enough yet.

The AAHE has been described as ``kind of like the Association of American Colleges but with a higher pulse rate.'' Hmmm -- interesting metaphor. On March 24, 2005, AAHE Board of Directors announced that ``the Association will cease operations later this year.

In a statement to AAHE members, board chair Bernadine Chuck Fong, president of Foothill College, said, Despite vigorous efforts, president Clara M. Lovett and the board concluded that the organization no longer has the resources to continue its historic leadership role in higher education.

`The spirit of AAHE must and will continue,' said Dr. Lovett, adding that plans are under way to continue the Association's work in Assessment, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Electronic Portfolios, Campus Program, and other initiatives under the leadership of other associations and academic institutions. She said that discussions are already under way with the Lumina Foundation concerning relocation of the BEAMS (Building Engagement and Attainment of Minority Students) Project and with Heldref Publications, publisher of Change magazine. Since 1985, AAHE has provided editorial leadership for the magazine.''

American Academy of Health, Fitness and Rehabilitation Professionals. Founded 1992 by Michael K. Jones, PhD, RPT, and Jeffrey Wright, RPT, gave a bunch of courses and granted a bunch of certifications up to at least 2004. However, sometime between then and April 2006, when I wrote this entry, it seems to have collapsed and died. Use it or lose it, I guess.

As Always Hoping I Have Left No One Out. Traditional disclaimer following list of acknowledgments on David Meadows's sometimes-even-more-than-weekly Explorator. Meadows stopped using this abbreviation in Spring 2003, perhaps because of the angry controversy over whether it shouldn't be a.a.h.I.h.l.n.o.o. or a.a.h.i h.l.n.o.o. Cf. nitle.

American Association for the History of Medicine. Founded in 1925, it is ``North America's oldest continuously functioning scholarly organization devoted to the study of all aspects of the history of the health professions, disease, public health, and related subjects. It ... comprise[s] ... professional historians, practicing health professionals, librarians and archivists in the history of the health sciences, graduate students and students actively seeking professional degrees.''

James Simon Kunen's The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary (Random House, 1968) is about the author's experiences at Columbia University, which in those days was also known as Guerrilla U. It includes the author's parody of a literary analysis of a very short poem, reproduced in its entirety here: ``Them? / Ahem!''

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Dance, Dance!

(Okay, just kidding.)

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The former AHP.

Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science. Also A2HPS3. The website looks authentically historical -- it was last modified in 1997 and has links to the 1994 and 1995 newsletters. I guess it's a shoestring organization like ours. Here's a little comradely advice: lose some unproductive letters. We started out with grandiose plans, as the Stammtisch Beau Fleuve. People would stop us at Burger King to ask us how to pronounce the name (``an gimme fries wit dat, too''). We weren't turning a profit, so we had to let a lot of characters go; we kept only the most initial ones, the ones up front, the profit-centers. Now we're SBF -- efficient. We still can't seem to turn a profit, though. I think the flaw in our business plan may be that we don't charge anybody for anything, but we can't afford an accountant to tell us for sure.

American Association for Hand Surgery.

American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. Previously known as AAHA.

Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries.

Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors.

Alfred Adler Institut Düsseldorf.

American Association of Immunologists.

Arab American Institute. No hyphen. ``[A] non-profit, nonpartisan national leadership organization for Americans of Arab descent who are interested in the democratic process.''

Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.

Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. (I hope that's pronounced ``Aye, aye! Coup. But I'm not going to make any effort to find out if it is, because it probably isn't.) A/k/a Alabama Independent Colleges. AAICU is an affiliate of NAICU. Surprised? You shouldn't be. AAICU seems to be growing briskly. When I read the homepage they had six members, and by the time the ``Member Institutions'' link had loaded, they had 14. (It wasn't a long wait, okay? I've got DSL.)

One of their members is the United States Sports Academy (USSA).

American Academy of Implant Dentistry. ``Dental implants are substitutes for the roots of missing teeth. They act as an anchor for a replacement tooth or crown or a set of replacement teeth.''

American Association of Individual Investors.

Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine. It ``consists of the Association of Professors of Medicine (APM), the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM), the Association of Subspecialty Professors (ASP), the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM), and the Administrators of Internal Medicine (AIM).''

American Academy of Insurance Medicine.

Asociación Argentina de Informática Médica.

Association for Applied Interactive Multimedia.

Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators. The Georgia chapter of the American Translators Association.

American Association for Justice. Not to be confused with the Justice League of America. The JLA defends the innocent while wearing colorful tights; the AAJ defends anyone while wearing Brooks Brothers suits or similarly uncolorful attire. The AAJ is a rebranding of the American Trial Lawyers Association.

AfroAsiatic { Languages | Linguistics }.

Aid Association for Lutherans.

ATM Adaptation Layer. The layer of electronics closest to the sender or receiver. It chops up voice, data, image, video, whatnot data into 48-byte packets of information and passes them to the ATM layer, which slaps on a 5-byte header to produce 53-byte cells. AAL also performs the reverse procedure (generating audio, video, etc. from packetized data).

The AAL is divided into an upper sublayer called a convergence sublayer (CS) and a lower sublayer called SAR for segmentation and reassembly.

AAL uses different protocols for different kinds of data. See AAL1 through AAL5.

A shrub found in the East Indies (according to OSPD4) and in the Scrabble tablelands. The plural form is aals.

German word for `eel.' (Masculine by default; plural form `Aale.')

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Organized as the Animal Care Panel (ACP) in 1950, took current name in 1967. A professional, nonprofit association of people and institutions ``concerned with the production [I like that word], care and study of laboratory animals [per se].''

Amphibious Assault Landing Craft.

American Academy for Liberal Education. You can join for a mere US$3000, but you have to be an institution.

A tree found in the tropics and in the vowel-rich soils of the Scrabble forest, which is seeded with as many A's as I's (nine of each). The plural form is aaliis.

American Association of Law Libraries.

ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) Protocol Data Unit.

American Association for Leisure and Recreation. One of six national associations within the AAHPERD.

Association of American Law Schools. Founded 1900. A constituent society of the ACLS since 1958. ACLS has an overview.

Association of American Library Schools. Read this in a 1976 item; it may not be current.

Asian American Law Students Association at UB.

ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) type 1. Protocol standard for constant bit rate (CBR) traffic like audio and video, and for emulation of TDM-based circuits such as DS-1 and E-1.

ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) type 2. Protocol standard for supporting real-time VBR communications -- i.e., connection-oriented traffic, a/k/a streaming audio and video.

ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) type 3 and 4. Protocol standard that upports both real-time and non-real-time VBR, as well as SMDS.

ATM Adaptation Layer (AAL) type 5.

Air-to-Air Missile.

The initials of Alexei A. Maradudin, well-known researcher in the physics of solids, with a particular focus (sorry, I had to say that) on the use of light scattering to study their surfaces and excitation spectra. His first publication, in 1957, was his only one that year, and so far about half-way through 2010 he's apparently only published three papers, but in between he has been prolific enough; ISI credits him with 600 publications.

A.A.M. are also the initials of Albert Abraham Michelson, famous for measuring the speed of light very precisely.

For some mild coincidences involving two initials and three scholars, instead of vice versa, see this A. E. entry.

Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. They go by ``Auto Alliance'' for short, but others use AAM for shorter. The AAM, founded in January 1999, is the successor of AAMA, which was disbanded at the end of 1999. The Washington office closed its doors for the last time on New Year's Eve. The AAMA had been a trade association of American car manufacturers for 98 years, and after Chrysler Corp. was acquired by Daimler-Benz AG in 1999, the two remaining members -- GM and Ford -- quickly decided to replace it with a new organization.

The trade group was initially being bankrolled largely by six members with full voting rights: General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Nissan, and Volkswagen. (``Industry maverick'' Honda rejected overtures to join the new alliance.) BMW, Volvo, and Mazda would participate in meetings and discussions as associate members. Membership has varied a little bit. By January 2001, FIAT, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and Porsche had joined.

Here's a nice correct use of the verb comprise, from the alliance's about page (browsed in July 2007; lower-cased for readability): ``The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 9 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.'' Oh sorry, that was just an odd use of the verb include.

(As of July 2007, ``DaimlerChrysler'' was correct. The previous May, an affiliate of the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., New York, agreed to buy an 80.1% equity interest in a future new company, Chrysler Holding LLC, with DaimlerChrysler to hold a 19.9% equity interest in the new company. The closing of the transaction took place on August 3, 2007. It may have taken a couple of months for the various name changes to become official. DaimlerCrysler was renamed Daimler AG and its stock ticker symbol (it's listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges and the NYSE) changed to DAI.

American Association of Museums. Holds its annual meeting in May.

American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. GM manufacturing facilities in Saginaw, New York (in the Buffalo area), which were spun off as a separate entity in 1994.

In February 1997, negotiations between the new management and the UAW went to the eleventh hour, eventually settling on wage and bonus terms similar to the union's pact with GM, with wages to rise to $25/hr in the third year of the agreement. At the time, industry analysts said the agreement would put American Axle at a substantial cost disadvantage relative to other component makers.

Nevertheless, in September 1997, AAM announced a deal to sell a majority stake to the Blackstone Group, a New York-based investment group. American Axle concentrates on components for rear-drive vehicles and makes axles for nearly all GM trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUV) produced in North America, and that sector was booming even as car sales declined.

American Automobile Manufacturers' Association. I visited their website some time after Chrysler was bought by Daimler-Benz and it looked pretty moribund. For details, see the entry for the AAM (the successor organization). The AAMA was itself the successor or renaming of the MVMA.

Architectural Aluminum Manufacturers' Association.

Association of American Medical Colleges.

Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

American Assembly for Men in Nursing. ``Assembly''? Sounds like high school. ``The purpose of AAMN is to provide a framework for nurses as a group to meet, discuss, and influence factors which affect men as nurses.
Membership is open to any nurse -- male or female -- to better facilitate discussion and to meet the most important objective of AAMN -- strengthening and humanizing health care.''

AAMOF, aamof
As A Matter Of Fact. (Treated as a word when written in lower case, so first letter is capitalized at beginning of a sentence.) Cf. more careful AFAIK.

As A Matter Of Interest. But is it a fact?

American Association of Medical Record Librarians. Once the name of an organization founded as the Association of Record Librarians of North America (ARLNA, q.v.).

American Association for Medical Systems and Informatics.

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. The campus is in Normal.

Action for Animals Network.

American Academy of Neurology.

American Academy of Nursing.

Army After Next. Some speculative exercises conducted by the US Army in 1998, intended to explore possible future issues in a different sort of next war than we eventually got.

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

Atti della Accademia di Scienze morali e politiche della Società nazionale di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Napoli. In a fairly literal translation: `Acts of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of the National Society of Sciences, Letters, and Arts at Naples.' The abbreviation AAN is used by APh.

The expansion of AAN is sometimes written with ``di'' (`of') in place of ``in'' (`at, in'). This sometimes reflects the influence of the APh abbreviation list (that was the case for this very entry, originally) or the history of the society, which was founded in 1808 and was known as the Società Reale di Napoli until the end of the last monarchy (except that it was Società Reale Borbonica di Napoli from 1817 to 1861). There is some apparent disagreement regarding whether the ``di'' was officially changed to ``in'' on February 19, 1948, when -- on instructions from the two-year-old republican government -- ``Reale'' was struck from the name. (See a detailed history in English here.) In any case, the journal is not just for the arts of, at, or in Naples; it just happens that Naples is the location of Italy's national academy of sciences. I'm not absolutely sure this is Italy's only national academy of sciences, and I don't know if this journal is still published. I have begun research into these questions, however, and I am already able to inform you that my library doesn't and never has received the journal.

Also, one sometimes sees the name ending in ``Arti di Napoli, Napoli,'' but that's just a bit of informational sugar, as the computer scientists would say. It's like the ``London'' in ``London Times'' or in ``Nature (London).'' Or it would be if, say, the London Times were called the London Times, and somebody for some reason wrote the ``London London Times.'' Not to mention the London [Manchester] Guardian.

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Arthroscopy Association of North America.

American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Used to be the ``American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine'' (AAEM).


American Association for Neo-Latin Studies. ``The purpose of the AANLS is to promote the study and teaching of Latin and Latin-language literature in their Neo-Latin manifestations, from the beginning of Italian humanism until the present day. Despite [the SBF glossarist would write ``because of'' here] the sheer size, [but despite the] importance, and longevity of this body of texts, much Neo-Latin literature remains overlooked and in acute need of every kind of scholarly attention, including basic inventorying and editing of texts; application of critical methods old and new; up-to-date translations for a wide audience; and cross-disciplinary linkage of these texts to the variety of fields for which they constitute valuable evidence, including the physical and social sciences as well as the humanities.''

I am reminded of ``Neo-Spanish,'' which is discussed at the 40 entry.

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. (``Naturopathic physicians'' are ``N.D.'s.'')

American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

American Association for Nude Recreation. Based in Kissimmee(!), Florida. (Website design by Captain Jack Communications.) Founded in 1931. The AANR affiliate near my new home describes itself as a ``family naturist resort.'' It was founded in 1947. At the time that it was founded, the area was mostly farms. ``Sunny Haven'' is behind some high walls in the woods.

Alberta Association of Optometrists.

a. a. O.
German, am angegebenen Ort or am angeführten Ort, `at the place given' or `at the place indicated': loc. cit. This glossary has an entry for this Ort.

American Academy of Ophthalmology. ``The Eye M.D. Association.''

American Academy of Optometry.

American Academy of Osteopathy. Promotes or promoted the concept of cranial therapy. Listed on Quackwatch's page of ``Questionable Organizations.''

American Association of Orthodontists. Oh, man! It's a traffic jam of medical specialties with AAO abbreviations!

Anglo-Australian Observatory. Consists of the 3.9 meter Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and the 1.2 meter UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) on Siding Spring Mountain, outside Coonabarabran, NSW; and a laboratory in the Sydney, Australia, suburb of Epping. Funding by Australian and British governments.

Anodic Aluminum Oxide. Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is one of those Cinderella materials, like graphite and soot, that was known but underappreciated before the nanoeverything craze. AAO is a mostly amorphous form of the material, grown electrolytically, as the name implies. AAO has a self-ordered pattern of pores that has been found very useful as a substrate for all manner of nanodevices.

American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. Promotes or promoted the concept of clinical ecology. Listed on Quackwatch's page of ``Questionable Organizations.''

American Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. Also went by the initialism ODC; changed its name in 1972 to become the IADC, q.v.

American Association of Orthopaedic [sic] Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Ah--Oww! You know, I don't like the way that initialism looks. It's strangely articulated. No, no -- don't move it! Lie perfectly still! We'll get a spinal professional to look at it very soon.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Founded in 1933. ``[T]he preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world.''

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Founded in 1997 by the board of directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A Washington, D.C., lobby for that other AAOS. There's also a PAC, founded in 1999.

Academy of American Poets. (No, no, not the ``American Academy of Poets'' -- there is no such organization.) They don't call themselves the ``AAP'' -- it's not poetical; they call themselves ``the Academy.'' I've just placed the entry here for sensible people. Sensible people probably also want to know what the AAP does. The AAP promotes public appreciation of poetry. They do this by paying audiences so that poets don't have to read to empty rooms. (I guess I better admit right away that the previous sentence is a joke; it's pretty believable, and loosely speaking it's probably true, so you shouldn't feel embarrassed or inadequate or downright imbecilic if you didn't see that it was an obvious joke. There, there, now -- it's alright, gimme a big smile!)

The AAP sponsors NPM.

American Academy of Pediatrics.

American Academy of Periodontology. We actually have a tiny bit of additional information about the AAP at this PI entry.

Applications Access Point.

Asian Academy of Prosthodontics. The organization name is prominently (i.e., in the window title of all its pages) misspelled (``Prosthtodoctic'') at its website as of November 24, 2008. Isn't prosthodontics all about looking good?

Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. See AJP.

Association of Academic Psychiatry.

Association of American Physicians.

Association of American Publishers, Inc. About three hundred member publishers, as of late 2002. Pat Schroeder represented Colorado in the US House of Representatives (D-CO1: Denver) from 1973 to 1996. After a brief stint at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School, she became president of the AAP in June 1997. She still holds that position in 2007.

Atti dell'Accademia Pontiana, Napoli.

Australasian Association for Philosophy. AAP(NZ) is its New Zealand Division.

Australian Associated Press. Australia's national news agency, founded um, in 1940 or a bit before. Most Australian news is sourced from AAP. In addition to national, regional, and local general news from Australia, there's significant coverage of company developments through its press release service.

American Academy of Physician Assistants.

American Association of Port Authorities. An ``alliance of leading ports in the Western Hemisphere [that] protects and advances the common interests of its diverse members as they connect their communities with the global transportation system.''

``Diverse'' is a general-purpose word meaning ``it's all good.''

American Association of Psychiatric Administrators.

Asian American Psychological Association. ``The AAPA was formed to advance the welfare of Asian Americans through the development of Asian American psychology.''

American Academy of Professional Coders. The Academy ``was founded in an effort to elevate the standards of medical coding by providing ongoing education, certification, networking and recognition.''

American Association of Political Consultants. They have a Code of Professional Ethics! And a Hall of Fame! In 2013, Lee Atwater was posthumously inducted into the latter!

American Association of Poison Control Centers. Visit now and learn the number of a poison control center near (or maybe not so near) you.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

American Association of People with Disabilities. According to JFA, the AAPD is ``the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the United States [you wonder how far you can loosen the multiple qualifications and preserve the truth value of this statement; AAPD's self-description scratches the national but adds nonpartisan], dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities. [Almost one in five? Is this mostly the elderly popsulation, or are they just counting extreme stupidity as a disability?] AAPD works in coalition with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.''

I remember in Mr. Warnock's ninth-grade Geometry class, how often when I would make a clarifying observation, there would be a commotion and a feverish scrawling, and with some ceremony a condisciple would soon present me with an ``Al Kriman Award.'' Judy was one of the more frequent presenters. She went on to be a TV news producer. I believe the award was in recognition of my obscurity, but neither I nor anyone else can recall any of my award-winning words. Eventually, someone who was also taking Print Shop printed up a tear-off stack of Al Kriman Awards with blue sans-serif lettering. It was a somewhat unruly class. Mr. Warnock used to plead wearily (not to me in particular, I think) ``you don't have to listen, but PLEASE SHUT UP!'' I don't think I ever gave a very long acceptance speech. I always thought it was peculiar to receive an honor named after oneself, but according to the program for AAPD's 2004 Leadership Gala, ``AAPD will also present the first-ever Linda Chavez-Thompson Award to Linda Chavez-Thompson, in recognition of her longstanding leadership towards inclusion of people with disabilities and their families within the labor movement.''

Asian Academy of Preventive Dentistry.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists. See also the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Abstracts (of papers delivered at the annual meeting of the) American PHilological Association. The APA photocopies and sells them at the meeting. Surprisingly, these informal publications are indexed by APh. Or maybe not so surprisingly, as the abstracts are refereed to select speakers.

American Association of Public Health Veterinarians. Some years ago, the AAPHV had a page hosted by the AVMA. Today (early 2009), its page is hosted by the ACVPM. It looks just a wee bit inactive, to judge from web presence.

Association d'Aide aux Personnes Incontinentes. I don't think I'm going to translate this. I mean -- I could do, I want to, I'm aching to, but I can hold it in.

Audio Applications Programming Interface.

American Academy of Pain Management. I don't know what you do, but sometimes when I try to walk on a strained tendon, I like to chew on my shoulder.

American Academy of Pain Medicine.

American Association of Physicists in Medicine. ``Adheres'' to the IOMP. That sounds vaguely unsanitary; I guess a word was wanted that wouldn't imply that AAPM was somehow subordinate to, subsumed under, or in any other way sub to the IOMP. I guess ``affiliated'' was tainted by its etymology (Latin filius, -i, masc., meaning `son'). Still, the IOMP doesn't claim to be an adhering organization of the AAPM. Would ``associated'' have implied too much independence?

In the context of associations, the word adhere is often used in the sense of conform to a rule or convention.


American Association for Public Opinion Research.

AAP Pleonasm.

Association for the Advancement of Philosophy & Psychiatry. It ``was established in 1989 to promote cross-disciplinary research in the philosophical aspects of psychiatry and to support educational initiatives and graduate training programs.'' (The URL looks impermanent. You may have to do a search.) ``Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology (PPP) is the official journal of the organization, published in conjunction with the Royal College of Psychiatrists Philosophy Group by The Johns Hopkins University Press.'' You know, stuttering is listed among p-p-p-psychological and behavioral disorders in ICD-10 (the code is F98.5). Let's think deeppp thoughts about this.

a.-a.p. pleonasm
Abbreviation-Assisted Pleonasm pleonasm. Plural form: a.-a.p.p. pleonasms. Implicitly refers to abbreviations that are not also acronyms or initialisms that have honorary acronym status. Pretty rare, compared to the AAP pleonasm, and even in absolute terms. So far, in fact, we've only noticed ``UK and Northern Ireland'' (``short'' for ``the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland''). If we notice another, we'll start introducing ugly and stupid variant plural forms like ``a.a.-a.a.p.p. pleonasmses.'' Don't tell me that would be ugly, stupid, or redundant, redundantly so or not.

AAP pleonasm
Acronym-Assisted Pleonasm PLEONASM.
    Here are some of the most popular, according to the latest updated rankings of an authoritative local study group:
  1. PIN number.
  2. VIN number.
  3. UPC code.
  4. HIV virus.
  5. ATM machine.
  6. MIDI interface.
  7. GUI Interface.
  8. Cisco Ccie.
  9. ABS System.
  10. or OBO.
  11. ABS Braking System. (What is it? A sense of déjà vu? You think this entry is...redundant?)
  12. CableACE Awards.
  13. PILOT payment.
  14. Saab AB.
  15. VCH Verlag; Wiley-VCH Verlag.
  16. MOSFET transistor.
  17. HRL Laboratories (or Labs).
  18. ECL logic.
  19. FET transistor.
  20. HARM missile.
  21. BTU unit[s]
  22. IUPUI (strictly speaking, this is an acronym with built-in pleonasm).
  23. BJT transistor. Has lost a lot of ground to MOSFET's, even to JFET's.
  24. For FPO.
  25. RTL level.
  26. FRED diode.
  27. TTP program.
  28. Software ISV.
  29. OT Topic.
  30. YELT Test.
  31. MECL logic. Very obsolete technology.

Deserving of special recogition is the extravagantly redundant BUILT Informationstechnologie AG.

First-runner-up: LIRA-Lab, apparently also an official pleonasm.

Honorable Mention: ``The NAVE Virtual Environment'' An AAP pleonasm constructed from a XARA.

Repeated, reckless use of AAP pleonasms is PNS Syndrome. If acronym AAP pleonasm is a problem, then perhaps sometimes XARA's are the solution. Indeed, if ``Acronym-assisted AAP Pleonasm'' were the expansion of AAP (it isn't, I think), then AAP itself would be a XARA. Look, just follow the link, already!

What, still here? Feeling sympathetically contrarian? See the false pleonasm entry.

American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology. I'd like to say something about the name of this organization, but I just can't seem to get the words out of my mouth.

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Looks like a third declension. I guess aapem would be the accusative singular form. Sounds pretty aggressive, too.

American Association of Physician Specialists.

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. ``A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943.'' Oh cool -- they have a motto in, uh, looks like Greek to me: ``Omnia pro aegroto.''

American Association of Philosophy Teachers. Hmmm. Let's think about that.

American Association of Physics Teachers. Based in College Park, Maryland, at the famous address One Physics Ellipse.

Airport { Acceptance | Arrival } Rate. The amount of incoming traffic an airport is deemed capable of accepting. Normally stated as number of arrivals per hour.


American Academy in Rome.

American Academy of Religion, founded 1957. A constituent society of the ACLS since 1979. ACLS has an overview.

Begun as the Association of Biblical Instructors in American Colleges and Secondary Schools, it changed name in December 1922 to National Association of Biblical Instructors (NABI). The name was favored in part because nabi is Hebrew for `prophet.' Personally, I would distinguish between a biblical instructor like Samuel or Isaiah, say, and a Bible instructor like Ismar J. Peritz of Syracuse University, who conceived the idea of the modern organization in 1909. The current name was adopted in 1964.

AAR is closely associated with the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).

Association of (North) American Railroads.

Association of Authors' Representatives. A nonprofit ``organization of independent literary and dramatic agents.'' Among the requirements to join is two years in the business of being an agent.

The central reality to be understood here is that there is a large pool of frustrated wannabe-published hacks. Note the hyphen: they are hacks, what they want to be is published. Perhaps they've already had their manuscripts rejected by a few or a few dozen publishers. The cream of the crud may have had a few helpful criticisms in reply, but usually the assistant editor charged with processing the slush pile has read and discarded it on the basis of one or two paragraphs, and isn't going to bother attempting to educate the hopelessly ineducable. Many ``unpublished authors'' get the idea, or are mischievously given it, that their problem started at the transom, whereas really it started at the keyboard. Specifically, PEBCAK.

The comforting idea is that you need an ``in'' with the publishers -- a clubby, exclusive bunch consistent with your fantasies of the glamour of the publishing universe. The agent is your ``in.'' This delusion creates an opportunity for scam artists, who promise eventual publication and charge fees that are ultimately their main source of income. Reading fees, evaluation fees, marketing fees, office expenses, travel expenses, submission fees, shmooze-with-editors-at-expensive-French-restaurant expenses, etc. The SFWA has a nice long informative page on not getting stiffed. Damn! I wish I'd read that first! The AAR and similar organizations play a useful self-policing role for the agenting industry, by establishing codes of conduct which assure that their members, at least, are dealing honestly.

The AAR's code of ethics is called ``the Canon of Ethics.'' Similar organizations are the AAA in the UK (with a ``Code of Practice''), NZALA in New Zealand (``Code of Behaviour''), and AALA in Australia (just starting up as of this writing: founded in 2002; ``Code of Practice'' still in draft form). Canadian literary agents listed (not necessarily recommended) by TWUC do not list any AAR- or AAA-like memberships, and I'm not aware that the relevant laws in Canada are considerably stronger than in other English-speaking countries.

I know one fellow who submitted his novel (directly -- without an agent) to only a dozen or a score of publishers and actually got a nibble. The house sent the novel to two, then two more, and finally another two outside readers for review. (Maybe it was just the first chapter; I forget.) The first four, and one of the last two, liked it. Once they got a don't-like-it from a reader, they rejected it. The author never received any specific comments on the work. This all doesn't strike me as the most efficient way to do business, but maybe they're just a front or something. I guess you need an agent. (For an alternative approach, read this AAF entry.)

Automatic Alternative (communication) Routing.

Air-Air Refueling Area.

Alcohol and Addictions Resource Center. From the name, you'd guess it was a city park. But I guess they don't mean that kind of resource. AARC is based in South Bend and, um, serves Michiana.

AARHMS, aarhms
The American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spam. I didn't even know there was Spam in the middle ages. Oh wait -- that's the ``American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain.'' Sorry, my error.

Aarhms maintains a site called LIBRO.

Alberta Association of Registered Nurses.

Association for Australian Rural Nurses.

American Association of Retired Persons. You are welcome to join at age 50. Some pronounce AARP like Cockney `harp.'

In the movie Absolute Power (1997), Clint Eastwood, in the role of an aging thief (Luther Whitney), says

Go down a rope in the middle of the night? If I could do that, I'd be the star of my AARP meetings.

Generations hence, multimedia audiences will marvel at the many-layered subtlety of today's golden age of film dialogue. Cf. VCR entry.

It turns out that AARP no longer stands for ``American Association of Retired Persons.'' It's just a name now, it doesn't stand for anything, okay? It's what we call a sealed acronym.

In January 2005, accepting his New York Film Critics award for Best Director (for ``Million Dollar Baby'') Eastwood commented that ``Outside of the AARP sticker on my trailer, I'm no different than any other director.'' He needs to retire his gag writer.

Appletalk Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).

African Academy of Sciences.

American Antiquarian Society. More than a century passed between their foundation (1812) and their becoming a constituent society of the ACLS (1919). Impressive that they're always ``in character.'' (Similarly, their internet site was one of the last sites serving gopher protocol.)

ACLS has an overview, according to which their principal activity is ``[m]aintenance of a national research library [ (hours) (directions by horseless buggy) ] focusing on all aspects of American history and culture through 1876.''

AAS says it ``specializes in the American period to 1877, and holds two-thirds of the total pieces known to have been printed in this country between 1640 and 1821, as well as the most useful source materials and reference works printed since that period. Its files of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American newspapers, numbering two million issues, are the finest anywhere.''

Also: ``AAS is the third oldest historical society in this country and the first to be national rather than regional in its purpose and in the scope of its collections.''

American Association of Suicidology. At least when they bury this tragic neologism, it won't be in the churchyard.

American Astronomical Society.

American Astronautical Society. Something else again. They're concerned with putting intelligent life in nearby outer space, whether or not there's any out there already.

American Auditory Society. ``The American Audiology Society was formed in October, 1974. In June, 1978, after a vote by the members of the Society, the name was changed to the American Auditory Society.'' (Did they vote in favor of it?)

Angle-Angle-Side. (If triangles have two corresponding angles and one corresponding side equal in measure, then the two triangles are congruent.) Also ASA, and given the number of geometry books that have been written, probably SAA as well. Cf. SAS and SSS.

Association for Asian Studies, founded 1941, as publisher of the Far Eastern Quarterly (now the Journal of Asian Studies). Talk about getting in on the ground floor -- 1941 was the year that the Japanese Empire went to war against the United States. A constituent society of the ACLS since 1954. ACLS has an overview.

Atomic Absorption Spectro{ scopy | photomet{er|try} }. Often just `AA.'

Here's some instructional material from Virginia Tech (VT).

Australian Academy of Science.

AAs, AA's
Author's AlterationS. In principle, and even occasionally in practice, there may be just a singular alteration, but the difference between AAs and AA is one of grammatical number: AA tends to be construed singular.

Acrylonitrile/Acrylic elastomer/Styrene terpolymer. (Read ``acrylic elastomer'' as a single term, or just ignore ``elastomer.'') AAS resin was developed to improve the weatherability of ABS resin (butadiene elastomer).
American Association of School Administrators. Meets annually at the National Conference on Education held each February.

American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

American Association for the Study of Headache. But not tonight. Or ever again -- they changed the name to American Headache Society (AHS).

American Association of State Highway Officials. Founded on December 12, 1914, it inserted ``and Transportation'' (to become AASHTO) in November 13, 1973.

American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials. See also AASHO.

American Association of School Librarians. A division of the ALA.

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Related entries: ADHF, ALF.

American Association for State and Local History. Boy, did I ever have this entry garbled. Among the organization's publications is a quarterly magazine called History News and a monthly newsletter with job listings, called Dispatch. It's an affiliated society of the AHA.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. I think this must have had a name like ``American Sleep Disorders Association''; its domain is <asda.org>.


Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. This is the signature series of ASOR, a book series that began in 1919 (first volume appear 1920). Despite the name, publication has not always been very precisely periodical, although volumes did come out annually from 1992 to 2000 (AASOR 50-57); AASOR 60 has copyright year 2005.

ASOR has two other book series as well as various periodicals: a bulletin (BASOR), Near Eastern Archaeology (NEA), and the ASOR Newsletter (all quarterlies) as well as an annual Journal of Cuneiform Studies (JCS).

AASOR's editorial offices were originally (I believe) in New Haven, Conn., and later (through the 1970's) in Cambridge, Mass. From the 1980's through 1992, the series was published by Eisenbrauns. (This is a small academic press based in Winona Lake, Indiana. Founded by Jim Eisenbraun in 1975, it specializes in ancient Near Eastern studies, archaeology, Assyriology, and biblical studies.) From 1993 the series was with Scholars Press in Atlanta, Georgia (i.e., at Emory University, mentioned at this S.P.D. entry). We all know what happened to Scholars Press at the end of 1999, but since 1998 AASOR has been based at Boston University and published by David Brown Book Co.

AAS oscillations
Al'tshuler, Aronov, Spivak OSCILLATIONS. Oscillations in transport properties that are periodic in one-half of a flux quantum: Øo/2 = h/2e , observed in low-temperature transport in both metals and semiconductors, where conduction can take alternative paths that enclose magnetic flux.

Theoretical explanation in terms of weak localization is associated with alternating destructive and constructive interference of time-reversed scattering paths of individual diffusing electrons. (The paths are only approximately time-reversed, because magnetic field breaks the invariance. This becomes an issue at larger fields.)

Theoretical paper: B. L. Al'tshuler, A. G. Aronov, and B. Z. Spivak, Pis'ma Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 33, 101 (1981) [JETP Lett. 33, 94 (1981)].

Experimental paper: D. Yu. Sharvin and Yu. V. Sharvin, Pis'ma Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 34, 285 (1981) [JETP Lett. 34, 272 (1981)].

American Association for Single People. Also called ``Unmarried America.'' Or possibly not: ``Unmarried America is the membership division of Spectrum Institute (also known as the American Association for Single People).''

``Unmarried America engages in education and advocacy for America's 86 million unmarried adults. Our group includes people who are ever-single, divorced, or widowed, and who have a variety of living arrangements (solo singles, single parents, domestic partners, roommates, and unmarried families). We are seeking fairness for unmarried employees, consumers, and taxpayers as well as more recognition of unmarried voters.''

I guess ``ever-single'' is a euphemism to protect the feelings of people who have never ever been married. This is so silly it defeats any effort at parody.

A June 2004 Wall Street Journal article by Jeffrey Zaslow (no, I don't know if he's available) began thus:

When Thomas Coleman visits legislators in Washington, D.C., to lobby for the rights of unmarried Americans, he isn't always taken seriously. People learn the name of his organization -- the American Association for Single People - ``and they immediately snicker,'' he says. ``They'll ask, `What's a dating service doing here in the Capitol?' ''

The article explains that the ``association ... also goes by Unmarried America to avoid the singles-club stigma....'' Everybody's a linguist these days.

American Association of Swine Practitioners. What a concept in emotional counseling!

Oh -- a veterinarians' group. And they gave up this cool name to become the AASV? Keep the faith, AABP!

ASCII Asynchronous Support Package.

Asia-Africa Sub-Regional Organization Conference. A meeting of a couple of dozen states in July 2003. The meeting was opened by Indonesian president Megawati Soekarnoputri (see see this MW entry), who had proposed the meeting in 2002. The meeting generated a number of documents about intercontinental cooperation in a spirit of mutual respect and blah blah, but an even more substantive achievement was preparation for a meeting in 2005, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference (AAC). The earlier conference was presided over by President Sukarno, Megawati's father. The 1955 meeting, like the 2003 meeting, was held in the West Java capital of Bandung, but many things have changed in the intervening 48 years. For starters, the conference name has doubled in size. If it gets any longer it will be too unwieldy to be practical. They should consider splitting the conference into separate African and Asian meetings. (The national capital, Jakarta, is also in West Java, about 100 miles NW of Bandung.)

American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners. Could this mean... llamas!!?

Affiliated somehow with the AVMA.

What about sheep?

Asia Aero Supply Services.

American Association of State Social Work Boards. Now the ASWB.

American Association of Swine Veterinarians. Cf. AASP.

Acetic Acid Test. See VIA.

An American Translation, published in 1976. Why read a translation when you can read the original in Early Modern English?

Anglo-Australian Telescope. See AAO entry.

Animal-Assisted Therapy. The animal is not a leech. Cf. AAA.

Art and Architecture Thesaurus. An on-line service of the Getty Institute. A multi-level-hierarchical thesaurus with cross references and even a bit of useful information.

(UK) Association of Accounting Technicians.

Average Access Time.

Advanced (abbreviated A!) Authoring Tools.

The American Association of Teachers of Arabic. AATA ``aims to facilitate communication and cooperation [among] teachers of Arabic and to promote study, criticism, research and instruction in the field of Arabic language pedagogy, Arabic linguistics and Arabic literature.''

Ann Arbor (MI) Transit Agency. Buses.

Art & Archaeology Technical Abstracts. AATA, published on mutilated tree corpses from 1966 to 2000, is continued by AATA Online: Abstracts of International Conservation Literature.

Advanced Automatic Train Control.

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists.

American Association of Teachers of French. This glossary has occasionally useful entries for France and for the French langue.

American Association of Teachers of German. Serving teachers of German since 1926.

Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. It used to be called the American Association for Therapeutic Humor. I salute them for modifying the name without using a different punch line, I mean acronym.

Of course, the old claim goes that it takes twenty-five more muscles to frown than to smile, or something like that. So if it's strong face muscles you want, a real facial work-out, ill-humor is the face-healthy way to go. Grimace and snarl your way to strong, sexy lips!

Snopes has a page for this proverb, and includes a compilation of the putative respective numbers of muscles. Here are just the numbers (update of 2004.04.08):

muscle cnt.:     ratio
smile  frown
  17     41      2.4117647058823529
  17     43      2.5294117647058823
  13     33      2.538461
  13     50      3.846153
  15     65      4.3

   4     35      8.75

  10    100     10

  20    317     15.85

   4     64     16

   1     37     37

What we can see from this is that when both muscle counts are composite numbers, they almost always have a common factor.

American Association of Teachers of Italian.

Alliance of Association of Teachers of Japanese. ``The Alliance offers training and professional development to Japanese language teachers in a variety of forms: by sponsoring workshops and summer institutes, by awarding individual small grants, and by sponsoring publications and materials.'' Apparently the AATJ is part of the ATJ.

Asociación Argentina de Tecnología Nuclear.

I can't seem to find a homepage for the organization (contact information on this page served by the Asociación Física Argentina, for AFA's nuclear and other divisions). I hope I can make it up to you with all necessary information. I'll just touch on the highlights. As they seem to me. The initially popular nationalist dictator Juan Perón was a great one for colorfully exaggerated turns of phrase. He famously boasted that Argentina would develop nuclear power and would sell it in 1 and 1.5-liter bottles (``en botellas de litro y litro y medio''). Mark this well: specificity adds bite. For other examples, also in the fiction genre, read Dickens. During the dictatorship, my father (Ing. Oscar Kriman) gave a public lecture on peaceful use of nuclear energy, as they used to say, and a government agent attended the lecture to make sure he said nothing that put Perón in a poor light.

People who know nothing of Argentine politics besides the Evita soundtrack wonder how anyone could fail to be charmed by a whore-turned-philanthropic-shakedown-artist and her fascist husband. It is hard to understand if you insist on remaining utterly ignorant, I guess. Oh wait: the prostitution charges, as well as any sense of historical reality, are denied on this worshipful webpage at the Eva Perón Foundation.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, well, Gabriel (another physicist of Argentine origin, like me) told me in 1980 that before the dirty war, Argentina had had more physicists per capita than any other country on earth. I haven't had a chance in the last quarter century to check that, but it seems credible. The dirty war began as the government of Isabelita Perón (J.D. Perón's third wife and vice president, then widow and president) was coming apart in the mid-1970's. The homepage of the AFA has a link to a list of 24 disappeared physicists, but many more left before they could be disappeared.

American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Animal-Assisted-Therapy Team[s].

Amateur Athletic Union. You know, millions of unfortunate children across this great country are forced to focus on schoolwork during their school years -- educational stuff, books and pencils and all that. How is that ever going to improve their ability to flip a hamburger, eh? Each and every one of these children is missing the chance of a lifetime.

Association of African Universities. Association des Universités Africaines (l'AUA).

``The Association of African Universities is an international non-governmental organisation set up by the universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and between them and the international Academic community. ...formed in November 1967 at a founding conference in Rabat, Morocco, attended by representatives of 34 universities who adopted the constitution of the Association. This followed earlier consultations among executive heads of African universities at a UNESCO conference on higher education in Africa in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in 1962 and at a conference of heads of African universities in 1963 in Khartoum, Sudan.''

Leave this site and read the Constitution and Bye Laws!

Association of American Universities. An association of sixty-one ``leading research universities'' in the US and Canada, as of April 2001.

``Founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of US universities... today focuses on issues that are important to research-intensive universities, such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education.''

Association of Arab-American University Graduates.

Association of American University Presses. You can visit their Combined Online Catalog/Bookstore.

American Association of University Professors.

American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators.

American Association of University Women. Founded in 1881 to protect and promote the opportunity for women to attend university. Has recently taken up more hip causes. Holds its biennial national convention in June of odd-numbered years.

See more at the YWLS.

AdenoAssociated Virus[es].

Alternate Access Vendors.

Association of Avian Veterinarians.

The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. The only way I could have made this up myself is by playing Mad Libs.

American Association of Veterinary Anatomists.

American Association of Veterinary Clinicians. ``The mission of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians is to enhance the quality of and be an advocate for veterinary clinical teaching, service, and research.'' Personally, I'm just gratified at their proficient construction of a tandem parallel structure, complete with different prepositions with a common object. They can put down my dog any day.

African American Vernacular English. What used to be called BEV.

American Association of Veterinary Immunologists.

American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

American Anti-Vivisection Society.

American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

American Association of Variable Star Observers. The stars are variable, not necessarily the observers.


Auctores Varii. Latin: `Various authors.' Not the sort of abbreviation you'd be likely to encounter the singular form (A.V.) of. VV.AA. in Spanish.

Advertising Association of Winnipeg, Inc. Huh! And here I was thinking it was Winnipeg, Ont.

Hmmm. I seem to remember Winnipeg is a pretty big city. Why can't I find it on the map? There it is! What's it doing as the capital of Manitoba? This has been a very confusing day.

American Association for Women Radiologists. Founded in 1981 ``to provide a forum for issues unique to women in radiology, radiation oncology and related professions; sponsor programs that promote opportunities for women; and facilitate networking among members and other professionals.'' Strangely, its official journal is the JWI, which has little to do with the stated purposes of the AAWR. I guess it's a marriage of convenience (this sort of thing is allowed in Massachusetts). The journal started publication in 1999, and the association between AAWR and JWI only dates back to 2003.

American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians.

The Asian American Writers' Workshop.

Until I hear different, I'm going to assume this is an Asian Workshop for people who write in the or an (which one isn't clear) American language.

American Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Apparently never precisely the official name of the organization now known as the AZA. (Then again, perhaps AAZA was someone's abbreviation of American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; that was the AZA's original name, but AAZPA was the preferred acronym.)

American Association for Zoological Nomenclature.

American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. Original name of organization now known as the AZA.

American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria. See AZA.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

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