(Click here for bottom)

Accounts Receivable.

Anti-Reflective, Anti-Reflection. The simplest sort of AR coating (more at ARC) is a layer one quarter wavelength thick. Obviously, this only works perfectly at a single wavelength. However, index of refraction tends to fall with increasing frequency (except near absorption features in the spectrum, but we're talking transparent materials here, so that's irrelevant). Since wavelength in a dielectric is decreased from its vacuum value by a factor of the index of refraction (n), the optical thickness of the AR coating, measured in units of wavelength, varies less rapidly than wavelength. This is pretty handy in visible light work, since the visible spectrum spans a factor of two in wavelength. The value of 0.25 wavelengths comes from a ray-optics analysis that ignores variations in reflection at the coating-lens or coating-substrate interface.

Archaeological Reports. A supplement to the Journal of Hellenic Studies (JHS, q.v.).

(Domain code for) Argentina.

This map server seems to be a compromise -- Las Malvinas (Falklands) yes; hefty pie-slice of Antarctica no. Fukuyama's ``The End of History'' was not the end of Geography. (Yes, yes, he didn't mean it that way, everybody judged by the title and not by the content. Doesn't matter; he was wrong anyway.)

See also AWWWA.

An FAQ for the soc.culture.argentina newsgroup, the #argentina IRC channel, and other Argentine nets can be found at the OSU hypertext faq archive. `` Governments on the WWW'' serves an Argentina page.

Argentina is a sad case. A country rich in natural resources and certain kinds of human resources, but very poor in social sanity. One Argentine joke goes that Argentina becomes rich at night, when Argentines are sleeping. Back when Rockefeller was a byword for wealth, the story was told that John D. Rockefeller visited Argentina and said -- ``it's a beautiful country, I want to buy it! But only on one condition: no Argentines.'' After hours of study, I have discovered the real cause of Argentina's problems, a cause only an AG (acronym glossarist) could have recognized. The fundamental problem Argentina suffers is an excess of organization. Argentines spend so much time creating, recreating, renaming, seceding from, retasking, and in general multiplying organizations, attending meetings, denouncing, resolving, campaigning, scheming for control, making new allies and punishing former allies, that they have no time left over to do any useful work.

ARgon. Atomic number 18. Third-period noble gas. It was discovered after Lord Rayleigh tried (1893) to measure the density of nitrogen gas accurately: he found that chemically-generated nitrogen gas was less dense than nitrogen separated from air, by a small but persistent amount. The reason was that his chemical separations relied on the assumption that nitrogen was the only component of air not being removed by reaction, but one percent of the atmosphere is argon, much less reactive yet than nitrogen gas. (This is slightly more impressive when you consider that an atom of argon is 42.6% heavier than a molecule of nitrogen, so the persistent density difference was half a percent.)

As a practical matter, this Ar is used much more often to represent the uncompounded element than as a part of a compound, since compounds of the rare gases are rare and fragile things. But benzene rings are very common, so you should be aware that in organic chemistry, the Ar symbol is used to represent a general aryl group.

Learn more (about argon) at its entry in WebElements and its entry at Chemicool.


Aristophanes. This (Ar.) is the established conventional abbreviation used by classicists (writing in English). It doesn't stand for Aristotle (Arist.). Aristophanes was reckoned in his time the greatest of the old Attic comedy writers. Mnemonic for the abbreviation:
'Ar! 'Ar! Oh, that's funny!

It works better if you think of the apostrophes as breathing marks.

ARkansas. If you had to pick a state for which the standard address http://www.state.ar.us/ did not work, wouldn't this one be it? Ah, it's up now. USPS abbreviation.

The Villanova University Law School provides some links to state government web sites for Arkansas. USACityLink.com has a page for Arkansas.

Artist and Repertoire. A music-industry term. If I'm ever going to sell the physics rock songs I've composed, I'll probably have to learn what A&R means too.

ARyl group. A group containing a benzene ring. The symbol is used in representations of general reactions, just as R is used to represent a general organic group. In context, there's no great danger of this Ar being confused with the elemental Ar.

When there are multiple general aryl groups to be represented, either primed (Ar' and Ar'') or subscripted (Ar1, Ar2, etc.) symbols might be used, but I think the subcripted scheme is more common. Sometimes Ar2 will represent two of the same aryl group, just to make sure you're awake and keep you on your twos.

Assistant Rector. A position of assistant respect in the Notre Dame University residence hall system. Each residence hall has a hierarchical system of one rector, assistant rectors, and resident assistants (RA).


Atene e Roma. `Athens and Rome.' An Italian classics journal catalogued in TOCS-IN.

The Greek letter theta is now widely taken to represent the voiceless sibilant represented by th in English words like thick. The sound has long been common in Germanic languages, as evidenced by the rune Þ that used to represent it (the sound has disappeared in High German). This sound value for the letter theta has been formalized in the IPA. Italian lacks that sound, and a tau-theta distinction is not observed in words borrowed from Greek. Castilian, as now pronounced in most of Spain, does have the Þ sound, but like Italian generally uses a Roman letter tee for any theta in a Greek loan word.

As it happens, the Italian and Spanish transcription is more true to the original pronunciation than is the English ``th.'' One of the clearest conclusions of phonemic reconstructions of Ancient Greek is that theta was not a sibilant. [You can look up the details in W. Sidney Allen: Vox Graeca (1968, 1987).] The sound assignment of theta in the IPA probably represents the strong influence of Henry Sweet and British Victorian Hellenism. (It also represents simple expedience: given the evolution of languages and the multiple application of a few alphabets to many and various languages' phonemes, every character assignment is to some degree arbitrary.)

What the tau-theta distinction represented in Ancient Greek was aspiration: tau and theta were articulated similarly, but theta was aspirated. If you speak only modern European languages (``SAE's'') then you probably don't usually notice the distinction. A guide to recognizing the distinction for the p sound can be found at the emic entry. It's a similar situation: the Greek letters pi and phi are unaspirated and aspirated versions of the same unvoiced bilabial plosive. Likewise, kappa and chi were unaspirated and aspirated versions of the unvoiced alveolar plosive (see the TeX entry).

Speakers of SAE's generally do use both aspirated and unaspirated consonants, but the distinction is allophonic. If we are systematic about it at all, we are unconsciously systematic. Degree of aspiration of t- and p-sounds in English stop consonants like /k,kh/, /p,ph/, /t,th/, typically depends on what sound follows. [Aspiration is indicated by a superscript aitch (h) in the IPA.]

In Indo-European (IE) languages of the India subcontinent, and in Semitic languages like Hebrew as they were spoken as recently as two thousand years ago, aspiration matters (``is phonemic''). Semitic alphabets, in addition to lacking vowels, did not indicate aspiration systematically. Various supplementary systems of ``pointing'' were developed for Hebrew, and the extant Tiberian pointing scheme preserves an aspiration distinction that in some cases is no longer observed, or that has evolved into a different distinction.

The transliteration scheme for Hebrew names that is used by the Roman Catholic Church follows the traditional Latin scheme for indicating aspiration -- an aitch following. An example of how this works is in one of the names of God, Adonai Ts'vaot in a common transliteration of the Modern Hebrew pronunciation. This was simply an epithet in Hebrew -- `Lord of hosts [armies]' -- and was sometimes translated. However, it eventually became one of the seven nomina sacra (`sacred names') of God, rendered Kyrios Sabaoth in Greek and Dominus Deus Sabaoth in Latin. The final aitch represents aspiration on the Hebrew letter tav.

(In this particular instance, the aitch used to indicate aspiration reflects an initial transliteration into Greek. Jerome, who knew Hebrew, usually translated the epithet directly into a corresponding Latin epithet -- Dominus Exercituum.)

Authors Registry. (Sic.) An authors' registry founded in 1996. ``[A] non-profit organization formed to help expedite the flow of royalty payments and small re-use fees to authors, particularly for new-media uses. It's been called the ASCAP for writers. Virtually every important writers' organization and more than 100 literary agencies cooperate with the Registry. We're the largest coming-together of authors ever.''

Hooray for us!!!

See also the Authors Guild.

Yes, yes, their homepage demonstrates that they know how to use apostrophes in normal writing; they've evidently chosen to use a plural-form attributive noun (authors) in their name just to drive the editors' registry to distraction. One may regard this as a historical quirk.

Auto-Regression. Not what happens to your car if you miss too many payments.

Name of the letter which is number 18 in the English alphabet. That's according to the OSPD4, which gives a plural ars. These two-letter and three-letter words are accepted by all three major Scrabble dictionaries. I've always written the letter name arr, but none of those dictionaries accepts this. No wonder I lost. (All three accept both es and ess, with their respective -es plurals; OSPD4 says they both name the next letter. I can't buy a break. Can I buy a vowel? Oops -- wrong game.)

Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology. ``The primary purpose of ARA is to promote excellence in hearing care through the provision of comprehensive rehabilitative and habilitative services.''

``Academy'' seems to be an especially popular word in the names of audiologists' professional organizations. Cf. AAA, ADA, and AAPPSPA.

Altstoff Recycling Austria, AG. A company that runs the Austrian counterpart of the German Green Point system (see DSD).

``Recycling''? ``Austria''? First Austria Presse Agentur (APA), now this. What language do they speak in Österreich (.at)?

American Recovery Association, Inc.

American Restroom Association. ``Restroom''? Is that what you're doing in there all that time? Finish up and get out! Other people want to go! See also this WTO entry.

American Rheumatism Association. This inevitably makes everyone think of Inspector Clouseau checking into his hotel and failing to make himself understood when he asks for his ``rhheeeuuum!'' BTW, the ARA is now the ACR.

American Running Association. (And here I thought everybody ran pretty much the same way.) Nothing at all to do with the other ARA.

AppleTalk Remote Access.

Archaeological Residue Analysis. Here are some words from an ARA Project at the Department of Anthropology at Lakehead University.
The Archaeological Residue Analysis (ARA) Project is a multi-disciplinary project that is examining archaeological residues and how they are analysed.

An increasing list of animal and plant residues such as blood, pollen, phytoliths, raphides, starch grains, fats, tissues, feathers, scales, fibres, hair and other biomarkers are increasingly identified on archaeological artefacts such as ceramics and lithic tools.

Ara. The official IAU abbreviation for the constellation named Ara. When you're going with t.l.a.'s, it doesn't leave you a lot of options.

Awards and Recognition Association. ``[An] organization of over 4,300 companies that design outstanding awards to recognize great achievements.'' They're talking about the actual physical tokens -- the plaques and such.

Back in 1989 or '90, I stopped into a coin shop in Cambridge to price an MBE. Fifty quid. I think that only got you the hardware (``used'').

A town in Alabama. Town name is pronounced with the first A long.

Arab League
League of Arab States. An agreement to form a ``League of [independent] Arab States'' was the principal plank of the ``Alexandria Protocol'' (1944). Prof. Ed Haynes at Winthrop Univ. maintains some generally favorable third-party information.

Aral Sea
This entry doesn't have a lot to say about the Aral Sea, or maybe the future Aral Salt Pond. Inadequate entries (too little of water and too much of industrial waste and fertilizer runoff) are part of the problem of the Aral Sea, now receded into two or three seas, so this entry is somehow appropriate. You can learn a bit more about it at its entry in Wikipedia.

All I wanted to say here is that the Aral in the name is not the adjective form of Ar, Ara, or any other noun. It may be obvious on reflection, but it looks and sounds like an adjective and it could have something to do with arid.

Thomas H. Huxley published an item entitled ``On a Piece of Chalk'' in 1868. He starts out describing the geographical extent of the chalk underlying much of England. He says the chalk ``may be traced as the shores of the Sea of Aral, in Central Asia.''

Atomic Resolution Analytical Electron Microscop{e | y}.

DRAM used in Digital Answering Machine application. ( Example here.)

Audio RAM. Good-enough DRAM used in Digital Answering Machine application. (Example here.)

ARabian AMerican (Petroleum) CO.

(California) Air Resources Board. Abbreviated CARB in the automobile industry. Also called by a lot of less nice names within the automobile industry.

Angiotensin Receptor Blocker.

Architectural Review Board. Computer Software architecture. See OpenGL.

American Reference Books Annual.

Hebrew and Arabic for `four.' In both languages, various related words, including the one for `(one) fourth,' begin in r (i.e. resh or ra, respectively). Among these the best-known to English-speakers is probably rubaiyat, plural of rubaiyah, `quatrain.' Originally Arabic, the term was adopted in Persian, whence it entered English via Edward Fitzgerald's inspired translation of (many of the) rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Arbeit Macht Frei
Words inscribed over the gateway at the Auschwitz death camp. If death is freedom, then the words were accurate enough, since those who were not gassed immediately were worked to death. The most literal translation would be `Work Makes [one] Free.' I've seen it translated `Work Makes Freedom'' (by Roth in Shop Talk, p. 5, for instance), but frei is just an adjective. The construction macht + [adjective] is a common idiom in German.

Spanish: `tree.' The word arbol is obviously a cognate of English words like arboreal (Spanish: arbóreo), ultimately from the Latin arbor, `tree.' We have some information on Spanish words for fruit trees at the fruta entry.

In Spanish versions of the Bible, the ``tree of knowledge of good and evil'' of Genesis chapter 2 is ``el ´bol del conocimiento del bien y del mal.'' (Just as in English this is often abbreviated as ``tree of knowledge,'' so in Spanish one has ``´bol del conocimiento.'') That is an ordinary wording for contemporary Spanish, and is used in the Nueva Versión Internacional, La Biblia de las Américas, and in the 1995 Reina-Valera edition. In older translations, however, particularly the Reina-Valera until as recently as 1960, it was ``el ábol de la ciencia del bien y del mal.'' This reflects the original older sense of science (in English and French) and ciencia, from the Latin scientia, `knowledge.' This usage is so archaic that when I saw a 1911 book with the title El Ábol de la Ciencia on the dollar table, I thought ``cool! a novel about science!'' and bought it. I even mentioned it in this glossary, and it took more than two years before I realized my error.

ARthropod-BOrne VIRUS.

(NIDA's) Addiction Research Center. Researching addiction since 1935. Looks like they can't quit!

Agence du revenu du Canada. English name: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It used to be the ADRC.

Aging Research Centre. ``Centre'' here apparently means ``central website.'' It's global, so it's spherically symmetric: you can put the center anywhere you like.

AIDS-Related Complex. In the early days, before HIV had even been isolated, there was a thought or a hope that this might be a milder form of the then-unidentified syndrome. Since AIDS had to be diagnosed from symptoms at that time, this kind of definitional matter was serious business (with insurance- and other financial consequences). ARC was afterwards understood to be really `just' early-stage, or symptomatically milder, HIV infection, just the same as AIDS. The term isn't much used anymore, since severity of symptoms varies dramatically over time.

Alberta Research Council. It's organized as a ``crown corporation,'' whatever that is, but it doesn't compete with private corporations.

American Red Cross.

(NASA's) Ames Research Center.

Annual Required Contribution.

Anti-Reflective (AR) Coating. Typically a quarter-wavelength film -- a zero of reflection amplitude occurs around 1/4 wavelength if the ARC has an index of refraction larger than the light-source medium and smaller than the light's destination medium. The zero occurs at exactly one quarter wavelength only in the limit that the indices of refraction are very different. More on frequency-dependence at AR entry.

Appalachian Regional Commission.

Arc, ARC
Widely used jargon, short for ArcGIS -- GIS software from Esri. A list of ArcGIS user groups, browsed on January 3, 2016, had only two UG's with ``ArcGIS'' in the name, and 16 others with ``Arc.'' (Like most groups listed, these were all in the US.) Another 28 or so had ``GIS'' (and not ``Arc'' or ``ArcGIS'') in the name. This ought to mean, at least in principle, that users of non-Esri software participate, and that is clearly true in some cases. GIS is a generic term, but Esri is the market leader in GIS software, and wouldn't seem to mind capturing the term. (They've managed to take over the term ``GIS-centric.'' Compare: when Ford ruled the roads, at least the company didn't try to take ``automotive'' private. Likewise, neither ``Andersen Windows and Doors'' nor any smaller company has tried to trademark the word ``windows,'' to say nothing of ``word'' itself. Hmmm.)

ArcGIS is the brand name that seems to cover the entire suite of Esri's software products. Esri brands many of its individual products with ``Arc,'' including ArcGIS Server, ArcCatalog, ArcIMS, ArcMap, ArcGIS Mobile, ArcPad, ArcSDE, and ArcToolbox. But perhaps they're not as as Arc-crazy as they once were, when the three levels of licensing (i.e., features) of ``ArcGIS for Desktop'' ArcView (now ``Basic''), ArcEdit (now ``Standard''), and ArcInfo (now ``Advanced''). If they'd rebranded ArcView as ``Basic101'' they could have preserved the all-important feature of constant string-length. (Ohn wait -- it was ``ArcEditor,'' not ``ArcEdit'': two missed opportunities.) Well, you can't have everything; I'm just glad they don't abuse ``solution,'' the way many software vendors do.

Arc in the name of all these products is at least an allusion to the word arc in its conventional sense of a segment of a circle. However, Esri also uses arc in a somewhat different technical sense as a kind of data element.

Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States. Original name of an organization that now calls itself simply The Arc. (Smart move.)

Australian Resuscitation Council.

Author Review Copy. Last chance for author or authors to make corrections before printing. At one time, ARC's were large-sheet off-prints (``galleys'') of typeset text. Now digital ARC's are standard.

Area Requiring Corrective Action. Area in the abstract sense of an area of competence.

Automobile Racing Club of America. A ``circle-track'' racing association. Vide goracing.com, VROOM!

At-Risk Child Care.


American Research Center in Egypt (.eg). Founded in 1948 to assist the archaeological programs of American institutions in Egypt. It eventually expanded its role and now also serves as a base for Egyptian area studies projects based in the US.


American Research Center in Egypt -- Northern California (chapter).


NorthWest chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt. ``Northwest'' here means the region around or in the University of Washington.


A website that posts news of archaeological and historical interest. Updated daily.

Archaeologies of Materiality
The title of a ``text,'' as they say, from Blackwell Publishing, 2005, edited by Lynn Meskell. Self-parody this good is hard to top. But can the content measure up? I'll never know, because there isn't enough caffeine in the world.

In the first paragraph of the introductory chapter, Meskell explains: ``That is one of the major aims of this volume, to provide an array of object orientations in particular and varied contexts, indeed the first to showcase substantive archaeological case studies devoted to the exploration of materiality.''

Foucault (Michel, not Léon) popularized the use of archaeology in the metaphorical sense of excavation of hidden significance (or anything like that) with the publication of his The Archaeology of Knowledge (L'Archéologie du Savoir, 1969). I don't know who popularized the pluralization of mass nouns as a mechanical way of indicating an author's admirable awareness of the subtle fact that things referred to by the same term differ, but with any luck that person is pushing up semanto-sarcophago-(onto)logical daisies as well.

Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations.

  1. Nickname for Archibald.
  2. The name of a comics series! It featured the characters Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, Veronica and many of their parents and high-school teachers!
  3. Name of software that ARCHIvEs multiple ftp sites (pronounced like the other Archies)! Does for ftp sites what Veronica was later designed to do for gopher sites! Both of these systems are obsolete or almost!

Archies, The
They had a hit late in 1969 with a sweet song ``Sugar Sugar,'' which included
Pour a little sugar on me honey!
among other similar lyrics.

In one of her last books (probably Wars I Have Seen, 1945), Gertrude Stein observes that in wartime sugar disappears but honey is plentiful.

Archie was an eponymous comic-strip character, see previous entry!


An owl who is Merlin's friend in Disney's ``The Sword and the Stone.'' Hey look, the map says Syracuse is in upstate New York. This was the only definition that made sense. Incidentally, Euclid is a street in Syracuse, and it doesn't meet any of its parallels.

Here's a bibliography.


A moderated announcement list and discussion group ``aiming to provide a platform for the announcement and review of archaeological publications (i.e., recently published or forthcoming books, journals, etc.). Updates and monthly additions to Archaeology on the Net Books Database will also be announced through ARCHPUB. ARCHPUB is mainly an announcement list with weekly 1 to 4 postings sent to the members by the list owner. These are collected from over 50 discussion groups and web sites. List members may contribute with their book announcements or reviews of particular titles. The list is open to professionals, students, and others with an interest in archaeology.''

To subscribe send the message:
subscribe ARCHPUB
to <majordomo@mail.serve.com>

More information is available at:

Audio Ringing COdec FIlter.

The American Review of Canadian Studies. A refereed quarterly multidisciplinary journal published by ACSUS. It receives funding from the Canada-US Fulbright Program / le Programme Fulbright Canada-É.U.

ARCS ``examines Canada and the Canadian point of view from an American perspective.'' Of course, this raises the question, to what extent an American academic perspective is particularly an American viewpoint. Whoa! Let me grab onto something -- my Weltanschauung is spinning out of control!

American Research Center in Sofia. A non-profit organization, registered as a charity in New York State, ``dedicated to facilitating academic research in Bulgaria and collaboration between scholars from North America and former communist countries in Southeast Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, The Union of Serbia and Montenegro). The main focus of the Center will be research in the humanities and social sciences (in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history, philology, among others), from prehistoric antiquity to the modern period.''

Arctic Wolf Pups at Play
I figured that given its size, this file didn't have enough images.

[Four arctic wolf pups playing]
(Above image from <http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/multimedia/images/gif/a/arcwolf4.gif>.)

Norman Rockwell advised, if a picture isn't going well, to add a dog. If it's still not going well, add two. I count four pups above. For more on Rockwell, see the NYC entry.

Of course, of course -- there's a site.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. A Pennsylvania program in place since 1972 that amounts to a sugar-coated nolo contendere plea agreement.

After charges of non-violent crimes are brought against someone without a previous criminal record, the prosecution may at its discretion ask the court to consider ARD, and the court at its discretion may offer the defense the opportunity to initiate ARD proceedings. If the defense accepts, a mostly closed hearing is held in which prosecution must and defense and any victim or victims may make presentations, after which the court may choose to offer what amounts to a plea bargain arrangement including up to two years of probation, restitution to victims and compensation for administrative costs (no fines or imprisonment).

The court may choose not to offer ARD (this decision may not be appealed) or the defendant may refuse the terms. In either case, the legal process continues normally (as if there had been no ARD hearing). The defendant's testimony in the ARD proceeding ``is immunized'' in the usual expression -- i.e., the testimony cannot be used against the defendant in another trial. You may feel it is the defendant and not the testimony that is immunized, but you'll have to take that up with the competent (?) authorities. (In this case at least, I didn't make up the usage, I just reported it.) The one exception to this rule on defendants' testimony is that it can be introduced into evidence in a prosecution based on the falsity of the information supplied.

If probation is violated, prosecution may proceed on the original charges. (In accepting an ARD, the defendant waives protection under statutes of limitations and relevant rights to speedy trial.)

Upon successful completion of the probationary period, the original charges are expected to be expunged, but the prosecution has an opportunity to object. Even though the charges are ``expunged,'' the computation of a sentence on any subsequent conviction can construe acceptance into an ARD as an admission of guilt...

Here's an unofficial link to the official rules of this game.

Acoustic Resonance Densitometry.

Sorry about the interruption. I had a sesame seed stuck to my elbow.
Advanced Research and Development. As opposed to retarded R & D, I suppose.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstallten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. `Association of Public Broadcasting Stations of the Federal Republic of Germany.' (In case you're wondering, öffentlich means `public,' and öffentlich-rechtlichen means `according to public law.' It does seem a bit roundabout.)

An amalgamation of broadcasting stations of the German states (Länder). Since 1954 it has run the Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen, `First German Television.'

[Phone icon]

Automatic RingDown. If one phone goes off hook, the other rings. Functions like an intercom system, but unlike typical intercom systems set up within a building or work site, ARD operates across the phone system.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Aspect-Ratio-Dependent Etching.

(U. S. Army) Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. Located at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.

Alternatives Research & Development Foundation. Affiliated with the AAVS; seeks alternatives to animal-based research. For a bit on their activities, see this AWA entry.

[column] It was originally (before 1994) called the Demeter Fund. Can you guess why?

Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Acronym-Rich Environment. Probably either the military or a logomachic computer game.

All-Routes Explorer.

An old (1970's) telecommunications switching system from Ericsson, long ago superseded by AXE (q.v.).

A square decameter.

Association of Records Executives and Administrators. A non-profit organization chartered to facilitate the exchange of records management information, founded in November 1955 by twelve records administrators from various New York corporations and NYC municipal agencies. Merged in 1975 with a similar organization named ARMA, to create a new organization called ARMA.

I suppose, given the era, you could be forgiven for thinking that these were vinyl records. But they weren't. These were data records. Information and even information technology existed before computers, and for a while longer largely independently of computers! (Sex, on the other hand, is a different story; see the 1963 entry.)

Two-dimensional generalization of the length concept. For even more heavy-duty intellectual heavy lifting, see the ramo entry.

[Phone icon]

area code
First three digits of full US telephone number following country code. Always changing. You can convert between city/region/country and corresponding city/area/country codes using this utility.

American Real Estate Society. ``... a society of and for high-level practicing professionals [pretentiously described, elsewhere on the page, as thought leaders] and real estate professors at colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world.'' I like that phrasing. I'd like it even more in the form ``the United States and also the world.''

Plural of the SI unit of area. One are equals 100 square meters. The unit is used throughout the United States and the world, except for the US.

ARETHUSA. This is the code used by APh for the magazine whose name is Arethusa. After all, I wouldn't pollute this glossary with entries for nonabbreviations. If I started doing that, there'd be no end of it.

You noticed that the code is the same as the name! Very good: this is true.

American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. This isn't the sort of acronym you have to fight for exclusive use of. Trying to come up with a pronunciation of that acronym reminds me of that horse-land Gulliver visited last -- the land of the Houyhnhnms. My Anglophile Modern Satire teacher at Westfield Senior High (sorry -- it was a couple of years ago -- I forgot her name) used to pronounce that win-ums. I can't help with AREUEA. Gulliver also met the Yahoos there.

AREUEA publishes REE and organizes three conferences a year.

Asian-Pacific Research Foundation for Infectious Diseases. In Seoul.

Archiv für Religionsgeschichte. German title that might've been `Annals of the History of Religion' in English. ISSN 1436-3038. Ed. by Jan Assmann, et al.

``In the last decades interest in the history of religions of the ancient world has grown because of both the discovery of new evidence and new theoretical approaches resulting from closer contact with other disciplines. This growing interest has called in 1999 for a new journal that will bring the various approaches to bear on the primary evidence, and thus highlight the various points of philology, history, archaeology, iconology, historical anthropology and social sciences. In addressing this need, the Archiv für Religionsgeschichte will continue the high standards of the once leading Archiv für Religionswissenschaften, while the change in title reflects the historical focus of the new periodical [volumes numbered from 1 in 1999]. There will be room for broad interdisciplinary thematic discussions by various authors as well as for detailed interpretations of individual, or groups of, documents and pieces of other evidence. The geographical emphasis will comprehend the ancient Mediterranean Basin and the ancient Middle East extending to India and Iran.''

Argument. The variable to be mapped.

Spanish for Algeria. Algiers is Argel. The adjective and gentilicial forms are argelino and argelina (male and female). Cf. Algeria, algeriana.

This is probably as good a place as any to mention three related consonants l, r, and rr of Spanish. The lateral consonant l is close enough to English l, but neither of the vibrants is particularly like an American or English r. The double-r represents a trill sound, which is made by gargling against the roof of the mouth (the front half of the palate). The same sound is written with a single r when it occurs at the beginning of a syllable. In all other cases (possibly neglecting foreign loans whose spelling has not yet naturalized), a single r is pronounced as a flap consonant, by tapping the tip of the tongue against the back of the gums of the upper front teeth. The same sounds and pretty much the same spellings are used in other Spanish languages and in Basque. (Note, however, that ll represents diffent sounds, even differing among dialects of Castilian. Also, in Basque and the neighboring Romance languages of Gascon and Aragonese, a vibrant cannot occur at the beginning of a word.)

Now that the consonants have been introduced, we can examine an interesting phenomenon that seems to distinguish Castilian from most other European languages, which is frequent exchange of r and l consonants. Well, we can do it, anyway. And we will! But later.


[Football icon]

A member of the CFL team in Toronto. The team started out as a rowing club, and the name was chosen in reference to the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts. The original Argonauts were heroes and demigods. I don't know much about the original Argonauts of Toronto, but they apparently decided that they needed an off-season activity as well, and went into rugby, which evolved into Canadian football.

Inventing new sports seems to be a major Canadian winter activity. Dr. James Naismith (born in Almonte, Ontario) invented basketball in 1891. Read more about it here.

For the Toronto Argonauts, finding something to do in the Winter was probably healthy. Jason offers a monitory example. After he came home, he put the Argo in dry-dock. He would loll away the time under its prow thinking back on his exploits as a young prince, while the Argo just rotted away. One day the prow rotted clear through and fell on his head. Having big lumber fall on your head is always bad for your health, and in the event old Jason died. That's how I remember it, anyway. I may come back and fix it if I remembered it wrong, but I may not. You know, Greek myths usually were available in multiple versions. The standard version of this story is the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes.

I suppose if you want to be extra safe in this kind of situation, the thing to do is take up keeping your ship in good repair as a winter activity. More about the ship of Theseus some other time.

An eight-armed cephalopod closely related to the octopus. The animals exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism. The males are about one tenth the size of the females (which range in length from 5 to 30 cm). One of the arms of a male is apparently an independently targetable reproductive organ. During mating this ``hectocotyle'' detaches from the male; it has independent power of locomotion and is believed to seek out a female. The hectocotyle fertilizes the eggs of a single female and remains in her body.

[column] In the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts, Jason flees with the fleece, on board the Argo with Medea and her brother. King Aeëtes, Medea's father and erstwhile owner of that golden fleece, is in hot pursuit and gaining. Medea kills her brother Absyrtus and cuts his body in pieces. (She throws them overboard in a successful ploy to escape their father, who slows down to retrieve them. Winning races by dropping things the faster racer will slow down for is a recurring theme in Greek myth, as is the murder of close relatives, so this plot device is only to be expected. What I don't understand is, why did the pieces float? My working hypothesis: Absyrtus was fat.)

The phrase ``independently targetable'' occurs in the expansion of MIRV. There the multiple re-entry vehicles that are targetable independently of each other. Between spawning seasons, a male argonaut regenerates a hectocotyle. Each year the spawning cycle begins after the females secrete a translucent, paper-thin spiral shell (not connected to the female's body) that serves as an egg case. This shell gives rise to an alternate name for the argonaut: ``paper nautilus.'' Six species of argonaut are known, comprising the genus Argonauta.

Another eight-legged species with much larger females than males is the black widow. The male is able to approach and inseminate the female by a mating ritual that temporarily suspends the female's voracious and cannibalistic behavior, but he usually doesn't get a chance to mate twice, since the female usually snaps out of it before he makes good his escape. As a male, I can see the advantages of the argonaut solution.

You know about the Lemnian women, right?

Among insects, the praying mantis is famous for behavior that resembles both of the above examples in some respects. The female praying mantis is somewhat larger than the male. As with black widows, the mating process is death for the male and meal for the female. However, as in the case of the argonaut, the fertilization of eggs is performed by an organ separated from its head. It turns out that the male does not really start thrusting until the female has started eating his head off. Once his head is completely off, the decapitated male's pene continues to fertilize the female's eggs.

The praying mantis male has a single pene, but many insect species have paired hemipenes. The penes and hemipenes of various insect species' males fit into the females rather intricately, rather like a key in a lock. Pene differentiation thus represents an important mechanism of speciation. Correspondingly, the careful examination of penes is an important taxonomic, uh, tool. Vladimir Nabokov, most famous today as the author of Lolita, was an avid and expert entomologist who specialized in certain kind of butterfly (I forgot the name, okay?). He spent hours tracking down these butterflies, capturing them, and cutting them open to examine the penes. His day job was literature professor.

The Ancient Greeks apparently never noticed that many insects have hemipenes. They did notice that swans have them, and thus regarded the swan as an especially sexually endowed animal.

argon ion
Ar+ ion laser. Continuous mode 488 and 541 nm.

argumentum ad verecundiam
Latin, `argument from modesty.' Appeal to authority. A fallacy in formal logic, a ubiquity in ordinary discourse.

Often the medieval form ``vericundiam'' is encountered.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. ``The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), founded in 1963, is an international nonprofit association of health care providers, researchers, and educators.''

Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals. The ACR hosts some links to nonexistent pages for its fraternal organization.

Australian Rural Health Research Institute.

Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

Aries. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

ARIstotle (i.e., Aristoteles) is a popular Greek given name, and Ari is a popular nickname form of it. Aristotle Onassis was known as Ari. Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of JFK, married Ari Onassis and was known as Jackie O. Ari's daughter was known as a poor little rich girl.

Arthritis and Rheumatism International. ``International''! It seems that arthritis and rheumatism are on the move.

Actually, the word rheumatism is ultimately derived from the Ancient Greek root rheu-, to flow, as in the famous assertion of Heraclitus that panta rhei (`everything flows'). The noun rheûma referred to a `flow' or `stream,' and the verb rheumatízein `to snuffle,' taken into medical Latin as rheumatisare. The archaic word rheum in English, and cognates in Romance, meant `mucus secretion' specifically, or a liquid ``defluxion'' in general. The association of various diseases with rheum was made before the development of modern medicine; it was based partly on symptomatology and largely on ignorance.

Autism Research Institute.

Automatic (hotel or motel) Room Identification.

Allison Research Index of Art and Design.

Association Représentative des Initiatives en Basse-vision.

Angle-Resolved Ion and Electron Spectroscopy.

AutoRegressive-Integrated-Moving-Average. Cf. ARMA. I'll let you know as soon as I find out if there's really any difference.

Agence Régionale d'Information Scientifique et Technique.

Annual Review of Information Science and Technology.


ARISTotle. (Aristoteles was the nominative form in Greek.) This (Arist.) is the established conventional abbreviation used by classicists (writing in English). Standing alone to represent an author, it only means Aristotle and not Aristophanes (the Aristophanes, abbreviated Ar.). When Arist. is followed by another abbreviation in italics, that is the abbreviation of the Latin title of one of his works. If Arist. is followed by another abbreviation that is not italicized, then the two abbreviated words probably stand for somebody else who was also an Aristophanes.

Mnemonic for the abbreviation: Aristophanes came first and grabbed the shorter approximation. Heck, even Aristocles came first and had shorter abbreviations (of his nickname Plato, no matter where you cut it off).

Remember, you can't spell Aristarchus without star.

Applications and Research Involving Space Technologies Observing The Earth's field from Low-Earth-orbit Satellites.

This acronym was not contrived; they just worked on getting a compact but accurate description, and it happened to work out to this acronym. Sure. (British: Right.)

Frequently misspelled ARISTOTLES.

In the movie Accident (1967), Charley (Stanley Baker) reads from a learned journal...

A statistical analysis of sexual intercourse at Kolenzo University, Milwaukee showed... that
  • 70% did it in the evening,
  • 29.9% between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and
  • 0.1% during a lecture on Aristotle.

Aged Professor: I'm surprised to hear that Aristotle is on the syllabus in the State of Wisconsin.

An IBM trademark. If you think that's funny, consider the FAA. But wait, there's more: Aristotle Internet Access gives you electronic access to fresh organic food from Arkansas from anywhere on the planet. And from NASA...

...um, I don't know. I must have had some ironic usurpation of namespace territory in mind when I wrote the entry, but I forgot what it was supposed to have been and it doesn't -- oh wait! It had been misalphabetized. See ARISTOTELES. Sorry. Have a nice day.

An MS-DOS archive program.

Adjusted Ring Length. In a one-way communication-ring topology, the maximum distance a signal has to travel. Easy to compute: take the ``circumference'' of the ring (i.e., the sum of the lengths of the cables between adjacent nodes) and subtract the length of the shortest cable. (The subtraction is made because messages don't go all the way around, since a node talks to itself directly rather than around the ring.)

Army Research Laboratory.

Association of Research Libraries.

The ARL Latin Americanist Research Resources Project maintains a Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents.

Australian Rugby League.

Alaska Resources Library and Information Services.

ARt LIbraries Society of North America.

Advanced Run-Length Limited (encoding).

Association of Record Librarians of North America. Established in 1928 by the American College of Surgeons, to ``elevate the standards of clinical records in hospitals and other medical institutions.''

The organization has undergone many name changes since 1928, and its mission does not appear to have changed substantively. They'll probably keep changing the name, so it seems more practical to make this the organization's main entry. In 1938 it became the American Association of Medical Record Librarians (AAMRL), which was apparently deemed appropriate because the membership was mostly American. Duh. In 1970 it became the American Medical Record Association (AMRA). because it had been over three decades since the previous name change, and anyway ``librarians'' sounds kind of dowdy. In 1991 it became CURSE THIS MAC! EVEN CUTTING-AND-PASTING IS DIFFICULT!

Take a deep breath... count to ten...

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), because ``information'' is sexier than ``records.'' Nobody noticed the name change, and they kept writing things like ``ART (accredited by AMRA).'' Therefore, to improve name recognition and, uh, to reflect advances in the field and, let's face it, to stick it to em', they also changed the names of the accredited credentials ART and RRA. To be fair, ARLNA and its successors have a habit of changing credential names as well as the organization's name. It seems that RRA previously replaced RRL, though not so cleanly as RHIA replaced RRA.

Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative.


The (UK) Association for Latin Teaching. Founded in 1911 as the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, and continued to use the original acronym after changing its name.

Acorn RISC Machine.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage. I've heard this pronounced like the ordinary word arm in a radio ad.

Advanced RISC (q.v.) Machines. A partnership of Cirrus Logic, GEC Plessey, Sharp, TI, and VLSI Technology.

They make a big point of the fact that the large size of RISC code has been off-putting, so they've developed different instruction sets to make RISC code denser.

Anhysteretic ReManence.

Anti-Radiation Missile.

Asynchronous Response Mode.

Automotive Recyclers of Minnesota. ``Automotive Recyclers of Minnesota is an association of approximately 100 automotive recyclers in Minnesota all of whom supply used auto parts to individuals, collision repairers, insurance repairers, and other out of state recyclers. Most auto parts are warranted and can be shipped anywhere.'' Huh. And I thought all they did was pull off the tires and sell the rest for scrap.

German adjective meaning `poor.' (Poverty poor. Poor in the sense of impecunious. Arm you would give alms for.)

American Records Management Association. Became ARMA (q.v.) in a 1975 merger.

American Rock Mechanics Association. Its domain name is ARMA rocks dot org.

Annular Ring Microstrip Antenna. The word annular comes from the Latin word annulus, which means `ring.' To bend over backwards to be fair to this coinage, annulus in conventional English usage refers more specifically to the area between two concentric circles on a flat surface, and that's the sort of ring an ARMA is usually made of.

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Association for Renaissance Martial Arts. This was formerly known as the Historical Armed Combat Association. Perhaps this was not a smooth name change, from the acronymic point of view, but it seems more precise, and it is admirable for another reason.

Association of Records Managers and Administrators. Just for the record, let me point out that it was created in the 1975 merger of the Association of Records Executives and Administrators (AREA) and the American Records Management Association (ARMA).

Back when I was in graduate school, we all admired Steve (doing a mathematical physics dissertation with Wightman) for the smooth operator he was. I think perhaps it was Marvin (Applied Math program) who first said that ``when Steve takes a step, eight derivatives go to zero.'' Anyway, I just want to award a Stevie to ARMA for its smooth name change; I'm sure it has set some kind of record for smoothness. Come to think of it, another kinda ARMA is mathematically smooth by design.

Nowadays, ARMA suppresses the expansion of its acronym altogether and identifies itself as ``ARMA International: The Association for Information Management Professionals.'' See the sealed acronym entry for other examples of such name evolutions.

AutoRegressive-Moving-Average. Cf. ARIMA. I'll let you know as soon as I find out if there's really any difference.

Spanish and Latin word for `weapon.'

Ácido ribonucleico. Spanish for `RNA,' q.v. Cf. ADN.

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

American Radiological Nurses Association. From the look of the organization's logo, it seems they had their very own spirograph.

Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders. I suppose childhood alcoholism could be a cause of ARND, but the most common ARND are associated with FAS. In consequence, the ARND component of FAS, written FAS/ARND, is practically a synonym of ARND.

Academic and Research Network of Slovenia. (Slovenia is .si.)

(US) ARmy National Guard. The R disambiguates this from the Air National Guard.

My apologies to the record managers and the Slovenian researchers and all, but we really seem to be in the horse latitudes of this glossary. Why not visit the exciting SN entry, which eventually gets around to saying something indecisive about Arnim? (If you think that's an equivocal recommendation, you should hear Gary urging me to meet some woman he thinks I might conceivably not be entirely repulsed by, and might eventually even find interesting -- I mean, if looks don't matter.)

A political ally of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland. Now ARNNL.

Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Arnold Encyclopedia
Now look, traveling back in time, governating by recall and initiative, and amending the US constitution so you can be president, okay, but somewhere a line must be drawn! Hmmm. Okay, that's The Arnold Encyclopedia of Real Estate, by Alvin L. Arnold. (Second Edition with the assistance of Eric Stevenson, Marshall E. Tracht, and Paul D. Lapides, published in 1993 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.) Gotta admire anyone who writes a major reference work all by himself.

Aerial Refueling Operator.

Airport Reservation Office. N.B.: Airport, not airline. The office within the FAA's ATCSCC that allocates takeoff and landing slots at high-density traffic US airports. As of 2001, four are designated high-density traffic airports: JFK, La Guardia (LGA), O'Hare (ORD), and Ronald Reagan Washington National. The ARO also requires slot reservations via STMP for airports with temporary above-normal traffic, typically caused by sporting events.

Army Research Office. The Army OXR.

Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

Post-classical Greek borrowed so many verbs from Latin that Modern Greek has an verb class for them, with the infinitives ending in -aro, evidently reflecting the largest class of Latin verbs (whose infinitives end in -are). The one verb class absorbed loan verbs from all four verb classes of Latin.

A similar thing happened in German with French verbs. The four Latin verb classes collapsed to three in French. [This happened generally in Western Romance languages: two of the verb classes had infinitives ending in -ere and were distinguishable by the length (the vowel quantity) of the prerhotic e. As the length distinction ceased to be observed, the distinction became hard to maintain.] In French the noninitial a's shifted to e's (there must be some further condition, possibly to do with stress, but I'm not familiar with the details) and -er became the infinitive ending of the largest verb class. When French verbs were adopted into German in large numbers, they all received infinitive endings -ieren. From that point conjugation is straightforward, since the patterns of weak conjugation simply involve replacing the -en systematically with other endings.

Despite widespread iotization of Greek vowels, the alpha in the -aro ending still resembles the a in the original Latin -are. In terms of modern pronunciations on the other hand, the ier of the German verb ending -ieren most closely resembles the French verb ending -ir and not the more common -er. I can't explain that. (Actually, I can explain it, but not with any confidence that I am correct.)

Spanish, `ring.' Perhaps more of a hoop. A ring worn on a finger is un anillo. Anillo comes from the Latin anellus, which was a diminutive form of anus (with a long a). Anulus was another diminutive form and also meant `finger ring.' (A medieval spelling error led to the modern English spelling annulus.) The learned dictionaries I've consulted disagree somewhat on the original sense or the semantic evolution of anus. In classical Latin it referred to both `anus' and occasionally to anything rounded, including a ring. It seems to have evolved from a word for `seat' generally, with `anus' as well as `hemorrhoids' evolving as metonymic senses. There evidently to be some disagreement whether the more general `round thing' sense represents a separate word with its own etymology, or a sense evolution from, say `[round] butt.' The etymology of aro (the, ah, subject of this entry) is less clear.

Active Range Of Motion. A biokinetics term. Typically, the angle through which a joint can be turned by the person whose body the joint is part of (as opposed to something or someone other than that person, in which case we're dealing with PROM).

Amateur Radio Observation Service.

Plural of the Spanish word aro. That's right, I'm inflating the lemma count.

Army Research Office - Washington.

Address Resolution Protocol. Defined in RFC 826. Protocol used to bind an IP address to Ethernet/802.2 address.

American Registry of Pathology. Getting sick? Register so your friends will know what to give to celebrate your convalescence!

Advanced Research Projects Agency (of the U.S. DoD). Same as DARPA. DARPA is the new name, DARPA was the old name. It was ARPA in between.

(Domain code for) Ye Olde Style ARPAnet, funded by ARPA.

Atlantic Region Philosophers Association. ``[F]ormed in 1970 to foster research and scholarship within the philosophical community in Atlantic Canada. Its main function is to hold an annual conference where Atlantic Canadian philosophers (and visitors) can discuss their work.''

Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy. A research funding agency of the U.S. DoE.

The original of the internet. Intended for military application.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy.

Advanced Radioisotope Power System. Fancy RTG of the future. Radioisotope power sources have been used for remote locations on earth, but generally speaking, the main application for which they are an attractive option is space exploration. A number of radioisotopes offer different power densities and half-lives, but NASA has standardized on plutonium oxide (in GPHS modules -- extensively tested explosion- and earthfall-tested containers).

RTG's have traditionally used cascaded semiconductor thermoelectric cells. ARPS's differ from current RTG's primarily in the method to be used in converting heat to energy. At STAIF 2003, Mohamed S. El-Genk of UNM presented ``Energy Conversion Options for Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems'' [published in AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 654, pp. 368-375 (2003)]. Options considered included improved versions of current STE's, Alkali-Metal Thermal-to-Electric Conversion (Na-AMTEC and K-AMTEC), and Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE's). Specific power worked out to between 4 and 10 We/kg for all options.

Automated Routing and Permitting System.


Average Revenue Per User.

Automat{ ic | ed } Repeat reQuest. ARQ protocols use feedback to request re-transmission of damaged (and consequently erased) packets.

Academy of Radiology Research. From the logo, it looks like their radiology-standard spirograph is broken.


Americans for Responsible Recreational Access. ``[F]ormed to ensure that outdoor enthusiasts can keep their right to enjoy and use public lands and waterways.'' Cf. BRC.

Infinitive of a German verb meaning `fix,' borrowed from the Spanish verb of the same meaning with infinitive arreglar. I didn't find it in any of the few dictionaries I checked, and googling suggests that the lemma is rare and possibly restricted to Spanish-German bilinguals, but my mom encountered it in a context with no apparent Spanish-language connection.

Arrhenius plot
A plot of the log of some quantity against inverse temperature. The slope (for an activated process) is minus the activation energy. Vide activated.

Arrhenius was an important Swedish chemist who early in the twentieth century wanted the then-new developments in atomic science to be a part of the domain of chemistry rather than of physics. It is partly due to his influence that Ernest Rutherford, who inferred the nature of the nuclear atom (electrons spread out around a small positively charged nucleus) from the results of Geiger and Marsden's scattering experiments, was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry instead of Physics. Rutherford used to say ``All science is either physics or stamp collecting.'' He described electrons in the nuclear model of an atom as being ``like a few flies in a cathedral.'' Rutherford made some early progress in radio transmission (``wireless communication'') but gave it up when someone told his advisor J. J. Thomson (discoverer of the electron) that prospects for commercialization were poor. Lord Kelvin (yes, the Kelvin of the temperature scale, and too many accomplishments to list) tried and failed to get financial backing for Rutherford's experiments. Guglielmo Marconi also did not have outside funding. At age twenty-one he made the necessary breakthroughs working in a laboratory he set up in his parents' home.

Spanish adverb meaning `above.' Used with general prepositions. For example, arriba de is equivalent to the prepositionals `above, over, on top of'; para arriba means `upward.' (For more on the adverbial use, see pata.)

Arriba is also a form of the verb arribar (`arrive'). Primarily, it is the third-person singular present-tense form.

As an exclamation, ¡arriba! can be roughly equivalent to ¡viva! Coincidentally, it seems about equally awkward to translate ¡Viva Zapata! as `Live Zapata!' and `Up with Zapata!'

The word is best known in English as the characteristic exclamation of a Mexican cartoon rodent, I think it was. The closest this comes to any common usage I know of is ¡arriba! as the exhortation `rise!' (or `drink up!').

Interestingly, the word originates from the Latin ad ripam, meaning `to the border.' This origin is clearer from obsolete senses of the Spanish word: `forward, further on, to the opposite side.' ``Onward and upward,'' as they say.

American Radio Relay League.

Amateur Radio Repeater Network.

Le caractère arrobe is French for `the at sign.' To wit: @.

Anti-Resonant Reflecting Optical Waveguide.

Spanish, `rice.' But not `Spanish rice' -- that'd be paella.

American Roentgen Ray Society. Roentgen discovered X-rays. Please don't mind the hyphenation in this entry; I'm following inconsistent but established convention. ARRS publishes the AJR.

Animal Rights Resource Site.

During 2002, and as late as March 12, 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) used the expression ``acute respiratory syndrome'' in the generic sense, referring to various apparently unrelated disease outbreaks. The last outbreak to be so designated was later called SARS. If the generic term had been abbreviated as an acronym, it should have been written ARS. This gives a whole new meaning to the Hippocratic aphorism -- ARS longa, vita brevis. (That's Horace's version, I think, though the translation of the original techne macro, bios brachis is pretty much a no-brainer.)

I think it's been suggested that I give a version in English. Okay: ``The art is long [there is much to know], life is short.''

Agricultural Research Service (of the US Department of Agriculture -- USDA).

a.r.s., ARS
alt.religion.scientology. A Usenet newsgroup. Subscribers are generally unsympathetic to that religion, so possibly it would have been helpful simply to call it <alt.fan.religion.scientology>, but if you think so then I kindly ask you to take the discussion to the <news.groups> newsgroup or whatever.

American Radium Society. ``Founded in 1916, the American Radium Society is the oldest society devoted to the study and treatment of cancer. As a multidisciplinary organization, members include, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, gynecological oncologists and, medical oncologists. As its objectives the Society promotes the study of cancer in all of its aspects; encourages liaison among the various medical specialists and allied scientists concerned with the treatment of cancer and to continues scientific study of the treatment of the cancer patient through its annual meeting and educational publications.'' If they changed the name, it would save a lot of explanation.

American Rhinologic Society. With a name like that, who needs a set-up? Heck, even the punch line is superfluous. ``The American Rhinologic Society is the world's largest physician organization whose mission focuses upon the medical and surgical treatment of patients with diseases of the nose and paranasal sinuses. Patient care, research and education are integral to the ARS mission.''

International currency symbol for the Argentine currency, which as of this writing (2005) is the peso. The letter S is used because even though the name is the same, the name has changed. That is, ARP was taken, since it refers to an earlier Argentine currency.

For most of the twentieth century, one or another peso has been the national currency of Argentina. In 1881 a unified currency system was first established in the country, and the official name of the currency reflected that: ``peso moneda nacional.'' The symbol used for it in Argentina was the $ sign. This peso lasted until 1969, when due to inflation, it was decided to replace it with a new peso. One of the compelling arguments for the change seems to have been that peso amounts had become too large for calculating machines. I suppose that's the last time that argument was convincing.

The new currency was called -- so help me -- ``peso ley 18.188'' (`Law 18,188 peso'). They should consider revaluing the laws some day. A factor of ten and that old law would be an easier-to-handle 1,818.8. Anyway, the new money was popularly known as the ``peso ley,'' and in writing, prices stated in terms of the new pesos were indicated with $L in front. Amounts in the older currency came to be indicated by m$n and M$n. I'll try to find out what the m and n stood for. Best guess for now: moneda nacional.

(In all these cases, after a transitional period it becomes unnecessary to qualify the currency symbol to distinguish new and old. However, Argentina has spent much of the time since 1969 in transitional periods.) The new-currency/old-currency exchange in 1969, like all subsequent exchanges, was by a convenient factor of a power of ten: $L 1 = m$n 100. Little did they know.

Inflation got worse. The peso ley entered circulation in 1970, former dictator Juan Perón was elected president with an overwhelming majority in 1973, and the inflation rate actually began to come down. He died on July 1, 1974, and was succeeded by the vice president, Isabela Perón (his third wife). By 1975, inflation was again high. I'm not saying everything else was hunky-dory, you understand, but that's just not the focus of this entry. There was a spate of foreign-executive kidnappings for ransom which helped fund a growing leftist (Montonero) insurgency, and generally the economy was a shambles. The coup came in 1976.

Hyperinflation has some weird expansionary benefits. When my folks visited in 1979 or 1980, building construction in Buenos Aires was going on round-the-clock. Overtime was expensive, sure, but at a certain point that became less important than the fact that slower construction meant later and therefore more expensive outlays. Similarly, people spent money as fast as they could, because it was self-immolating a hole in their pockets. Once at a clothing store, my mother was asked by another customer to translate the number on a price tag into words, the same way science popularizations explain exponential notation with strings of repeated ``million.'' My dad was talking with his friend David when his son came in and asked for a few million to put gas in the car. (He must have been talking in terms of the old currency, the way people will persist in doing. That's why you need a second devaluation to make the first one stick.) Inflation was at 600% per year in 1981. Or something like that. When the numbers get that big they get hard to estimate. The ``breadbasket'' distorts, you know? In December, the junta leadership was reshuffled, and Army General Galtieri was named president.

I was TA-ing Sophomore Physics Lab one early April day in 1982 when an Argentine friend excitedly brought me the happy news of the Falklands invasion. Happy him, anyway, and happy most Argentines, for a little while. When I asked why the invasion was a good thing, he gave me an answer that in its cheerful cynicism was perfectly Argentine: that the invasion was a brilliant stroke, because it would unite the people behind the government. This it did, and it might have continued to do so, had British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher been the pewter lady my friend and the generals mistook her for. (To adapt Chaucer's phrase quoted at the gold standard entry: ``if iren ruste, what shal sterling do?'')

So Britain recaptured the Falklands, General Galtieri was replaced, and that year Argentine inflation was even worse. Argentina's central bank (called El Banco Central de la República Argentina -- I mean, what did you expect?) for the first time issued notes in denominations of one million pesos ($L 1.000.000). In 1983, the ``peso argentino'' was introduced: $A 1 = $L 10.000 (that's ten-thousand-to-one, you unnerstan'?). In December 1983, there were free elections and Raul Alfonsín (Radical Party) was elected president.

In 1985, Alfonsín introduced the ``austral,'' A 1 = $A 1.000 -- a factor of 1000 in two years' time. What the heck, by now anybody could buy a cheap calculator for a few grand. (By the way, the currency symbol was a capital letter A with the horizontal line doubled.) An ambitious economic program was introduced along with it. I can't remember the details, but it must have been one of those new-cash-register-and-typewriter-sales-driven expansions.

The inflation fever finally broke in 1989, and in 1991 another peso was introduced: the nuevo peso. (Another office-equipment boom!) It was also known as the peso convertible because the government pegged its exchange rate at one nuevo peso per US dollar. So the new peso symbol was $, and that was unambiguous for practical purposes since prices were the same whether quoted in pesos or in dollars. As usual, the new currency involved a devaluation: $ 1 = A 10.000. I get all tingly when I see things like that, and wonder about the vapor pressure of gold.

The convertibility regime held until the economic collapse of early 2001, and since then the peso has floated at between three and four to the dollar. (It's still the same old nuevo peso, `new peso,' but after ten years it's clear enough which peso is meant that one needn't state the qualifier.) The symbol U$S is now used to indicate US dollars as opposed to pesos ($).

It's probably worth mentioning an element of continuity through the currency changes. Paper money in Argentina, as in many other countries, is color-coded. Sort of like casino chips -- another risky investment. (Some countries also use different-size bills. That would just confuse my wallet.) In Argentina, one doesn't read the printed denomination any more than one reads the embossed number on a coin. So when the currency changes, the same combination of colored bills buys something whose price hasn't changed since the conversion, even though a few zeroes go by the board.

In case you had trouble keeping your eye on the ball, 1013 of the pre-1969 pesos buy one (1, or 100) new peso. If you bought long-term savings bonds, I imagine you're out of luck. Then again, I just checked and saw an ordinary 5-centavo (m$n0,05) bill from 1891 at auction, bid up to $22.99 so far, or about U$S7, for an exchange rate of 10-2.66 m$n per $1. Hey, that makes sense too: the 1891 m$n was a strong currency!

ISO 4217, the international currency-symbol standard, was established in 1978, and over the period since then Argentina has had four distinct currencies. Each new currency needs a different letter. If the current new-currency introduction rate holds, they've got centuries to go before they run out of alphabet.

Arizona Revised Statutes.

Automatic Route Selection.

Airport Radar Service Area.

ARS Central Committee. Facetious name for secret nonorganization of the nefarious enemies of the Co$.

German noun (male) meaning `arse.'

A British word that allows one to distinguish between a part of the body and an animal called an ass (to say nothing of ass). Because most British accents have a weak arr, however, the distinction in speech is noted mostly in the vowel.

Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative. Funded by the NSF. See also AMSP.

``Empowering Appalachian Children with Mathematics and Science.''

Sounds like the hook for a really bad horror flick. Barefoot children in sun-bleached rags do the zombie gait while growling in preternaturally low voices --


AL - GO - RI - PHM !


Air Route Surveillance Radar. Radar operated by an ARTCC, used to track flights outside the immediate area of an airport (i.e., between terminal areas). Compare the complementary ASR.


Accredited Record Technician. Accredited by AMRA, later called AHIMA. The new improved name for this is RHIT (accredited by AHIMA or whoever).

Adaptive Resonance Theory. I don't think this is all about adjusting your Chi. Maybe gamma or Q. (Come to think of it, in the current Romanization of Chinese, Q represents a ch sound.)

American Repertory Theatre. On Harvard Square.

Anti-Retroviral-drug Therapy.

Assist{ive|ed} Reproductive Technology. Babies without sex; immaculate conception without divinity. Viz. IUI, IVF, GIFT, and ZIFT. Since none of these is especially successful if any of them is necessary, physicians speak of multiple ``ART cycles.''


Achaemenid Research on Texts and Archaeology. Electronic newsletter of the Achemenet project. So far (ARTA 2002.001 to 2002.007), it's archaeological reports in English, French, and German. ARTA 2001.007 was about lance-guards and lance-bearers, English.

Air Route Traffic Control Center. Specific centers are referred to in radio communications as ``<Your City Name Here> Center.'' There are twenty of them in the US. Their principal function is to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating on IFR flight plans within controlled airspace and during the en route phase of flight. When equipment capabilities and controller workload permit, certain advisory/assistance services may be provided to VFR aircraft.

Automated Request transmission by TELephone.

ARTEMIS, Artemis
Advanced Relay TEchnology MISsion. Artemis is an ESA spacecraft that carries payloads supporting land mobile communications, navigation systems and data relay systems. It operates at S-band (2 GHz), Ka-band (26 GHz) and optical frequencies. It was originally launched on an Ariane-5 on July 12, 2001, intended for a geostationary orbit. The failure of an upper stage of the booster left it in a low orbit, and it took 18 months of tweaking to get it to its destination, using an ion-propulsion system originally intended to counteract drift from the final orbit.

Advanced Research TEstbed for Medical InformaticS.

All-Terrain Radar for Tactical Exploitation of MTI and Imaging Surveillance.


The twin sister of Apollo. Keep reading.


Anti-Rape Task Force. An organization at UB which provides night-time escorts to and from campus buildings. It's sad that this is needed, but it would be sadder still if it weren't available.

Between any two consecutive glossary entries, it's usually possible to find some kind of connection. Artemis was the virgin hunter godess. I suppose every pantheon must have a school librarian. Actaeon, a mortal, was a hunter too. Walking his dogs one day after a hunt, he happened into a cave where she was about to take a bath in the spring. She punished him for the mistake of seeing her naked by turning him into a stag. So at least she didn't change his sex. But his dogs chased him down and killed him. As usual, there are differing versions of the precise sequence of events. The nymphs aren't talking.

Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language. A cooperative project of the Institut National de la Langue Française (INaLF) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Divisions of the Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Chicago. Bibliographies, searchable etexts (``databases''), text analysis capabilities, etc.

Apparently it was originally ``American Research on the Treasury of the French Language'' (TLF).

Arthritis Foundation
I just figured I'd type in a link while I still am able to.

Often, you really don't need to know, to know that you don't need to know. The Dicken's truth.

This word has a special meaning in education bureaucracy: it is a name for the way in which credit for courses or examinations taken at one institution is allocated or recognized by another educational institution.

Airborne Real-Time Imaging System. Payload for pathfinder flights in NASA's ERAST program.

Art Loss Register, The
The Art Loss Register ``is a permanent computerised database of stolen and missing works of art, antiques and valuables, operating on an international basis to assist law enforcement agencies in the battle against art theft.''

See also Museum Security Network.

Arts Recognition and Talent Search. The core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. The ``program provides recognition and awards to young 17- and 18- year old artists [as opposed to old 17- and 18-year-old artists] in the performing, literary and visual arts.''

Automated Radar (air) Terminal System.

The public transit bus service on the Caribbean island of Aruba, providing regular daily service from 6am to midnight, and twenty-four-hour chuckles for Latinists. Round-trip fare between the beach hotels and Oranjestad is about two US dollars.

I suppose, like, the central terminal is in some seedy area, with a wino in, uh, rags reclining against the front of, ummm, some filthy building -- Arubum.

(This is an ENTRY UNDER TEST. We may scrap some of it later.)

Alternative Rouge et Verte. French `Red and Green Alternative' political party.

The ruling coalition in Germany from 1998 to 2005 was a red-green (rot-grün) coalition that succeeded Helmut Kohl's (CDU/CSU)/FDP coalition. (Black-yellow; schwarz-gelb in German.)

The most common form of color blindness is red-green color blindness. (It's an X-linked trait, so it's much more common among men than women.) Most people who are red-green color blind have some ability to tell reds from greens, but lighting must be good and the colored regions must be large.

It used to be common to call inherited red-green color blindness daltonism, after its discoverer, the British chemist John Dalton (1766-1844). You'd have thought that someone'd've noticed before.

Anti-RetroViral (drugs).

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Advanced Research Workshop. A part of the NATO science program.

Angle-Resolved X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy.

(Click here for top) Previous section: AP (top) to Aqr (bottom)

Next section: A&S (top) to AS56 (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 1995-2016 (c)