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ActiNide. Or actinoid, if you want to be hip with the IUPAC hepcats. Anyway, An is an informal chemical symbol for a generic actinide. Don't confuse it with Ac, the symbol for actinium. There's a similar symbol Ln, for a generic lanthanide.



Ancient Narrative.
``Ancient Narrative (AN) is first and foremost an electronic journal, in which selected articles will be discussed during a period of several months, before they will be revised by the authors and appear in a printed volume.

Issues of the electronic journal AN will appear on the Internet three times a year. Moreover, a printed version containing revised versions of articles which have been discussed in the electronic version of AN will appear in a printed volume to be published once a year.

Special, theme-oriented issues of the electronic journal, as well as of the annual printed volume of AN will be planned. Your suggestions for such issues are very welcome.

AN is the electronic continuation of the Petronian Society Newsletter (ed. Gareth Schmeling) and the Groningen Colloquia on the Novel (eds. Heinz Hofmann and Maaike Zimmerman). Therefore, AN will, besides full articles, publish bibliographical information as well as brief notes on relevant subjects. The editors will also invite specialists for reviews, which will be published in the electronic journal and in the annual printed volume of AN.''

Articles and reviews mostly in English. French and Italian articles have appeared as well.

ANorthite. A chemical compound (calcium aluminosilicate: CaAl2Si2O8) and a mineral. The mineral anorthite is a solid solution of the chemicals anorthite and albite (sodium aluminosilicate, abbreviated Ab) with no more than 10% albite. The solid solutions of An and Ab in any proportion are collectively classed as the mineral plagioclase feldspar, and pure An and Ab are called the endmembers of the ``mineral series.''

(Domain name code for) Netherlands Antilles. Here's the government website. We mention the Netherlands Antilles at the CBS entry.

Acoustic Neuroma Association.

All Nippon Air. Mostly domestic Japanese carrier.

American Neurological Association.

American Nurses Association. (Alternate URL: <http://www.ana.org/>.) The ANA was founded in 1896 as the Nurses Associated Alumnae. [There was a time, you know, when a registered nurse could be expected to know that alumna is a first-declension noun, and alumnae its nominative (and vocative and locative) plural, as also its genitive (and dative) singular. Well, you can expect a lot of things. But seriously, I've seen a bound typescript, from as late as the 1960's, of a course in Latin for nurses.] Anyway, this organization participated in the formation of the ICN in 1899. The current name was adopted in 1911.

AntiNuclear Antibody. Not effective against atomic bombs.

A Novel Approach to writing. ``ANA is proud to be the only Independent, free writing site that has formulated a Charter to protect its members.'' Gee.

The ``Novel'' in the name is a pun; it's an organization for authors of poetry and fiction.

Athens News Agency. An EANA member.

Automatic Network Analyzer. ``Automatic'' in the same sense that a modern hand-held electronic calculator (or a calculator ap on a smartphone) automatically, like, calculates. So the main reason for including the word ``automatic'' in the term is that it yields a somewhat longer and more distinctive acronym. ``NA'' already means ``numerical aperture'' to too many of the same people, and to too many other people in electrical engineering. An ANA is the basic tool of modern microwave measurement. An ANA simultaneously measures the magnitudes and phases of network parameters (b/k/a S-parameters).

American Nursing Assistants Association. Possibly this is not a very active organization. It has a post office box in Ottawa (Ottawa, Kansas). I think that nursing assistant and nursing aide are modern terms for orderly. Like many jobs that are thankless and necessary, it's poorly paid. The ANAA also represents or whatever people who work as home health aides. (What they need is a union.)

Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada.

American Nurses Association\California. I never knew the backslash was part of English orthography. (I mean, APL\360 hardly counts as English -- it's a loan from Geek.) Maybe the ANA should have a look at this and see if they can make it better.

Associated New American Colleges. Founded in 1995, it's ``a national consortium of twenty-one selective small to mid-size independent colleges and universities (2,000-7,500 students) dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement.''

Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

An ungrammatical change of construction in a sentence. Not the most elegant figure of speech.

Off-hand, I can't think of a good -- I'm working on it, don't rush me! I suppose a dangling participle -- do you think that might be an example of a weak sort of anacoluthon? But I was talking to Gary earlier this month when I was really sick, and at one point I said ``when my grammar goes to hell like that, I'm really sick.'' And he said that when he'd heard me speak the previous sentence, he'd thought ``no, I didn't hear that.'' (Friends are like that -- they'll forgive a grammatical crime, even forget it, as if it were no big deal.) It's always great when we coauthor papers, because we're on the same linguistic wavelength -- reading from the same page, so to speak, and literally too. Of course, not a lot of great literature is joint-authored, but then there's Lennon and McCartney.

The idea of anacoluthon reminds me that they used changes of key very effectively. You'd be humming along for eight or ten bars in one key (G seemed like their favorite) and then suddenly a few scattered notes would signal a shift, and the whole mood changed. The clearest example I can think of is in ``Here, There and Everywhere.'' The first seven bars are in the key of C (last note A). The next three notes are D, but followed by an E flat in the ninth bar. That's want in ``I want her ev'ry...,'' which is a scale from D to A flat in the E-flat key. It's strikingly subdued, to coin a phrase, and I think you can sense something changed if you have even the slightest acculturation to Western scales. The way they play the natural rhythm of the sentences against the natural beat of the measures is also artful. But the bottom line with the Beatles is nescience. The music is too simple, almost too ordinary to sound as good as it does. Analysis is futile. Especially by me.

American Numismatic Association Certification Service.

A reordering of the letters of a word or phrase. The rearrangement may involve removing or inserting spaces, not to mention punctuation. I suppose you could say that ``tjlbh'' is an anagram of ``jb... h tl,'' but in the more interesting cases, the original arrangement of letters is of an intelligible word or phrase. In the most interesting cases, it is usually also possible to make some sense of the anagram as well, but that isn't necessary. Famous instances of the exceptional case are anagrams created by Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke, whose anagrams encoded Latin encapsulations of discoveries (or inventions) they had made.

The serious purpose of these anagrams was to assure proper credit for priority without immediately revealing the discoveries. On the other hand, some people just did it because it was popular and they thought it was fun. (E.g., Huygens included an anagram along with the letter describing his spring-based watch.) Pity the seventeenth century: no television. What Franklin used to do, when he was an active ``electrician'' in the 1750's, was send a letter to be read to the Royal Society, but ask the secretary not to read it (to the society) just yet. (Of course, this option was sometimes unavailable. Hooke was Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society from shortly after its founding. He was Secretary of the Royal Society from 1677 to 1683, though by then his scientific work was done. Newton became President of the Royal Society in 1705, when his great scientific work was done also, but the position did avail him in the vicious fights over credit for past scientific discoveries.)

One of the great priority controversies of that era was Hooke's claim that he had devised a spring-driven watch five years before Huygens. It was difficult to check Hooke's claims, because the notes of the Royal Society from 1661 to 1682 were missing. They were found again, apparently supporting Hooke's claim, in 2006.

For ordinary anagrams, check out the highly useful Internet Anagram Server.


The mailing list associated with Diotima, although you needn't be a member of either one to join the other. The current short description may suggest the diversity of people interested:
ANAHITA-L is a scholarly list for the discussion of women and gender in the ancient Mediterranean world. Not a religious list!

From April 1996 to March 2000, ANAHITA ran on LISTSERV software and was served by the University of Kentucky, with Ross Scaife serving as owner. The archives from that period are still available there.

In March 2002, David Meadows and Sally Winchester became co-owners and moved it to onelist.com, which was absorbed by Yahoo! Groups. The current list homepage is there. Here's the current description:

ANAHITA-L is a scholarly list for the discussion of women and gender in the ancient Mediterranean world. Discussion topics include: women's work, legal status, social roles -- both public and private, intellectual life, religious activities, and men's views on women. The discussions should be based upon historical, archaeological, linguistic, literary and other evidence from the ancient world and the various interpretations of this evidence. There are many interpretations of the source material and we encourage a variety of approaches, including controversial authors such as Stone and Gimbutas. These latter authors may be discussed critically but they are not to be taken as the 'final word' on any topic. Some familiarity with original source material is expected.

This list does not encompass personal religious beliefs. It is not a list on which to reveal your personal encounters with deities or to proselytize for your religion.

See our general entry on mailing lists.

Analog Devices
They used to have a suspicious, downright surly web presence, and it was just a boring gopher site. Now they have Web page that is friendly and perky. This is not an isolated phenomenon; it is a characteristic of free markets.

A noun for the ability to recall or remember, or for the act of doing so. What did I just say? Anamnesis is also used in medicine for case history or medical record.

The title of two books by Eric Voegelin. The first book, written in German and published in 1966, is longer and therefore in virtually every respect worse. (Its full title is Anamnesis: Zur Theorie der Geschichte und Politik -- `Anamnesis: Toward the Theory of History and Politics.') The second (full title: Anamnesis), published in almost idiomatic English in 1978, contains some of the chapters from the first book, translated by Gerhart Niemeyer, some material published later and elsewhere, and a new introductory chapter.

The tone and utility of the book may be accurately gauged from the first lines of that new chapter:

In 1943 I had arrived at a dead-end in my attempts to find a theory of man, society, and history that would permit an adequate interpretation of the phenomena in my chosen field of studies.

Oh, chapter three is good, it's a bunch of generally boring recollections of his ordinary childhood.

More of the same may be found at the self-regarding entry.

ANAlog MUltipleXer.

Australian National Audit Office.

Surgical joining of two organs (such as muscles, nerves, or blood vessels). Too bad, it would have made a fantastic name for this figureof speech. (No, not the next one. That would be figure speech of.)

A figure of speech: the preposition following its object. This occurs in Latin (quos inter) and in Greek.

In Latin and Greek, prepositions are normally in the ``pre'' position: they normally precede their object. German has a couple of common prepositions that function as postpositions also, like nach (see m.A.n.). That wouldn't qualify as a figure of speech.

ANATomy. Hey! This is a family glossary!

A New Approach to Taxation. A transportation tax structure introduced in Australia in 1998, intended to establish competitive neutrality between road and rail. A.N.A.T. stands for the new name of the new tax. The old name had the unattractive acronym ANTS.

anatomically correct
With the naughty parts included (on a doll; not necessarily a children's doll).

anatomically incorrect
  1. With some naughty part or parts missing, such as the balls.
  2. With an enlarged gall bladder where the heart should be. (This is a terrible affliction to those not directly affected.)
  3. With the head up the ass.
  4. Politically correct.

Académie Nationale de Chirurgie. The French `National Academy of Surgery.' I guess if you do that for a living, the homepage might not seem grotesque.

Access Network Controller.

African National Congress. Founded 1912. South African political organization. It is a partner in the Tripartite Alliance (national parliamentary coalition) with the SACP and the COSATU, but the ANC alone holds 70% of the seats in the South African Parliament as of 2008.

  1. Australian National Coastal Authority,
  2. Australian National Council on AIDS,
  3. Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

Paul? You're thinking of Paul Anka.

American Nurses Credentialing Center. The ANCC says it is ``the world's largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization, and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association'' (ANA).

Aramaic New Covenant. I guess the J is for Herb Jahn, who offered up this sacrifice, worth a mere sixteen of his years, in 1996. The texts of the New Testament began to be canonized (and conversely some other Christian scriptures to be proscribed) by Marcion and others, after some of them had been in circulation more than a century. Jahn believes that the originals were written in Aramaic, and he tried to reconstruct what the original Aramiac words were and then to translate them into English. The idioms are translated literally. Something for the adventurous soul.

ANAlysis of COVAriance.

American National CattleWomen. ``[F]ounded in 1952 as the American National CowBelles, to give women a voice in the beef cattle industry. The name was changed in 1984 to reflect the changing times.'' But what does the name mean? Membership restricted to US citizens? Cattlewomen of the American nation as opposed to the American continent? National cattlewomen from America? National women, American cattle?

``... has more than 5500 members and speaks for more than 25,000 CattleWomen from coast to coast.'' I am the only one who sees a problem with this reasoning?

``ANCW is the sponsor and project leader of the National Beef Cook-Off®, in cooperation with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB).''

Andromedae. (Genitive form of Andromeda.) Official IAU abbreviation used for naming astronomical objects in the region assigned to the constellation Andromeda. For example, the brightest star in that region of sky is abbreviated α And, which is normally read out loud as ``alpha Andromedae.''

Andromeda is a name from mythology, the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia. ``Andromeda'' is sometimes given the ``translation'' of ``princess of Ethiopia'' or ``chained lady.''

Association for the Neurologically Disabled of Canada. French: Association Canadienne pour les Handicapes Neurologiques.

Abbreviated New Drug Application to the FDA.

Auxiliary to the National Dental Association. It ``has been for many years as a support group for the spouses of dental professionals. Membership is open to all spouses regardless of sex. ANDA also raises scholarship funds and awards yearly scholarship(s) to deserving dental students.''

Third-person singular present-tense form of andar. Also the familiar (tu) imperative form.

Association Nationale de Défense contre l'Arthrite Rhumatoïde.

Spanish, `to go.' There is another verb, ir, that also translates `to go.' One could say that andar is more about the process, and ir is more about the destination. If you want to discuss the scenery that you saw as you were going along (not necessarily to any specified destination), you want to use andar.

If you want to say that a machine is on, you can say that ``la máquina esta andando.'' If you tried to construct a similar expression with the present perfect of ir instead of andar, the closest you'd get would be ``la máquina esta llendose,'' meaning `the machine is going away.'

[dive flag]

American Nitrox Divers Inc.

Associazione Nazionale Dentisti Italiani. `National Association [of] Italian Dentists.' (No, Italian does not have a genitive inflection. The things that look like Latin second-declension genitives are just a masculine plural noun and adjective, functioning together as an attributive noun.)

and other artists.
AND OTHER ARTISTS you never heard of.

and other hits.
And filler.

and Philosophy
And how it can be milked.

Open Court Press has... Hey, shouldn't that be ``Full Court Press''? Aw, it's Open Court Publishing Company. Anyway, this press publishes a ``Popular Culture and Philosophy'' series. It was inaugurated in 1999 with Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing, a work praised in the journal Entertainment Weekly. This achievement was followed in 2001 by The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! Of Homer. The Open Court web site quotes a positive comment on the book that was posted at <amazon.com>. (Yes, and some others.) This is either provocative or desperate. The Matrix and Philosophy (2002) became a best-seller. (It's about the movie, not the Toyota hatchback. You say there's something else called a matrix?) Buffy the Vampire Slayer aP and The Lord of the Rings aP (subtitled ``One Book to Rule Them All'') were both perpetrated in 2003. In December of that year, I heard that Bob Dylan aP was under consideration. The Sopranos and Philosophy was forthcoming.

Everybody's trying to horn in on the action. In December 2005, the University Press of Mississippi published Comics as Philosophy. I'm not even trying to keep up with the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. Just run the search.

I'll concede that these series only exploit commercially what has long been exploited academically, but it does make the strategy transparent. And I see nothing wrong in principle with thinking deeply and hard about subjects that are shallow and soft, so long as one is ready to admit at the end that the effort was vain, as it probably will have been. Especially if the one doing it would otherwise still have been wasting time. I'm just extremely skeptical. I'm similarly skeptical of things like ``The Erotic: Exploring Critical Issues,'' unless it comes with complimentary samples. Cf. seriousness.

I want to meet 'er.

You're probably thinking, ``no, that should be `Anita / I wanna meet-a' or `Andrea / Let's visit Alexandria.' ''

Look, I'm writing the lyrics to this glossary, okay? Just stop complaining and sing along.

(Shhh! Sometimes little elves sneak in here at night and stick entries like this into the glossary. Who is this ``Andrea,'' do you know? Is this just some cultural reference that I'm not getting?)

and stuff
AND I'm sure there's lots of other STUFF but I can't happen to think of a single one now. Expression usually follows a list containing one item. It's not considered good style to use it as the entire list, as in ``it's good for and stuff.''

A slightly interesting aspect of this usage is that stuff is grammatically uncountable.

And that's not just my opinion.
I've told other people, too.

and yes,
When this compound conjunction is followed by an admission or concession of the validity, at least in part, of an opposing argument, then it is a demonstration of the speaker's bona fides. When it is followed by the statement of a point in the speaker's favor, it is a sign of tendentious or political speech.

American Numismatic Exchange. ``Annie.'' Died 1989. Current successor is the CCE.


Ancient Near East. A mailing list devoted to the Ancient Near East. To subscribe, send an email message to <majordomo@oi.uchicago.edu> with no subject, with the single content line
subscribe ANE

Singular of data.

(Sociologists' joke. Ha-ha.)

American Near East Refugee Aid.

American National Election Studies. It claims to produce ``high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists who want to better understand the theoretical and empirical foundations of national election outcomes. Central to this mission is the active involvement of the ANES research community in all phases of the project.''


Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at University Carolina in the Czech Republic.

Understandable misspelling for aneurysm.

Here are some useful general information links that I found:

Once believed to be due almost exclusively to atherosclerosis. That estimate has decreased.

American Nurses Foundation.

Australian Nursing Federation.


Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil. Explosive mix.

Winding, sinuous, roundabout, circuitous. I suppose the pedanticism one encounters more often is anfractuosities.

(US) Air National Guard. Cf. ARNG.

German adverb meaning `allegedly' and uninflected form of the adjective meaning `alleged.' From the separable verb angeben, `to witness.'

I just put this entry in here because the word angeblich popped into my consciousness but the meaning didn't pop into my consciousness and I had to look it up. If Warren were here, he would probably ask, with something between exasperation and genuine curiosity, ``Al, why are you telling me this?'' You're probably wondering the same thing. ``Warren,'' I would counter-ask, ``you mean about the popping and the not popping?'' ``No, Al. I mean `why are you telling me the meaning of the word angeblich?' [He'd be referring to the German word that means, or is claimed to mean, `allegedly.']''

``Oh,'' I'd say, ``I have to dust off and brush up my German, and the only way I can do that and still advance the great work of building the SBF Glossar [German for glossary] is if I write entries about German words. `Leverage the synergy,' as they say.'' It would gradually come out that next June, I'm taking my mom to visit Breslau, now called Wroclaw. She was born there and thirteen years later she left; this will be her first time back.

I don't want to give you the impression that Warren would only ask petulant or sore questions. He could also make possibly helpful suggestions, like ``why don't you get a guide who speaks English instead of German?'' (It doesn't work; the guide, Ryszard, is apparently a unique resource. He serves a clientele of former Breslau residents, collecting and retelling anecdotes about Breslau then and now. His advertising is strictly word-of-mouth.)

The preceding parts of this entry were written before our June 2005 trip. I can add that some of the word-of-mouth came from Ryszard's. On our way out of the hotel one morning, we stopped near some disoriented Germans whom Ryszard gave his card. There's a large traffic of former Breslauers and their descendants, a fact you can easily understand if you read our Breslau entry.

Technical term for a private investor with altruistic motives for making an investment in addition to the usual financial ones. Similar to a white knight.

Theatrical productions, particularly if they're not musicals, are so risky that anyone who underwrites a show is an angel.

Here's a brief investigation of other angels.


Spanish: `Anglicism.' The word is used countably (un anglicismo) for a word or expression borrowed, or constructed on the basis of, or influenced by English. (More below on the various possibilities.) The word is also used uncountably ([el] anglicismo) for the English influence itself.

I just got around to reading a 1957 article in the Revista de Filologia Española: ``Los anglicismos en España y su papel en la lengua oral'' [`Anglicisms in Spain and their role in spoken language'], vol. 41, pp. 141-160. It's pretty interesting, and fifty years on, it might be soon enough to revisit.

Author Howard Stone begins by noting that the greatest influence on Spanish during the middle ages was Arabic. [Raphael Lapesa, Historia de la lengua española (Madrid: Escelicer, 2/e 1950) is cited for a figure of 4000 examples.] I'm just going to be paraphrasing and summarizing for a while, so you can tack ``according to Stone'' onto any bald statements to follow, though the statements don't happen to be particularly controversial, afaik.

French was the second-greatest influence on Spanish, particularly in the 13th, 18th, and 19th centuries. That's an interesting selection of centuries there. Maybe we'll have a galicismo entry some day. Until then, you could check out Rafael Baralt, Diccionario de galicismos... (Madrid: Impr. Nacional, 1855; Buenos Aires 2/e, 1945). (The nominal clan of Rafaels sure has been active in the study of foreign influences on Spanish. But perhaps not disproportionately active, since Rafael is a popular Spanish given name.) By the middle of the twentieth century, English was the greatest influence, and possibly the most important linguistic peninsular development in contemporary Spanish. (Trust me, this is a fair translation from the Spanish, but it sounds less hokey in Spanish.) The article presents a list of something under 500 anglicisms, and Stone is quick to concede that any reader could think of others that were omitted. I say, he should have found any reader and asked him what those others were. He did get, from a man with the imposing name of Emérito Paniagua Comendador, the gift of Paniagua's own list of Anglicisms.

Stone took a somewhat expansive view of what counts as un anglicismo, which just makes my job harder. For the time being, let me mention some of the oldest direct examples:

  1. arrurruz < arrowroot
  2. este < east
  3. monís < moneys
  4. norte < north
  5. oeste < west
  6. ron < rum
  7. sur < south

(The compass points came via French.)

Anglofem, Anglo.fem, Anglo Fem
Back in 2003, ahead of its fifth annual conference, it described itself as ``a network association of women who work as teachers and researchers in the English departments of universities in the Netherlands.'' The conferences are ``a day of inspiring talks and informal networking.'' In 2007, they sent out an announcement for a one-day ``symposium on Networks and Networking.'' Paper 1 has the title ``Networks analyzing networks.'' Other papers are less involuted, but still. It's now ``an organization of female academics working in the fields of English and American studies.''

There was a time when the Dutch spoke the least foreign English: they learned it well and there was hardly an identifiable ``Dutch accent.'' The Germans, by contrast, had strong accents; Henry Kissinger's accent would count as ``very slight'' in the spectrum of those old, frequently parodied accents (das mascheen iss nisht foor gefingerpoken). At least since the 1980's, judging from the scientists and engineers I know, English is being learned well by Germans, and some of the Dutch may have backslid a little bit. That's why it's encouraging to see such an ugly neologism as Anglofem used by Dutch teachers of English. It shows that they are finely attuned to the crass academic argot of American universities.

A rare and not particularly pretty term. It's used sufficiently infrequently that one may regard it as a nonce term that is independently reinvented every few years. In various Lexis-Nexis searches, the earliest instance of the term that I found was in a January 15, 1991, article in the Financial Times (London), which put the term in quotes, though no one in particular was quoted. Anglo-Saxonia seems to have been used perhaps 10 times (including once in a German publication) in the 17 years since then, in the various publications searchable by Lexis-Nexis. In some cases, particularly in economic reporting, it clearly means the English-speaking countries of the developed world. In an instance or two it refers to English-speaking people. Over the same period (since April 1991, actually) the term Anglophonie has occurred in 94 different items similarly searchable -- mostly in French, a few times in German. This is clearly the preferred term.

A metric unit of length, abbreviated Å, equal to a tenth of a nanometer or 100 picometers (0.1 nm = 100 pm = 1 Å). You can write it ångström or Angstrom or (my favorite) Ángstrøm or any other way you like, but spelling Rabbit (see below) with three m's is probably a mistake. For something about the funny vowels, see the Aa entry.

The Bohr radius is about half an Ångström, so all atoms have diameters of one or a few Ångströms. Optical wavelengths are on the order of thousands of Ångströms (the visible spectrum is roughly 4000Å to 8000Å; your eyesight may vary), and when I was growing up the wavelengths of atomic spectral lines were typically known to about an Ångström, so it was a convenient unit for giving those.

The unit is popular among physicists but not officially recognized as part of the SI. (Technically, SI accepts the temporary continued use of this unit and the liter. This is leading by running out in front of a moving parade. Run'em over!) During the 1980's, the Ångström lost ground to the nanometer, certainly in part due to the limited character sets of graphing programs. The unit is named after the Swedish spectroscopist Anders Jonas Ångström (1814-1874). I think it was Knut, the son of Anders, who was influential in having Rutherford be awarded the Chemistry Nobel instead of the Physics. If physicists held grudges, the nanometer would rule. I suppose the best-known Angstrom today is the eponymous ``Rabbit'' of John Updike's series of novels (Harry Angstrom). The comment about the three m's is an allusion to the black-bra entry.

Anhang. German for `appendix,' and an excellent example of calque. See the WoO entry for a specialized usage.

Appendix in the anatomical sense is Blinddarm. Der Darm is `the intestine' (the plural Därme is also used), so der Blinddarm is the false intestine (cf. English pitchblende and zincblende).

Good guess is calcium sulfate, CaSO4.

American Nuclear Insurers.

[Phone icon]

Automatic (telephone) number identification. Not the same as CLID

A shrub found in the West Indies (according to OSPD4), and throughout the Scrabble tablelands (according to the SBF glossary).

L'Alliance nationale de l'industrie musicale. `The National Alliance of the Music Industry.' There doesn't seem to be an English version of this page. If nationale here means `Canadian,' then `musicale' refers to Francophonic music. (Francophonic is just a nonce word. It seemed appropriate.) On the other hand, if `musicale' just refers to music generally, then nationale here might mean `French-Canadian.'

I don't really care about the language. I couldn't understand the lyrics any better if they were in Chinese Pig Latin. (You know, Angpay ingchay, etc. Getting the tones right can be a hassle, particularly in music.) You need to visit the entry for Jukka Ammondt, the Finn who sings Elvis songs in Latin. Tell'm Lord Mondegreen sentcha.

animal shelter
A currently favored term for places that receive stray animals and ones legally removed from individual private custody. Many ``shelters'' euthanize unwanted animals (those not readily ``rehomed''). ``Shelters'' that refuse on principle to put down relatively healthy animals are called by a qualified version of this term: ``no-kill shelters.'' So ``shelter'' is a rather ironic term in general, and I prefer the old term ``pound'' (where animals are ``impounded'').

Australian National Internships Program. Oh, just a little for me.

Annales islamologiques. A publication of IFAO.


anisotropic etch
An etch with an etch rate that is different in different directions. In wet etching, the direction-dependence has to do with crystallographic axis: some planes are harder to etch than others.


``Anistoriton is a free and independent magazine of History, Archaeology & Art History edited by D. I. Loizos and an Editorial Committee. Anistoriton is the Greek word for `ignorant in history.' It is an attempt to bridge the gap between professional historians and archaeologists and their specialized research, on the one hand, and the general public, the true history and archaeology lovers, on the other.''

Alphabet, Numerals, and Katakana. A very spare eight-bit character encoding for Japanese. The lower half of the character map is interpreted according to JIS for Roman (romaji) encoding, and the upper half maps half-width katakana. Half-width katakana characters are katakana without the diacritical marks that distinguish ba/ha/pa, sa/za, da/ta, etc. The two diacritical marks, which appear to the upper right of the basic kana, are encoded in the map as separate characters, the last two in the map. Also, some kana that are largely but not completely obsolete (wi, we) are not encoded.

ANK is suitable for simple segmental displays (typically LED displays or VFD's). Some of these make an arrangement to represent the diacriticals more appropriately than as separate characters. (Halfwidth kana can look a bit ugly; just imagine résumé as re'sume'.)

When hiragana is available, katakana is used only to write recent (last 500 years') foreign borrowings. Nevertheless, when the diacriticals are used, katakana can represent the entire phonemic inventory of Japanese. Indeed, more: some kana-diacritical combinations are used to represent only sounds that don't occur in Japanese, rather as English uses kh. One that is commonly used: u with the voicing diacritic represents vu. (Hebrew uses what looks like a bold grave accent after -- i.e., to the left of -- native consonants to indicate related foreign sounds.)

What one loses when writing Japanese uniformly in katakana (or kana generally) is not phonetic but semantic. Japanese has far fewer different syllables than English, and though Japanese words tend to have more syllables, homophones are still much more common. Using kanji reduces ambiguity, somewhat as different spellings of English homophones does (e.g., signet and cygnet; cereal and serial, red and read; reed and read; led and lead, LEED, Lied, and lead; lie and lye; I'm just having fun here -- you can skip to the next sentence; meat, mete, and meet; lamb and lam, some and sum; ton and tun; ball and bawl; new and knew; no and know; peel and peal; bee and be; buss and bus; tax and tacks; clew and clue (well...); knit and nit; its and it's; there and their; there's and theirs; here and hear; hair and hare; air and heir; R&R, and are and arr; hoar and another word; me and mi; bore and boar; bite and byte; won and one; to, too, and two; fore, for, and four, the (stressed) and thee; would it be cheating to mention disc and disk?; deck and deque?; choir and quire; slay and sleigh; tray and trey; fey and fay; bay and bey; pray and prey; fryer and friar; pie and pi; tale and tail; rale and rail; born and borne; there's no particular order to these, by the way; why and wye; pearl and Perl (and perl); carrot, caret, and carat (and karat); shoot and chute; chord and cord; pried and pride; pries, prise, and prize; lime and Lyme; lane and lain; lade and laid; bale and bail; wail and wale (and in most cases whale); weal and wheel; wont and want; tract and tracked; pleas and please; wether, weather and whether; wither and whither; foreword and forward; hi, hie, and high; desserts (noun) and deserts (verb); fort and forte (sometimes); tire and tier; tier and tear; tare and tear; stare and stair; bare and bear; beer and bier; road, rode, rowed, and Rhode (Island) ; stake and steak; steal, steel, and stele; seamen, semen, and siemen; pail and pale; peer and pier; pear, pare, and pair; flew, flue, and flu; deign and Dane; blue and blew; stew and Stu; dug and Doug; shoe and shoo; lo and low; oh and O; an and Anne; cane, Cain, and Kane; able and Abel; kneel and Neil (and Neal); mic and mike (and Mike); aught and ought; turn and tern; earn, erne, and urn; birth and berth; hight and height (oh yeah, happens all the time); white and wight; flee and flea; through and threw; sine and sign; from and frum; metal and mettle; medal and meddle; mind and mined; find and fined; bait and bate; bead and Bede; need, knead, and kneed; yoke and yolk; would and wood; gilt and guilt; wine and whine; look, I realize that some weirdos pronounce wh as /hw/, stop wining about it; mule and mewl; role and roll; this is easier than doing a crossword puzzle, and cheaper; bored and board; duel and dual; rho, row, and roe; doe and dough; rough and ruff; do and doo (and due, for nonpalatizers); tule and tool; mill and mil; neigh and nay; aye, eye, I, and i-; son and sun; tore and tor; matte and mat; nappe and nap; stayed and staid; not and knot; rout and route; route and root; dies and dyes; stile and style; vane and vain; wain and wane; poll and pole; pall and pawl; all and awl (even de bard hadda problem wit'dis -- are you mechanical?); so and sew; toe and tow; ate and eight; mite and might; right, rite, wright, and write; cite, site, and sight; night and knight; there are probably entire webpages devoted to this stuff; hale and hail; ail and ale; mail and male; sail and sale; bin and been (usually); bean and been (some Brit.); bred and bread; this is beginning to be tiresome; tide and tied; sees, seas, and seize; tee and tea, tees, teas, and tease; vial and vile; mien and mean; call and caul; principal and principle; pour and pore (and for some poor); plate and plait; wear, ware, and where; we're and weir; were and whir; dear and deer; and in some but not all common pronunciations: ant and aunt; can't and cant; beet and beat; then (when unstressed) and than, effect (noun) and affect (verb); complacent and complaisant (q.v.); complementary and complimentary; tort and torte; sentry and century). (Kanji writing, like English spelling, is not phonetic. But it doesn't pretend to be.)

Oooh, I thought of some more: assent and ascent, stoop and stoep.

This entry started out to be about a reduced Japanese character-set encoding, didn't it? Oh well, I lost interest. There are other entries that talk about Japanese. It was more important to put in links to all those words above that are personally important to you. Yes -- you! (Yew? Yoo?) You've heard that radio commercial for the product that promises to put words directly into your head, effortlessly and without repetition, including the fifty or whatever most important ``power words''? The concerned announcer, with a voice poised between grief and grievance, explains that ``people judge you by the words you use... draw conclusions about your education, even your intelligence!'' (Correct conclusions.) They report research proving that a bad vocabulary can sink you faster than bad breath! Well I'm here to tell you that bad spelling can sink you faster than a led anchor. And not just any bad spelling. Everyone makes typos -- that's no big deal. But if you use a correctly spelled wrong word, people draw the conclusion that you don't know which word is which! Worst of all, spell-checkers won't save you, because you've spelled the wrong word correctly! CALL KNOW and oh weight a second -- that wasn't my point at all. The important thing was

Look folks, I'm really sorry about this, but here's the situation. This entry is having a hard time finishing itself up, but in the meantime other entries on this same page are ready and have been tapping their shoes for weeks waiting to be published. So really I'm very sorry, but we're going to have to let this entry go out half-dressed so the show can go on. I'm sure you've been in a similar situation yourself, in seventh-grade choir, say, so you'll understand.

Argonne National Laboratory. Near Chicago.

AcryloNitrile acid Methacrylate. A/k/a acrylonitrile-acrylate rubber. A plastic.

Anmerkung. German noun meaning `remark.'

ANswering machine Message.

ANswer Message. (SS7 acronym.)

Aero-News Network. (A website for news having to do with airplanes.

Artificial Neural Network. Not only have they demonstrated useful capabilities like A-D conversion [D. W. Tank and J. Hopfield: ``Simple neural optimization networks: an A/D converter, signal decision circuit and a linear programming circuit,'' IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, 33, #5, pp. 533-632 (1986)], but also things like schizophrenia [for example: W. E. Lowell and G. E. Davis, ``Predicting length of stay for psychiatric diagnosis-related groups using neural networks,'' Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 1, #6, pp.459-466 (1994).

American Nephrology Nurses' Association. Based in Pitman, New Jersey.


Annali della Facolta di lettere e filosofia Universita di Napoli. Italian. Impossible to guess what it could mean in English.

I only encountered this ugly word for the first time yesterday. It turns out to be quite a common word in certain circles, so I suppose one should be happy that it is merely exceptionally and not spectacularly ugly. Instead of counting as blessings all the years I passed in blissful ignorance of it, I wondered how I could possibly have gone so long without becoming, so to speak, vested in this word. I guess it takes a long time to qualify.

There are actually two competing definitions of annuitant. According to some it is a person entitled to receive benefits from an annuity. According to others it is a person who does. If you google on annuitant alone, you get (I mean I just got) a bit under a million hits. If you add the search term definition, you still get 300,000. Under the circumstances, it's almost surprising there isn't greater disagreement on the meaning. Oh wait, there's more. An annuitant is also a formally retired U.S. intelligence officer who is still on the government's payroll and available for assignments. For when you want to bring back Sean Connery for a special assignation, I guess, or something like that.

Checking around, I find the word in an inspirationally titled softcover from 1974: My Purpose Holds: Reactions and Experiences in Retirement of TIAA-CREF Annuitants (by Mark H. Ingraham with the collaboration of James M. Mulanaphy). An interesting feature of this title is that the subtitle is separated from the short title by an explicit colon. Okay, I looked inside. It contains a lot of quotes from retirees describing what their lives are like.

To anodize is to oxidize electrolytically. A conductor (generally a metal) whose surface is to be anodized is made part of the anode (i.e., it is connected to the positive terminal) in an electrochemical cell. In response to the applied voltage. The current is carried partly by negative ions (anions) that flow towards the anode, where they react with the anode material. Various electrolytes with oxyanions are used to oxidize the anode, but sulfuric acid is the most common. So far as I know, anodization generally refers to oxidation in the narrow sense of forming an oxide, and not the general chemical sense of increasing the oxidation number of the metal (which could be done by forming a sulfide, say).

Lord forgive me for ever claiming that anodize meant ``electroplate,'' which sounds similar but means almost the opposite.


Soon, or at some later time. These meanings represent a bit of a modern come-down. In Middle English, the word meant `at once.' In Old English, it meant that manifestly, since it was constructed from words meaning `in one.' Amusingly, it was spelled ``on an'' or ``onan.'' Onan is the standard transliteration of a well-known Hebrew word meaning `power' or `strength,' but it's better known as the name of the Biblical character who `spilled his seed.' Dorothy Parker said she named a pet bird after him.

stand-alone document containing information about Internet Freeware Shareware Programming Languages for the Macintosh (hence, formerly known as IFSPLM) from Antreas P. Hatzipolakis, in DocMaker format.

ANalysis Of VAriance.

Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau. (It's not a typo, it's sic: pers and not pres.) `General Press Bureau of the Netherlands.' The main Dutch national news agency. They have an English service called NIS.

Alternative Natural Philosophy Association. Nuttier than a squirrel's paradise.

Association Nationale de Prévention de l'Alcoolisme. A French organization that became ANPAA while I was ``out.''

Association Nationale de Prévention en Alcoologie et Addictologie. Previously ANPA.

Association Nationale des Parents d'Enfants Aveugles ou gravement déficients visuels avec ou sans handicaps associés. Apnea is something else again.

The Association of Nurses of Prince Edward Island.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. I'm pleased to be able to report that the expansion of this term with ``Advanced'' is an error (once uglifying this very page and continuing to do the same to many thousands of others, but still an error). So the take-home here is that I'm pleased. I'm letting you know in advance that I plan to be complaisant. Some people actually care what the proposed rules say; I try not to focus on that, because I'm not really very hopeful.

Advance Notice of Proposed RuleMaking. An alternative initialism equivalent to ANPR. ANPRM is roughly twice as common as ANPR, but I propose -- as a rule -- to regard equivalent alternatives as equivalent. (I plan to start ignoring this rule immediately.)

Association Nationale Pour les Sourds-Aveugles.

Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.

Applied Nursing Research.

Association Neurofibromatoses et Recklinghausen.

Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders. Ummm -- I was thinking... as long as you weren't going to be eating that -- I mean, if it's okay with you....


Aufsteig und Niedergang der römischen Welt. German, `Rise and Fall of the Roman World.' An up-to-date online index for ANRW was developed by Jim Ruebel and Ross Scaife, with Perl scripts originally written by Oscar Nierstrasz and later tweaked by Raphael Finkel.

It's a small world. The editor of this glossary was at university with Oscar Nierstrasz.

Advanced Network & Services, Inc., originally (1990) a nonprofit consortium to promote high-speed networking, but it gets technical after that.

American National Standard. Generally as designated by ANSI, upon its approval of draft standards submitted by standards bodies delegated by ANSI.

American Neurotology Society. The old site still has material not yet on the new one.

American Nuclear Society. Their site plays on the fact that ans. is an abbreviation of answer. An industry that has certainly been extensively questioned.

American Numismatic Society. In contrast with the similarly named numismatic Exchange (ANE), the ANS is a learned society. Founded in 1858, a constituent society of the ACLS since 1937. ACLS has an overview.

Wow, urgent developments!

Standard abbreviation of answer.

As Gertrude Stein lay dying, she asked ``What is the answer?'' There was no reply, and after a pause she laughed and said ``In that case what is the question?'' Sic, I'm sure; she was pretty parsimonious with commas. According to Donald Sutherland in Gertrude Stein, A Biography of her Work, ``[t]hen she died.'' That's elegant, I suppose, but maybe she just stopped talking and died two hours later, or maybe she went into Cheyne-Stokes breathing. When did she lose bladder control? Sometimes, the better part of wisdom is not seeking the answers or even the questions. (Oh, you think this discussion is in poor taste? At least it's not meretricious self-disclosure. For that you want to wallow pretentious in the blow-by-blow of Melanie's personal battle with legal drugs. While there, you can ``experience the goddess collection.'')

It is widely claimed, though I haven't seen a good source, that the last words of Pancho Villa were spoken to a reporter:

Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.

Maybe in a movie?

N-Arylamino-NaphthaleneSulfonate. Which arylamino group, you ask? Good question. You have choices. You could use those choices to study the photochemical pathways, as Edward M. Kosower and Hanna Dodluk did in a series of papers in the 1970's.

Autonomic Nervous System.

Asociación de Niños con Síndrome de Hiperactividad y Déficit de Atención. Spanish, `Association of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.'

American National Standards Institute.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12, q.v.).

[Phone icon]

ANSI/IEEE 455-1985
``IEEE Standard Test Procedure for Measuring Longitudinal Balance of Telephone Equipment Operating in the Voice Band.'' Describes measurement method for longitudinal-to-metallic balance.

[Phone icon]

ANSI/IEEE 743-1984
``IEEE Standard Methods and Equipment for Measuring the Transmission Characteristics of Analog Voice Frequency Circuits.'' Describes measurement methods for level, frequency, noise, S/N ratio, envelope delay distortion, impulse noise, phase and gain hits, dropout, phase and amplitude jitter, return loss, peak-to-average ratio, intermodulation distortion, crosstalk, and slope.

[Phone icon]

ANSI/IEEE 820-1984
``IEEE Standard Telephone Loop Performance Characteristics.'' Includes definitions, measurement methods, and objectives for loss, frequency response, noise, and longitudinal balance of subscriber loops.

Vide ASC X12.

ANSI X3.23-1974
A COBOL specification. Implemented as the standard IBM COBOL compiler.

ANtarctic Search for METeorites program Antarctica is a good place to search, because rocks on the surface of the ice and snow tend to be new.

Asian Network for Surveillance Of Resistant Pathogens.

Air Navigation Service Provider.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Succeeded the AAEC in 1986.

answering title
The head term of this entry is provisional, and I'm open to suggestions for a different one. The entry is about (or primarily about, if it comes to that) book titles that somehow ``answer'' other book titles. So far I have one:
  1. PROVOCATION by Peter D. Kramer:
    Listening to Prozac:
    A Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self.
    REACTION by Peter R. Breggin, M.D., and Ginger Ross Breggin:
    Talking Back to Prozac:
    What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Today's Most Controversial Drug.

So far, the reactions are winning on rhyme points. This entry should probably include Souls Without Longing (currently discussed at the miscellaneous book titles entry), although the title it replies to (Souls With Longing) was discarded before its book was published; it's possible the authors of the second book were unaware of the other (working) title. I'll deal with this when I clean up the book titles entry.

Antlia. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

ANT, Ant
Common abbreviation for Shakespeare's play Antony and Cleopatra. Well, perhaps it's not common, but I saw it used in a big book once. Hmm. It does seem to be common as an abbreviation for Anthony in the script.

The Authentic New Testament. A translation of the Koine original in non-ecclesiastic language (``community'' instead of ``church,'' etc.). Published by Hugh J. Schonfield. He spent thirty years on this project. Some people have no respect for the value of their own time. In 1985, he came out with The Original New Testament (ONT), but I don't know just how that's different (aside from having a different title and copyright date).

Australian National Training Authority. It's ``an Australian Government statutory authority providing a national and industry-led focus for vocational education and training (VET).''

In the Pantologia (1813), this is defined only as an adjective describing ``[s]omething opposite to the arctic or northern pole... [so the antarctick] pole is the south pole; and antarctick circle is a less circle [what is now called a small circle] of the sphere, at a distance of 23° 28' from the south pole.''

A figure of speech of the pun kind. It's the kind where a word or phrase is repeated with different meanings. It's clear, of course, that that is not all there is to it, as the repeated word in this sentence illustrates. Usually one only applies the term to instances in which two or more uses are contrastive or in some literary way, uh, pungent. Sorry. Anyway, it can hardly be a figure of speech if it's standard usage.

Antanaclases are usually more clever than funny. Here are some examples:

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.

-- Vince Lombardi

Learn some craft when young, that when old you may live without craft.

-- proverbial

A good compound example is at the Dew-Drop Inn entry, but it's funny. (It's plausibly but not demonstrably attributed to Groucho Marx.) Franklin's famous advice about hanging together is alluded to in the frass entry.

A marginal or mild antanaclasis occurs in the U2 song ``In God's Country'':

The rivers run but soon run dry.
A different kind of pun also occurs in this song, something like a syllepsis on the word ribbons:
Dress torn in ribbons and in bows.
(That's if one takes the view that the lyrics are intelligible. For the alternative possibility, straight from lyricist Fogerty's mouth, see the ``Proud Mary'' discussion under octane number. Then again, I suppose there can be an intelligible pun within unintelligible gibberish. Bubble-gumshoes sleep furiously. Agent Orange Crush retorting for Doody. You know, I really want to comment here that Joyce is contagious, but it's too early in the entry.)

Running rivers are a very popular image in song, beyond verging on trite. In fact, U2's ``One Tree Hill'' explores the conjugation of ``run like a river to the sea'' (you run, it runs, we run; also the imperative form). The song is a threnody for Greg Carroll, a friend of Bono's who was killed by a drunk driver while running an errand for him in Dublin. I suspect all this Dublin river running partly alludes to Joyce's Finnegans Wake (a book that is a play on words in its entirety).


Antiquité tardive. `Late Antiquity,' a French classics journal catalogued by TOCS-IN.

Anabolic Nutrient Timing Factor.

Here is something I read on the Internet about this important body-building topic:

I first learned about the ANTF through Paul Cribb B.S. Sci. HMS. Paul is a research scientist whom studies muscular dynamics he is also the research director for the supplement company AST Sports Sciences.

There is no explanation of what studies muscular dynamics do to or with pointy musclehead Paul. The CFT who wrote the paragraph also got the title somewhat off. It's apparently ``B.H. Sci. HMS.'' I suppose that stands for ``Bachelors in Health Science HMS.'' (I don't know what HMS stands for here.)



Anth. Pal.
Anthologia Palatina.


One is used to thinking of `anti-' as a Greek root meaning against, or opposed, but its meaning is a bit richer. It has a spatial meaning `over against,' `opposite' meaning `in front of,' very much like the English use of `opposite.' It can mean `in place of': a Greek says a guest is `as good as' or even `the same (!) as' (anti) a brother. The bottom line is that sometimes `anti' can mean `same as' (as in the above example, and in the adjective `antitheos' = `like to a god' [not `against the gods' or `atheistic' or `the opposite of a god']; sometimes it means the opposite, `opposite to' or `opposed to,' `contrary' as in `antithesis' and a very large number of other words. However, there is no evidence for the historical priority of one or the other of these meanings. Thus antiphilia (mutual affection) and antonomasia.

Anticline -- that's, like, a geology term, isn't it? Well as it happens, I've been reading a geology book, Introduction to the Structure of the Earth, so if you just hang on, I should have a definition for you shortly. Come think of it, I think I just saw that word -- yeah, Figure 1-3b, page six, the caption says: ``Aerial photographs such as this one of Little Dome anticline in Wyoming are used as a base for regional geological mapping. (U.S. Geological Survey Photograph.)''

Hmmm. Not quite enough information for a definition. ``Little Dome'' is inside a topographical feature that looks like a whorl on your fingerprint. But bigger. And the lines are concentric rather than spiral as in a true fingerprint whorl, but really, without turning your hand over, how many of you could so much as tell me how many of your fingers have deltas? Hm-hmm, just what I thought. Anyway, a definition is probably coming up real soon.


Ahh! Here's something a couple of pages later, Figure 1-4. It's a side view, a cross section of the earth's surface sort of like an ant farm. About as complicated as an ant farm too. The source is ``After C. F. Lamb in Halbouty, 1980. Used by courtesy of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.'' It says ``Production is from the Nugget sandstone on an anticline above a branch off of the Absaroka thrust fault.'' And it appears to be in Wyoming again. Well, there you have it: an anticline is

a geological feature from which oil or gas can be produced. A number are found in Wyoming.

There. It could be a bit more technical, I suppose, but the SBF glossary is free and it's under construction. Also, we know you're interested in getting those helpful insider details, like about Wyoming, that smarten you up and make you sound like a professional. You can throw off stuff like ``Oh, yeah, another anticline -- just saw one in Wyoming last month wildcatting.'' Real cool. Blend right in with the people who do it for a living. Maybe I'll fill in with some more details later.

Well, now it's later. I've been thinking about the definition. It's pretty good from a practical point of view, the sound-smarter-through-bigger-vocabulary point of view (POV). Still, it does sort of have that ``a chair is something you can sit on'' feel. Of course -- a chair is something you can sit on if it isn't stacked with books, but then, so is the floor (FYI: a floor may be harder on the butt, and to fall off of, though YMMV). But in these cases you could say the floor is functioning as a chair, so basically it's a chair. And a spare tire leaning against a wall is a chair too. No problem, really.

But the thing is, I've been slogging through the book, and I have to admit I'm growing a little bit disappointed in myself. I read and read, but I don't, like, see the definitions, know what I mean? This book is an ``Introduction,'' and there I was in the introductory chapter (chapter 1 has the same title as the book), and I wasn't feeling very introduced. Let's face it: geology is a deep subject, and you have to be pretty sharp to cut it in that field. You dig what I'm sayin'? It's rocket science, and when you think of rocket science, you think of Forbidden Planet. And where did that vanished genius race put all its technology? You got it: deeeeep underground.

The machine is a cube twenty miles on a side!

You can imagine if those geology majors are geniuses, or study hard to compensate, that the professors must be gods. What about the author of this geology book I've been reading? Edgar W. Spencer. Parmly Professor of Geology, Washington and Lee University. Taught at Hunter while attending Columbia. Department chairman at W&L since 1959. A Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). You can sense the understated confidence. And he's written a couple of other books. And -- what's this? -- there on the dedication page it says

To the Memory of
Two Outstanding Teachers

Arie Poldervaart
Walter Bucher

That just chokes me up, y'know? I mean, I mean I, I gotta, I gotta blow my nose. Frnfrnfrnfrnfrnfrnfrnfrnfrnfrnzzz! HRNFRNfrnfrnfrnfrnfr,shnfrnfrnfrnzzz!!!

It's such a moving testimony to the tradition of scholarship and mentorship! I have this beatific image -- Drs. Poldervaart and Bucher, perched in heaven, smiling down on their old student Edgar, nodding in kindly encouragement as he struggles to make the third edition of his Introduction (©1969, 1977, 1988) even clearer than before. Of course, they're in geologist heaven, so maybe they're smiling up at him. I'm not sure. It might help explain why the vertical axis on Figure 1-4 has Wyoming's surface at a depth of four kilometers, decreasing to negative depths below the anticline, whatever it was.

That does it! I'm energized; with this fantastic introductory textbook I'm going to turn the anticline thing around!

And I know just what to do: to the index! Sure, why didn't I think of this earlier? There:

Anticlines, 179, 305, 309.
Okay, so on page 179 it says that ``[s]alt ridges and anticlines are elongate domal features. Examples are found in the subsurface off the coast of Texas and Florida. These commonly form as a succession of anticlines and synclines.''

Hmmm. This method may not be as effective as I had hoped. I didn't even know that Texas and Florida had a coast in common. Now I need to look up salt ridges to see if I can disentangle the description.

You have to ask yourself: did the accomplished educator who wrote this book really mean for the student to go all the way to page 305, encountering anticline after anticline, without some sort of working definition? Not likely. If he had, his textbook would be as disorganized and incomplete and pedagogically frustrating as a certain glossary I know of.

Hey! That's it! Glossary, page 469:

Anticline. See Fold.

We're almost there! I can sense it! Page 474: Flow fold, (Fold) Height, (Fold) Hinge, Hinge line, .... Auugh! What happened? Is there some other kind of ``Fold.''? Not an entry? Not the binding crack? Should I go to the chapter on Fold? The table of contents suggests only Ch. 17 -- ``Folding in Theory and Experiment.'' Pages 362-385. It's surprising that everything seems to be explained in terms of something that is itself explained later on in the book. I guess that's to keep you interested. The last pages are going to be pretty explosive.

Time out! I need a warm, nourishing hamburger, with crisp but deceptively greasy fries.

Mmmm. All praise ketchup, the soul-soothing sauce! I feel balanced, relaxed, fat-free, confident. I -- what's this? The definition of anticline appears like a vision before my moistening eyes --

A fold with older rocks in its core.
Right there in good ol' Edgar W. Spencer's glossary, under Fold [A deformation of preexisting rock surface that is convex in a single sense. (Carey, 1962.)]

As I should have realized immediately, the glossary is hierarchical, perhaps a bit like the author. The Fold entry just happens to consist of three pages of other entries (including ``Flow fold,'' etc.) that are distinguished from main headwords printed in the identical font, size, and style.

Obviously, the anticline illustrated in Figure 1-3b is a fold outcrop that has been eroded to leave a surface that is really a cross section of the fold. The concentric ovals indicate that the feature was convex in two directions and not one, but the ovals are fairly eccentric (i.e., elongated in one direction), so it pretty much conforms to Carey's definition borrowed by Spencer. You remember from pg. 179: ``elongate domal features.'' There, now, that wasn't so hard!

Relief! But, well, now I have a confession to make. An embarrassing admission, really. Now I know what you're thinking: ``If you, a big-shot glossary author, don't have it all together, then what hope is there for shiftless stupid nobodies like us?'' I take your point, yet I must disappoint.

I've been putting up a brave front, but the truth is that I've been a secret skeptic, a doubter. Like former US president Jimmy Carter, I mistrusted my true friends, and set myself up for betrayal by those I should have recognized as my enemies. I am a sinner. As Jimmy confessed to Playboy magazine, so too I have sinned in my heart. My sin is pride.

You see, I was beginning to think that maybe this textbook is not the great pedagogical monument that it obviously really is. I was harboring treacherous thoughts like ``why doesn't he say what the mantle is first and then talk about how important it is for understanding mesoscopic crustal features?'' O, me of little faith! (Or oh I myself of little faith! Whatever is the reflexive vocative form.)

How wrong I am! This textbook didn't become a great three-edition success by accident -- first it had to be selected by hundreds of geology professors. Can hundreds of geology professors be wrong? The answer is obvious, I should think. The popularity of this text tells us not only about the quality of the book itself, but also about the solicitude of the geology profession for its students. Yes, it tells us a lot. If only I could have figured that lot out by reading it. (I'm so moved that I'm going to cry again, but this time I'm not going to write the details into the anticline entry. Use your imagination.)

Cf. EMag entry. Incidentally, I see that in 1883, Dr. I.C. White conjectured that oil and gas deposits could be found in anticlines.

A region of limited extent where a quantum well is narrowed, typically by electrostatic depletion under a metal gate. By ``limited extent'' we mean many tens to a few hundreds of nanometers. The idea is that a regular array of antidots (one kind of superlattice) can function like the engineered semiconductor version of crystalline lattice (in two dimensions -- see 2DEG), and give rise to discernible banding, and possibly to somewhat exotic effects like Stark ladders and Bloch oscillations that are hard to observe in ordinary crystals, which have much smaller lattice spacing.

The opposite of elitism, as well as the worst, most undemocratic version of elitism. Whereas for an elitist, words like good, better, acceptable, and excellent have validity, for an anti-elitist they are invalid because the great mass of humanity is presumed incapable of achieving anything that would be so described.

An obsolete spelling of ancient. The OED2 gives its period of prevalence as the 16th to 18th centuries. It continued to be used as a variant spelling, but by the 20th century it was mostly a conscious anachronism. For example, Kingsley Amis referred in a 1979 poem to ``The Antient Laws of the Game'' of cricket.

Antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV); vide s.v. hepatitis.

ANTarctic Ice Margin Evolution. A GLOCHANT program to coordinate research on the Antarctic sedimentary record.

An antimony-containing compound.

antioxidants, anti-oxidants
In foods, these are very important preservatives, and are effective in very small quantities, because they function as moderators of a chain reaction. Oxidation of foods, particularly of the fat component of foods, proceeds by a free-radical process associated with double bonds (vide fats and oils).

Typical commercial antioxidants, like BHA, BHT, gallic acid and propyl gallate, are phenolic compounds that become stable free radicals when they release a single hydrogen. The resulting free radical can also release a second hydrogen to revert to a stable fully bonded compound. Both reactions terminate the auto-oxidation (also ``autoxidation'') chain reaction.

Chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants.

An antiplane is a fixed plane that can be defined in the analysis of elastic systems satisfying certain stress and strain conditions. If Cartesian coordinates are chosen so that the antiplane is z=0, then the condition to be satisfied by stress is that the x and y components of stress are independent of z. The strain condition is that the planes parallel to the antiplane (i.e., z=c, where c≠0) before deformation must no longer be parallel to it after deformation.

Here's the first paragraph of the preface of Antiplane Elastic Systems, by L.M. Milne-Thomson (Springer-Verlag, 1962):

   The term antiplane was introduced by L.N.G. Filon to describe such problems as tension, push, bending at couples, torsion, and flexure by a transverse load. Looked at physically these problems differ from those of plane elasticity already treated [in Milne-Thomson's Plane Elastic Systems, (Springer-Verlag, 1960)] in that certain shearing stresses no longer vanish.

The Filon article referred to is probably ``On Antiplane Stress in an Elastic Solid,'' Proc. Roy. Soc. vol. (A) 160, pp. 137-154 (1937). That's actually a pretty interesting article, and I plan to quote from it eventually.

The term Antisemitismus was coined in 1879 by Wilhelm Marr, a German antisemite, as a euphemism for Judenhass (`Jew hatred'). The agent or adherent noun Antisemit followed naturally. The words were borrowed almost immediately in English, where the proper-noun status of Semite (from Noah's son Shem) forced the capitalization and hyphenation: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semite.

As a Jew, I have my own theories about the subject. I agree with much of the argument in Why The Jews? by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983), but it's a big subject and this is a small entry.

Everyone recognizes that ``Anti-Semitism'' is not about Semites as such. It is about the ``Semites'' of antisemitic fantasy: Jews. Antisemites, since long before Marr, like to define Jews and themselves in ways complimentary to themselves, and since Marr they have liked to play with the confusion engendered by ``Semite.'' The historian James Parkes proposed the all-lower-case, unhyphenated spelling as a less inaccurate way to use a word that has become somewhat useful. Here is an explanation by the philosopher Emil Fackenheim: ``... the spelling ought to be antisemitism without the hyphen, dispelling the notion that there is an entity `Semitism' which `anti-Semitism opposes.'' [``Post-Holocaust Anti-Jewishness, Jewish Identity and the Centrality of Israel,'' in World Jewry and the State of Israel, ed. Moshe Davis (New York: Arno Pr., 1977), p. 11, n. 2.]


In English, one of its meanings (also originally Greek) is "the substitution of a proper name for a common noun to designate a member of a group or class, as in calling a traitor a `Benedict Arnold'" (Am. Heritage Dict.). In Greek, it could also be used more generally for any rhetorical figure. If the sense of the prefix root ``anto-'' (``anti-'') seems odd to you, see anti entry.

Listen, Joe:
Gary and I are at the local Perkins. Toothpick-armed wait-person with hair in a severe bun takes our order like it's a big favor she resents doing. She leaves, I says to Gary I says ``Olive Oyl is in a bad mood.'' Gary glances suspiciously towards the Heinz.

Later I learned that her name is Kim. Not that you asked.

By the way, if you order mashed potatoes, tell them to nuke 'em twice, so the bottom isn't cold.

Time magazine's Notebook feature (issue of Oct. 21, 1996, p. 25) quoted

Larry Harmon (a.k.a. Bozo): ``It irks me when people use the character's name in a demeaning way.''
Larry Harmon bought the franchise rights to Bozo in 1956. There have been as many as 100 authorized Bozo portrayers working simultaneously in the US. Read more here.

Even though relatively few entries in this glossary involve the Spanish language, relatively many (two, to be precise) of the instances where the word antonomasia occurs do: see gringo and Hernán Cortés. This disproportion is probably not accidental.

It's mildly intriguing that while the cognates of synonym are common words in French and Spanish, the opposite almost seems to be true of antonym. (In case you don't know what an antonym is, it's the antonym of synonym.) For example, the only French and Spanish collections of these that are on the local reference shelves are a Larousse Grand Dictionnaire Synonymes & Contraires and a Vecchi Diccionario de Sinónimos y Contrarios. (The prepositionless style of the French title seems to be a Larousse conceit.) Okay, two others in French do use the word antonymes. But after doing all that exhausting research, I had to mention it even if it was only slightly mildly intriguing.

A New Tax System. Name during drafting of the transportation Australian tax structure for transportation eventually implemented as A.N.A.T.

Picnic plague. More serious information here.

Australian National University. Their Bioinformatics Hypermedia Service is popular.

Association for the New Urbanism in PennsylvaniA. A CNU chapter.

A friend of mine from high school is named Anupam Singhal, and for a while at least he was practicing medicine in Pennsylvania, so this makes sense. Well, it's a good mnemonic, anyway. For me. The Summer after eleventh grade, I think it was, his parents took him and his brother for a visit to the ancestral country, which I guess is Sri Lanka. The main thing he had to say about the visit when he got back was that it felt really weird to see his name everywhere. Now he can have the same experience on the Internet.

Australian National University Students' Association.

Algemene Nederlanse Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer. `General Dutch Organization for Foreigners' Travel.' The old name commonly used by the NBT (National Board for Tourism), and apparently still the parent organization for this and the VVV, with NBT marketing travel to the Netherlands from abroad, and VVV marketing tourism internally and providing tourist information at local bureaus.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. An Alaskan wildlife refuge at a latitude that makes biodiversity a joke. Anwr.org is self-described as a ``grassroots organization working to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.'' Savearcticrefuge.org doesn't have a description meta tag, so it's impossible to guess that organization's political position.

Anything could happen.
We'll return with the end of this boring game after some words from our sponsors.

The last game of the 2008 Fighting Irish football season was the traditional humiliating defeat by USC. At the end of the post-game show on Notre Dame's hometown station, WSBT-AM, ahead of the recap of painfully lopsided game stats, one of the commentators suggested to the more sensitive listeners that they might `want to turn your radio down for the next three to five minutes.' The fellow who was about to (in a manner of speaking) run down the stats replied professionally that ``we never say that on radio.''

ANZAC, Anzac
Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. Australia has, in a certain moderately precise sense, only two national holidays, and Anzac Day, April 25, is one of them. It's a public holiday in New Zealand as well, and it ``honours those servicemen who lost their lives serving their respective countries.'' April 25, 1915, was the date of the extremely ill-fated landing at Gallipoli.

Australia's other national holiday is Australia Day. The rest of the major public holidays in Australia are discussed or at least listed at that entry as well.

Australia and New Zealand Association for American Studies.

ANZ Bank
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Based in Melbourne, it was Australia's fourth-largest bank as of November 2008.

ANZCCART, anzccart
Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching.

Australia New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council.

German noun (masculine) meaning `suit.' This word is constructed somewhat like the English word pullover (British for `sweater'). Literally, Anzug can be interpreted as `pull-on.' In fact, an and Zog are cognates of the English words on and tug. Cf. Badeanzug.

Australian-New Zealand-United States security Treaty. Sometimes ``Anzus,'' as in Anzus Council, back before the Kiwis decided they were too moral for atoms and the organization had some utility.

Academy of Osseointegration. What I wanted to know is answered in the organization's Dental Implants FAQ:

Beginning in the 1950s researchers observed that the metal titanium, and some other materials, formed a very strong bond to surrounding bone, a process termed ``osseointegration.''

After years of careful research and study, dental implants (titanium cylinders placed into the jawbone to support replacement teeth) were refined with high success rates. There are now patients who have had implant supported teeth for more than twenty-five years.

Thus osseointegration began a revolution in dentistry, and at last, an answer to the many problems associated with missing teeth.

Acousto-Optic. One application of AO materials is in mode-locking of lasers: On an AO plate in the laser cavity, a standing-wave pattern is generated acoustically, which acts as a grating to deflect the beam and increase loss. (This effect is modulated with the characteristic frequency of laser-cavity oscillations to achieve mode-locking.)

Typical materials: TeO2 (Tellurium Oxide), PbMoO4, LiNbO3.

Alpha Omega. The international dental fraternity. Why do I think AO should be pronounced as in Spanish -- ``Ow''?

When they get together for reunions, do they intone ``We are the alpha and the omega''?

(For the Christianity-impaired, that's a reference to Revelations 1:8.)

(Domain name code for) Angola. The Republic of Angola has an official page.

Here's a page with almost no information on Angola from city.net. Here's a decent map. The most useful information on such a map, and information not shown, is the areas subject to (demobilized, of course) UNITAS control. Luanda, the capital, is the seat of government for its entire metropolitan area.

You know, Angola is not simply connected: there's a bit of it called Cabinda on the other side of the Congo River, on the Atlantic coast between Congo and Congo Republic.

African Studies Center (at the University of Pennsylvania) offers a resource page. The Norwegian Council for Africa (NCA) has a Angola page.

Here's an item that made international news on Dec. 21, 2009: ``Angola Woman Kills Husband With Ax.'' God, those people are brutal savages! ``Court documents record that 44-year-old Norma Mote summoned police to the couple's home early Friday and told dispatchers she had just killed her husband with an ax. Police found 56-year-old Kevin Mote dead in a second-floor bedroom. The Steuben County coroner's office ruled his death due to numerous ax strikes to the head. Neighbors say the Mote family was quiet and kept to themselves in the area just outside Angola city limits about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne.'' Oh! It was Angola, Indiana.


Archaeology Odyssey. ``[A] colorful, exciting and informative journey to the ancient roots of the Western world. AO appeals to readers' sense of beauty, to their feelings of wonderment, to their longing for adventure and travel--and to their conviction that the past has many stories yet to tell.'' A publication of BAS.

Area of Operations. US military jargon.

Association of Orthodontists (Singapore).

Atomic Orbital.

French, Autres Objets, `Other Objects.' Printed matter other than cards and letters, such as books, sheet music, newspapers and magazines, glossy advertisements, catalogs...

International mail is divided into three general categories: LC (letters and cards), CP (parcel post), and AO.

Abort Once Around. Space shuttle abort plan; other options are ATO, RTLS, and TAL.

Administration On Aging. A component of the US DHHS.

American Optometric Association. Holds its annual congress in June. If you didn't catch that, maybe you need to have your eyes examined.

American Orthopaedic Association. (Link was unhappy when I visited in February 2005.)

American Orthopsychiatric Association. ``The American Orthopsychiatric Association (`Ortho') is an 80-year old membership association of mental health professionals concerned with clinical issues and issues of social justice. Ortho provides a common ground for collaborative study, research, and knowledge exchange among individuals from a variety of disciplines engaged in preventive, treatment, and advocacy approaches to mental health.''

American Osteopathic Association.

Angle of Arrival. Viz., of a signal approaching an antenna.

Asociación Odontológica Argentina.

Association of Otolaryngology Administrators.

Australian Olive Association. ``By encouraging research and dissemination of information, the Australian Olive Association promotes the sustained development of a national olive industry in Australia. It seeks to support and represent all those involved or interested in the Australian olive industry.''

AOA has its own voluntary extra virgin certification for Australian olive oils (extra virgin explained here). See, however, the AOOA entry.

Australian Orthopaedic Association.

Association of Official Analytical Chemists. (``Official'' in the sense of being involved in government regulatory work. Nowadays members are involved in analytical chemistry for quality control that often has nothing to do with government regulation, and since 1991 the organization's official name has simply been ``AOAC International.'') ``[F]ounded in 1884 as the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to adopt uniform methods of analysis for fertilizers.

Alcohol On Breath.

Apartment & Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington. That's metro Washington, DC, not places like Seattle.

Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. (Failing that try this alternate URL.) An NAA affiliate.

Area Of Concern. Awww... where does it hurt?

Assimilable Organic Carbon. Waste-water treatment term.

Award Of Contract.

AOC/AOS. I mean -- what else, silly?

In an academic position announcement, I saw ``... AOC/AOS open, but with a preference for a candidate who could teach an undergraduate course in Introductory Logic.'' The AOC/AOS thing seems to be especially popular among philosophy academics. Another position announcement included the following: ``AOS: Philosophy of Mind/Philosophy of Cognitive Science. AOC: Open, but department has needs in Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, and Epistemology.''

Airport Operators Council International.

Attitude and Orbit Control System.

Academy of Operative Dentistry.

Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Alcohol OxiDase.

Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators.

Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics.

American Osteopathic Foundation.

Australian Oilseeds Federation, Inc. An industry group, not a producer. Founded in 1970.

American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.

Australian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. The seal or emblem of the Society shows a bare sole, with a sandal half twisted off, being attacked by bowling pins with eyes (or maybe some striped flatworms) wearing simple scarves.

Association of Ontario Health Centres. Self-described as ``the not-for-profit organization of community health centres (CHC), aboriginal health access centres (AHAC), and community health service organizations (CHSO).''

And-Or-Invert (logic gate). Implements sum-of-products computation of a logic function.

Arab Organization for Industrialization. A Cairo-based organization established in 1975 to develop and produce weapons for Arab League members. In 1993, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their participation, valued at $1.8 billion. In 2003, the Egyptian government is making renewed efforts to get GCC-member support.

Automatic Optical Inspection (system).

Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse. German understood as `General compulsory (District-level) Health insurance scheme.' English capitalization chosen to match initials of the German Abkurzung. The word kasse, evidently from French caisse, means `till, cash register'; krank means `sick,' kranken is `to suffer from,' and kranken- is used in various compounds with the sense of `medical.' Krankenkasse means `health insurance scheme,' and it's not as odd as having ``Social Security Lockbox'' mean whatever it is that it's supposed to mean in US political discourse. Ort has its own entry. Ortskrankenkasse is a `compulsory health insurance scheme (organized at the district level).' Funny how that works.

Alles in Ordnung.

America OnLine. An ISP. Initial set-up uses do-it-our-way proprietary browser software designed to amuse a child. You can use a more professional browser while connected, but some services are available only using AOL browser. Now they own Netscape. Ugh.

Are you the demographic AOL has targeted? New in AOL version 5.0: Horoscope right on your welcome screen!

AOL, with 17 million subscribers as of mid-1999, is by far the largest ISP. Its nearest competitors, Worldnet from AT&T and ailing MSN from Microsoft, have fewer than 2 million. It had been expected that there would be a shake-out, with a few big ISP's dominating, but as of 1999 that hadn't happened. As of July 1999, there were over 6500 North American (US, Canada, Caribbean) ISP's registered with Boardwatch Magazine, most serving just a few hundred dial-up customers in a few area codes.

Cahners In-Stat Group estimated in August 1999 that there were 66 million internet accounts in the US, with AOL's share down from 21.5 to 24.3 in the past year (despite an increase of 5.1 million customers). IDC estimated only 37 million total accounts, with AOL's share dropped to 39.3 from 42.1 and MSN to 4% from 5.9%. Note that the numbers in this paragraph are not consistent with the numbers in the previous paragraph. The internet is changing that fast.

Aolsucks.org now redirects to <aolwatch.org>.

Acousto-Optic Modulator.

Aircraft Operating Manual. In ``Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines,'' the German pilot, an old Junker, takes the manual on board his biplane with him, prepared to learn to pilot in real time.

Association Of Management. See AoM/IAoM.

Association Of Management / International Association Of Management. This is a very useful name. It tells us that the organization is both international and not necessarily international. That is, it is organized at an international level and it may also be organized at a national or regional level. The usual word for describing this special situation is international.

Mmmm, here's something interesting:

``The AoM / IAoM is a bona fide nonprofit professional educational organization with articles of incorporation, constitution & by-laws (1983) and Federal Tax Number. [Dang! Even a Federal Tax Number! And here I thought they were protesting too much.] The lettering, AoM, IAoM, and AoM / IAoM, in both upper and lower cases, are unique to and registered trademarks of the Association of Management and the International Association of Management. Use of said in any manner other than by the Association or an outside reference to any other organization is a violation of Federal Law and will be proscecuted [sic]. Please make a note of it.''

This seems to imply that they regard as illegal the appearance of AoM right here in this glossary, unless what I really mean is AOM -- Alpha & Omega Ministries, or AOM -- Compagnie Aérienne Française (formed in a merger of Minerve and Air Outre Mer). Of course, AOM is unique to the outfit described earlier in this entry, so these other organizations do not exist.

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of the NOAA.

All-Optical (fiber) Network.

Australian Olive Oil Association, Inc. This organization has a observer status at the IOOC and represents importers of olive oil into Australia. It is authorized by the IOOC to monitor the purity and chemical quality of olive oil sold in Australia. Cf. AOA.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Average Outgoing Quality Level. Rather an important consideration in statistical quality control (SQC).

Album-Oriented Rock. Describes certain FM-radio and few if any AM-radio playlists.

Atlantic Ocean Region. Designates a range of longitudes for geostationary satellites.

Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. A real trade group for mythical creatures.

``What does it take to be a member of AORBS? Any gentleman, who sports a real beard and has, at least one time, portrayed Santa Claus; whether it was for your own kids on Christmas Day, or whether you are a full time Santa, wearing the red suit for the public. Our members range from who men put on the suit for their grandkids just one night a year, all the way to men who are Santa 24/7 throughout the entire year.'' And here I was thinking that this was the quintessence of seasonal work.

Another paragraph announces ``Santa Gatherings'' (cookies and milk?):
``Santa Claus gathers with hundreds of his Brothers and Descendants, along with their Mrs. Clauses at luncheons across the country. If you are one of those, and you would like to join us, just let us know by clicking [there].'' ``Those'' was apparently not sufficiently inclusive, and starting in 2007 there was a bitter battle for control of AORBS (and its old domain name, which was <aorbsantas.com> until some time after Christmas 2007). A number of competing organizations have sprung up.

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. (Capitalization as on hOmepage.)

Acquisition Of Signal. Moment when orbiter comes within range for radio contact with an earth station. LOS stands for Loss Of Signal.

American Oriental Society. Founded 1842, which is pretty early. Here's their take on it:

``The American Oriental Society is the oldest learned society in the United States devoted to a particular field of scholarship.''

Hmmm. Interesting qualification. Continuing...

``The Society was founded in 1842, preceded only by such distinguished organizations of general scope as the American Philosophical Society (1743) [APA], the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1780) [AAAS], and the American Antiquarian Society (1812) [AAS]. From the beginning its aims have been humanistic. The encouragement of basic research in the languages and literatures of Asia has always been central in its tradition. This tradition has come to include such subjects as philology, literary criticism, textual criticism, paleography, epigraphy, linguistics, biography, archaeology, and the history of the intellectual and imaginative aspects of Oriental civilizations, especially of philosophy, religion, folklore and art. The scope of the Society's purpose is not limited by temporal boundaries: All sincere students of man and his works in Asia, at whatever period of history are welcomed to membership.''

This must be a ``particular field of scholarship.''

The Journal (JAOS) comes included with membership.

It became a constituent society of the ACLS in 1920. ACLS has an overview.

Also in 1842, Notre Dame University (bordering South Bend, Indiana) was founded, and Edgar Allen Poe more or less invented the detective story or roman policier.

American Orthodontic Society.

American Otological Society. What kind of logic is that?

Area Of Specialization. See AOC/AOS for an example of usage.

Air/Ocean Shipboard Measurement.

Alignment Optical Telescope. NASAnese explained at the IMU entry.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

All Other Things Being Equal. Economists say ``Ceteris paribus.''

All Of The Best To You. Typical opaque email acronym, undercut by the very fact of its use. I love you, baby, but I don't have the time to type it out.

Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter.

American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Aeroassisted Orbital Transfer Vehicle.

Assembler OUTput. The default filename (in Unix) for the executable code produced by C and C++ compilers.

In the earlier B language from which much of C was derived, the compilation proceeded through a program called bc to an intermediate language, which was in turn converted to assembler source by ba, and a.out was the default filename of the output from the assembler as.

You know, I once heard an ugly rumor that some Fortran compilers were nothing but C compilers with preprocessors that translated Fortran code into C. But that's impossible, because Fortran is so far superior to C. But for one reason or another, the Fortran compilers I used in the late 1980's all spat out executables called a.out.

`August' in French.

Age Of Wonders. A video game. AoW II was released in Summer 2002.

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