(Click here for bottom)

Academic Press.

Academic Psychiatry. A journal published by APPI.

Access Point. Point of internet access. Unnecessarily ambiguous. Prefer POA.

Action Point.

Action Potential.

Adjective or Adjectival Phrase.

Advanced Placement.

Aiming Point (landmark or marking for bombing target). As opposed to impact point (IP).

Alianza Popular. `Popular Alliance.' A far-right political party of Spain led by Manuel Fraga Iribarne. Fraga held various positions in the government of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco, including propaganda minister (spelled ministro de Información y Turismo in Spanish) from 1961 to 1969.

Fraga became a minister in the government formed immediately after Franco's death in December 1975. In February 1976, he founded Reforma Democrática. A new constitution called for elections on June 15, 1977; the AP was created to participate in those elections. AP held its first Congreso Nacional in Madrid in March, where Fraga, one of the main organizers, was elected Secretary General. (He resigned that position in November 1979 and became party president at the third national congress in December of that year. But these details are distractions: he was the head of the party by dint of party-members' loyalty, and his nominal position reflected more than created that fact. A similar situation persists today with Deng Xiao-Ping and the Chinese Communist Party.) The AP did poorly in the first two national elections (1977 and 1979), but it merged with a few smaller parties and formed coalitions with a number of other right-of-center parties. In the elections of October 1982, the Coalición Popular (a coalition of AP, Partido Demócrata Popular, and Unión Liberal) became the main parliamentary opposition, with Fraga at its head. (The PDP and UL were headed by Oscar Alzaga and Pedro Schwartz, respectively. It is a common pattern for parliamentary parties to be dominated by personal loyalties to ``charismatic'' leaders.)

Although AP grew to dominance within the conservative opposition, the eighties were not good years for Spanish conservatives as a whole. An abortive coup in February 1981 (led by Colonel Tejero) discredited the military and strengthened the popular judgment that the right was not committed to democracy. Spain was governed by the Socialist Party, with the popular Felipe González as PM.

In late 1986 Fraga began to withdraw from national politics. He was reelected in the national elections of 1986 (of course -- he was first on the AP list), but following disappointing returns more gennerally, he resigned the presidency of the AP and, following his suggestion, the Coalición Popular was effectively dissolved. Antonio Hernández Mancha became party president in February. Fraga resigned from the chamber of deputies (Congreso de Diputados) when he was elected a member of the European Parliament.

Fraga's withdrawal has been widely interpreted as reflecting his perception that his party could not win power without a major image make-over. (One is reminded of the (West) German Socialist Party's renunciation of Marxism in 1956 or 57, regarded as necessary for the party to gain the trust necessary to achieve power. Similarly, in the 1980's, Italy's Communist Party made some noisy protestations of faith in democratic process and some ostentatious criticism of the USSR. Something like that, I forget the details.)

1989 was a pivotal year for Fraga and for the AP. The ninth party congress was held in January, and changed the party's name to Partido Popular (PP, at the entry for which this history is continued). Fraga was reelected party president, but he used the position to select a new successor and continue his withdrawal from national politics. He resigned in September, leaving in place (as interim president) José María Aznar. Instead of running in the general election of October 29, Fraga headed the (victorious) PP ticket for the provincial government of his native Galicia.

A convenient and common abbreviation for Analytic Philosophy. (Particularly convenient and common compared to the more explicit AnalPhil.)

Analytic philosophy has since WWII been the most fashionable flavor of academic philosophy in Britain and North America, and probably elsewhere in the Anglophone world. The other popular flavor has been continental philosophy, dominant in France (there goes the continent). I suppose you could stretch a point and say that anal. phil. is the incontinental philosophy.

What? You want to know something about analytic philosophy itself rather than something about puns based on the term? Boy did you come to the wrong place! Oh, alright: Wittgenstein was probably the most prominent analytic philosopher, until he turned hermit. Analytic philosophy takes the approach that many traditional problems in philosophy inhere in the very wording of the problems themselves, that many philosophical problems are really problems of imprecise or confused semantics. Derrida would have been right at home with this, but he grew up in France, so he invented the deconstruction scam. What an inspired comeback: ``No. You can't mean that. Really. I mean it.''

A convenient and common abbreviation for and Philosophy. (Convenient and common in that entry.)

(By the way, in the AP entry just above, I probably meant both the early and the late Wittgenstein. I hide that comment here because I'm uncertain, but I want to mention this thing somewhere to avoid censure. I don't want to be open to the charge that I neglected to make the distinction, particularly from people who think the distinction is artificial, so it should always be mentioned in order to be condemned as false. Next time I think I'll just comment this stuff out.)

Ante Post (odds).

Anti-Personnel. As in AP bomb or AP mine. AP News is a borderline case, I guess.

Anthropic Principle. See Martin Gardner: ``WAP, SAP, FAP, and PAP,'' New York Review of Books, May 8, 1987. He also defines CRAP.

APocalypse. An NT book, also clept Revelation, which is in fact the meaning of the Greek word apokálypsis. One hears ``Revelations'' or ``Book of Revelations'' a lot, but in writing, one generally encounters ``Book of Revelation.'' I guess people (other people -- not me) are just more careful in writing. I was trying to track down an old article on that book, and the first thing the reference librarian suggested was broadening the search to include the plural.


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

Application Process.

AP, Ap, ap
Application Program. Much less common than app.

Arithmetic Progression.

Armed Forces Pacific. Two-letter ``state'' code used by the MPSA and USPS. (For USPS purposes, US Armed Forces stationed out-of-country are served by ``domestic mail,'' and so require a ``state'' code.)

Mail bound for the AP region used to be (and I believe still is) routed through processing centers at San Francisco, and used to be nominally bound for California. Using CA (for California) instead of AP still works for mail. However, it will probably cause problems with credit-card verification. Don't say you weren't warned. For more on MPSA/USPS military mail, see the MPO entry.

Armor-Piercing. Of course, there's armor and there's armor. Bad decisions at the beginning of WWII made American tanks death traps; in that instance we went for quantity instead of quality.

Nowadays, the best armor contains depleted (not very radioactive) uranium.

Array Processor.

Associated Press. A ``[news]wire service.'' Begun during the American Civil War. Competition for scoops and the public appetite for war coverage were such that the Union government shut down newspapers in an attempt to prevent militarily sensitive intelligence from becoming public knowledge. That the war was not going swimmingly was not a relevant motivation, of course not!

The Associated Press Photo Archive has been renamed the AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive.

This site, from trib.com, no longer has any AP stuff. May do so again later.

Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. How the mighty are fallen. The grocery store chain was founded by George Hartford in 1859.

Attached Processor.

Audio Precision. A manufacturer of audio testing and measurement equipment.


Adirondack Park Agency.

Administrative Procedure Act.

Airline Passenger Association. I think this may just be the Dallas-based International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA)

Allied Pilots Association.

All Points Addressable.

Ambulatory Pediatric Association.

American Paralysis Association. Now the CRPF.

American Parapsychological Association. Doesn't need a web site. Held its 37th annual convention in Amsterdam in 1994. Apparently this is another one of those organizations with an expansive definition of ``American.''


American Philological Association.

``Founded in 1869, the American Philological Association (APA) is the principal learned society for classical studies in North America. Its membership is composed primarily of university and college teachers of classical studies in North America. Its members also include many preparatory school teachers as well as members from outside the United States and Canada.''

If you don't know what philology is by now, shame on you!

So anyway back to the APA. Early on, the APA had sections that subsumed philology in the older general sense, and that did so for various languages -- e.g., Germanic philology (i.e. German, English, and related literary criticism, linguistics, prosody, etc.). Today the APA is focused principally on the study (and teaching) of Latin, classical Greek, and literature in those languages. The other branches of what used to be general philology peeled away and formed their own groups, like the MLA. One of the original founders of the SBF (and a member in good standing of the Alpha chapter), John Peradotto, discussed the evolution of philology as a disciplinary category among other issues in ``Texts and Unrefracted Facts: Philology, Hermeneutics and Semiotics,'' an article published in Arethusa vol. 16 (1983) and republished in on pp. 179-198 of Classics : A Discipline and Profession in Crisis? That volume was edited by Phyllis Culham and Lowell Edmunds (Lanham, Mass. and London: University Press of America, 1989).

For more history of the APA, see

  1. Herbert W. Benario: ``The APA as a North American Organization,'' pp. 285-93, op. cit.
  2. E. Sihler: ``Klassische Studien und klassischer Unterricht in den Vereinigten Staaten,'' Neue Jahrbuch für das klassische Altertum, Geschichte und deutsche Literatur und für Pädagogik [a.a.h.i.h.l.n.o.o.] vol. 10 (1902) pp. 458-63, 503-16, 548-56.
  3. F. G. Moore: ``A History of the American Philological Association,'' TAPA vol. 50 (1919) pp. 5-32.
  4. L. R. Shero: The American Philological Association: An Historical Sketch (Philadelphia, 1964).
  5. W. M. Calder III: ``Die Geschichte der klassischen Philologie in den Vereinigten Staaten,'' Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien vol. 11 (1966) pp. 213-40 [also appeared in Studies in the Modern History of Classical Scholarship (Naples, 1984), pp. 15-42.

The 1997 annual meeting was 27-30 December, Chicago. The program is up.

There were some delays in 1997 business, associated with a move of the headquarters to New York University (NYU). Their new office numbers are (212) 998-3575; fax (212) 995-4814. Email american.philological@nyu.edu

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) decided not too long ago that there was no longer any need for a philology entry. In 1995, the company was sold. Don't let this happen to you. [For a prehistory of EB's decision, see John Peradotto: Man in the Middle Voice (Princeton: Princeton U. P., 1990), p. 5.]

Annual APA meetings are held jointly with the AIA, in late December until 1999 (Dallas, TX) and in January from 2001 (San Diego, CA) on. In 2002, the meeting is in Philadelphia, Jan. 3-6. See you there.

[The information on Jakobson in this entry comes from Richard Bradford's Roman Jakobson : Life, language, art (Routledge, 1994).]

American Philosophical Association. Investigate empirically the epistemics of ``visiting'' their homepage. Not to be confused with American Philological Association supra.

Founded, you may believe, in 1900, a constituent society of the ACLS since 1920, the same year that Ponzi's famous scheme collapsed (vide IRC). ACLS has an overview (of the APA).

A good starting point to learn about philosophy on the net is the University of Chicago Philosophy Project.

American Planning Association. I, um, I had planned to, uh-- I'll have some more information about this, uh, soon.

American Plywood Association. According to a thumbnail history at its website, ``APA is a nonprofit trade association that has grown and evolved with the engineered wood industry. APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, and was later recognized as the American Plywood Association. In 1994, APA changed its name to APA -- The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the range of products manufactured by APA members and the international scope of the Association.''

American Podiatry Association. Now the APMA.

American Press Association. Apparently a nonexistent organization, the name on bogus press ID. Sort of like mail-order doctorates of divinity. See this product.

A front-page story in the New York Times, July 28, 1999, described private agents who posed as journalists -- to obtain confidential information and to plant false information on legitimate journalists. According to that article, people actually use those APA cards. There's a news source born every minute. Just between you and me, though: you wouldn't think you'd need subterfuge to obtain information that someone would willingly tell a reporter.

American Psychiatric Association.

That's all I'm going to say about the country's principal psychiatric association. Does that bother you? Why?

American Psychological Association. In the race for hot domain names, this was the APA that got to ``apa.org'' first.

In 1875, William James at Harvard and Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig independently set up the first demonstration laboratories in psychology. In 1879, Wundt established the first research laboratory in psychology. This certainly appears to be an inversion of the natural order. Evidently, there were psychological facts one needed a laboratory to teach, but not to learn. Or maybe not. The year 1879 is widely regarded as marking the birth of psychology as a separate discipline. Wundt (1832-1920) is credited with midwifing this child of philosophy and physiology. Nowadays, we call this interdisciplinarity. The Greeks called such a transgenic creation a hippogriff or a monster, like the Minotaur.

A sexual organism, however first generated, may be a species if it can reproduce true. An interdisciplinary program can become a separate discipline if it can complete the vicious circle of professors turning out graduate students and graduate students becoming professors. Wilhelm Wundt was a fecund generator of research product, held responsible for an estimated 54,000 article and book pages' worth of lost cellulose souls. (In 1881, Wundt founded the first psychology research journal.) He had a large number of graduate students. The United States was fertile ground for transplanting the new species, and between 1883 and 1893, twenty-three new psychological research laboratories were created at US universities. (This statement makes it seem more gradual than it was in fact. In 1883, Wundt's student G. Stanley Hall founded the first American psychology research lab at Johns Hopkins University. No new labs were created until 1888, when a surge began:

YEAR  New labs
1888: 3
1889: 2
1890: 3
1891: 3
1892: 8
1893: 3

About half of these were founded by students of Wundt or Hall.

In 1892, G. Stanley Hall (1846-1924) was the driving force to establish the APA, and was elected its first president. In 1892, it counted twenty-seven members. In 1892, it counted, less precisely, about 100,000.

Since 1973, the APA has been a constituent society of the ACLS. ACLS has an overview.

Antarctic Protected Area. A system that has been discussed; I'm not sure if it was ever implemented.

Asociación Peruana (.pe) de Astronomia. (URL gone.)

Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina. Argentina is a bit of a special case: potentially, there's plenty of work to be had, but there are so few local models of sane behavior that people think normality is sane. That's flip but true; the following is also true. During the Dirty War, a large fraction of the country's psychologists and psychiatrists fled or disappeared. Afterwards, people with very different preparation came into the field to fill the gap, including the literally crying need for grief counseling and help addressing enormous guilt feelings of various kinds. Other people were changing their line of work then, too. In 1979, some of our friends were taking aerobics classes from a former torturer. She still had burn scars from when she tried to commit suicide.

Audio Publishers Association. ``Spoken Audio.'' Books on tape vel sim.

Austria Presse Agentur.

Association of Physician Assistants in CardioVascular Surgery.

Atlantic Policy Advisory Group. (NATO acronym.)

Association des Parents et Amis Gestionnaires d'Établissements Sociaux et Médicaux Sociaux. ``L'APAGESMS, ... située sur le département de la Charente-Maritime, a pour but de contribuer à la politique sociale en faveur des personnes handicapées [that's French? oh yeah: I see an accent] mentales par la création et la gestion de plusieurs structures.''

Asian/PAcific Librarians Association. It was founded in 1980, ``incorporated in Illinois in 1981, and formally affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982. A predecessor of APALA, the Asian American Librarians Caucus (AALC), was organized in 1975 as a discussion group of the ALA Office for Library Outreach Services....''

Active Phased-Array Radar.

Authorized Program Analysis Report.

Ca5(PO4)3(OH). Defines hardness 5 on Friedrich Mohs's mineral hardness scale.

All Points Bulletin. At least, that's what everyone figures it means.

[Football icon]

All-Purpose (football running) Back. Someone who can play both at both fullback and tailback (halfback) positions. See running back for clarification.

AntiPhase Boundary.

American Power Boat Association. Sounds like a cross between All Points Bulletin (APB) and Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Vide goracing.com, VROOM.

Academic Programs Committee.

Advanced Process Control.

Alberta Printed Circuits, Ltd. They manufacture PCB's. They have an informative homepage.

American Power Conversion.

Angled Physical Contact (connectors).

Antigen-Presenting Cell. A cell that processes and presents an antigen on its surface for recognition by T lymphocytes.

Armored Personnel Carrier.

Aspirin, Phenacetin, and Caffeine.

Association for Progressive Communications. A ``global computer network'' dedicated to serving NGO's for ``social justice and development.'' It also has a Spanish name: La Asociación para el Progreso de las Comunicaciones. This means `Association for the Progress of Communications,' but the initialism comes out in the right order, so it's okay.

Asia-Pacific Computing And Philosophy conference. (Coordinated with IACAP.) The first AP-CAP was at the Australian National University in November 2003. It was deemed highly successful, but whether that was the conclusion of a numerical simulation or an argument from first principles is not clear. It certainly can't have been a conclusion from vulgar empirical observation. On whatever grounds, however unsteady, it was decided to hold an encore, the second AP-CAP, January 7-9, 2005, at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand).


ap. crit.
Latin, `apparatus criticus.' Standardized system of footnotes indicating alternate readings and various information about extant texts, necessary in the business of classical philology (vide APA), which needs to reconstruct texts from various flawed intermediate sources.

Stefan Hagel (his email address is, or was, a8601887 followed by a single-character symbol, and then unet.univie.ac.at) has written a ``Classical Text Editor'' (also in English) with special facilities for the ap. crit., displayed in a separate window. An example illustrates critical apparati. (Single upper-case Latin and Greek letters typically refer to particular source manuscripts available. The rest, figure out yourself. Line numbering of classical texts may be unnecessarily confusing when there are multiple standard critical editions.)

Association of PC User Groups.

Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

Avalanche PhotoDiode. [Vide F. Capasso, et al., IEEE TED, 40, 381 (1983).]

American Parkinson Disease Association.

American Parliamentary Debate Association. This organization came into existence by assumption, or perhaps presumption. Read about it here. We have other debating entries. There are arguments both for and against visiting them.

Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. Founded in 1977. As of 2005, individual and institutional members altogether represent ``95% of the accredited residency programs in internal medicine within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.'' The association has ``[amended] its bylaws to allow programs from outside the United States and Canada to join as members.'' APDIM is part of AAIM.

Association of Program Directors in Radiology. Well gee, the AUR gives them a link right at the top of their homepage, you'd think they could return the favor. Nope, typical administrators. Cf. A3CR2.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Application Protocol Data Unit.

Annealed Proton Exchange.

Ask, Praise, Encourage, Advise, Check. What is this, a new-age cult?

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Begun as an informal discussion group, it was established in 1989 as a formal discussion group. At some point when I wasn't paying any attention (possibly initially), it was promoted to a ``forum.'' In alphabetical order of some sort, its members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, (South) Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Aotearoa-New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the USA. (Italicized country names are those of the charter members.) As of 2001, APEC had three more members, one of them Russia.

The Manila People's Forum on APEC 1996 contains some interesting analysis.

``Chinese Taipei'' (it's Taibei with the Romanization now standard in the PRC) is Taiwan, of course, but the designation was an attempt to skirt the sovereignty issue. At a meeting in October 2001 dominated by a war against terrorism, there was a dispute between meeting host PRC and Taiwan over Taiwan's choice of envoy.

The APEC Secretariat has a Singapore URL. At APEC's US home page, I was amused by the quotation marks. The word economy also finesses the sovereignty issue. Those diplomats are such geniuses: they can produce the facsimile of progress and comity from any stew. Too bad if they can't produce the genuine article, or if the dissembling is ultimately counterproductive.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is the primary international organization for promoting trade and economic cooperation among 21 member `economies' around the Pacific Rim.

What about Tibet?


Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Clássicos. I can't imagine what this means, but I've seen a sort of ``Rosetta Stone'' for this, bearing the inscription Association Portugaise d'Études Classiques. I'm pretty lost there, but perhaps this will help you figure it out.

Agrupación por el Esclarecimiento de la Masacre Impune de la AMIA. Spanish, loosely, `group [agitating] for the revelation of the unpunished [perpetrators and accessories] of the AMIA massacre.'

aperçu, apercu
Ahn eensaightfool observah syown, orrr, ah seen-op-cease.

L'Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec. `The Association of Television and Film Producers of Quebec.' Some of our sharper-eyed readers have noticed that the order of film and television is reversed in the English translation. All I can tell you for certain is, it wasn't my idea.

Aberdeen (weapon) Proving Ground.

Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni.

Apgar score
A quick-and-dirty measure of the physical health of a newborn infant computed from a few obvious physiological indicators.

A baby is typically scored by delivery room personnel at one and five minutes of age. The Apgar score is the sum of the scores for five indicators, scored as follows:

Indicator Score
0 1 2
Appearance Pale  Blue  Pink 
Pulse Absent  <100 beats/min.  >100 beats/min. 
Grimace Absent  Grimace  Cry Active 
Activity Limp  Some tone  Active 
Respiration Absent  Irregular  Regular or Crying 

It is politically incorrect in the extreme to suggest that the initials of the indicators have anything to do with the name of the score. Spelling Apgar in all-caps qualifies you as a running dog of the oppressor class. In fact, this wonderful scoring system was developed by and eventually named after Dr. Virginia Apgar (1909-74), a humorless neonatology pioneer.

The Apgar score is obviously a rather nonlinear measure: one point for breathing at all, another whole point for breathing regularly; one point for having any pulse at all, another point for being over 100. The SBF neonate score is even simpler, and approximately equals the Apgar score on average:

0 5 10
Indication Dead  Sick  Hale 

You know the old saying -- a baby in the arms is worth two in the Neonate ICU. In other words, a pink (2), active (2), grimacing (1) baby that isn't breathing (0) and has no pulse (0) (total 5) is healthier than an irregularly breathing (1), pale (0), grimacing (1), lethargic (1) baby with a pulse of 90 (1) (total 4). The basic reason....

Hmmm -- forgot what I was going to write there. Oh yeah -- nothing important. You know, Francis Albert Sinatra was a large baby (13.5 lb.) and a difficult birth, requiring a physician to extract him with forceps and permanently scarring his head. The doctor thought he was stillborn, and left him on the kitchen table to attend the endangered mother. The grandmother, a midwife, grabbed the baby and held him under the (cold) water tap. Only then did Frank Sinatra first wail -- Dec. 12, 1915. (Okay, he was more of a crooner. I think this character demands artistic license.)

A study in the October 2006 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics claimed poor interobserver reliability. The study compared Apgar scores assigned by delivery-room staff and by obstetric staff who viewed ten-second clips taken at five minutes. The Apgar scores assigned in the delivery room were higher than those assigned by those who watched the video by an average of 2.4 points. (Pulse in all cases was assigned on the basis of pulse oximetry, so only four elements of the Apgar score were under effective review.) On its face, this seems to demonstrate only the limitations of video diagnosis.

Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.


Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama.

American Printing House for the Blind.


L'Année Philologique. A listing of the year's published classical scholarship. It is the standard citation index for work in classical antiquity, and its journal-title abbreviations (over 1300 of them) are the de facto standard ones for journals in this field.

Here is one list of the abbreviations, served by the ``Cybrary'' at the University of Queensland. Those who are revolted by such ugly neologisms, and who fear further on-line assaults, can use this other listing.

L'APh was originally distributed on paper, and there was a period beginning in the 1990's when it was on CD-ROM, with both individual and institutional licenses available; around 2000 they went online. Use of the online version was free of charge, gratis, until April 28, 2002. After that date, access was restricted to subscribers. Individual accounts were 45 EUR per year and institutional rates varied by the number of simultaneous connections from 200 EUR to 765 EUR per year for a site license. Those rates might still be in effect, but I'm too lazy to stay up-to-date.

You might wonder, if it's now on line, why one need bother looking up the abbreviations elsewhere. The reason is that the APh interface is terrible. It's slow and unintuitive (play ``find-the-link-anchor,'' watch the text realign, resize windows as necessary), and the website provides a list of APh's own abbreviations appearing in the search results, no one seems to know of it. The answer to all complaints about APh is that it's poor because APh is poor(ly funded). That's presumably why it's late also, but they've been catching up a little bit. (For speed, convenience, and coverage that's more up-to-date, and if you won't be inconvenienced by coverage that is spotty before about 1980, I recommend the ISI Web of Knowledge.)

In June 2005, APh Volume 74 (2003) was up. I haven't been keeping close tabs, but fwiw...
As of March 2002, Volume 71 (2000) was expected ``soon.''
Volume 70 (1999) was available in October 2001.
Volume 66 (1995) appeared in early 1998.
[Volume 66 is the first volume to have been compiled entirely electronically and it was ready for publication before vol. 65, which was compiled in the old manner on printed slips and was still in pageproof when I entered this information in 1998. Volume 66 is smaller than 64 because of an artificial time frame (a once-only nominal year) of 18 months to compile the data.]

Bibliographies for volumes 67 and 68 (1996-7) were available at the old website from Oct. 25, 1999. Subsequently, bibliographies have been available on the web before the print volumes appeared.

APh is the featured resource in the DCB.

APHetic. See aphetic form.

American Public Health Association.

Older form, more common in Commonwealth English, of apheresis.

Point of the furthest orbital separation (apoapsis) between a planet (or other solar orbiter) and sun. If not otherwise specified, you can usually assume that the planet is earth.

Elision of a sound or sounds from the beginning of a word. The addition of a sound or sounds at the beginning of a word is prosthesis. I love it. Elision from the end is apocope. A special case of apheresis, now often mistaken for the general case, is aphesis. See apheretic form for more.

Elision of a sound or sounds from the beginning of a word. The addition of a sound or sounds at the beginning of a word is prosthesis. I love it. Elision from the end is apocope. A special case of apheresis, now often mistaken for the general case, is aphesis.

The term apheresis is apparently used for the bald phenomenon (loss of initial sound or sounds) regardless of cause or intention. Thus on the one hand, it is now used primarily for a process studied in historical linguistics: a gradual erosion of a word over long periods of time. This process is at least partly unconscious: the beginnings of apharesis may be in careless or rapid speech; over time, however, some new speakers will learn the apheretic pronunciation and be unaware of the earlier long form. (``Till'' as an apheretic form of ``until'' is probably one of the exceptional cases, where the long form remained common in parallel with the rise of the short form.)

On the other hand, apheresis once referred primarily to the same change of sound used as a figure of speech. It might be used in prose as an imitation of natural or uneducated speech; it might be used stylistically in the coining of names and in music lyrics or poetry in order to make a line scan or for other aesthetic purposes.

The two kinds of apheresis described above -- regular phonological process and figure of speech -- are the source of most examples of apheresis given in dictionary definitions of the word. (Now primarily the first, of course.)

The term has also been applied to instances in Hebrew where an initial aleph without a vowel is dropped. (This is kind of tricky: the plosive consonant represented by aleph is difficult to pronounce without a vowel, but in some dialects or at least idiolects it is not pronounced even with a vowel. I'll try to learn more about this and describe it either here or at the future entry for the Hawaiian spelling of Western names that begin with a vowel.) Apheresis can also arise from false analysis, as in the process that yielded the new word adder (q.v.) from the earlier nadder.

There's more on the linguistic senses at the next entry (apheretic form). The word apheresis has also been used in medical senses since the seventeenth century, first for surgical extraction (the word fits nicely with prosthesis) and later for the removal of a quantity of blood. Since the 1990's, apheresis has processes in which blood is removed, filtered, and returned to the same body. The filtering may be to extract something useful (platelets from the blood of donors, say) or to cleanse the blood (of LDL's say).

apheretic form
A word like 'tween derived by elision of initial sounds (a process called apheresis). The part removed is usually an initial unaccented syllable.

(Sometimes this pattern -- whole first syllable removed -- is made part of the definition of apheretic form, but you should ignore such restrictive definitions. The restriction is inconvenient for various reasons. For one, sometimes a fragment of the initial syllable is left, and what would you call that? Worse: syllabification is an imprecise science in English, so the narrowed definition gets snagged at occasionally rough syllable boundaries. The restriction may reflect lack of imagination on the part of the definer, and seems to be generally ignored. A more charitable explanation might be that the restriction carries over the old sense of apharesis from ancient Greek and Latin poetry, in which it does generally mean elision of one or more initial syllables.)

Sometimes, as in words like wrought and writhe, the apheresis leads to ``silent letters'' and is not indicated orthographically. If there is an apheretic form in these cases, then it is a form of pronunciation. For other examples, see aphetic form (a special case of apheretic form).

A term coined (along with aphetic form) by J.A.H. Murray, editor of the OED, and published in the Transactions of the Philological Society, vol. 175 in 1880. The term was originally intended to name gradual and unintentional loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word. (For examples, see aphetic form.) In other words it was a special case of the more general apheresis, a special name being deemed useful on account of its particular frequency in English. By the 1930's, the term had become popular but its sense had expanded. Some included the apheresis of any single sound, whether an unstressed vowel or not. Examples include the loss of the k sound in knife or the w sound in write.

The notion of a ``single sound'' is not always straightforward. For example, the first syllable of ``until'' is simply a syllabic n (/N/) in some pronunciations. It might be splitting hairs to argue whether this Ntil is a variant, making ``till'' an instance of aphesis, or an aphetic form of until, making ``till'' strictly only an apheretic form of until.

Some have willy-nilly applied the new term aphesis to any instance of apheresis. But despite the kind of exception mentioned in the preceding paragraph, a distinction is usually possible. Thoughtful people like you, dear reader, want to stay on the side of the angels and preserve a useful distinction, so you will of course not call just any apheresis an aphesis.

The question remains whether to maintain the original sense or use the expanded any-single-sound definition. I would urge the former definition, because the broader definition presents difficulties. For example, words with initial kn, such as knave, knife, knight, etc., may be instances of apheresis only, aphesis in the slightly broad sense, or something else. (If the conventional kn represents a k'n with a short shwa, then ``loss of the k sound'' is really loss of an initial syllable -- apheresis only. On the other hand, it is very difficult to produce a consonant cluster with both voiced and unvoiced consonants, particularly if these are articulated at different parts of the mouth. So if kn was a true consonant cluster, then the n was probably articulated palatally, like ng, rather than in the normal alveolar position, and we have not only loss of one initial sound but transformation of the second.) The entire notion of what constitutes a single sound is problematic -- many sounds regarded as single consonants or long vowels are transcribed phonetically as pairs of sounds. If we only count short vowels for aphesis, and allow (as is traditional) more than a single nominal ``sound'' for apheresis, then these counting problems are avoided. Now march!

aphetic form
A word like 'gainst derived (as from against, in this example) by elision of an initial short unstressed vowel sound. Other examples: 'tention for attention, 'tis for it is. The apostrophe is often used in eye dialect to indicate aphetic forms that are considered nonstandard usage, just as in contracted forms like shouldn't've. Some aphetic forms become normative, in which case any apostrophe mark is omitted. (Not so contracted forms like shouldn't, you've, and o'clock.)

The ordinary adverb down, for example, is an aphetic form of an Old English word that, though now rare, has survived as the word now written adown. The English word bishop, like its cognates in most Romance and apparently all extant Germanic languages, is missing the initial vowel of the Latin etymon episcopus (< Gk. epískopos). The Spanish is obispo, but bispo is among the earliest recorded instances; it's not clear to me that obispo is not a later development from the aphetic form.

As explained in the aphesis entry, the sense of the term has expanded in uncouth usage, but for longer or consonantal initial elided forms, you can use the term apheretic form. For a closely related phenomenon, see the adder.

Common name for a small delicate insect with a sucking mouth -- Class Insecta, Order Homoptera. The economic significance and ecological niche of this kind of insect is easily understood from another common name: plant louse. (Like the louse, the main problem with aphids is not the damage they do directly by sucking, but the viral plant diseases they spread.)

The English word aphid was coined by mistaken back-formation of aphides, plural of the Latin and for a time the common English word for the insect: aphis. Aphids are typically about 1/16 of an inch long, so it is not surprising that the original singular form was eclipsed. [Another word created by misconstrual of a plural is phase. English adopted the Latin phasis; in the nineteenth century the plural (i.e., the Latin nominative plural) phases occurred more frequently, and phase arose by back-formation. In this case, however, many would have been aware of the French word phase (plural phases). In French and other Romance languages, of course, the the singular -se form is a natural development from the ablative or accusative singular forms. More about that at the pea entry.]

The formal English common names of aphid species use the form aphis. For example, there are the beet aphis, birch aphis, cabbage aphis, corn-root aphis, currant aphis, lettuce aphis, melon aphis (also affects squash and watermelon), oleander aphis, pea aphis (also affects bamboo; have you visited the pea entry yet?), spinach aphis (also affects green peaches -- but who eats green peaches?), squash aphis (had enough?), and woolly apple aphis. (The woolly apple aphid attacks the roots of unwoolly apple trees.)

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Part of the USDA. Has to make various decisions that gore someone's ox, occasionally literally, and which are consequently often controversial.

Have you visited our aphid entry yet? Nooooo!?!? You're missing out on a delicious irony!

Francis Bacon was a great fan of aphorisms. If you want a thoughtful analysis of what aphorisms are or should be, and why they're 40% better than maxims (I just made that up), see chapter 3 (``The Aphorism'') of Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose by Brian Vickers (CUP, 1968), pp. 60-95.


Aircraft Parameters Handled in Real time Over Data link to Improve Trajectory Estimation. A system that was venerable a couple of thousand years before it was implemented.

American Public Human Services Association. Founded in 1930 as APWA.

Academic Performance Index. A rating of California school districts, based on scores of students on a uniform test.

American Paper Institute.

American Petroleum Institute.

Application Program[ming] Interface. Productive suffix: EHLLAPI, GAPI, HLLAPI, IDAPI, MAPI, ODAPI, SAPI.

Plain old ``API'' may refer to that of Microsoft Windows.

Applied Precision Inc.

Association of Professional Italianists//Associazione Professori d'Italiano. The Italian part of the name means `association of professors of Italian.' ``[E]stablished in 1981 ... to promote cultural exchanges and discussions on didactic and literary topics concerning the preservation and teaching of the Italian language and literature in Southern Africa both at school and university level, and to keep abreast with [sic] international developments in this field.''

Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller. An interrupt controller architecture commonly found on 32-bit PC systems based on an Intel architecture. APIC architecture supports multiprocessor interrupt management (with symmetric interrupt distribution across all processors), multiple I/O subsystems, 8259A compatibility, and inter-processor interrupts. Cf. SAPIC.

Africa Policy Information Center. Since 1978. The educational affiliate of WOA.

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.

American Production and Inventory Control Society. Now styles itself ``APICS -- The Educational Society for Resource Management.''

Advanced Papyrological Information System. A database of information on papyrus on digital media. Got that? ``APIS links together in a single environment various sources of information about texts written on papyrus and the society that produced them.''

Antarctic Pack-Ice Seals. An SCAR program.

Association for the Protection and Integrity of an Unspoiled Mars. Title of a short SciFi story by Brian W. Aldiss. It was apparently first published as the final chapter of a speculative but otherwise putatively nonfiction collection, Humanism and the Humanities in the Twenty-first Century, edited by William S. Haney II and Peter Malekin (Lewisburg: Bucknell Univ. Pr., and London: Associated Univ. Presses; like, sure, we all know what state Lewisburg is in; 2001). CIP: LC number B821.H659  2001, ISBN 0-8387-5497-X.

AstroPhysical Journal. Cf. AJ.

Accreditation of Prior Learning.

Applied Physics Letters. The letters journal that goes along with the Journal of Applied Physics, (JAP), like the PRL that goes with the Physical Review.

There's been an evolution in the sense of the word ``letter'' in this context. Originally, ``letters'' were a regular part of physics journals, just as they are of nonscholarly magazines. These letters were occasionally brief reports or urgent first reports of original research, but more often were comments about previously published articles. (Letters sections of medical journals still seem to have that sort of mix.)

In physics journals, the brief-report component of letters sections grew, eventually being spun off as separate journals of short articles reporting work that requires rapid dissemination. The letters journals were typically published more frequently and offered faster publication. The time between issues is small compared to the time from submission to publication, and most of the delay comes in the wait for reviews to come back. Hence, letters journals do not offer substantially faster publication. (In reality, physicists also try to publish in letters journals because of their higher prestige.)

Letters specifically commenting on articles previously in a journal, and not themselves describing substantial research, continue to be published in small numbers in what are now called Comments sections. Some journals also have brief-report sections, for articles that are as short as the articles in letters journals, but which do not claim to be important enough to merit the supposed more rapid publication.

A Programming Language. A language with many single-character array operators (one of which is described at the APL\360 entry). There's a SIG for APL and related J, as well as a Usenet FAQ. A good resource is Jim Weigang's APL Information pages.

APL was originally developed by Ken Iverson of Harvard University and IBM, in 1962.

Michael Neumann's extensive list of sample short programs in different programming languages includes source code for three simple APL programs.

Analysis Program for Linear Active Circuits. An analog-circuit simulator and design tool. (Has extensively informative homepage.) Developed by professor Martti Valtonen in the Circuit Theory Laboratory of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) in Finland (.fi).

Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Conference.

Analog Phase-Locked Loop.

Asia Pacific Legal Metrology Forum.

I haven't checked, but I suppose this is an organization for people who measure laws. There are many metrics, although units of force (buoyant force) and word counts are a good start.

A Programming Language for the IBM 360. This was the first implementation of APL as an actual computer programming language (previously APL had been implemented, or used or whatever, as a means of having something to write computer science articles about).

The backslash in the name APL\360 was a cutesy joke, or else a demonstration of the power of the language. Actually both: it demonstrated the utility of the language. APL has its own distinctive character set, and the first time I saw a manual for it I thought it must have been invented to sell exotic keyboards, but it turns out that you just use a normal keyboard and a composition key.

Anyway, one of the characters that has a special meaning, but which is found in ordinary character sets, is the backslash (\), representing a binary ``expands'' operator. Hence, ``APL\360'' is supposed to be read as ``APL expands [the conveniently available functionality of] [the IBM] 360.''

FWIW, ``expands'' takes a template as its first operand and an n-dimensional array to be expanded as its second. The template is a one-dimensional boolean array. For each successive 1 in the template, the expanded array gets the next element (n-1-dimensional subarray, if n>1). For each 0 in the template, the expanded array gets a 0 (or subarray of 0's). For example,

      1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 \ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
      1 2 3 0 4 5 6 7 0 8 9

If the array to be expanded is character-valued, spaces (instead of zeroes) are inserted in the same way. I don't know what the APL interpreter does if the sum of the template elements is greater than the length of the array, but a real programmer would want it to do something other than complain. Ideally something brutal.

Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. ``The Organization for Consultation and Liaison Psychiatry.''

Acoustic Plate Mode. Nothing to do with WBGMB.

Advanced Power Management.

Asociación Psicoanalítica Mexicana.

Association of Professors of Medicine. It's ``the national organization of departments of internal medicine at the US medical schools and numerous affiliated teaching hospitals as represented by chairs and appointed leaders.'' APM is part of AAIM.

Atmospheric Passivation Module.

American Podiatric Medical Association. Formerly the APA.

Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos.

Atmospheric-Pressure Metal-Organic Vapor-Phase Epitaxy.

Asia Pacific Metrology Programme. A regional organization for measurement standards. (``Asia Pacific'' includes Pakistan.)

Association of Preventive Medicine Residents. A temporary membership class of the ACPM.

Automated Performance Measurement System.

Association of Professional Music Therapists. ``The Association of Professional Music Therapists is a professional organization involved in supporting and developing the profession. The Association maintains a register of Music Therapists who hold a recognized qualification.'' Its old URL (at apmt.org.uk) is now held by a company that's selling music there and will entertain offers for the domain name.

Alliance for Psychosocial Nursing. To judge from the only website that seems to be available for it, the organization's main activity is publishing its official journal: Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services.

Americans for Peace Now. Fifth columnists in the war known as The Peace Process.

Asia Pacific Network Information Centre. ``[T]he non-profit Internet Registry organisation for the Asia Pacific region.''

Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. ``The purpose of this fraternity is to assemble college students in a national service fraternity in the fellowship of principles derived from the Scout Oath and Law of the Boy Scouts of America; to develop leadership, to promote friendship and to provide service to humanity; and to further freedom that is our national, educational and intellectual heritage.''

They like to summarize their mission with the words ``Leadership, Friendship, and Service.'' Since philia and ophelos mean `friendship' and `help' in Ancient Greek, I imagine that those are the words the Greek letters phi and omega of the name represent. The alpha might stand for something related to archon (which could be translated `leader'). Don't complain about the speculativeness; this is more about the Greek than you can get from the fraternity's own webpages.

Apparently Shakespeare was the first to use Ophelia as a given name. He was a little bit less successful with his flesh-and-blood children. He named his only son ``Hamnet,'' and that doesn't seem to have caught on.

Amorphous PolyOlefin.

Army Post Office. A ``city'' code for USPS mail outside the US and Canada. For details of how this works, see the MPO entry. (For the obvious historical reasons (see USAAF), APO serves for army and air force installations.)

Association of Philippine Orthodontists.

Greatest separation of two orbiting bodies. (Nearest approach is periapsis.) Special cases are aphelion and apogee.

A fruit having separated carpels (simple pistils). Trust me, you can find this in the Scrabble forest.


APOCRyphA. Edited pour la Association pour l'étude de la littérature apocryphe chrétienne, it ``is focused on the treasures of material borne through literature and other expressions of the imagination over two millennia. This material was generated, cultivated and transmitted by numerous Jewish communities and a range of Christian communities throughout Asia, Africa and Europe.''

Only 46 euros for the one annual issue -- a bargain, a fire sale, compared to some of the other scholarly rags published by Brepols.

Elision of a sound or sounds from the end of a word. Examples in English include ``cup o'tea'' and ``back an' forth.'' Aphaeresis is to apocope and elision as prefix is to suffix and affix.

The highest-altitude point in a lunar orbit, or the altitude at that point. Cf. pericynthion.

The first manned spacecraft to orbit the Moon was Apollo 8. When it went behind the Moon on Christmas Eve, 1968, it was on a free-return orbit: without a firing of its rockets, it would whip around the Moon and return to Earth. The service-module rockets were fired for four and a half minutes, and then the command-module instrument panel had numbers in certain readouts that had been blank. One was ``Delta V'' (change of velocity magnitude): -2800. (That's in feet per second, okay? Metric probably doesn't work in outer space.) Another was the computed apocynthion: 169.1 mi. When you have a finite apocynthion, you're in lunar orbit. The pericynthion value was 60.5 miles. (Over the next day, the orbit was trimmed to a fairly circular one at an altitude of 60 miles.)

Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Provably true, or thought so anyway.

Fourth numbered phenotype of the gene Apolipoprotein E. Reported in late March (oh great, I forgot to write down the year) New England Journal of Medicine by Eric Reiman et al.: homozygous ApoE4's with family history but no symptoms have brain PET scans showing low-activity regions similar to those of Alzheimer's (AD) patients.

This can be expanded APO slash (or solidus, or virgule or something (s.t.)) FPO. See the MPO entry for further revelations.

Point of the moon's orbit about the earth when earth and moon are furthest apart. The moon doesn't have a very eccentric orbit, so this isn't very noticeable. If you want to get technical, you can insist that really both the earth and moon orbit their common center of gravity -- apoapsis of the earth moon system. But then if you want to get technical, the earth-moon system is not isolated; there are further small pulls from other bodies, and really it's all one big chaotic (in the mathematical sense) system. Good science is based on good approximations.

The definition above was pretty valid until the late 1950's. Now there are many earth satellites, and ``moon'' in the preceding is replaced by ``earth satellite.''

``Apogee'' is alos used figuratively, like zenith, to mean greatest (figurative) height.

Article Procurement with On-Line Local Ordering.

NASA's program of three-man spacecraft that put a man on the moon in 1969. An eventual total of six Apollo missions each landed two men on the moon and brought them safely back.

I've seen ``APOLLO'' expanded as America's Program for Orbital and Lunar Landing Operations, but I think that's clearly creative back-formation: The initial program of one-man missions was called Mercury, and the subsequent two-man missions were called Gemini, very reasonably. (The Mercury and Apollo missions began to be planned during the Eisenhower administration, and the intermediate Gemini program was inserted afterwards.) A postage stamp issued by the Soviet Union to commemorate the Soyuz-Apollo link-ups spelled Apollo in a way that we would transliterate as Apollon. (Like many languages, Russian preserves the ending of the original Greek name. The words Mercury and Gemini are of Roman origin, but the god Apollo and his name were adopted by the Romans from the Greeks; and had no evident Roman antecedent.)

Spanish noun meaning `support.' Related to the verb apollar, `to oppose.' This isn't as odd as it looks. Apollar is to exert force against. If the force is opposed to the direction of another's exertions (una fuerza opuesta), then it is opposition. But if the force is somehow in tandem with another, buttressing or supporting or backing that other up against a third party or force, then it is support. In fact, apollo can also mean `opposition,' but in my experience, or at least in my speech community, it is usually `support.'

In a similar divergence, soporte is a noun meaning `support,' usually in a more literal, mechanical sense, but the verb soportar frequently means `withstand.' A more precise word for this, however, is aguantar. Thence aguantol, jocular ascription to pharmacology of the practice of sucking it up (stoicism, if you're unfamiliar with the slang) in the absence of an effective analgesic.

a pollo
Spanish phrase meaning `to chicken.' Not an especially common phrase, and not very useful either, unless you're straining for a pun.

Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses. Man, that must be heartbreaking.

An ancient Greek word meaning `denial.' In the specialized terminology of rhetoric in Greek, it names the figure of expressing a positive idea by negation. Not bad, eh? The corresponding Latin rhetorical term is litotes. In English, the term apophasis came to be used instead for the figure that was called paraleipsis in Greek. I'm not going to make any recommendations or anything, but I don't think it would be a bad idea to avoid the term apophasis altogether, and use litotes or paraleipsis instead.

If there is a difference between the apophasis in its original Greek rhetorical sense and the Latin term litotes, it may be that apophasis is denial in general, whereas litotes generally refers to the use of denial for emphasis. My suspicion is based only (for now) on the text known as ``The Method of Forceful Speaking,'' [Peri Methodou Deinothtos]. This was preserved as part of a course packet (okay, okay, ``school text'') called ``Art of Rhetoric'' that was assembled in the 5th or 6th century CE. At that time, four of the five texts in the collection were generally regarded as the work of Hermogenes (a celebrated speaker, fl. second half of the 2nd c. BCE); on the basis of close textual reading, modern opinion disagrees, assigning at most two of the texts, and certainly not ``Method,'' to Hermogenes. So it's simply regarded as part of ``the Hermogenetic corpus,'' much as most works once regarded as the work of Hippocrates are now regarded as part of ``the Hippocratic corpus.''

No one has much of a clue who the true author was, so the Hermogenetic thing is trotted out. Anyway, chapter 37 of ``The Method of Forceful Speaking'' (the last chapter) is about apophasis, and the author points out that when compared with affirmation, apophasis sometimes has equal force, sometimes less, and sometimes greater.

Incidentally, the Greek term has an acute accent on the omicron: apóphasis. One could use this to indicate that one means apóphasis strictly in its Greek sense. For example: ``Alexander, in On Figures 2.23, uses the term antenantiôsis instead of apóphasis for this figure.'' (Be grateful for small favors: Alexander's term wasn't borrowed into English.)

Very strong, but shatters under emotional strain.

It's a figure of speech that describes -- hey! pay attention! Now where was I? Oh yeah, aposiopesis: an abrupt breaking off of a thought. Uh, there was something else, um, I lost my train of -- oh! Compare brachyology.

This is usually defined as ``warding off evil,'' or ``having the power to protect from bad luck'' or something similar.

a potted watch never boils either
I'm not entirely sure what that means. I just wanted to put that out there, but it seems that Ogden Nash beat me to it.

Accredited Purchasing Practitioner. A kind of junior grade of C.P.M. Certifying authority for both is the NAPM, q.v..

American Principles Project. Politically conservative.

App., app., app

Application Portability Profile.

APPlication (computer) program. I once got the impression that ap had become the more common spelling. Googling around now, I see ``killer app'' outnumbers ``killer ap'' about 20:1.

Atactic PolyPropylene.

Whatever it stands for was founded in 1914. I guess it was the Academic Physical Plant Association. Its current name is Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, but it keeps the old acronym.

The American Philosophical Practitioners Association.

Advanced Program-to-Program Communications. Acronym favored by IBM. (Also expanded ``Peer-to-Peer.'')

Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Based in nearby Bloomington, Indiana.

(Well, I didn't say it was nearby you, now did I?)

appears weak on
A political phrase meaning `has a weakness that cannot be disguised on.'

American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Sometimes called the American Psychiatric Press, though that was apparently never its official name. Publishes the DSM, inter alia.

APPLicable. Like surcharges. Airline fare abbreviation.

The (US) Association of Partners for Public Lands. (Known as the Conference of National Park Cooperating Associations, 1977-1997.)

Apple Computer
Originated by Steven P. Jobs and Stephen G. Wozniak (Woz) in the garage of Jobs's parents, in 1976. You'd be surprised if they didn't have a web server.

A picture of an Apple I is part of the Smithsonian's Information Age photo exhibit (a photo gallery of its Information Age exhibit of around 1992).

applied chemistry
There doesn't seem to be any department of applied chemistry, so called, in the US today. A search on "department of applied chemistry" yields 568,000 ghits, but as far as I was willing to check, they apparently all refer to academic departments in Asia or Australia. Much of what might be called applied chemistry might as well be called chemical engineering, but there's a place for a distinction. Nevertheless, that place doesn't seem to be anywhere in US academia.

I hope that preamble justifies, or excuses, or at least whets your appetite for, the following, which is the entirety of a classified ad that ran on the front page of the New York Tribune on February 14, 1851. (And for heaven's sake, if it doesn't, don't read this!)

CHEMISTRY APPLIED TO THE ARTS--The Department of Chemistry applied to the Arts, in Brown University, will go into operation at the commencement of the next Collegiate Term, Feb. 28, 1851.
 This Department is intended to meet the wants of those who have occasion for a practical knowledge of Chemistry, whether with a view to its application in Manufacturing, Medicine, Pharmacy or Agriculture.  The Laboratory is designed for the accommodation of thirty students, and is supplied with every convenience for experimental study.  The course of each student being independent of the rest, admission to this Department is given at any time during the season.  For further information, address Prof. J. A. Porter, Providence, R.I.

Advanced Peer-to-Peer Network[ing]. (IBM.)

Academic Progress Rate. A measure introduced by the NCAA to serve as a measure of college athletes' academic performance. In January 2005, the APR became the basis upon which the NCAA would assess collegiate athletic programs. One justly touted advantage over the measure that it supplants (the six-year graduation rate) is that it is a more real-time measure. Here is a poor explanation from the NCAA itself. As noted there, ``the implementation phase of academic reform [prompted many] `what ifs,' `how comes' and `why nots'.'' The reason for the confusion is that the ``entire academic-reform structure'' was cobbled together by the same kind of innumerate, incoherent, and inarticulate bone-heads who created the BCS.

The APR measures the academic performance only of students on athletic scholarships, and only in those sports in which a college competes within Division I. The NCAA sets limits, by sport and division, on the maximium number of scholarships that can be awarded. For example, 85 scholarships are allowed to a Division I-A football program, 13 to a Division-I men's basketball program. (The NCAA busybodies also impose some minima, so it may happen that a school that can't scrape together the required minimum of money for scholarships at Division II will be kicked down to Division III, where it can't award scholarships at all. There are very excellent reasons for such rules.)

For each scholarship athlete on a team, the team can earn up to two points per term toward the APR: one for the student's meeting academic eligibility standards and one for his or her return for the next term. If a student is about to graduate, return the following semester is not expected, and only one point is possible. This kind of consideration is complicated by the NCAA's eligibility criteria, which limit the number of years anyone is allowed to participate in student athletics (a single limit applies even if one graduates and goes on to graduate school). The total number of points a team can earn is cumulated over the semesters in a moving window of two, three, or four years and serves as a denominator in computing the APR. (Because data are not uniformly available for past years, the new assessment regime is being initiated with a two-year window. The window will be expanded in successive years as data become available.) The number of those possible points actually earned by scholarship athletes, multiplied by 1000, provides a numerator, and the quotient is the APR. A large fraction of teams achieve the maximum of 1000, because most NCAA teams are not football, baseball, or men's basketball.

An APR of 925 is estimated by the NCAA to correspond to a six-year graduation rate of 50%. The value of 925 will serve as a cut-off, with penalties being imposed only on those teams falling below it. For small teams, the cut-off is adjusted downward to take account of small-number statistics. (I.e., the measure is regarded as a sampling of an underlying performance, and a confidence interval is used to avoid penalizing a team that appears poor as a result of a statistical fluctuation.)

The kind of penalty that may be imposed if a school fails to meet the cut-off is a ``contemporary penalty.'' Other, more punitive ``historically-based penalties,'' to be based on both APR and GSR (graduation success rate), are under development as of 2005. These will target schools that chronically underperform.

Contemporary penalties are imposed only for ``0-for-2'' students (students that could have earned their teams two points in the APR measure, but earned none). The penalty is simply that the scholarship that had been awarded to that student, who has now left, cannot be reawarded (in that sport) for the following semester.

The limit on scholarships is a limit on the maximum number of scholarships allowed. That is, the number of 0-for-2's in a semester reduces by an equal number the maximum number of scholarships a team is allowed in the next semester. If a program is currently awarding fewer scholarships than the maximum that the NCAA allows, then initially the penalty has no bite.

Accredited in Public Relations. Used as a title, like P.E. or MSW (e.g., ``Ted Turner, APR''). The accreditation is conferred in the US by the PRSA.

Admission-to-Practice (law) Rules.

Alarm-Processing Remote.

Annual Percentage Rate. At one local bank they usually say just ``percentage rate'' and write APY.

The Association of Petroleum Re-refiners. Based in Buffalo, NY; since the 1950's, it has represented companies whose primary business is the recycling of used oils by re-refining.

The initialism is often expanded with a second capital arr -- i.e., with ``Re-Refiners.'' The organization logo (displayed here and here) uses ``Re-refiners.'' The matter may be moot: the Internet reveals few signs of APR life since 1992, when it published the Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Used Oil Recovery and Reuse, ``Re-Refining Rebirth,'' San Francisco, May 28-31, 1991.

Frankly, the whole business seems to make very little news or noise. Cf. National Oil Recyclers Association.

American Parapsychological Research Foundation.

American Prosecutors Research Institute. ``The research, development and technical assistance arm of the NDAA'' (National District Attorneys Association).

The cruelest month, according to T. S. Eliot. New Yorker update (from April 25, 1994) here.

Do April showers bring May flowers? Could be. Check at <weather.com>.

April 23
William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra both died on this date in 1616. Cervantes New Style and Shakespeare Old Style, so they actually died ten days apart.

Wordsworth also died on this date in 1850. That was just twelve days shy of 234 years after Shakespeare. It's okay not to be impressed. There is also a tradition that Shakespeare was born on April 23 (1554). That far back, the dates that are more likely to be recorded are those of baptisms.

a priority
Here's a sense of that phrase, or at least of that same letter sequence, that I'd never encountered before. Context: a seminar with Professor Guiseppina D'Oro (of Keele Univ.) at the (Ontario) Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology (May 21, 2004, at 2:30; Rm. 221). Title:
A priority and philosophical Analysis

Here's the beginning of the abstract:

The thesis of the autonomy of philosophy, the view that philosophy is a discipline with its own distinctive method and subject matter, has usually been connected with the possible existence of the a priori. Since knowledge in natural science is empirical or a posteriori, if there is a kind of knowing that is distinctively philosophical, this must be non empirical. The very possibility of philosophical knowledge is therefore intimately connected to that of a priori knowledge. ...

Advanced-Practice Registered Nurse.

Active-Pixel Sensor. An imaging sensor whose pixels have individual amplifiers.

Advanced Photo System.

American Pain Society. They're just like the Sacher Masoch Club and the Marquis de Sade Union, except that they're interested in reducing pain.

American Paraplegia Society.

American Peptide Society. I'm for 'em.

American Philosophical Society, founded 1743 (by Ben Franklin). A constituent society of the ACLS since 1919. ACLS has an overview.

American Physical Society. A professional membership organization. Perform a Gedankenexperiment. Experiment with visiting their homepage.

The APS holds annual meetings of various subspecialties, and the big one-week meeting for condensed-matter physics is always held in mid-to-late March, occasionally edging into April. The meeting draws a few thousand physicists, so it must be held in a large city. In 1986, it was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On April 3, 1986, the AP wire carried an article entitled ``Physicists And Fun In Las Vegas: Never the Twain Shall Meet?'' I read it in the NYTimes or the WPost, where the headline was something like ``Physicists pile into Las Vegas with a big thud.'' The AP item led off with

As a group whose idea of a good time is listening to a lecture on The Fractional Quantum Hall Effect, the 4,500 studious scientists of the American Physical Society aren't exactly painting the town red.

Dan Dahlberg, a U. Minn. physics professor, was quoted saying ``The hookers are going broke, the bartenders are going broke and the casino is dead. We'll probably never be invited back here.'' I notice that the article byline is Tim Dahlberg. (The article was based more on interviews than observation. One important event not reported was a reception on the first or second day, in a big ground-floor ballroom at the MGM Grand (which was the single venue for the various parallel sessions). Each attendee received a ticket for one complimentary drink. At the event, people were going around trying to find someone to give their tickets away to.)

I was there, and like many of my post-doc fellows I dutifully brought a roll of quarters to insert in machines, but I lost interest after a couple of dollars of principal.

I drove in from LA in a rented car, and I have to tell you, Vegas can't be sin city. Exhibit A: taxis. Rounding the MGM Grand, there was a cabby in the lane to my right who wanted to get in my lane and he didn't cut me off! I was infuriated, outraged! Drivers who perform wildly unexpected maneuvers are a hazard, and a cabby who doesn't cut you off and assume you'll slam on the brakes at the last minute is doing something dangerously unpredictable. They ought to get those timid menaces off the road!

Also, a number of attractive women in simple clothing smiled at me with unexpected warmth, practically as if we knew each other. Las Vegas is just a friendly, old-fashioned small town with all-American Gemütlichkeit, plus bright lights.

Viva, Las Vegas!

American Physiological Society.

American Phytopathological Society. You should be able to determine on your own which APS is the one you need to deal with.

American Psychological Society.

Apus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Atmospheric Plasma Spraying.

Australian Psychological Society.

Automated Patent System.

Automatic Protection-Switching.

American Pediatric Surgical Association.

American Political Science Association, founded in 1903. Since 1920, a constituent ``learned society'' of the ACLS, which gives you an idea of how loosely the term ``learned'' is used. ACLS has an overview.

American PSychoAnalytic Association.

American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children.

Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Find there George Pesely's Home Page and James D. Lester's ``Citing Cyberspace.''

Austin Peay, the man after whom this institution of higher learning is named, made a plodding but successful career as lawyer in Clarksville. He was governor of Tennessee from 1922 until his death in October 1927.

Alum-Precipitated Toxoid.

Application Programmer's Toolkit.

Association of Polysomnographic Technologists. It ``is an international society of professionals dedicated to improving the quality of sleep and wakefulness in all people.''

Attached Proton Test. In NMR.

American Physical Therapy Association.

American Polarity Therapy Association. They sell the Brooklyn Bridge, but it's not a scam because they truly believe that they sell the Brooklyn Bridge. ``Energy is the real substance behind the appearance of matter and forms.''

American Public Transit Association.

A genus of flightless birds found in New Zealand, related to the extinct moa. As the Greek name implies, they have no wings. Really! How do they scat flies? The birds are better known by their Maori name, kiwi.

Metaphorically, then word kiwi was used as early as 1918 in the sense of `grounded airman.' Metonymically, it has come to be used for New Zealanders.


apt misspelling
This entry is reserved for an incident that can't plausibly be placed in the benefit-of-the-doubt entry (below).

Association of Public Television Stations.

apt typo
I was finally inspired to create this overdue entry upon reading the following text in one online review of a tanning salon: ``[She] singed me up today for tanning she was helpful and friendly!!'' Judging from some of the other, less-recent-but-wiser reviews, he may get burned.

Arithmetic Processing Unit. A term rather less common than arithmetic logic unit (ALU).

Auxiliary Power Unit.

The APU's on NASA's space shuttles are gas turbines used to drive the pumps that pressurize the shuttle's hydraulic systems. These systems lower landing gear and move body flaps, rudder and other flight control surfaces, and power some systems in the main (propulsion) engine. The turbines are spun by gas from the decomposition of hydrazine.

Azusa Pacific University. In Azusa, California. ``In order to create an institutional environment marked by God honoring excellence, Azusa Pacific University expects all faculty, staff, and students to familiarize themselves with current university policies.'' I think I'd like to honor whoever punctuated that.

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics.

Antigua Public Utilities Authority. Antigua the Caribbean island.

AmPrenaVir. A drug used in the treatment of AIDS.

The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Their main claim to fame is the Jamestown Rediscovery, excavations conducted since 1994. The triangular fort burned down in 1608, a year after it was built. It had been widely believed that meanderings of the James River had washed any remains away. The rediscovery was announced on September 12, 1996.

Alberta Pressure Vessel Manufacturers' Association.

American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. It's ``a college-level national chapter organization dedicated to promote and stimulate interest in the field of veterinary medicine and provide its member clubs with sources of information regarding sister clubs and the field of veterinary medicine.'' The APVMA's web home has bounced around a bit.

Augmented Plane Wave. See J. C. Slater, Phys. Rev. 51, 846 (1937).

American Public Welfare Association. Now the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA).

American Public Works Association. It's ``an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services.

Originally chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, an office in Washington, D.C., and 67 chapters throughout North America. APWA provides a forum in which public works professionals can exchange ideas, improve professional competency, increase the performance of their agencies and companies, and bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.''

[Football icon]

All-Purpose Yards. Yards rushing plus yards receiving.

Annual Percentage Yield.

Agent Query. (I'm just passing the word along -- not endorsing or denouncing it.) AQ offers a place for writers and literary agents to find each other, and various book-trade resources.

(Domain name code for) Antarctica.

AQueous. Chemists use it.

American Quack Association. An association of American quacks. For an alternative perspective, visit Quackwatch. The AQA, founded in 1995, appears no longer to be active as such. For further information, visit this site.

(UK) Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. One of three college entrance exam boards implicated in a grading scandal in 2002. AQA chief executive at the time: Kathleen Tattersall, who missed out on nomen est omen honors because the competition is too stiff, and because I control who gets in. More at the QCA entry.

Australian Quadriplegic Association. Old name; see SCIA.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Based in Yemen.

As Quickly As Possible. Variant of more common ASAP.

Association québécoise de Chirurgie.. French: `Quebec Surgical Association.' (Formerly l'ACGQ.)

Air Quality Control Region.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Associazione politica-culturale 'Quarta Internazionale'. Italian, `Cultural-Political Association of the Fourth International.'

Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. ``Australian Quarantine Service'' for short.

Why are we providing you with this information? We want to be your full-service acronym glossary.

Vide Akiva.

{Acceptable | Accepted} Quality Level[s]. The target level of confidence (typically 95%) that initial inspection will be passed.

Aquila. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

AquaFresh Defense, The
The claim that someone has spiked your toothpaste with illegal drugs. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, a German athlete who tested positive for steroids made this claim in appealing his suspension. An unidentified Olympic official said
It's a pretty daring move. You don't often see the AquaFresh Defense put into action this early in a competition.

An excellent album by Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson's group. A concept album -- one in which the songs shared a common theme. Of sorts.

The punk rock movement arose in part as a reaction to the increasing pretentiousness of mainstream rock, as represented by such phenomena as concept albums and the pretentiousness of members of the band Who when they were not stoned.

The name of the first scuba gear. Concept by Jacques Cousteau. Tested by him off the coast of Vichy France, with his wife swimming overhead as part of a look-out relay against the authorities.

There is some confusion about the meaning of this word, despite its obvious etymology [L. aquae (`of water') + ductus (gerund for `leading')]. The principal meaning of aqueduct is an artificial channel or conduit for water. The term is also used in some oldish anatomical names for tubes connecting organs. (E.g., aqueduct of Fallopius is an old name for what we now call the fallopian tube. The Latin form aquaeductus Fallopii is even older.) This particular usage, however, reflects an error of transmission. See the Falloppio entry.

Anyway, the mistaken impression that many people have is that aqueduct means bridge. This is due to the fact that the best-known aqueducts are the ones built by the Romans, and the most prominent parts of those are the aqueduct bridges -- the tour guide points and says (or the caption reads) ``Roman aqueduct'' and the tourists (or readers) think: ah, bridge built on arches. In fact, Roman aqueducts typically ran about a meter underground for most of their length (say 10 to 100 km), maintained by teams of slaves. Aqueducts only came above ground when topography required it -- typically to cross a valley or gully, or as they approached the city they supplied.

Ancient aqueducts worked by gravity feed, flowing from a high source distant from the point of use (a city). In some cases, aqueducts provided water primarily for baths, and there was no extensive distribution system. In general, however, the city had a distribution system which also worked by gravity feed through plumbing. For both gravity-feed purposes (into and in the city), water height had to be husbanded as a resource, and for most of their length, aqueducts descended slowly. Over these distances, Roman aqueducts were open channels: there was air above a water surface in the channel. Outside the city's plumbing system, the only closed channels were inverted siphons, mostly below ground level, used to cross depressions that were narrow and shallow. Where an inverted siphon was considered impractical, the aqueduct came above ground. To get across depressions deeper than about 50 m, the Romans did not use inverted siphons but instead built aqueduct bridges. Probably the best known of those today is the one at Nîmes, which over the years has been converted to other uses, including just a plain old (quite old) bridge. The bridges supported a nearly horizontal aqueduct on multiple tiers of arches or columns or both. Over long stretches that required moderate elevation (often in the final approach to a city), the aqueduct might be supported on a colonnade.

Aqueduct Raceway in Queens, New York took its name from the same aqueduct aluded to in the names Conduit Boulevard and Conduit Avenue.

A QUantum Interconnected Network Array Simulator. A simulation code for circuits of quantum cellular automata.

Aquarius. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

Aquarius is a popular name for other things than the constellation. One instance is explained in Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. Lovell was commander of the mission and chose names for the two parts of the spacecraft with crew compartments. A parenthetical remark on page 87 begins thus:

The press had erroneously reported that Aquarius was chosen as a tribute to Hair, -- a musical Lovell had not seen and had no intention of seeing. The truth was, he took the name from the Aquarius of Egyptian mythology, the water carrier who brought fertility and knowledge to the Nile valley.

I'm not sure where that ``knowledge'' thing came from. Aquarius is a Latin constellation name, of course, but essentially the same constellation has been known by various names since Babylonian times. The Egyptian names of the constellation's three brightest stars all begin with Sada-, meaning `lucky.' In the case of Apollo 13, Aquarius was lucky indeed.

Apollo 13 was an ill-starred mission, as should have been obvious from the hubristic braggadocio surrounding the number 13 and from Lovell's choice of ``Odyssey'' as the name of the command module. About 56 hours into the mission, one of the oxygen tanks in the service module exploded, quickly making the service module useless for almost everything other than protecting the command module's heat shield. The lunar module was designed to ferry two of the three Apollo astronauts between the command-service module (the combined command and service modules) and the surface of the moon, and to support those two during their brief stay there. ``Brief stay'' there means two days. In the emergency, it was pressed into service as a lifeboat, providing power and other consumables for the remaining 87 hours of the aborted mission. The LM's descent stage was used for propulsion in place of the the service module's rockets. (The ascent stage could have been used for propulsion in principle, but the batteries that carried most of the electrical power remaining to the crippled craft were part of descent stage, and would have had to be jettisoned in order for the ascent stage to be used.)

According to Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed, by Henry S. F. Cooper, Jr., ``[w]hen the astronauts boarded the Iwo-Jima, a band struck up `Aquarius.' ...'' (p. 198). That was one of the numbers from the rock opera Hair mentioned above. Somewhere that I can't find now, I read that two of the Apollo 13 astronauts eventually went to see Hair later and hated it. They walked out after the first half, saying later that it was blasphemous or something.

The song ``Aquarius'' has some fine-sounding lyrics, including ``This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.'' This refers to the precession of the equinoxes. In mechanical terms, what is precessing is the axis of rotation of the Earth. As it precesses, the vernal equinox (as also the autumnal equinox and the solstices) occurs at a different place in the Earth's orbit of the Sun. One can assign ``ages'' according to the constellation the Sun is in at the time of the vernal equinox. Determining when an age begins should be a simple matter of determining what sectors of the sky are assigned to each constellation. This is necessarily a matter of convention, since the zodiacal constellations, projected onto the equator, subtend very different angles and generally overlap. In principle, one ought to be able to deduce what positions are assigned to which sign by working backwards from the astrological conventions, but that in turn follows at least a couple of different conventions. It's not a lot of fun tracking down what these conventions might be, because the people who define them take them so seriously it's sad.

But sometimes it's good. I personally have benefitted from astrology! I met this girl on the internet, and her picture looked okay, and there were some common interests and we progressed to phone communication and she invited me for dinner and I thought -- ``what the hey?'' (Free food.) While we'd talked she had asked me when and where I was born, and commented that I was born on a Monday. To her consternation, I pointed out that this was incorrect. It turned out that her astrology software wasn't working properly. There's a concept, for ya. She eventually emailed to disinvite me. I guess she rebooted and discovered that we weren't really that good of a match. I think I knew this as sure as the day I was born.

Anyway, the precession time period is a bit under 26000 years, so equal-length ages assigned to twelve zodiac signs would last about 2160 years. On this scale even a dawn could last a long time. In most estimations the age of Pisces covers the first two millennia AD. Pisces is a relatively big constellation, and some people have its age continuing another 600 years, but a common calculation based on exactly or approximately equal ages has the age of Aquarius beginning as soon as 2100. For various good reasons, such as that it's a round number and close, some people have it begun in 2000. ``Age of Aquarius'' is also used describe the 1960's (which means 1968, or 1963-1972, or hippies and psychedelic rock album covers) or the 1970's, or the New Age age. It's a periodization with a bit of give.

(Click here for top) Previous section: An (top) to AoW (bottom)

Next section: A/R (top) to ARXPS (bottom)

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]

Space above was intentionally left free of glossary definitions so that links to bottom of document can appear at the top of the screen display.

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2017 (c)