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AGriculture. All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept this word. According to the OSPD, it's a noun, so there's a plural ags.

AG, A.G.
Aktiengesellschaft. German, `stock company.' One kind of corporation. Closest approximation to Swedish AB, US Corp., British plc, or Italian S.p.A..

Albumin/Globulin [ratio].

Allen and Greenough. Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, ultimately edited by J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge, A. A. Howard, and Benj. L. D'Ooge. Now available free online. Yeah, the book is old -- but so is the language.

(Domain name code for) Antigua and Barbuda. The CIA Factbook has some basic information on the Emirates. On the Emirates? I must have cobbled this entry together from pieces of another entry.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft. German: `Working Group.' A productive affix like the English WG, as for example in AGI. Also abbreviated A, as in AD and AMA.


Chemical symbol for silver, from the Latin Argentum. Learn more at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.

Attorney General. Person who would, in the absence of this naming tradition, be called the Secretary of [the US, or a state's] Department of Justice. Plural is Attorneys General. Possessive seems to be Attorney General's. The traditional postpositive adjective arises from the official status of French in British government for a few centuries after Hastings.

Authors Guild. The largest trade group in the US representing free-lance writers. They don't actually use the AG abbreviation themselves, but I'm sure someone does. There's a certain amount of staff and program overlap between this organization and Authors Registry (AR). They also share office space and a fax machine:
330 West 42nd Street, 29th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10036
fax: +1 (212) 564-5363

That missing apostrophe really gets on my nerves. I wish they would use the abbreviation.

This is probably as good a place as any to point out that the 212 area code has great cachet. It says ``uptown [Manhattan].'' Because of the high density of telephones in New York City, the area code has had to be restricted to a shrinking area, and this is a matter of some resentment, protest, and mourning in the newly abandoned areas.

Abrasive Grain Association. Well alright already, there's no need to become abusive! I didn't intend to rub you the wrong way.

``The membership of the AGA consists of manufacturers of Silicon Carbide [SiC] and Aluminum Oxide that is sold for use in abrasives.'' Oh.

American Gas Association.

Not related to

American Gastroenterological Association. Related link: ADHF.

Not related to preceding entry.

American Go Association. ``Go'' the game of black and white stones on a rectangular ruled board. Not ``go'' the English verb.

Assemblée générale annuelle. Translates AGM.

Association of Government Accountants. ``Advancing Government Accountability.''

``AGA serves government accountability professionals by providing quality education, fostering professional development and certification, and supporting standards and research to ...'' Advance Government Accountability!

Advanced Genetic Analysis Center. At UMN. The name kinda suggests ``agh-- ack!''

Australian Government Analytical Laboratories. Subsumed in NMI when that was established on July 1, 2004.

(NATO) Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development.

Asymptotic Giant Branch. This is a kind of star. ``Branch'' refers to a curve that branches off the main sequence in the H-R diagram.

The Alexander Graham BELL Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Associated General Contractors of America. ``The Associated General Contractors will be the association of choice for those associated with the construction industry.'' Sounds like something you'd write on an essay test if you didn't know the answer.

Assyrian General Conference.

Automatic Gain Control. A feature of receivers of analog broadcast signals: automatic adjustment of the gain (amplification) to compensate for variations in broadcast signal strength (and so to maintain output power).

AudioGraphic Conferencing. Terminology in the ITU-T's T.120 draft standard of transmission protocols for multimedia data. Okay, so it's outta alphabetical order. Gimme some artistic license.

Atmospheric General Circulation Model.

A. A. Abrikosov, L. P. Gor'kov, and E. Dzyaloshinskii: Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1963). A classic; sadly butchered in a new edition, I've heard.

Academy of General Dentistry.

Association Genevoise des Diabétiques.

This was a pretty lame entry, and the link was dead too.

agency shop
An employment where the labor contract stipulates that union nonmembers pay a fee for the services performed by the union. [At the very least, these must include collective bargaining. The certified union is required to represent every employee, member or not, under the terms of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA, q.v.).] The agency shop is a weak form of the union shop, described in this glossary under the closed shop rubric.

age verification
Credit-card information. Terminology used at some of your more, uh, more graphics-intensive sites.

Ashtabulans of Geneva, Harpersfield, Austinburg & Saybrook Townships. An environmental group in Ashtabula County, Ohio. I am ah, appalled at how contrived their name is.

Academy for Guided Imagery. Sounds a bit like public relations, maybe advertising. But wait -- it has to do with health and medicine. Ah, I got it: it's about ``interactive medical imaging.'' That must be endoscopy, gastrocams, arthroscopy and stuff, right? No?

``Interactive Guided Imagerysm (IGIsm) utilizes imagery, the natural language of the unconscious mind. IGIsm is a powerful modality helping a patient/client connect with the deeper resources available to them at cognitive, affective and somatic levels. The guide's role is not to provide `better' images for the client, but to facilitate an enhanced awareness of the unconscious imagery the patient/client already has, and help clients learn to effectively work with this imagery on their own behalf. This process is capable of bringing about profound psychological and physiological change, as it simultaneously empowers and educates the patients.''

Oh. I, uh, see. I'll be sure to schedule an initial consultation/pitch. Real soon.

Adjusted Gross Income. A term used by the US IRS. If you need help preparing your tax return, try visiting the IRS website.

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia. Although this expansion occurs in the title text of its homepage, the initialism seems to be in the process of sealing up; in addition to such brands as AGI NEWS ON, AGI Sanità, and AGI Solution, one also sees AGI Agenzia Italia.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Influenza im Kilian. `Influenza Working Group at Kilian,' Germany.

Association de Gestion Internationale Collective des Oeuvres Audiovisuelles. `Association for International Collective Management of Audio-Visual Works.'

``[S]et up in Geneva in 1981 as an international non-governmental organization, to defend [film] producers' copyrights, [e]specially as far as TV retransmission by cable is concerned.'' Has developed the International Standard AudioVisual Number (ISAN) jointly with CISAC.

Cardinals over the age of 79 (such an odd number) are ineligible to vote for pope. It's a significant disability. In the second consistory of his reign, Pope Francis elevated 20 men to the College of Cardinals, and 5 were already too old to vote for his successor.

Adjusted Gross Income Tax. This is the Indiana corporate income tax. AGIT is based on ``that part of the [corporation's] adjusted gross income derived from sources within the State of Indiana'' [Ind. Code Sec. 6-3-2-1 (1972)]. It is computed as a fraction of the federal income tax paid by the corporation.

Until 2003, the AGIT was one of three interlocking corporate income taxes. Another one was called the Gross Income Tax (GIT). This was based on (read carefully now) ``gross income derived from activities or businesses or any other source within the state of Indiana'' [Ind. Code Sec. 6-2-1-2 (1972)]. The GIT was a tax on gross receipts from the sale of products or services in Indiana.

The profits of a corporation doing business in Indiana may result from revenues received from anywhere in or out of state, so gross Indiana receipts alone (used to compute the GIT) won't show it (never mind computing the net). I believe that the GIT was the older tax, and that the AGIT was cooked up to capture revenues from interstate business.

Setting aside the tricky details of determining the Indiana fraction, the AGIT is based on all revenues in and out of Indiana, and the GIT was based on revenues from Indiana only. If all of the GIT and AGIT had been due, then revenue from Indiana would have been double-taxed. The intention was not to double the tax on Indiana receipts, but to tax once the income from non-Indiana receipts. However, the computation methods were completely different and determined (we won't say how accurately) either an all-Indiana number or an all-US number (let's talk about international trade some other day). In order, coarsely, to avoid double-taxing the income represented in the Indiana receipts, an amount up to the value of the GIT was ``credited against'' the AGIT. (I.e., the value of the GIT was credited to the payment of the AGIT if AGIT was greater. If GIT exceeded AGIT, then no AGIT was due.)

When the GIT was abolished, the GIT credit against the AGIT was abolished along with it, making the change roughly revenue-neutral while reducing the paperwork. I think this is called tax reform. There is the following internal complication for the state: GIT revenue used to go to the general fund while AGIT revenue went to a property-tax relief fund. When the GIT was abolished, perhaps this changed. The third Indiana corporate income tax of those days was the finely named SNIT (Supplemental Corporation Net Income Tax); it was repealed in 2003 as well.

AGricultural Information Technology.

Above Ground Level. (Altitudes are quoted ``35 m AGL'' to indicate altitude above the local ground level. Cf. ``MSL.'')

l'Assemblée Générale des étudiants de Louvain.

Alternating-Gradient Magnetometer.

Annual General Meeting. Term is used by ACRID, NWR, OACL, and SHS, for instances. (AGA in French.)

Association Genevoise des Malentendants. Roughly, `Geneva Association for the Hard-of-Hearing.'

Active Galactic Nucle{i|us}. See M. C. Begelman, R. D. Blandford and M. D. Rees: Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 56, p. 255 (1984).

AGriculture Network Information Center. ``[A] guide to quality agricultural information on the Internet as selected by the National Agricultural Library, Land-Grant Universities, and other institutions.''

agnostic dyslexic insomniac
Lies awake nights wondering whether there really is a dog. Cf. Dyslexic Occultist.

American Gastroenterological Organization.

Art Gallery of Ontario. In Toronto.

Antarctic Geospace Observatory NETwork. An Italian-hosted database for geomagnetic and ionospheric data from a number of cooperating groups.

An Ancient Greek word (agorá) meaning `public place, assembly, market.' A Hebrew coin worth one cent of a shekel (NIS).

Accelerated Graphics Port. A dedicated bus designed to improve 3D graphics performance.

American Guild of Patient Account Management. They should have merged with the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM). Instead, they became AAHAM.

Australian Government Publishing Service.

Advanced Gas (fission) Reactor.


AGreek, AGrk.
Ancient Greek. A language, not an epithet.

Debra Hamel maintains a list of summer courses in classical subjects, including classical Greek, offered by North American Universities. We even have a substantial entry on Greek right here in this glossary.

AGRICultural OnLine Access. A service of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). ``[A] bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature [broadly defined -- includes literature of plant and animal sciences, forestry, entomology, soil and water resources, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agricultural products, alternative farming practices, and food and nutrition] created by the National Agricultural Library and its cooperators [sic]. Production of these records in electronic form began in 1970, but the database covers materials in all formats, including printed works from the 15th century.''

Latin for `farmer.' One of the extremely rare (native) first-declension nouns that has male gender.

Something comparable occurs in Hebrew with av (`father'), which takes a plural in -ot (which is normally female): avot, `fathers.' (The very common informal singular form, aba, typically translated `dad,' is an Aramaic loan.) Perhaps the best-loved book of the Mishnah is Pirke Avot (`Wisdom of the Fathers'), a kind of quote book. Hebrew has the usual allotment of irregularities; there are a number of irregular grammatically male nouns with feminine-form plurals, but no other such common nouns that have male natural gender. Examples include the following:

(The masculine noun lailah, `night,' ends in the vowel qamats followed by the consonant heh, which makes it morphologically feminine.)

There is one common word -- ishah, meaning `woman, wife' -- that has natural female gender and masculine-form plural (nashim). The corresponding masculine words are ish, `man,' and anashim, `men.' The male and female singular forms are related in a standard way. On the other hand, the masculine plural is again irregular, though it at least has masculine form. Much of the strangeness, though not the male-form female plural, is understandable from the fact that ish is a shortened form of an older word for man: enosh.

Other grammatically female nouns with masculine-form plurals do not have a very clear common gender. Examples:

For more grammatical-number weirdness in Hebrew, see the chaim entry.

Gnaeus Julius Agricola (lived CE 40-93). Governor of Roman Britain and father-in-law of Tacitus, who wrote a biography of him. There's another, more famous Agricola, but for historical reasons his information is elsewhere.

AGRIcultural Science and Technology Database.

AgGaS2. Silver Gallium Sulfide is a frequency-doubling crystal for IR (around CO2 10-µm lines). It's similar in properties to AGSe.

Alternating-Gradient Synchrotron. (Usually written without the hyphen.) Like the one at BNL.

American Geriatrics Society.

American Guitar Society. ``We are an organization dedicated to the interests of guitarists and those who enjoy guitar music'' and live near the campus of California State University, Northridge -- you know, like, in the valley. Founded in 1923, and a fine organization I have no doubt, but it doesn't seem to have any national events to go with its national name. I think we'll change the name of SBF to Stammtisch Beau Fleuve Mundial.

Americans for Gun Safety. See AGSF.

Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland. It was founded as the Conference of University Teachers of German in Great Britain and Ireland (eventuially abbreviated CUTG), and changed its name to the current one in 2009.

CUTG was founded in 1932. Searching the web for information about CUTG, I see this fact mentioned regularly without comment, as if 1932 were not a most inauspicious year in German and world history. [It's the year the Nazis became the largest party in the Reichstag. When my grandfather voted in the German presidential election of the spring of 1932, he told his daughter it was the last time he would vote there. He might have been wrong: The anti-republican vote (a solid majority) was split among the Nazis, the Communists, and the German National People's Party (along with some tiny parties), so Hitler was unable to create a dictatorship until after the Reichstag fire.] If there's a significant backstory to the founding of the CUTG, however, I haven't discovered it yet.

AgGaSe2. Silver Gallium Selenide is a frequency-doubling crystal for IR (around the CO2 10-µm lines). Similar in properties to AGS.

AGriculture SECtor Adjustment Loan. The handful of instances I can find of this acronym that do not occur on a page that mentions the World Bank mostly occur on pages that mention la Banque Mondiale or el Banco Mundial or suchlike.

The World Bank has been issuing these loans to national agricultural development programs since the 1980's. The story goes that AGSECAL's issued before 1991 were ``not fully market-oriented'' and ``did not face basic policy constraints,'' and consequently their growth impact was limited. Since then, however, those problems have been fixed and now the impact of AGSECAL's is merely difficult to measure. I would find this all a lot more amusing of I didn't pay taxes.

Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. The old website has a floating window with a message that begins ``Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) and the AGS Foundation (AGSF) have been folded into Third Way, an organization founded and operated by the former AGS and AGSF management team.'' The box to close the window is actually a link to the Third Way homepage.

Association of Genetic Technologists. ``[F]ounded in 1975, [it] is a non-profit professional organization established to promote cooperation and exchange of information among those engaged in classical cytogenetics, molecular and biochemical genetics, and to stimulate interest in genetics as a career.''

AudioGraphics Terminal.

Address-Generation Unit.

American Geophysical Union.

Automatic Ground Unit.

Spanish, `water.' You will often see this preceded by the male definite article: ``el agua.'' This is done to avoid the dysphony (called hiatus) of la-a, and is common practice with female nouns beginning in a. Grammatical gender is otherwise unaffected, however. The noun agrees with female adjectives (el agua tibia, `the warm water') and takes a female article in the plural (las aguas, `the waters'). The pronunciation of agua is discussed at the AWWA entry.

A Spanish word that can sometimes be translated `to tolerate.' The semantic range of the word does not match very well any English words as I know them to be used. The reason is that aguantar always implies patience, or an element of time, like the English endure, but is not used, like endure, in the simple sense of last (which lacks the element of suffering or stress).

You can translate ¡no aguanto más! fairly accurately as `I can't stand it any more!' You can also translate no lo aguanto as `I can't stand him.' However, in this phrase the English stand, though etymologically related to stay, no longer carries the implication that what one specifically can't stand is some amount of time with him. You can instantaneously not stand someone. If you want to express this specific meaning in Spanish, you're better off saying you detest him (lo odio) or even that you can't tolerate him (no lo tolero).

Anyway, that's my Sprachgefühl on the subject.

According to Corominas y Pascual, aguantar is not etymologically related to agua. Instead, it appears to be derived from the Italian verb agguantare (with a somewhat different meaning). That Italian word is certainly derived from the Italian guanto (cf. Span. guante) meaning `glove.' The reference is to the mailed fist of a medieval knight.

Jocular term in Spanish for the null medical analgesic, from aguantar + -ol (ending common in the names of drugs, associated with the -ol chemical ending for alcohols). `Bearitol,' to coin a translation, with the added element of a pun on all. The idea is that if you're out of the usual pharmaceuticals like NSAID's, you take aguantol instead (i.e., you put up with it).

Automated Guided Vehicle.

Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) System[s].

Anthropogenic Global Warming.


Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenchaften zu Göttingen. `Proceedings of the Scientific Society at Goettingen.' AGWG, Philologisch-Historische Klasse was a classics journal (which classicists tended to abbreviate simply as AGWG). The current title is Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse. It wasn't and isn't catalogued in TOCS-IN.

AGencY. Usually used as an abbreviation only for an organizational entity, and not for the concept of being an agent.

Ah, AH
Ampere-Hour (3.6 kilocoulombs). Common unit with batteries. A magnesium alkaline AA cell typically has a charge of 2.4 AH.


Ancient History. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

AH, A.H.
Anno Hegirae. Latin, `[in the] year of the hegira.' 1 AH began at sunset on July 15, 622 AD (Julian). Different transliterations of hegira (hejira, hijra, ...) occur not just for the usual reason that source and target language have different phonemics, but also because Arabic is variously pronounced.

Art Histor{ y | ian }.

Advanced Hardware Architectures.

American Heart Association.

American Hippotherapy Association.

``The American Hippotherapy Association Inc. (AHA Inc.) is a group of medical professionals (physical, occupational and speech therapists) and others who are interested in the use of equine movement as a treatment strategy. AHA is an affiliate partner of The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), a national non-profit organization.''

Getting Medicare to pay for something that doesn't have a number in some diagnostic manual must make bronc-busting look like child's play.

A (therapeutic) masseuse I know owns four horses. I'll have to ask her about this.

I asked. She says she really has three too many.

American Historical Association, ``the professional association for all historians.'' Founded 1884, a constituent society of the ACLS since 1919. ACLS has an overview.

Met Jan. 8-11, 1998 in Seattle, Washington, and Jan. 7-10, 1999 in the other Washington. Meetings Jan. 6-9, 2000 (Chicago) and Jan. 4-7, 2001 (Boston). It seems they like to have meetings beginning every 364 days (2000 is a leap year). Hmmm. 364 is an even multiple of seven.

There's also an Organization of American Historians (OAH), and now a Historical Society, on the initiative of that entertaining guy Eugene D. Genovese, set up specifically as an alternative:

``Some historians have banded together to form a new professional association, the Historical Society, to serve as an alternative to the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Leaders of the new group, such as Eugene D. Genovese and Donald Kagan, say its emphasis will be on research and ideas. They blast the existing groups for historians for focusing too much on current political issues and obsessing over issues such as race, class, and gender. While leaders say that they want the group to be ideologically diverse, many of its organizers are conservatives. Some scholars -- including some liberal professors -- are welcoming the new organization. Others see it as a new club for conservatives who are hostile to recent trends in scholarship, and the increased diversity of the professoriate. Is this new organization needed? Are the AHA and the OAH less useful than they once were or could be? Should they be reformed, replaced, or praised?''

American Homeowners Association.

American Hospital Association. Celebrated its centennial in 1998.

American Hyperlexia Association.

As with priapism, hyperlexia is an affliction for which it might be hard to gain sympathy. At least at first, people might suppose you're bragging rather than complaining. Hyperlexia is a childhood syndrome named after its most positive symptom: a precocious ability to read. Unfortunately, this is coupled with difficulty in understanding and producing spoken language. The problem seems to arise from difficulty in mastering grammar and (other) abstract concepts. There are usually also problems of socialization, but it is not clear whether this is not largely a consequence of the verbal deficiencies.

The good news is that many or most children grow out of the syndrome around age five or six, though some difficulties may remain. A widespread complaint among parents with hyperlexic children is of the absence of resources, informational or organizational, so here's a page about it from a site called K12 Academics.

Anesthesia History Association.

You expect me to say ``I don't remember a thing,'' but I've got too much class for that kind of cheap humor.

Angus Housing Association. Wouldn't they be happier just grazing in the grass? The AHA has offices in Dundee and --oh! -- Angus.

Art History and Archaeology.

Australian Healthcare Association.

Australian Historical Association. Nowadays (since 2002), the main activity of the AHA is repelling the violent assault by Keith Windschuttle. (His book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, published Dec. 2002, argues that academic historians' accepted view of Australian colonial history is a politically correct fraud. The academic view, since the 1970's or so, is that the settler society engaged in a pattern of conquest, dispossession and killing of the indigenous inhabitants.)

Interestingly, both the Australian and American Historical Associations have chosen theaha as their organizational domain name (theaha.org.au and theaha.org). I assume that in both cases, others (Australian Hotels and American Hospital Associations) had already occupied the <aha.org>'s.

Australian Hotels Association. Est'd. 1839.

Aboriginal Health Access Centre.

American Health Assistance Foundation.

African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American. Aha-ha.


Ancient History Bulletin. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

American Home Business Association. Also see the related CENA, NASE and, of course, SBA.

Academic Health Center. A teaching hospital that may not necessarily be a hospital, exactly. The acronym AHC is also used for the Association of Academic Health Centers. I guess if you're really, really smart, you handle the disambiguation dilemma.

Amorphous, Hydrogenated Carbon.

Association of Academic Health Centers. Not ``AAHC.''

American Health Care Association.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index. A product of ISI, q.v.

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Former name of AHRQ.

Abbreviation of German althochdeutsch, `Old High German' (OHG, q.v.). In German, as in French and Spanish and probably most West European languages other than English, adjectives related to proper nouns are not capitalized even though the corresponding proper nouns are. Hence deutsch (with its inflected forms deutsche, deutschen, deutscher, deutsches) is the adjective `German' (referring to language and nationality) and das Deutsch is the proper noun `German' (referring specifically to `the German language). An abbreviation for the noun Althochdeutsch (which would also be capitalized) is not common in German dictionaries; instead, ahd. is inserted as a modifier before relevant etymons.

American Health Decisions.

American Heritage Dictionary. See AHD4.

American Hospital Directory. ``The American Hospital Directory provides online data for over 6,000 hospitals. Our database of information is built from Medicare claims data (MedPAR and OPPS), hospital cost reports, and other public use files obtained from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The American Hospital Directory is not affiliated with the American Hospital Association (AHA). Data is from both public and private sources.''

Animal Health Distributors Association. ``AHDA is an Association of responsible animal health product distributors, dedicated to serving the best interests of its members; in particular by protecting their rights to sell and supply, and securing the continued availability of, a wide range of non-prescription animal medicines.''

Fourth Edition of the AHD, published in 2000, available online at the Bartleby reference site.

Anomalous Hall Effect.

Animal Health/Emerging Animal Disease.

(Irish) Association for Higher Education Access and Disability.

Association for Higher Education And Disability. I imagine that they're for these things in different senses of the word for.

Assets and HEAlth Dynamics of the Oldest Old. ``A national survey of community-based [I think that means not institutionalized] Americans born in 1923 or earlier. It is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. The focus of the AHEAD survey is to understand the impacts and interrelationships of changes and transitions for older Americans in three major domains: health, financial, and family.''

AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

American Health Foundation. A research center that focused on prevention rather than treatment. (You know -- the responsible and joyless approach to health: cutting out eating, relaxing, smoking, drinking, and other pleasureable vices, instead of cancerous tumors). Founded in 1969, later renamed the Institute for Cancer Protection. It went bankrupt in 2004. It seems to be a popular target of conspiracy theorists on the web, based on somewhat thin evidence.

AntiHemophilic Factor. Earlier name for AHG.

American Hospital Formulary Service.

American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information.

Anti-Hemophilic Globulin. In Britain, biotic processes differ somewhat, and the rôle of this substance is filled by something quite different that is known as Anti-Haemophilic Globulin, which conveniently and largely coincidentally has the same acronym. The latter substance was first isolated by A. J. Patek and F. H. L. Taylor in 1937. Now renamed clotting factor VIII (this is the seventh clotting factor, since there is no factor VI), this is the factor missing from the blood of untreated individuals suffering from classic hemophilia.

(UK) Association for the History of Glass, Ltd. Functions as the British section of l'AIHV.

APPN Host-to-Host Channel.

American Health Institute. A company that sells food supplements.

Animal Health Institute. ``The Animal Health Institute is the U.S. trade association that represents manufacturers of animal health care products - the pharmaceuticals, vaccines and feed additives used to produce a safe supply of meat, milk, poultry and eggs, and the veterinary medicines that help pets live longer, healthier lives.''

Spanish word meaning `[over] there.'

American Health Information Management Association. Currently (February 2005) the name of an organization founded as the Association of Record Librarians of North America (ARLNA, q.v.).

America's Health Insurance Plans. A lobbying group that campaigned against the Clintons' health care proposals in 1994.

Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center. ``The AHIRC database was created in 1998 by The Actors' Fund of America, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as a health insurance resource for artists and people in the entertainment industry. Since then, with support from The Commonwealth Fund, it has expanded to include resources for the self-employed, low-income workers, the under-insured, the uninsured who require medical care and many other groups.'' (Emphasis added by SBF.) The site sports, in larger letters than the Artists' expansion, the expansion ``Access to Health Insurance/Resources for Care.'' The idea is probably that not every waiter is waiting for his big acting break.

(The Actors' Fund of America is ``a nonprofit organization founded in 1882, provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals--designers, writers, sound technicians, musicians, dancers, administrators, directors, film editors, stagehands--as well as actors.'')

Accounting Historians Journal.

American Heart Journal.

Amanda Holdings Ltd. The webpage explains: ``It's not hockey!'' They have a page of links to the ``AHL'' that you were looking for.

American Hockey League. One of three North American hockey minor leagues (the others are IHL and ECHL).

Armory Hill Living History Association.

American Helicopter Museum (and Education Center).


An old German unit of liquid measure equal to one Ohm. It had other A-names as well, ultimately from the (medieval?) Latin ama (so I presume it kept feminine gender). Back in the day, liquid measure was of two sorts: wine and beer. The Ahm was clearly a wine measure, typically about 40 (wine) gallons. The volume represented by an Ahm varied by a few gallons from city to city in Germany.

Autonomous Homing Munitions. Shoot and scoot.

Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology.

American Holistic Medical Association.

Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

Advanced Heterostructure and Nanostructure Workshop, or something like that. Now (since 2008, at least as of 2012) WINDS (Workshop on Innovative Nanoscale Devices and Systems), q.v.

Academy of Hospice Physicians. Founded in 1988, now called the AAHPM.

Accountable Health Plan.

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. It ``is the only association dedicated exclusively to advancing and promoting the health care development profession. Resource development professionals turn to AHP for the very latest in fund-raising education and information.''

American Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America. That's the name given on the organization's homepage, but AHPA is often expanded ``American Horseshoe Pitchers Association'' -- for brevity, I imagine. Either that or they'll take anyone who pitches American horseshoes, no matter where they pitch them. Oops, strike that idea: from 1921 to 1949, it was the ``National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of the United States of America.'' It had been founded in 1914 as the ``Grand League of the American Horseshoe Pitchers Association.'' Anyway, it's not about baseball pitchers with a wicked curve.

Allied Health Professions Admission Test.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

American Historical Review. Journal catalogued by TOCS-IN; I have no idea why.

Acton Hot Rod Association. They aren't a racing organization; they are ``a group of people interested in the culture of Street, Strip, Custom, Retro and Modified vehicles of all shapes and sizes. We meet up once a month, take part in shows, even hold our own!''

American Hot Rod Association. A drag-racing sanctioning body that came into being in 1955 as a competitor to the already established NHRA. It was eclipsed as drag-racing's number two by the IHRA, which was created in 1970. The AHRA went out of business in 1984.

UK Arts and Humanities Research Board.

UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

American Heritage Rivers Initiative. I guess this is not the most self-explanatory name. The most prominent link at the AHRI homepage is anchored on the words ``What is the American Heritage Rivers Initiative?'' Along about now you're probably beginning to get impatient, thinking ``yes, yes, and what is the answer to that question?'' I don't know. It seems to be a pot of money with no strings attached, for the US government to give to others to spend in various ways, but the documentation provided by the EPA is an executive order that doesn't refer to any enabling legislation, so it's not especially obvious where the money comes from. I guess it's general EPA funds.

The AHRI ``has three objectives: natural resource and environmental protection, economic revitalization, and historic and cultural preservation.'' I suppose if they felt like it, they could turn down every request for funds on the grounds that in furthering one of the objectives, it was counterproductive of another. That at least would pretty much solve the funding problem.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Part of the DHHS. Formerly the AHCPR.

American Helicopter Society. (Notice that the domain name is <vtol.org>.)

American Headache Society. Previously called AASH.

American Hemochromatosis Society.

American Horticultural Society.

The Antiquarian Horological Society. SBF has a small horology entry as well.

Asian Health Services. Mission: ``To serve and advocate for the immigrant and refugee Asian community regarding its health rights, and to assure access to health care services regardless of income, insurance status, language, or culture.''

Australian Herpetological Society.

Association for Health Services Research. ``The Association for Health Services Research is the only national membership organization devoted to the promotion of research focused on the delivery, quality and financing of the United States health care system.'' (Quoted from the old website at <http://www.ahsr.org/>.) Afterwards it became the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, and since then AcademyHealth:

``AcademyHealth is the professional home for health services researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners, and a leading, non-partisan resource for the best in health research and policy.''

Anchor-Handling Tug. Tugboats that tug anchors, derricks and other immovable stuff.

Animal Health Trust.

Anchor-Handling Tug/Supply. Hybrid supply ship and AHT.

Air-Handling Unit.

Advanced Heterostructure Workshop. Succeeded by WINDS (Workshop on Innovative Nanoscale Devices and Systems), q.v.

AI, a.i.
Active Ingredient. Placebos haven't any. (American: Have none. Don't have any.) [American makes much less frequent use than British of negative contractions of verbs not functioning as modals.]

A family of tree sloths of Central and South America. Here's a shorter entry in English. One of the most important animals in Scrabble®. All three major Scrabble dictionaries accept this important two-letter word, as well as ais.

Aggressiveness Index. Oooh! What's this manly expansion doing here between a sloth and a pansy like ``Amnesty International''? It's called intimidation.

AI is a term used in the water-treatment field.

American Idol. A TV program.

Amnesty International. Here's an entry from the same dictionary that gives the animal Ai link above.


An ancient Canaanite city that God let it be difficult for Joshua to conquer, as punishment for a spoils-of-war segmentation error. This rather took the bloom off the rose of the Jericho success. See book of Joshua, from chapter 7. There must be a lesson in this somewhere. Cf. AI.

Actually, ai means `ruin,' and the ruins referred to biblically are usually identified (after W. F. Albright) with a site found at Et-tel. That site was destroyed in the early Bronze Age and abandoned until the Iron Age, which well explains the name, but not how it was a battle site. The guess (of Alan Millard) is that it was normally unoccupied but served as a fortress in war.

Angewandte Informatik. Applied Informatics (cog sci, call it).

(Domain name code for) Anguiilla.

Appraisal Institute. ``A worldwide organization dedicated to real estate appraisal education, publishing and advocacy.'' Based in Chicago.

Aortic Insufficiency.

Application Identifier.

Artificial Insemination. Vide JSAI.

Artificial Intelligence. Occasionally leads to Architectural Inelegance. Vide JSAI.

Artificial Island.

Asphalt Institute. It sounds like an institute dedicated to putting the onus on the anus -- or is that a hemionus?

Accuracy In Academia.

Aerospace Industries Association of America. (The name is normally given with the ``of America'' but the abbreviation AIAA is avoided to prevent confusion with another AIAA.) The AIA co-sponsors (with NAR) the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC, q.v.).

The AIA began its organizational life in 1919 as the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America (ACCA, q.v.). Following WWII, the ACCA reorganized and refocused on civilian business, and changed its name to Aircraft Industries Association of America, Inc. The initial A-word was changed to Aerospace in 1959.

American Iatrogenic Association. In principle, the name is ambiguous because iatrogenic is just an adjective meaning `originating with the physician.' But what originates with the physician? I don't know and it's driving me to mental illness! Is it that the Association that originates with physicians? Yes, that's not it. In practice, iatrogenic is only ever used in reference to one kind of thing. ``The American Iatrogenic Association is devoted to the study and reporting of medical errors that lead to disease and death.''

American Infertility Association.

According to this FAQ from AIA, ``Couples are considered infertile when they're unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex--the standard definition. On average it'll take six months for a 30-year-old couple to achieve a pregnancy and nine months for those five years older. Indeed, at age 37 approximately half of all couples will fail to conceive within a year. By the time they reach 42,that number may be much higher.''

The word average in the preceding is used imprecisely.

American Institute of Architects. If that link has collapsed, try e-architect (that seems to be their new e-digs). The AIA is the main national professional association of architects in the US.

American Insurance Association. ``The Advocate for Property-Casualty Insurers.''

Anno Independentiae Americanae. Latin, `Year of American Independence.' A designation for dates that numbers years from 1 starting in AD 1776. Just to keep things simple, the first year of independence is taken to be the whole of 1776, starting in January. There's an example on line. Here's a mostly accurate online transcription (image of original here) of a diploma dated the twentieth day of July, 1859. The date is given thus:
Datum ex aedibus academicis die Vicessimo Julii Anno Salutis millesimo octigentesimo quinquagesimo Nono Anno Independentiae Americanae Octogessimo quarto.
Capitalization and spelling above are they appeared in the original; the underlined words were filled in by hand and appear to have ss where ns or s should appear (vicensimo or vicesimo, and similarly octogensimo or octogesimo). I would never make a mistake like that in Latin. I would make it in English. Anno Salutis is `year of salvation' (equiv. A.D.). He serves images of some other similarly dated university documents, linked from our S.P.D. entry.

Traditionally, years were designated according to the reigns of monarchs -- ``in the first year of the illustrious reign of Bozo the Diffident,'' etc. (In the Roman republic, years were identified by who the consuls were. See also A.U.C.) By the time of the American Revolution this practice had been long abandoned for practical dating, but naming years according to the non-reign of a monarch was still an interesting sort of (formal) innovation. I don't think Cromwell would have done it. The fashion was adopted (perhaps invented) by the French during their revolution. The French Revolution was a glorious affair that was so successful that it has so far led to five republics in France alone. It also led to bloodbath, dictatorships, and a war that engulfed Europe. It continues to be an inspiration to those who prefer their revolutions to be bloody and to result in dictatorships ostentatiously in the service of the people. The French Revolution is fondly remembered and celebrated by the French to this day, and the year that kicked it off (1789) has also been the start date of a couple of calendars. The revolutionary calendar was more revolutionary, not just renaming months but also instituting ten-day weeks. The philosophical calendar of Comte retained seven-day weeks and was full of secular saint days.

Archaeological Institute of America.

656 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215-2010
Tel.: (617) 353-9364
Fax (617) 353-6550

The AIA publishes the AJA and Archaeology Magazine.

The AIA and the American Philological Association (APA) hold their annual meeting jointly. It doesn't take much training to learn how to distinguish the archaeologists and the classicists by how they dress. Also present in small numbers are ``angels'' -- rich folk in rich dress who make many of the expeditions possible.

The AIA is a scholarly society, so if any of your friends belong, you know that -- even if they're just ``Grazing In The Grass'' -- they're Friends of Distinction.

I-can-dig-it he-can-dig-it she-can-dig-it we-can-dig-it they-can-dig-it you-can-dig-it. Oh, let's dig it.... Can you dig it baby?!

Aerospace Industries Association of America. Try to use AIA instead. AIA is standard for this organization, and it avoids confusion with...

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica. The AIAC holds a congress every five years. The XVI International Congress of Classical Archaeology, first to be held in the United States, was hosted by Harvard University Art Museums (by the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art and Numismatics, in particular), 23-26 August 2003.

Automobile Industry Action Group.

All India Association of Industries.

AIA/IAA - Canada
Archaeological Institute of America/Institut Archéologique d'Amérique, an independent Canadian affiliate (founded 1994) of the Boston-based Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).

Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

American Indian/Alaska Native.

Asociación de Industrias de Acabados de Superficies. `Association of surface-finish industries.'

Academy of International Business. (If the above link doesn't work, try <http://aib.msu.edu/>.)

``[T]he leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business.
Established in 1959, today, AIB has nearly 3000 members in 65 different countries around the world. Members include scholars from the leading global academic institutions as well consultants, researchers, and NGO representatives. ...''

Akademie für Internationale Bildung. ``We at AIB are specialists in international higher education, located in Bonn and Düsseldorf, both in the heart of Europe.'' This isn't inaccurate, but it seems tactically imprecise. They might have said that these two cities are both in the heart of Germany. They also have an irritating habit of never referring to themselves by exactly the same name twice. One name is ``The AIB Academy of International Education Duesseldorf Germany.'' (The intended sense of the German noun Bildung here is `education.' Until we have a Bildungsroman entry, I'll just mention here that the single word that most frequently works as a good translation of the German verb bilden (cognate with English build, of course) is form. Bildung, corresponding to building, means `formation' of some kind. On the other hand, Bild has come to have the meaning of `picture.' Don't think that's so odd; English build in the sense of body type might seem as strange.)

Allied Irish Banks. Typically described as ``Ireland's largest bank,'' vel sim. I suppose it would have been a mite awkward to have named the thing ``Allied Irish Bank,'' although that name is often used in practice. They should have come up with a different name altogether. Contradictory grammatical number are a nuisance.

Oh yeah, and it shares its initialism (more commonly used than the name) with Anglo Irish Bank. Brilliant.

American Institute of Baking. They offer solutions solutions solutions -- audits, education and training, research and technical.

American Institute of Banking. Courses offered online and also in classrooms around Michigan by the MBA (not that MBA) through the ABA (not that ABA). Ohnowait -- sometimes the first Google hit isn't the best. It turns out that ``The American Institute of Banking (AIB) is a national organization dedicated to offering professional continuing education and training to bankers. More than 100,000 participants enroll annually in our courses, making this service of the American Bankers Association one of the largest industry-sponsored training organizations in the world.''

``ABA Local Training Providers can be found throughout the United States and in Guam.'' What about the Upper Peninsula?

American Investment Bank, N.A. Based in Salt Lake City, member FDIC, and has pictures of smiling people on its homepage. What more do you want?

Anglo Irish Bank. (Banc Angla-Éireannach.) It's headquartered in Dublin, especially since January 2009, when it was nationalized. It shares its initialism with Allied Irish Banks.

Atlantic Insurance Brokers, L.L.C. Insures trucking, hauling, cargo, freight, and autos.

Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts.

Association des Infirmières de Bloc Opératoire d'Aquitaine. If I saw a boa, I'd go ``Aiiiii!'' too. `Association of operating-room nurses of Aquitaine.'

Association des Infirmières de Bloc Opératoire de Bretagne. Spongebob's French friend. ``Aii, my frhrhriend! Ah-lo!'' `Association of operating-room nurses of guess.' (No, not Great Britain... try again.)

AIBS, aibs
American Institute of Biological Sciences. That was something in the 1970's. Since then, the similarity in sound to AIDS must have prompted a change of name.

Hmmm -- somehow I missed their website when I first put in this entry. ``... a national center for biologists & the biological sciences ....'' `` established under federal charter in 1947 as part of the National Academy of Sciences... In 1955 AIBS became an independent, member-governed, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.''

Alfven Ion Cyclotron instability. A plasma instability near the ion cyclotron frequency.

Alive In Christ (Lutheran Church). Welcome to the AIC WorshipWeb!

Appraisal Institute of Canada. Institut canadien des évaluateurs. Not based in Chicago. (Cf. next entry, or this earlier one, to ``get'' this lame joke.)

The Art Institute of Chicago. A museum and a SAIC.

Since its founding, the museum has been committed to maintaining a location near the center of town, as it does today with a location on Michigan Avenue. Its exhibits are housed in three buildings that straddle a railroad track (and which are only connected at one level as a result).

The museum owns ``American Gothic,'' the instantly recognizable picture of a farmer with his pitchfork and his blonde wife (he holds the former) standing impassive and about scowling before their home, which has a Gothic-style gable window and seven walk-in closets. Some of this description, particularly the emotional state of the pitchfork, is inference or speculation. The relationships of the people in front of the house to each other and to the house itself are not what I expected. The picture was painted by Grant Wood in 1930. The couple posed before the house didn't live there. They are Grant Wood's sister Nan (playing the part not of a farmer's wife but of his unmarried daughter) and his dentist. The painting has an enigmatic ambiguity, but unlike La Giaconda, facial expression in the picture is describable.

Association of Independent Care Advisers. It ``represents organisations based in the UK dedicated to helping people identify the most appropriate type of care service and care provider for their individual needs.''

Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. You can't imagine how thrilled I am that this is not computer-designed designing computers (Artificial Intelligence Computer-Aided Design).

Despite that, I can't help but be troubled by the notion of an association of independents. You can't be completely independent if you're part of an association. Cf. IGA.

Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control. Is Katie up to the task?

Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.. ``[A] national membership organization, established to promote quality and consistent delivery of credit counseling services. They have a street address on Random Hills Road.

American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Some balding academics with compensatory facial hair, yacking about events they can't make a dent in.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers. A member society of the AAES.

Back in 1996 or so, their homepage had irritating (<BLINK>) flashing, which I appropriately condemned at this entry. Just to show what a good great sport I am, and how I let bygones be bygones, and how I don't keep harping on every little thing and all, I praised them for their eventual decision to eliminate the blink. Don't let it happen again.

Association pour l'intégration communautaire de l'Ontario. See OACL.

The Absolutely Incredible Counting Page.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

American Institute for Cancer Research.

Association for International Cancer Research.

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio. An affiliate of NAICU.

Agency for International Development. An independent agency of the US government.

Artificial Insemination (with) Donor. (I.e., with a third party.)

Artificial Intelligence in Design.

Amherst Industrial Development Agency. Amherst is a northern suburb of Buffalo, New York.

Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958. The act requires certain information to be clearly displayed on new cars offered for sale (see the Autopedia for details) and was authored by A.S. ``Mike'' Monroney, a longtime US congressman from Oklahoma. (The FAA also has a Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City.) More about the nexus of Oklahoma, car sales, and honesty (or rather its absence) at the entry for Sock it to me.

The required information must appear on a window sticker legally removable only by the purchaser. The sticker is called a ``Monroney sticker,'' but the proper noun is mispronounced or ``mispronounced'' ``Moroney'' throughout the automotive sales, uh, profession. Prophet motive rules. More at the MSRP entry.

An opera by Verdi.

Automatic Identification and Data Collection. Something that happens at the checkout counter. See also express lane, UPC.

Anti-Christ or devil. As we all know, God is to be thanked for anything good that happens. When things go wrong, someone else must be blamed.

Acquired Immune (response) Deficiency Syndrome. Here's an aerial view of the AIDS quilt.

In Japanese, this disease is called by a domesticated prounciation of the English acronym: eizu.

AIDS Dementia Complex
Dementia is the most common central nervous system (CNS) complication directly due to HIV infection (as opposed to the indirect complications that result from secondary, opportunistic infections (toxo, Crypto, PML, others) which attack the immune-compromised individual, and also as opposed to the depression that patients experience indirectly -- as a result of the lousy prognosis, not to mention lymphoma).

HIV is neurotropic, invading CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) beginning early in the infection. The cause of dementia appears to be at least partly the neurotoxic effect of the virus itself (neurotoxic effects have been identified in at least the gp120 virus coat protein, and in Tat -- transactivator protein from the interior of the virus). Although substantial cell loss has been identified, the main source of cognitive deficit seems to be the destruction of white matter -- the myelin coat that provides electric insulation for nerve processes. There is also evidence of a pathological contribution from toxins released by nerve cells that have been attacked.

AIDS dementia was first identified in 1983, and was initially called ``AIDS encephalopathy,'' ``AIDS encephalitis,'' or ``subacute encephalitis,'' reflecting the incorrect early hypothesis that it was caused by inflammation of the brain, possibly subacute but chronic. The latest name for it is HAD, for HIV-Associated Dementia complex. The switch from AIDS to HIV in the name reflects the understanding that it is caused in some way by the direct toxicity of the HIV virus, rather than secondary infection or by the reaction to secondary infections.

Associazione Italiana di Epidemiologia.

Huh? Je ne parle pas français. Maybe you want the IAEA entry, eh?

ARMA International Educational Foundation. Originally created in January 1973 as a tax-exempt Education and Scholarship Fund of ARMA. It was renamed and restructured in 1996-7.

Asociación International de Escritores Policiacos. Probably better known by its English name, International Association of Crime Writers. International thoughts on this can be found at the IACW entry.

I want you to know that it gives me a real feeling of accomplishment as a lexicographer, when I can put an AIEP entry tidily next to an AIEQ entry. One day, preferably during my lifetime, this page is going to be as alphabetically solid as a brick wall.

Association des Internes en Exercice des Hôpitaux de Lille. French, `Association of Interns practicing in Hospitals of Lille.' (No, it's not internists.)

Association internationale des études québécoises. I get the études thing (`studies') but the rest is pretty opaque.

Acronym Interaction, Expansion and Extrapolation Engine. A practical tool served by The Brunching Shuttlecocks, which expands any two- to six-letter acronym. I mean any. If accuracy didn't occasionally count for something, the SBF glossary would be obsolete. Whimper!

Excited vocalization.


Association Internationale d'Épigraphie Grecque et Latine. I don't know a link yet. There are American (ASGLE) and British (BES) chapters.

L'Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerce. (Pronounced ``eye-seck.'' Isn't French great?) Based in Brussels to the extent that it's based anywhere.

There's a Local Committee at UB.

L'association des infirmières françaises entérostoma-thérapeutes d'Aquitaine. `The association of French enterostomal-therapist nurses of Aquitaine.' (Of course.)

Audio Interchange File Format.

Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The American Institute of Guitar. ``Founded in 1975 ... devoted to furthering the knowledge and appreciation of the guitar and music.'' Other links at the guitar entry.

American International Group. A financial services and insurance group. Some of the financial services are a form of insurance: credit default swaps, to name an infamous example.

Arrogance, Incompetence, and Greed. Alternate expansion for the AIG that has been the American International Group.

Association of Inspectors General. A US nonprofit that ``consists of Inspectors General and professional staff in their agencies, as well as other officials responsible for inspection and oversight with respect to public, not-for-profit, and independent sector organizations.''

American Institute of Homeopathy. Homeopathy is basically hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you therapy, except that the hair is cut down to sub-atomic dimensions (take one), and all of the cutting is done with a rusty hacksaw.

Artificial Insemination Homologous. Artificial insemination with the partner's own sperm.

American Industrial Hygiene Association. Cf. ACGIH, AIHce.

American International Health Alliance. It ``advances global health through volunteer-driven, `twinning' partnerships and other programs that mobilize communities to better address healthcare priorities, while improving productivity and quality of care.

AIHA's twinning partnerships are defined by a formal agreement held between US healthcare providers and their counterparts overseas, who work collaboratively to develop a detailed workplan that outlines their goals, specifying how they will achieve them over a period of time, primarily through the exchange of information and skills.''

AutoImmune Hemolytic Anemia. Disease in which the immune system decides to destroy your red blood cells.

American Industrial Health Council. Lobbies for the health of industry.

American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition. Co-sponsored by AIHA and ACGIH.

American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.

Association Internationale d'Histoire de la Psychanalyse. English: `International Association for the History of Psychoanalysis.'

Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre. ``We are an international organisation devoted to advancing knowledge about glass - its use, history and aesthetic qualities from antiquity to present times. We hold a congress every three years and publish the papers that are given in the series Annales de l'AIHV.''

This letter sequence is unlikely to occur at the beginning of the name of a for-profit organization. Cf. AIIA, AIIM, and AIIP below.

Australian Information Industry Association.

Sound produced, say, by the open mouth of a person falling and aware of it. There are variants. It does sort of suggest the Doppler shift perceived in the (p)reference frame of someone at a fixed height above the faller.

The Association for Information and Image Management.

Association des Infirmières et Infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick. In English: Nurses Association of New Brunswick (NANB). You can probably guess that's New Brunswick, Canada, not New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The Association of Independent Information Professionals.

American Institute of Indian Studies.

Activities Implemented Jointly (to cut greenhouse gases). See JI.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

American Indian Library Association. ``[A]n affiliate of the American Library Association, [it] is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. AILA holds business meetings twice a year in conjunction with the American Library Association and publishes the American Indian Libraries Newsletter quarterly.''

Association des Infirmiers Libéraux d'Auvergne. French, `Association of Independent Nurses of Auvergne.'

Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée. `International Association for Applied Linguistics.' Founded in France in 1964. Has held an international meeting in a different country every three years since 1969. Different country from that of the preceding couple of meetings, anyway. In Spanish, Asociación Internacional de Lingüística Aplicada.

Association des interprètes en langage visuel du Canada. If you want to see one possible result of translating this from French into langage visuel and then from Visual Language into English, see AVLIC. You know, we wouldn't have all these interpretation problems if everyone would simply speak or sign (whichever is more convenient) only Italian.

Administrators in Internal Medicine. ``The national organization of business administrators in departments of internal medicine at medical schools and academic health centers.'' This AIM is part of AAIM.

Take care not to confuse this with AIM (below).

Administrators In Medicine. ``National Organization for State Medical & Osteopathic Board Executive Directors.''

Take care not to confuse this with AIM (above).

Adsorption Isotherm Measurement[s].

Alcohol In Moderation. The name of a student organization at Siene College.

Ambulatory Information Management Association. A professional organization that apparently preferred AIM. Well, you know what happens. ``For want of a nail, the shoe was lost...'' and so on. They used to have the domain <aim4.org>, but now that belongs to ``Aim 4 Health,'' a vitamin-supplement store.

American Indian Movement. The acronym is useful, because ``American Indian'' is now politically incorrect for ``Native American'' in some circles. The thing to do is use the term ``American Autochthon.'' Keep 'em off-balance.

ATM Inverse Multiplexer. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't where all the money goes.

Automatic Identification Manufacturers. A trade association for the automatic data collection (ADC) industry.

Alternative Investment Management Association, Ltd. Is that like ``alternative medicine''? Oh, here we go: ``The Global, Not-for-Profit Trade Association for Hedge Funds, Managed Futures and Managed Currency Funds.'' Founded in 1990.

Associazione Italiana Malattia di Alzheimer. `Italian Alzheimer's Disease Association.'

American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. A member society of the AAES.

Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustrators. For when hentai gets really graphic. No-no, just kidding.

American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers. Founded as the American Institute of Mining Engineers in 1871, by 22 mining engineers in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. A member society of the AAES.

AIME comprises five separately incorporated units: an AIME Institute Headquarters, and four Member Societies:

I'm not sure where WAAIME squeezes into the organization chart.

AIST is the one of the four Member Societies which has changed its mission the least, and it is the only one which changed its initialism (from ISS). Two other Member Societies, like the umbrella organization, have changed their names and kept their initialisms. They might have considered alternatives. Like WLU, they could have renamed themselves after somebody with appropriate initials. TMS, for example, could have renamed itself the Tom Mix Society. Not only does this avoid using the initial of the as part of the official initialism, but it's a memorable name. The best part, though, is that TMS doesn't have to change its name each time it wants to change its focus, because the name is always as appropriate as it ever was.

AIME's web presence is slightly confusing. It was a little slow off the blocks, and its earliest official presence on the web was a page hosted by TMS. They must have been ticked off to learn that the Information-Media AIME had gotten to <aime.org> first. They evidently started out using <aimeny.org> (AIME is organized as a New York State nonprofit corporation, though its offices are in Littleton, Colorado). Links from older pages (including the no-longer-updated TMS-hosted page) tend to be to the aimeny address, though now AIME itself seems to prefer the <aimehq.org> domain name. As of May 2004, URL's with aimehq and aimeny seem to be equivalent. Lessons learned: (1) buy your domain name early, (2) think through what domain name you'll be happy with in the long term, and (3) switch web locations as infrequently as possible.

Association for Information Media and Equipment ``assists producers of information film, video, interactive technologies, computer software and equipment for educational and information.''

All India Muslim League. Founded in Dacca, Bengal, in 1906, when ``India' was a British possession including present-day Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the piece of Kashmir that China bit off in the 1962 Sino-Indian war. (Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, was administered separately from India throughout the period of British rule.) Burma was split off administratively before India became independent, and when India became independent it was partitioned into an India and Pakistan (q.v.). The latter, an explicitly Muslim country, consisted of provinces in two separate clusters, to the northeast and northwest of India. In the third Indo-Pakistani war, India helped East Pakistan become independent (as Bangladesh) of West Pakistan.

In English today, I think Bengal (which Bengolis that I know pronounce ``Bengol'') generally refers to the Indian state of Bengal that is adjacent to Bangladesh, while the part of old Bengal that is in Bangladesh is simply Bangladesh. So the ``Dacca, Bengal'' where the AIML was founded in 1906 is ``Dhaka, Bangladesh'' in 2003.

The AIML became increasingly irrelevant from the founding of Pakistan on, and petered out of existence around 1958. It has no genetic or really ideological relationship to other subcontinent organizations that have included the phrase ``Muslim League'' in their name.

Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale.

Amusement Industry Manufacturers & Suppliers.

Arizona Instrument to Measure (education) Standards. Statewide in Spring 2004, about 60% of students failed the math portion and about 40% failed the reading and writing portions. A passing grade on all sections (by senior year, I suppose) is required for graduation.

Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services.

Australian Institute of Medical Scientists.

Advanced Intelligent Network.

American Institute of Nutrition. Founded in 1928. Now it's the ASNS.

Epsilon Tauri. The second eye of the bull (not the second bull's-eye). A/k/a Oculus Boreus. The name Ain is Arabic, which I don't know and which is inconvenient to read. In Hebrew, ayin means `eye.'

Assyrian International News Agency.

A in B
Automobile IN Basement.

Associazione Italiana di Neuroradiologia.

Ainu is an Ainu word meaning `human being.'

Asynchronous Input/Output.

Azerbaijan International Oil Consortium.


Ancient Greek word meaning `age' (written with an acute-accented omega). This was Latinized as aeon and borrowed into English, where it is now often spelled eon (especially in the US).


Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli. The most direct and literal translation of this is `Annals of the Eastern University Institute of Naples,' but the university name is never normally given this way. It just happens that Istituto Universitario is an Italian term that means `University.' (To be pedantic, it would have to be `university institute,' but the absence of an adjective form of the English word university presents a problem. The English phrase university institute is likely to be understood as an institute that is part of a university. What the Italian phrase means, casting aside any attempt at grace, is something like `university-type institute': an institute of the university type. We usually call that a university.)

Anyway, Istituto Universitario Orientale (Napoli) and closely similar names seem to have been superseded -- I would guess around the beginning of the twenty-first century. The university's domain name is <iuo.it>, but the formal name is apparently now Università degli Studi di Napoli ``l'Orientale.'' This follows a naming pattern that is not uncommon for public universities in Italy. Others on this pattern: Università degli Studi di Roma ``La Sapienza,'' and Università degli Studi di Napoli ``Parthenope.'' As you can probably guess, Università degli Studi is an Italian term meaning `University.' (Another one is Università.) Not to worry, though: the school acronym is UNO.

Incidentally, the journal AION is published in two sections, each with one issue annually. The sezione linguistica ``[a]ims to publish articles concerning history of language and ancient languages, bibliographies, reviews, evidences of disappeared languages, connections between linguistic habits and feeding habits, enumeration, anthropology and other in (`ancient') Mediterranean area.'' The sezione filologico-letteraria is ``[c]oncerned with the history of Greek and Latin literature, but also generally with the history of ancient culture in all its aspects (religion, philosophy, law, politics, poetics, rhetoric, science).''

Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. An ischemia is a local blood shortage. ``Local'' in the sense of being limited to a particular body region, organ, or tissue. It typically arises from a problem in a particular blood vessel -- vasoconstriction, thrombosis, or embolism. It can also be caused by arteritis -- inflamation of an artery. Two kinds of AION are distinguished: Arteric AION and Non-arteric AION (NAION).

Accademia Italiana di Odontoiatria Protesica. `Italian Academy of Prosthetic Dentistry.' Despite the funny name, they're welcome at meetings of other national academies of aesthetic or esthetic or cosmetic dentistry. If the P stood for ``pelvic,'' I imagine there would be greater uneasiness.

American Institute of Philanthropy. They publish a Rating Guide. In 2003, the US Supreme Court hears a case brought by the Illinois Attorney General against Telemarketing Associates, a professional phone solicitor of an AIP F-rated charity, Vietnow. Telemarketing Associates does not deny that it keeps 85% of the charitable contributions it wangles and has been doing so for years, but argues that their callers don't explicitly claim that more than a small fraction of the money is telemarketer revenue (as it is) and that (according to certain court rulings of the 1980's) the states are forbidden to regulate this cousin to usury (not their words).

American Institute of Physics. Tunnel through cyberspace to their homepage.

American Institute of Pyrotartology. Experiments have to be repeatable, you know, or it's not Science. By this measure, the SPT experiment is very scientific.

Application Infrastructure Provider. An AIP supplies application providers with all of the infrastructure and systems management necessary to deliver the services of their software.

Association of Internet Professionals. Just to prove how on the bleeding edge they are, they got the domain name <association.org>. I'm impressed.

Associazione Italiana Parkinsoniani.

ATM Interface Processor.


L'Association Internationale de Papyrologues.

American Intellectual Property Law Association.

American Institute of Public Opinion. Founded at Princeton, NJ, by George Gallup in 1935. Gallup became famous, even eponymous, in this line of work, and his organization is now known by his name. (It's listed at our list of pollsters.)

Gallup originally taught journalism at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, and then Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. This was typical of the early pollsters -- they generally didn't have backgrounds in the social sciences. In 1932 he had been hired by an NYC advertising firm to conduct marketing surveys.

In starting out on his own, Gallup got AIPO going by making a famous two-part bet with its customers, the newspapers. He would provide regular public opinion survey results on various questions leading up to the next election (1936), including a prediction of how the election would turn out. The first part of the bet was, he would refund the syndication fees paid by the newspapers if he predicted the wrong winner of the presidential election.

In retrospect, you probably think this part of the bet was pretty easy: FDR was the only president to win election four times; he was a stupendously popular president; in the midst of the Great Depression, people would favor tax-and-spend policies to pick up the economy, etc. (``Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect'' in the original formulation of Harry Hopkins). Well no, not really. It had been four years since FDR had been elected, and the depression was worse than when he had taken office. The economy never really picked up until the US entered WWII. As FDR would say then, ``Doctor New Deal'' was fired and ``Doctor Win the War'' had taken his place.

Anyway, it wasn't all so obvious when history was being made rather than written. A popular magazine of that day, Literary Digest, ran an enormous survey with an unblemished record of predicting the winner of the presidential election. For the 1936 election, ten million postcards were sent out. With a response rate of 20%, the prediction was that Republican challenger Alfred Landon would win handily (60% of the vote). The problem was that the addresses came from automobile registration lists and telephone directories. They were a nonrepresentative sample, skewed toward those well-enough off financially to afford a car or a phone (not so common in those days). In previous elections that Literary Digest had predicted, the nonrepresentative sampling was not a big problem, because rich and poor voted similarly. Recall that in 1932, Republican President Herbert Hoover was contemplating large relief expenditures, and FDR was campaigning with a balanced-budget platform. By 1936, on the other hand, FDR did not look conservative, and those who were well off were more likely to strongly oppose his activist, essentially socialist program.

The main lesson normally drawn from LD's failure was that large biased samples are worse than small representative samples. That is certainly true as far as it goes, but there are many different sources of bias (about which more when I continue the entry).

In 1948 it was George Gallup's turn to screw up. Two weeks before the election, his polling showed Dewey strongly ahead, and he stopped polling. People changed their minds. It doesn't take two weeks either. In 1980, Carter and Reagan were close until the weekend before election day. Unpublicized tracking polls of the campaigns confirmed what the election proved: a shift to Reagan in the last two days, and a landslide Republican victory.

Astronomical Image Processing System.

Additive Increase Rate.

Airborne Imaging Radar. [NASAnese.]

AIR rifle. You know -- the Olympic sporting event! It's a sport! Just because it involves a machine doesn't mean you don't have to train and be in shape. It's a skill. Next Olympics, let's have formula-one as a demonstration sport. And bowling is waaaaaaay overdue. Let's make it a Winter sport.

All India Radio.

American Industrial Real Estate Association. An association of real estate associates and brokers, founded in 1960. It seems that over time they have shifted emphasis from specifically industrial to general commercial properties, so it now uses its old acronymic name as a fossil: ``AIR Commercial Real Estate Association.'' An affiliate of the NAR.

American Institutes for Research. A nonprofit founded in 1946, it ``is one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. Our overriding goal is to use the best science [huh? didn't they say behavioral and social science?] available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life. For us, making the world a better place is not wishful thinking. It is the goal that drives us.''

Annals of Improbable Research. Two ens. Cf. JIR.

Association for Institutional Research. ``Institutional Research'' (IR) specifically into the administration of post-secondary education. It's hot.

The Association of Irish Racecourses.

Australian Institute of Radiography.

The Indonesian noun meaning `water.' I, for one, think that's pretty cool. Of course, it's not pronounced the same as English air. And so naturally, it's not a homophone of English heir or ere, either. This points up one of the great flaws of Indonesian and so many other languages: phonetic spelling. When two totally different words are pronounced identically in the Indonesian language, they have to be spelled exactly the same way. This identical spelling leads to confusion. What a disaster!

Interestingly, the phrase tanah air, literally `ground water' or `land water' or something, depending on how you want to misunderstand it, means `native land' or `fatherland.'

The Indonesian word udara means `air' (substance and, so to speak, location). With a thick Indonesian accent, the English word water might sound a bit like udara, but I guess I wouldn't push the similarity. Cf. liar.

air bridge
In microelectronics, this is a structure (typically a metal interconnect) suspended above a solid surface (i.e., not lying directly on top of and in contact with it). Our more complete discussion of the air bridge is at the entry for its standard abbreviation, AB.

The American Institute for Roman Culture.

``Founded in order to promote and defend the heritage of Rome, the American Institute for Roman Culture (IRC), an American 501(c)3 non-profit organization active in Rome, is dedicated to heightening the English-speaking public's understanding and appreciation of Rome's cultural heritage through a variety of long-term educational programs, exhibits, publications, and other scholarly projects.

Whereas pre-existing programs appeal to restrictive demographics and have only a transitory presence in Rome, the IRC, deeply-rooted in the academic communities of both Rome and the United States, will appeal to, teach, and inspire a broader demographic of students, scholars, and educated laypeople. Through a dynamic, interdisciplinary approach the Institute will enable its participants to have a visible and lasting effect on Rome's cultural heritage.''

The group has a dig going at the Roman forum, led by archaeologist Darius Arya, who is also the director and a co-founder of AIRC. Darius A. Arya's father is Sirous Arya.

When the Vatican first censored the (Jewish) Talmud in Italy, and forbade the publication of at least one volume, its censor also required certain changes in the books allowed to be published. In particular, references to Rome were relocated to Persia.

Less-used acronym for American Industrial Real Estate Association (officially A.I.R.). Those who use this expansion appear to be disproportionately liable to misremember the expansion as ``American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.''

Air Force One
A star vehicle for Harrison Ford; a movie made and released during the interwar decade. Bridging as it did the peacetime cold war with the Russians and the peacetime war with terrorists, it involves Russian terrorists who hijack Air Force One as it flies from Russia to the US.

Air Force One
The radio call sign of any US Air Force plane the US president is aboard. In common parlance it is the name of an Air Force plane specially adapted for the US president. As of 2005, there are two such planes: specially configured Boeing 747-200B's with Air Force designation VC-25A, tail numbers 28000 and 29000. (Previous presidential planes had tail numbers 27000, 26000, etc.)

The planes project a picture of presidential power, privilege, perquisites, and prestige. (No, not really -- I just say that because I like alliteration.) The well-known name has been borrowed for a movie and is the basis for various puns, including other leaders' planes and a hugely successful athletic shoe from Nike named Air Force 1 (not to mention a rap song about the shoe). Plane names punning on Air Force One include Prayer Force One (discussed somewhere in the Victoria Day entry) and Blair Force One.

air guitar
An imaginary friend of the guitar persuasion. Never needs tuning.

There's an Air Guitar World Championship held annually in Oulu, in northern Finland. (How far north? It's at the Arctic Circle.)

There are various national championships, including US Air Guitar. (On August 16, 2007, 14 regional champions and the defending national champion Hot Lixx Hulahan competed for the national championship in NYC; local favorite Andrew ``William Ocean'' Litz won. His performance closes with a spectacular backflip onto an empty beer can, but he only placed 11th at the world championship.) The world competition finalists are mostly national champions (15 in September 2007), along with some dark horses (``black horses'') who enter through a qualifying round (4 in 2007), and the reigning champion.

Ochi ``Dainoji'' Yousuke won both the 11th and 12th championships (2006 and 2007). In 2007, Dainoji received a custom-made Flying Finn electric guitar worth $3,400. For a sort of air guitar that is expensive and more substantial in se, see the discussion of silent guitars at the backboard entry.

This reminds me of pop stars like Britney Spears and Ashlee Simpson, who have largely abandoned the pretense that they're singing live rather than lip-syncing. Ashlee is mentioned s.v. Autobiography. See also As Time Goes By.

Acción Internacional por la Salud. Literally `International Action for Health.' Used as the Spanish for HAI, q.v.

Adhesive Interconnect System.

Alarm Indication Signal.

American Institute of Stress.

Turn off the sound! Turn off the sound! Exit the homepage! Ahhh.

Association for Information Systems. A new organization. Here are papers from its second annual ``Americas Conference'' (1996).

Atom Inelastic Scattering.

Australian Institute of Sport.

Automated Information System.

[Phone icon]

Automatic Intercept System. The name of an early (1960's-era) system (for all I know the name is used still) that intercepts calls to changed numbers. ``The number you have reached ....'' A web search on the key phrases turns up a bunch of old jokes.

American Institute of Service Body Manufacturers. At a guess, it seems that service bodies are the bodies of commercial trucks. The AISBM's ``purpose is to maintain an effective working relationship with the truck chassis manufacturers and to keep the truck equipment industry informed on relevant engineering matters pertaining to service bodies.'' The AISBM has been an NTEA affiliate since 1979.

American Institute of Steel Construction.

Alarm Indication Signal -- External.

American Indian Science and Engineering Society. A member society of the AAES.

``[A] national, nonprofit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional Native values. Through its educational programs, AISES provides opportunities for American Indians and Native Alaskans to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology arenas. The trained professionals then become technologically informed leaders within the Indian community. AISES' ultimate goal is to be a catalyst for the advancement of American Indians and Native Alaskans as they seek to become self-reliant and self-determined members of society.''

The code of ethics ``prohibits the use or possession of any alcohol'' and applies inter alia ``when an individual is representing AISES in an official capacity''

American Iron and Steel Institute.

And I Swear I Am Not Making This Up. This isn't really an abbreviation in spirit. This is just an inside joke.

Alarm Indication Signal -- Line.

Acción Internacional por la Salud en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Spanish for HAI Latin America. The expansion given at the beginning of the entry is a guess after the word Salud. I haven't seen anything on the web that expands the full ``AIS LAC.'' See LAC for a thought on that.

Apparently these NGO's are not all buddy-buddy. On Columbus Day 2004, AIS LAC proposed that WHO investigate PAHO because the influence of the US is weaker in WHO than in PAHO. (Not their precise wording.) AIS cooperates closely with WHO.

Association Internationale de Signalisation Maritime. English IALA.

Associazione Italiana di Studi Nord-Americani. `Italian Association for North American Studies.' AISNA is a constituent association of the EAAS, and the only one besides SANAS with ``North American'' in its (English) name. ``North America''! Finally Mexico will get the attention it deserves!

You know, it's going to take a long time to read this glossary straight through as you had originally planned. Why don't you jump ahead now to the ID entry?

Alarm Indication Signal -- Path.

Association Internationale de la Science du Sol. French name of the International Society of Soil Science -- IBG in German, ISSS (main entry here) in English, SICS in Spanish.

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, part of Japan's MITI, runs eight labs in Tsukuba, and seven elsewhere.

It used to be called the ``Agency of Industrial Science and Technology.'' I recommend changing the name once again.

Association for Iron & Steel Technology. Formed in January 2004 from the merger of the Iron and Steel Society (ISS) and the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers. The ISS was and the AIST is a Member Society of AIME.

Alarm Indication Signal -- Virtual (tributary).

Assembly, Integration and Testing.

Atmospheric Interceptor Technolog{y|ies}. For ballistic missile defense.

Atomic International Time.

Automatic Identification Technology.

Oh, you mean ``L'Association internationale des transporteurs aériens -- IATA.

The name of the eighth letter of the English alphabet (``H'' and ``h''). (It was at the same position in the Latin alphabet, once the letter gee was introduced, but there is a theory that the Romans didn't count their letters starting at A.) The head term gives the standard spelling, but in some work of Noah Webster, probably The American Spelling Book, I remember that he used the alternate spelling: aytch.

The way one reads aloud the symbol representing what is sometimes called Dirac's constant or the reduced Planck's constant: Planck's constant (h) divided by two pi. When the symbol is not available, people often write ``hbar'' or ``h-bar.'' We have an entry about hbar in HTML.

Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

The Access Indiana Teaching & Learning Center.

American InterContinental University. I don't need to put a link here. If you surf the web long enough, one of their ads is bound to pop up. ``Earn an MBA in just 8 months.'' This isn't like a diploma mill, where they just sell you a degree for money. Dang! They're accredited by Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Please don't confuse this university with that other AIU. There is nothing meretricious about this school. Former Oval Officer Bill Clinton gave the commencement address at AIU's Dubai campus. He probably gave a discount off his usual fee, since AIU Online participated in a federal study.

There's also Richmond University, the ``American International University'' in London. The name reminds me of the movie An American Werewolf in London (1981). By 1997, they decided to milk this idea again -- bring it back from the dead, as it were. The remake was An American Werewolf in Paris. That in turn reminds me of The Picture of Dorian Grey.

Sir Thomas, speaking on America, says ``I have travelled all over it, in cars provided by the directors, who in such matters, are extremely civil. I assure you that it is an education to visit it.''
    ``But must we really see Chicago in order to be educated?'' asked Mr. Erskine plaintively. ``I don't feel up to the journey.''
    Sir Thomas waved his hand. ``Mr. Erskine of Treadley has the world on his shelves. We practical men like to see things, not to read about them. The Americans are an extremely interesting people. I assure you there is no nonsense about Americans.''
    ``How dreadful!'' cried Lord Henry. ``I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.''

Hmm, now where was I? Oh! That wasn't the passage! This is:

    ``Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered,'' said Mr. Erskine. ``I myself would say that it had merely been detected.''
    ``Oh! but I have seen specimens of the inhabitants,'' answered the Duchess, vaguely. ``Must confess that most of them are extremely pretty. And they dress well, too. They get all their dresses in Paris. I wish I could afford to do the same.''
    ``They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris,'' chuckled Sir Thomas, who had a large wardrobe of Humour's cast-off clothes.

I think Wilde liked that mot about Paris so much that he used it in a couple of plays (but I can't find the other instance, off-hand). Not to be gratuitously chiastic or anything, but to judge from a couple of world wars, it seems that when good Americans go to Paris, a lot of them die.

In Dik Browne's Hagar the Horrible strip of (I think) December 3, 1993, a friar warns Hagar and the stupid fellow with the funnel for a hat, ``If you don't mend your sinful ways, you will go where all sinners go.'' Enthused, they reply as one: ``Paris?!''

David Plante, epitomizing a passage of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, in which Svidrigailov commits suicide in the office of Achilles, explains: ``America is the place a Russian goes to when he commits suicide.'' [See p. 33 in his article ``Under Eastern Eyes: What America Meant to the Writers of Russia,'' article in NYTimes Book Review, pp. 3ff, Feb. 27, 1994. Plante had been a lecturer at the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow.] I probably ought to say something here about the options finally open to Misha Karamazov.

Analog Interface Unit.

Atlantic Internetional University. ``A New Age for Distance Learning.'' Oh wait -- I misread that. It's ``International.''

``By recognizing the knowledge gained in both school and `Life Experience' settings, AIU is able to grant degrees reflective of the student's true academic status.'' Elsewhere: ``[t]he student's Academic Status defines the number of Credit Hours the University will grant towards the selected degree program.''


They have faculty!

As I Understand It.

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

An Inclusive Version. An altered version, in the domestic-animal sense of ``altered,'' of the New Testament and Psalms (from the O.T.). Too bad they didn't do the book of Ruth or the story of Onan and Tamar; a neutered version of those might be interesting. Also, because ``the blind'' is so offensive, these differently abled persons are referred to in AIV by the inoffensive expression ``people who are blind.'' God save us from those blind ``people who are idiotic.'' Tell it to the ``people who are Egyptian.''

One day in high school I was in the Math Resource Center waiting to ask Miss Chew a question, and the blind student (we only had one, and I've forgotten his name) was there too. We exchanged small talk, and I thoughtlessly used some sight-related metaphor (something like ``looks that way'' for something that could as well have been ``seems that way,'' say), and he said ``I wouldn't know.'' It was a joke, okay? Blind people -- people who are blind, the blind, the quite-differently-sighted, the non-sighted -- they're rather aware of their difference. I have to add this: Frederick Douglass is reported to have said, ``Mr. Lincoln is the only white man with whom I have ever talked, or in whose presence I have ever been, who did not consciously or unconsciously betray to me that he recognized my color.''

Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst. Dutch `General Intelligence and Security Service.' Successor (the homepage says simply that it's the new name) of the charmingly-named BVD.

AIV method
Artturi Ilmari Virtanen METHOD. The only thing (not person) I can think of that is known by three initials of one person's name. Off hand, the only thing I can think of that uses two initials of one name is CBS (Charles Bonnet Syndrome), though I'm sure there are others.

The AIV method is the long-term storage of leguminous fodder in an acid medium, in order to preserve protein content. ``Long-term'' probably means the duration of a Finnish winter, which I think is almost a decade (okay, in dog years). In experiments he conducted in the 1920's, he used a dilute solution of hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, and found that this worked if kept in a narrow pH range around 4. This work won him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1945.

Association Internationale Villes & Ports. `International Association Cities & Ports' in French. You need a preposition? Try `International Cities & Ports Association.'

Association of International Wealth Management.

Aix en Provence was the childhood home of Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne, school chums. Cézanne lived there as an adult, but Zola was a poor orphan and so was forced to go to Paris and invent the practice of aggressive book-marketing (later invented independently in the US by Carly's father, a co-founder of Simon and Schuster, who was also orphaned). From this example we see the evil that can come of a deprived childhood.

Advanced Interactive eXecutive. (Trademark IBM.) Uncannily similar to Unix. An ``Open Systems'' (vide OSF) OS. There's a USENET FAQ set archived for the web.

ArmanI Exchange. I read this on a sweater; AIX (with the I larger: AIX) on the chest and the expansion twisting around the sleeves. The wearer was even less stylish than the sweater.

Advanced Interactive eXecutive for ESA. (Trademark IBM.) AIX for IBM System/390 or or large server hardware.

Advanced Interactive eXecutive for RS-6000. (Trademark IBM.)


A.J., AJ
Antiquitates Judaicae. Latin title of a first-century work by Flavius Josephus, written in Koine (a/k/a New Testament Greek -- the international language of the eastern Mediterranean in those centuries), normally known by its Latin title or an often faux-ami modern translation of that title: `Jewish Antiquities' in English, Les antiquités juives in French, Las Antigüedades Judías in Spanish, etc. It's not about antique furniture or other collectibles. It's just a history of the Jews up to the time preceding the rebellion against Rome in which Josephus was a general.

For the first 1500 or so years after it was written, the title would have been Antiqvitates Ivdaicae. It is conventional among Latinists in North America to write the vocalic vee as a yoo, but not to convert the consonantal ``i'' into the modern letter jay.

Astronomical Journal. Founded in 1849 by B.A. Gould. Sponsored by the AAS. One of the major journals in the field. Cf. ApJ.

ISSN: 0004-6256


American Journal of Archaeology. Based in Boston. Here's a separate site specifically for the book reviews.

American Journal on Addictions. The official Journal of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Why did I include this entry? I couldn't stop myself.

American[s] of Japanese Ancestry.

And Justice for All. It was ``founded in mid-1995 to fight for equality for everyone without regard to sexual orientation. AJA seeks to achieve this goal by increasing the visibility and participation of heterosexuals in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement.''


American Journal of Ancient History. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

Association for Japanese-Language Teaching.

Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology.

African Jewish Congress.

American Jewish Committee. A ``secular'' organization in the sense of not being affiliated with any particular religious stream within Judaism. The AJC publishes Commentary, which under editorship of Norman Podhoretz, from 1960 or so to maybe 1995, was one of the leading neoconservative publications.

A different organization than the AJ Congress (infra).

American Jewish Congress. Not affiliated with any particular religious stream within Judaism, but it couldn't number but a few confused Orthodox in its membership. Its mission statement runs into lists and subparagraphs. About as far to the left as the AJ Committee (supra) is to the right.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (in the US). There are 28 Jesuit (SJ) colleges and universities in the US. Corresponding Latin-American organization is AUSJAL.

Association of Japanese Geographers. (If you want to do more than view their nameplate gif, you ought to come equipped with a Japanese-capable browser.)

American Jewish Historical Society. Headquartered at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. Has a research center in Waltham, Massachusetts, adjacent to the campus of Brandeis University.

Association of Jewish Libraries.

You know, things have calmed down a little bit since the Middle Ages, but there's still a lot of rivalry between religions (better that than ribaldry between the religions, I guess). In one town with a bad case of ecumenical rivalry, the Catholics got together a fund and bought their priest a Rolls Royce! When he went to pick it up, there was a big ceremony and the priest sprinkled his new car with holy water. It was very spiritual and inspiring. Envy-inspiring. I mean, coveting your neighbor's wife is out of bounds, but it doesn't say anything in there specifically about cars, now does it? No. The Jews of the town, not to be outdone, got a fund together and bought their rabbi a Rolls Royce too. He was very happy with it, but his congregants said unto him, ``the priest sprinkled holy water on his car. Aren't you gonna do anything?'' So the rabbi got a chain saw and lopped off a fender.

My cousin Victoria told me this one, and when she got to the punch line I sagged. She screamed at Pam -- ``He got it! He got it!'' It turns out not everyone gets it. Here's a hint: shortly after birth, Roman Catholics have their babies baptized with holy water. (That's shortly after their children's birth.) Eight days or so after their boys are born, Jews have them circumcised. (Just as a technical matter of fact, it's the father's responsibility to circumcise his sons, but it's universally regarded as a Very Good IdeaTM if a professional performs the operation.)

Okay, stop me if you've heard this one. It's from Sholom Aleichem's ``Fiddler on the Roof.'' The young man asks the rabbi, ``Rabbi, is it true that there's a blessing for everything?''

Yes, my son, we have a blessing for everything.

Even for the Tsar?

Yes, my son:
May the Lord bless and keep the Tsar ...
far away from us.

Technically, the fellow who performs circumcisions is a moel. He need not be a rabbi. In countries with few Jews, the moel usually holds a day job in a medical profession.

Three mothers in Florida are bragging to each other about their sons. Mother number one talks about her son the lawyer. On and on. Mother number two can't wait to go on about her son the doctor. After they've had their turns, they notice that mother number three is silent. And what does her son do? He's a rabbi. ``A rabbi!? What kind of job is that for a nice Jewish boy?''

The fellow who checks that the laws of kashrut (the dietary laws) are obeyed -- the kitchen inspector -- is called a meshgiach. Once I showed up very early for the Bar Mitzvah of a friend's son. The caterers were still unloading the reception meal from the truck. When the rabbi arrived, he greeted me and gave me a meaningful look. The meaning of the look was ``what are you doing here?'' I explained that I was early for the Bar Mitzvah, so he said ``in that case, why don't you go next door and tell them you're the food taster?'' It was a joke. I laughed and said ``I'll tell them I'm the meshgiach!'' It was a joke. He didn't laugh. It was a Reform synagogue, and later I found out that the food was ``kosher style.''

American Journal of Nursing. The official journal of the American Nursing Association. (See also the ANA's page.)

American Journal of NeuroRadiology. Published by the ASNR.

American Journal of Pathology. Published by ASIP.


American Journal of Philology. Catalogued by TOCS-IN.

American Journal of Physics. A publication of the AAPT (not the APS).

American Journal of Physiology. A publication of the APS (not this APS).

American Journal of Psychiatry. Official journal of the APA. So many AJP's -- I'm gonna go nuts!

American Journal of Psychotherapy. Founded in 1939, and was the early bird that got the <ajp.org> domain. Official journal of the Association for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, which doesn't have a separate organizational domain and seems to exist primarily to publish the AJP, and maybe to hold a conference so the proceedings can be published in the AJP. AJP is one of the core journals in its diffuse field.

American Justice Partnership. It sounds similar to ``American Justice League,'' but it's not a comic book series. It's an organization that advocates legal reform. They're particularly concerned with abuses in the civil justice system, including frivolous lawsuits, venue shopping, and inordinate compensatory damages for nonquantifiable losses. To a lot of businesspeople, I imagine that AJP must be the very picture of superheroes.

Australian Journal of Pharmacy. Interesting... You know, one rarely thinks of pharmacy as the name of an activity or abstract institution. Or as any kind of uncountable noun or !!! Oh my GOD -- it's a SWARM: AACP, AFPC, AIHP, AMCP, CAPSI... okay, enough of that. Seriously, most people are probably used to ``pharmacy'' primarily as a count noun, denoting a place of business where prescriptions are filled. The only common instance of pharmacy that might be uncountable is in the expression ``pharmacy school,'' but there the word is attributive, and it's not unusual for count nouns to be recruited as adjectives in this way (``Hamburger U,'' ``coat hanger,'' okay -- I'm working on a closer parallel). It's certainly useful to have pharmacy as an uncountable noun for, roughly, ``the profession of pharmacists,'' as distinguished from pharmacology, etc. But one wonders when this usage became common. One clue: the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education was founded in 1932 and -- certainly not prematurely -- changed its name to Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in 2003. The ACPE Board of Directors approved the change in August of that year, and the following were given as the reasons:

American Journal of Public Health.

American Journal of Pain Management. A quarterly. The official journal of the AAPM. You should follow that link because we have a little bit of humor at that entry and, as you know, laughter is the best medicine (unless you've got a bruised rib or a broken jaw, in which case it might hurt; be careful you don't fall on the floor, either, or you might injure your ass).

American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Official journal of ATPM and ACPM. An almost-monthly (increased from 8 to 10 issues per year for 2004.)

American Journalism Review. We're waiting for a serious one.

Seriously, I've read the hardcopy version, and they haven't a clue.

American Journal of Roentgenology. Published by the ARRS.

Roentgen was the fellow who discovered X-rays, which were also called Roentgen rays.

American Journal of Surgery. According to the website, visited February 2005: ``a peer-reviewed journal designed for the general surgeon who performs abdominal, cancer, vascular, head and neck, breast, colorectal, and other forms of surgery. AJS is the official journal of five major surgical societies [consolidation -- great! -- but did they have to publish with Elsevier Science?] and publishes their official papers as well as independently submitted clinical studies, editorials, reviews, brief reports, correspondence and book reviews.'' Elsevier is pronounced like ``el severe'' in English. Each letter e stands for expensive.

Association for Jewish Studies. Founded 1969, a constituent society of the ACLS since 1985. ACLS has an overview.

American Journal of Veterinary Research. Its mission ``is to publish, in a timely manner, peer-reviewed reports of the highest-quality research that has the clear potential to enhance the health, welfare, and performance of animals and humans. The journal will maintain the highest ethical standards of scientific journalism and promote such standards among its contributors. In addition, the journal will foster global interdisciplinary cooperation in veterinary medical research.'' The AVMA also publishes the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).

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