- Adhesives and Sealants.
In late 2008, I needed to bone up on this subject, so a small bulge of
A&S-related entries passed into the glossary snake. My main sources were
Edward M. Petrie's Handbook of Adhesives
and Sealants (McGraw-Hill, 2/e 2007) and the
first couple of volumes of the series Adhesives and Sealants edited by
Philippe Cognard (Elsevier, 2005).
Here is a list of the A&S-related entries in this glossary. The ones
followed by an asterisk have no very practical content. With great sadness and
self-discipline, I have omitted entries that merely use a term like
adhere in a figurative (usually dead-metaphoric) sense, as in, say,
``adherent of the faith of Tours,'' or as
discussed in the AAPM entry.
- Advanced Schottky (logic family). Also ``AS-TTL.'' A TTL subfamily with Schottky diodes in parallel with the
BC junctions of those of its npn transistors that
might otherwise go into saturation, thus avoiding the associated storage time
delays. Essentially the same principle as the earlier Schottky logic
(vide 74S), but with narrower linewidths and consequent better
performance. Cf. ALS.
- Aggregate Supply. Another macroeconomic fiction.
- AS, .as
- American Samoa. USPS abbreviation;
international designation used in domain names.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis. See SAA.
- Arsenic, in the nitrogen group, in the period
below phophorus. Like phosphorus (P), a common
n-type dopant in semiconductor silicon (Si).
Learn more at its entry
in WebElements and its entry
- Arts and Sciences. A productive acronymic suffix, used mostly by
educational and entertainment institutions:
- Arts and Sciences. As a scientist, I used to feel a greater affinity for
people in the humanities (the A of A&S) than
with those in the social or behavioral putative sciences. I always felt that
someone who had read great literature or a great deal of history or at least
learned a couple of extra languages was someone who knew something -- an
educated person. Even philosophers, whose approach to ``giving an account of''
things is the approach that modern science was created in opposition to, are
generally intelligent people who are familiar with some difficult ideas and who
reason with extreme care. I never felt the same respect for students of the,
you know, nonscience ``sciences.'' I still don't, much, but after all these
years, I find the sharp lines between the disciplines are blurring, and I don't
think it's because of my eyeglass prescription.
More about this later as I organize my thoughts. In the meantime, see the
A & L entry. See the
previous entry for productive use in acronyms.
The Japanese equivalent of ``Arts and Sciences'' is the word gakugei,
which is normally written with just two kanji characters. That sounds compact
and efficient, but it takes about 16 strokes to draw those kanji.
A direct translation of ``arts and sciences'' into
French, ignoring the different senses of
science in the two languages, is `arts et sciences.' Boy, that one's
gonna be hard to remember, sure. The et phrase doesn't seem to be used
in Francophone academia as the and version is in Anglophone, but judging
from the play of Ionesco discussed at the 40 entry, I
think there must be some resonance.
- ASsembler. A program that converts assembly-language mnemonics to machine
language (executable code). See the a.out entry,
what the heck.
- as, a.s.
- Auris Sinistra. Lat., `left ear.'
Do not make the common error of overanalyzing this definition. It
doesn't mean `evil listening device' (that would be Auriculum Sinister)
and it doesn't mean `the ear left over when you cut one off' (that would be
Van Gogh) Latin is odd, but not that odd.
For even more full inanity, check out the other side: a.d.
- Acoustical Society of America.
- Acetyl Salicylic Acid. In other proper chemical terms: Acetyl Salicylate.
In conventional terms: aspirin.
- Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile (terpolymer). A/k/a
acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate terpolymer. Like
GE's Geloy ®.
- Advertising Standards Authority (of South Africa). It apparently has the
legal authority to declare an advertisement offensive and prevent it from being
broadcast in the country.
African Studies Association, founded 1957. A constituent society
of the ACLS since 1990. ACLS has an overview.
- American Society for
Aesthetics. I really like the cadence of that name. Founded 1942, a constituent society of the
ACLS since 1950. ACLS has an overview.
The ASA sponsors an annual conference (every year!) and three divisional
conferences annually (that too). The ASA publishes the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
(JAAC; ever since the founding in 1942) and the
Newsletter (ISSN 1089-1668). Both publications
are free to members.
- American Society of Anesthesiologists.
- American Society on Aging.
Sociological Association. Founded 1905, a constituent society
of the ACLS since 1919.
ACLS has an overview.
- American Standards Association. Became ANSI.
You'd become antsy too if everyone went by the same short-form name as you did.
This is the ``film speed'' ASA, which has been adopted about whole by ISO. So ``ASA 80'' is now ``ISO 80.'' (Not only that,
but ISO 400 is the same as ASA 400 used to be. Cool, huh?) Those Germans with
their DIN -- Tsk, tsk, tsk: they have to learn to
get with the program, not go off all unilateral all the time.
- American Statistical Association. Founded
November 27, 1839 as the American Statistical Society (five years after the
founding of the Royal Statistical Society). Less than three months later they
changed the name to the current one. Hmm... the ASA's online history gives a lot
of other details about the founding, but glosses over this point. I guess they
figured no one would be interested.
- American Stroke
Association. ``A Division of American Heart
Association,'' no definite article, and capitalization thus, is the
appositive description they use, even though they generally refer to
``the American Heart Association'' (my italics). Actually, they
do it both ways, but without the article in the most prominent places.
Seems to me they should take an aspirin immediately. Strike that: I should.
Studies Association. Founded 1950, a constituent society
of the ACLS since 1958. ACLS has an overview.
- American Supply Association.
``The American Supply Association is a federation of regional and national
organizations serving the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Piping (PHCP) Industry.
For over 25 years, ASA has provided the forum for PHCP wholesale distributors
from around the country to discuss the critical issues facing them. Membership
in ASA provides a national alliance with industry colleagues, manufacturers and
other suppliers that is virtually impossible to get elsewhere.''
- Angle-Side-Angle. The same triangle congruence theorem as
Angle-Angle-Side (vide AAS).
- Antarctic Support Associates.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is
apparently their sole customer.
- Arizona School Administrators.
- Association of Social
Anthropologists of the UK & the Commonwealth.
``[F]ounded in 1946 to promote the study and teaching of social anthropology,
to present the interests of social anthropology and to maintain its
professional status. Its aim is to assist in any way possible in planning
research, to collate and publish information on social anthropology and to
function as a register of social anthropologists.''
- Association of Subscription Agents.
- Australian Society of Anaesthetists.
- Australian Society of Authors.
Cf. SoA, I guess.
- Australian Sonographers Association.
- Autism Society of America.
- Automotive Service Association.
A nonprofit trade association serving owners and managers of automotive
mechanical and collision repair businesses.
- American Sleep Apnea Association.
``The ASAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing injury,
disability, and death from sleep apnea and to enhancing the well-being of those
affected by this common disorder.''
ASAA organizes a network of ``A.W.A.K.E. groups''
(A.W.A.K.E. stands for ``Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic''). The ASAA
website used to be called the A.W.A.K.E. Network.
- The Association for the Study of
Animal Behaviour. (When I checked in February 2005, the URL was
impersonating a sloth.)
- L'Association africaine de défense des
droits de l'homme République démocratique du
Congo. 'African Association for the Defense of Human Rights (in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.' (A/K/A Congo/Kinshasa, Zaïre, former
Belgian Congo.) A grantee of NED, which maintains
a webpage for its recent
announcements and communiqués.
Changed its name in 1997 from AZADHO, which was
founded in 1991.
- American Society of Agricultural
Engineers. Offices at 2950 Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI.
- American Society of Association
Executives. It must be some kind of distinction to have the words
Society and Association in your organization name.
- Association for the
Study of American Indian Literatures. According to the ASAIL by-laws,
Jan. 4, 1991 (maybe that should be 1971, the year ASAIL was founded): ``The
purpose of the organization
shall be to promote study, criticism, and research on the oral traditions and
written literatures of Native Americans; to promote the teaching of such
traditions and literatures; and to support and encourage contemporary Native
American writers and the continuity of Native oral traditions.''
- American Society of Addiction Medicine.
- The American Sport Art Museum and
Archives. ``[A] division of the United States Sports Academy [USSA].'' Hey look, as long as you're in Daphne,
Alabama, why don't you hop on over to nearby
South Bend, Indiana, and check out the National
College Football Hall of Fame?
- Aging Services Access Point.
- American Syringomyelia Alliance
Project. They explain that ``Syringomyelia, often
referred to as SM, is a chronic disorder involving the spinal cord. For
reasons that are only now being understood, cerebrospinal fluid enters the
spinal cord, forming a cavity known as a syrinx. (Doctors sometimes use other
words such as cyst, hydromyelia or syringohydromyelia.) This syrinx often
expands and elongates over time, destroying the center of the spinal cord. As
the nerve fibers inside the spinal cord are damaged, a wide variety of symptoms
can occur, depending upon the size and location of the syrinx.''
- As Soon As Possible. [More often used in imperative than in declarative
sentences. Usually represents a much earlier time for the person making
a request than for the person receiving it, who might interpret it as...]
Also: As Slow[ly] As Possible. Vide Brooks's Law.
- Australian Science Archives
Project. Founded by University of Melbourne professor R. W. Home in
1985; continued as Austehc in 1999.
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic
Surgery. They got the <surgery.org> domain all to themselves.
Here's a text grab from the homepage (in January 2008; I suppose the catalogue
will be augmented): ASAPS ``is the leading organization of board-certified
plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS Active-Member
plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Find information on Breast
Augmentation, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction, Male Breast Reduction
(Gynecomastia), Post-Bariatric, Liposuction (Lipoplasty), Tummy Tuck
(Abdominoplasty), Chin and Cheek Augmentation, Ear Surgery (Otoplasty), Eyelid
Surgery (Blepharoplasty), Facelift (Rhytidectomy), Facial Implants, Forehead
Lift, Hair Transplantation, Lip Augmentation, Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty),
Chemical Peel Light, Chemical Peel Deep, Injectable Treatments such as
BOTOX® Cosmetic or Myobloc®, Laser Hair Removal, Microdermabrasion,
Micropigmentation, Spider Vein Treatment, and Skin Resurfacing.''
- Army Systems Acquisition Review Council.
- as as
- A collocation that can occur naturally in a grammatical text. For example,
``he is not known so much as a flea as as a louse.'' That it's possible,
however, doesn't imply that it's advisable. This infelicity can be repaired in
many ways, such as ``...but as a louse'' or ``is known less as a flea than as a
- Advanced Solid Axial Stage.
- All Sources Analysis System. Military intelligence acronym.
- All Sources Analysis System-WarLord.
- The American Studies Association
of Turkey. Here is the mission statement
association's statutes (sec. I, art. 2) from its 1988 founding. As far as
I have been able to determine, the phrase ``the American researchers in
Turkey'' means `Turkish researchers in the field of American Studies'
(``Turkish Americanists'' would be easily understood within the discipline).
The aims and the subjects of activities of the Association:
To encourage the American researchers in Turkey, to deliver conferences, to
organize symposiums and seminars, to prepare researches and publications, to
provide materials, such as microfilm, magazine,
book, periodical etc., to provide sponsorships for the researchers to be
realized in USA by the Turkish scientists and researchers, to encourage the
cooperative studies about the social and cultural relations between Turkey and
USA, and thus to help the promotion of Turkey as well as Turkish scientists,
writers and researchers at abroad. The association does not deal with religion
and politics. The association may acquire immovable [real property] either for
its own residence or to realize its aims.
Interesting in the last two sentences what it can and can't do. ASAT's
principal publication is Journal of American Studies
of Turkey. It's awfully generous of them to publish American studies
of Turkey, but learning what American scholars think of Turkey seems like a
rather indirect way of advancing the field of American Studies. Then again, I
suppose -- uh, wait a sec, someone on the other line... Oh! It seems that
JAST is a Turkish journal for studies of America or things American. You know,
this is all very confusing. And these aren't really American studies anyway:
the studies are mostly done by Turks. They should call it the ``Journal of
Turkish Studies'' (JOTS).
- Anti-SATellite (weapon).
- ASpartate AminoTransferase. See AST.
- Alternatives to Slash and Burn (agricultural methods).
- Application-Specific Bits.
- Arizona School Boards Association.
- Arizona State Board of Education.
- American School Board Journal. Issued
by the NSBA.
- Add Soap to Bubble Memory. A righteous opcode. See
it and others by
(or at the very least reposted by) Mischa here.
- American Society for Biochemistry and
- ASBO, Asbo
Behaviour Order. A new tradition in the UK.
It's not a command to behave antisocially, but an injunction against such
behavior. It's issued to a private (or occasionally an insufficiently private)
individual by a magistrate's court, upon petition by a community group. It
sounds like something the Lord Protector might have approved. As of mid-2005,
they were being issued at a rate of 65 per week (nationwide, I understand),
twice the rate in 2004.
One morning during the general disorder of August 2011, Radio 4's ``Today''
program aired a brief interview with a group of the previous night's looters in
Manchester. One of them, who had no arrest record yet, said ``the prisons are
over-crowded. What are they going to do? Give me an ASBO? I'll live with
The current (2012) government wants to replace Asbos and other orders with new,
presumably more effective orders. Proposals were announced in May 2012.
- Association of School Business
Officials. I'm going to make it my official business, one day, to school
myself in what exactly this association is about -- but please, Lord, not yet.
- American Society of Bariatric
Physicians. For the surgeons, there's ASBS.
- American Society of Business Press
Editors. ``Founded in 1964,'' it ``is the professional association for
full-time and freelance editors and writers employed in the business, trade,
and specialty press.''
- American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
Bariatry is medical practice intended to lighten your body. Barratry is legal
malpractice typically intended to lighten your wallet. Is this procedure
covered by your insurance? Hmmm: a two-fer. (Okay, okay, so it's really
``bariatrics'' and not ``bariatry.'') A broader bariatrics society is the
- American Society of Breast
Surgeons. The organization's logo is a suggestively stylized ess.
- American Society for Butt Surgery. This
doesn't exist yet, afaik, but it
just seemed to fit into the ASBS ambiance.
Over at Nick's Patio, for many years one of the menu items was a butt steak.
The term made some of the waitresses uncomfortable. On the other hand, they
weren't up in arms, so to speak, about chicken breast. Does this green apron
make me look--let's not go there. Anyway, the name on the menu was eventually
changed to ``top sirloin.'' Orders for ``top sirloin'' and ``chopped sirloin''
are now regularly confused.
- Accredited Standards Committee. ANSI acronym.
- Alabama Supercomputer Center.
- Altered State[s] of Consciousness. Unconsciousness usually doesn't count.
May or may not be chemically assisted.
- American Society of
Cytopathology. Cells? Cells that get sick? That's so old-fashioned! I
would've thought we'd all be using silicon by now. Man, get with the program!
- Association of Systematics
Collections. ``The mission of the Association of Systematics Collections
(ASC) is to support and enhance natural history collections, their human
resources, and the institutions that house them, for the benefit of science
- Austin Software Council.
- Australian Society of Cytology.
Hmmm. Whatever it is, it's spreading.
- Australian Sports Commission.
- American Society of Composers, Authors,
and Publishers. I don't know where I read that they had about 80,000
members in 1999. Am I wrong to be surprised if ASCAP tripled its membership in
eight years? In February 2007, the About
ASCAP page states that ``ASCAP is a membership association of more than
275,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every
kind of music.'' It doesn't say how many of these members are living, or how
many are legatees or whatever of deceased composers and authors. (Not that I
object to royalties being paid to the estates of the late great or even the
late not great, but it would be interesting to know.)
All copyrighted songs played in public require the payment of fees for
usership. Smaller bars in the US typically pay annual fees of between $150 and
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum
- American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology
and Aesthetic Surgery. You should compare this to
ASAPS, because I really can't.
- American Society of Civil Engineers.
- American Society of Church History.
- American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
I have a suggestion: visit the Aden entry.
- German noun (female) meaning `ash.'
- American Society for Clinical
Investigation. ``The ASCI is an honor society of physician-scientists,
those who translate findings in the laboratory to the advancement of clinical
practice. Founded in 1908, the Society is home to more than 2,700 members who
are in the upper ranks of academic medicine and corporate healthcare.'' It
sounded so smooth until I hit that ``corporate healthcare'' bump.
I already checked: there doesn't seem to be any EBCDI. What I did find was a
lot of German-language pages conscientiously avoiding acronym-assisted AA-pleonasm by using
constructions like ``EBCDI Codierung'' (for `EBCDIC
encoding'). It sounded so smooth until I
bumped into ``EBCDI- und ASCII-Code.''
- American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Developed by ANSI.
Dominant binary representation scheme for character data in non-IBM machines. Original-flavor ASCII, and still the
character encoding that is officially ASCII, uses only seven bits (represents
128 characters), but since data is now typically transferred and stored in bytes (8 bits), the eighth bit has been used as a
parity check. In increasingly common use are
eight-bit ``extended ASCII'' codes, which accommodate accented characters (see
this faq). [But good luck trying to find an extended
ASCII with haczek (inverted circumflex) characters;
see ISO 8859.] Cf. EBCDIC. Vide collating sequence.
ASCII is also a medium for
``Art,'' or primitive images. Stroll down electronic memory lane at
ASCII is equivalently ECMA-6, ISO 646, and DIN 66003.
A surf around the web shows that the all-caps form ASCII is dominant, but that
the verb form asciify in all its inflections (..., asciified,
asciifying) and the derived noun asciification occurs in lower case
(with a in upper case as appropriate) about as often as in upper case
with lower-case suffix (e.g., ASCIIfy).
- Association des Cadres et Infirmiers(ières) en Santé
Mental. There's always space in the glossary for another ism.
- American Society of Comparative
Law, founded 1951. Sponsors American Journal of
A constituent society of the
ACLS since 1995. ACLS has an overview.
Much of the ``Comparative'' is with law in other nations, but that doesn't
make it ``International Law.'' If you're interested in that, see ASIL (American Society of International Law).
See also ASLH (American Society of Legal
- Association of Specialized and
Cooperative Library Agencies. A division of the ALA.
- American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
The Clinical Division of the American Society for
I feel like I must have mentioned it already, but this is probably a good place
to repeat it: being a nutritionist in a hospital is frustrating. You're trying
to do the careful job you were trained for, but you depend for the fulfillment
of your instructions not on nurses but on the illiterate minimum-wage substance
abusers that the hospital hires to staff the kitchen. If you are not
indomitably cheerful, consider other work.
- Advanced Systems Concepts Office (``Soldiers are our business.'')
- American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Publishes the JCO) (Journal of Clinical
- Association of Schools and Colleges of
- Automatic Switch COmpany.
(Electric power and fluid flow switches.)
- Spanish: `disgust.'
- Not etymologically related to preceding entry (asco), though it might as well be:
And Spewing Coffee Out My Nose. Usually follows one of the brilliant
ROTFLM?O witticisms [Rolling On the Floor
Laughing My ? Out/Off].
- ascorbic acid
- You know this is vitamin C, and you know
that vitamin C prevents scurvy. What you probably didn't realize is that
ascorbic is a congener of scurvy. The lexeme has been traced
back to a middle Low German word schorbûk, apparently the source
of the French scorbut. The French word
was adopted as scurvy in English (the missing t better reflects French
pronunciation) and a modern Latin scorbutus
was back-constructed from the French. ``Ascorbic'' is just a simplified and
anglicized form of modern Latin ascorbuticus (`i.e.,
- Angola Selling CORPoration. A monopoly
exporting partnership including Sodiam, the state marketing company, and
Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, which was given marketing rights over Angola's
diamonds. It was set up in 2000 and led to a legal dispute with deBeers in
- Advanced Solar Cell Orbital Test.
See D.C. Marvin, M. Gates, Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology,
1991. NASA Conference Publication 3121, pp. 44-1 to
44-3 for early published announcement.
- Apparatus with SuperCOnducting Toroids. A device planned for the
LHC. In 1992 the group that was planning it joined
forces with the group planning EAGLE. The
child of that merger is ATLAS.
- A town in Berkshire, in southern England. Horse races are held at Ascot
Heath, on a two-mile track near Ascot that was laid out by order of Queen Anne.
The major race there, for the Ascot Gold Cup, is a royal event.
- Decorative neckwear. A broad cravat with
square ends, looped under the chin and often held in place with an ornamental
stud. Named after Ascot.
Instead of the stud these days there may be velcro. And maybe the square end
is no longer fashionable. I don't know how broad it's supposed to be, but I
lived through the seventies, when clowns had to struggle to stand out in the
bell-bottomed, big-haired, loud-tied crowd. The name Ascot still has some
cachet (without yet being degraded into a common adjective like ritzy), so it's also been applied to
articles of clothing all the way
footwear. The whole concept is breaking down. It's part of a general
process that we have described as ``the universe going to hell in an Ascot
a page of mostly-neoprene equine neckware. I mention it here because the
page used to include an ``Ascot'' line (or maybe a ``Pelham Ascot'' line) -- so
makers claimed that their products sweat a ``horse's neck and throat latch
area, giving it a more elegant appearance.'' Take a gander at the page -- the
neck sweats look like a Gary Larson
inspiration. They should sweat the rump as well and get a
cross-training effect. I spoke too soon;
they offer tail
wraps on this page. On this page you
can find ``Dressage Sport Horse Boots `COLORS' by Pelham Ascot.'' I'd like to
parse that with ``sport horse'' as an attributive noun.
- ASC X12
- The US national standard for cross-industry electronic data interchange
(EDI). Version 4 of X12, out in 1997 (five years
after version 3) is scheduled to be the last version distinct from UN/EDIFACT. After that, subject to
various approvals, the ASC X12 bureaucratic apparatus becomes a part of the
international UN/EDIFACT administration, and a technical migration to the
international standard will be encouraged. New UN/EDIFACT versions will be
submitted by ASC X12 to ANSI for adoption as an ANS.
The X12 standard itself
is available online from Harbinger.
(The version served there is still 3040, meaning version 3, fourth release.
The current version is 4010.)
- ASC X12C
- ASC X12 Committee.
- Australasian Society for Classical
- American Society of Cataract &
- The American Society of Colon and Rectal
Surgeons. Founded in 1899. Its official journal is DCR.
- American School of Classical Studies at
Athens. (Web site from Athens.)
Founded in 1881. It offers two major research libraries: the Blegen, with
80,000 volumes dedicated to ancient Greece; and the Gennadius, with 106,000
volumes and archives devoted to post-classical Greece. ASCSA also sponsors
excavations and provides centers for advanced research in archaeological and
related topics at its excavations in the Athenian Agora and Corinth, and houses
an archaeological laboratory at the main building complex in Athens.
By agreement with the Greek government, ASCSA is authorized to serve as liaison
with the Greek Ministry of Culture on behalf of American students and scholars
for the acquisition of permits to excavate and to study museum collections.
(This is not a minor matter. As I recall, foreign nationals all have to go
through some such embassy-like liaison.)
The ASCSA secretary keeps an up-to-date roster of museum and site closings.
This is extremely useful if you plan to visit before summer 2004; in the
run-up to the 2004 Olympics, when a lot of places are closing temporarily to
repair and renovate for the expected onslaught of tourists. (A similar thing
happened with Rome in the late 1990's.)
- Academy for Sports
Dentistry. It hurts just thinking about it.
- Anti-Shine-Dalgarno. Explanation at SD entry.
- Aeronautical Systems Division. A division of the USAF Systems Command.
- ArSenical Dermatosis. (The chemical symbol for arsenic is As.)
- Atrial Septal Defect. A defect in the septum, or membrane, that
separates [etymological correlation alert!] the left and right atria
of the heart.
- American Student Dental Association.
- ASian Development Bank.
- Association of State Democratic Chairs. A subset of the DNC membership.
- Australian Sports Drugs Commission. (Provisional entry, understand?)
- American Society for Deaf
- That's probably as deposited, and no arsenic.
- Air Self-Defense Force. The Japanese Air Force.
- Application-Specific Digital Signal Processor.
- American Standard English.
- Amplified Spontaneous Emission.
- Application Service Element.
- Association for Surgical Education.
- Athens Stock Exchange.
- (National Institute for) Automotive
Service Excellence. ``[F]ounded in 1972 as an independent, non-profit
organization with a single mission: To improve the quality of automotive
service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of
``ASE also communicates its message to consumers, the media and various
other publics to promote informed decision making when seeking
automotive repairs. If you're a motorist, some of the information
available here will prove useful
when you're faced with such a choice.''
The ASE program has grown from a series of four auto tests to a comprehensive
offering of more than thirty exams in the following repair categories:
Automobile/Light Truck, Alternate Fuels, Medium/Heavy Truck, Truck Equipment,
School Bus, Collision Repair, Engine Machinist, and Parts Specialist (Auto
- Allmaenna Svenska Electriska Aktiebolaget.
- Advanced System Engineering Automation.
Visit here and see if you can make anything of it.
- American Solar Energy Association.
``[A] national organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar energy for
the benefit of U.S. citizens and the global environment.''
``ASEA publishes SOLAR TODAY, an award-winning bi-monthly magazine that covers renewable energy technologies,
from photovoltaics to climate-responsive buildings to
- At sea.
- Association of SouthEast Asian Nations.
Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand?
- American Society for
Eighteenth-Century Studies. ``[A]n
interdisciplinary group dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in all
aspects of the period . . . from the later seventeenth through the early
Founded 1969, a constituent
society of the ACLS since 1976. ACLS has an overview.
It's probably worth joining just to be able to say truthfully that you're
``ASECSual.'' We have a list of at least six
SECS's, mostly because it's so cool to say.
We have a gender entry too.
- American Society for Engineering
Education. Their main page is a
``Clearinghouse for Engineering Education.''
Society for Environmental History. Here's the homepage
for the H-Net-sponsored mailing list.
- Spanish: `reasonable.'
- American Society of Emergency Radiology.
- Annual Site Environmental Report.
- All Saints' Episcopal School. In
Fort Worth, Texas. The link doesn't work as of now
(March 2003), but they own
the domain, so I imagine they'll use it for more than email eventually.
You know, a common traditional way to form the plural of a single-letter
abbreviation is to duplicate the letter. Oh well, just a thought.
- American Solar Energy Society. You ask me, this is a risky acronym to
select. Call me a coward, but I'd change the organization name first.
- Active Streaming Format.
- Active-X Server Framework.
- Advanced Streaming Format. (Microsoft definition.)
- ...as far as I know
- ...which I believe for no particularly good
- Agence des services
frontaliers du Canada.
`Canadian Border Services Agency.'
- American School Food Service
Association. ``The Voice of Child Nutrition.'' You know: school lunch,
sloppy joe on a hamburger bun with ketchup and overcooked string beans.
- American Society For Gastrointestinal
Related links: ADHF,
- American Society of
Greek and Latin Epigraphy. See also a British homologue (BES). Both ASGLE and BAS are chapters of
the Association Internationale d'Épigraphie Grecque et Latine (AIEGL).
ASGLE has a page of
introduction to EPIGRAPH-L, which latter is managed, or whatever you
would call it, by David Meadows.
Their most anticipated resource has been, of all things,
a list of
- The Association for the Study of
- Action on Smoking and Health.
A better place to start is the
Master Anti-Smoking pages.
Here's a précis of the news: smoking is real
bad for you, just terrible. So don't.
- Average Shifted Histograms.
- American School Health Association.
- American Social Health Association.
``Social health''! What a wonderfully, cutely blushing euphemism! You're
probably too young to remember this, expecially if you're young enough to
remember sex, but there was a time, shortly after men emerged from caves and
killed off the dinosaurs, when ``social disease'' meant
sexually transmitted disease.
ASHA was founded in 1914.
You know, one of the things that just kills me is people who get behind a
microphone before they've learned the difference between the pronunciations of
the verbs contract, contract, and contract. ASHA gets
around the problem by speaking of people who ``contact an STD.'' (This sounds
like something you could do over the Internet.)
- American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association. Yeah, I have theories about the el
- American Society for Healthcare
- Association for the Study of Higher Education.
- A name given to girls born in 1965, and a few more since then, and to
(CV here, in
- American Society of
Head and Neck Radiology.
- American Society of Health System
- American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, Inc.
- Addiction Severity Index. An evaluation instrument in the form of an
interview, used and distributed by DENS.
- Advanced Study Institute. A NATO program of
long standing, of summer schools held in picturesque southern European
locales. I'm not current on the rules, but not too long ago, an amusing
fact was that who could go was based on where one was doing research and
not on where one got one's passport. Thus, for example, Vietnamese
researchers working in France could attend.
- American Students for Israel.
It's ``the University of California at Santa
Barbara's student pro-Israel group. It was founded in September 2001 with
the goal of ensuring that Israel's case receives fair representation on
campus.'' Ha! They wouldn't dare try that at San Francisco State!
``ASI is a bipartisan group that organizes events, lectures and festivals and
serves as a resource to students.''
- Artificial Sensing Instrument[s].
- Astronomical Society of India.
- ATV Safety Institure. It's ``a
not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA),
[which] was formed in 1988 to implement an expanded national program of
vehicle (ATV) safety education and awareness.
The ASI is sponsored by
- Atomizer, Source, Inductively-coupled plasma in Atomic fluorescence
- And I Swear I Am Not Making This Up. Usenet
- Application-Specific IC.
If you're including an FPGA in some mass-produced
item, AMI would like to
help you migrate to ASIC's by designing and producing drop-in replacements.
Naturally, a properly-designed ASIC will result in a smaller package and lower
Man, they ought to pay me for this advertising.
- Anima Sana In Corpore Sano. A Latin
phrase meaning `A sound soul in a sound body.' The acronym was chosen by
a Japanese sportswear company
as its name. They translate the phrase as `A sound mind in a sound
body.' The proper Latin expression for that would be Animus
sanus in corpore sano. But maybe they didn't want so many esses. The standard expression is Mens sana
in corpore sano (see, for an example, the TC
entry), but Msics probably didn't seem a good company name. The word
mens contains the same root one finds in common English words like
mental and medical terms like meninges.
The founders of Mensa wanted to call their organization of self-consciously
smart people Mens, but that name was taken, so they chose Mensa
instead, which means `table.' This is so smart it hurts my head to try
to understand why it makes any sense at all. [The (feminine) Latin noun
mens is third declension: genitive singular form mentis. Hence,
mensa is not its form in any combination of number and case.]
Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
- American Society of International Law,
founded 1906. Has a number of publications, including American Journal of International
A constituent society of the
ACLS since 1971. ACLS has an overview.
See also ASCL (American Society of Comparative
Law) and ASLH (American Society of Legal History).
- As I made clear
- Managerese for `as I asserted without reason or explanation.'
- Amazon Standard Identification Number.
- American Society for Investigative
Pathology. ASIP publishes The American Journal
of Pathology. ASIP and the Association for
Molecular Pathology publish The Journal of Molecular
- American Society for Industrial Security.
- American Society for Information Science.
- As Is
- Caveat Emptor.
- as it relates to
- A preposition of unknown meaning.
- American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology.
- Amplitude-Shift Keying.
- ACPI Source Language. The programming language
equivalent for AML. ASL is compiled into AML
- A/S/L, ASL, asl
- Age/Sex/Location. Name, rank, and serial number for prisoners of the
dating wars (POW's). Also called ``the ASL
question.'' For answers, visit Hey! ASL?
For that dirty, dirty, dirty let dow-oown, see the
- American Sign
Language. This is only
one of many signed languages, and it is no more related to English than English
is related to Chinese. Sign languages are not encodings of other languages --
one does not translate from English to ASL letter-for-letter or word-for-word.
The grammar is different, so such a word-for-word translation is impossible.
Letter-by-letter signing is relatively slow, something like spelling out a word
in speech, and is used only to give information about the source (foreign)
language. There are a number of different sign languages, including one that
arose recently in Nicaragua (vide LSN) (or
two, counting the pidgin ISN of the first-generation
Possibly the most famous students of ASL have been the non-human primates
Washoe, Koko, and Nim Chimpsky. (A less
common abbreviation for American Sign Language is AMESLAN.)
Just the other day I heard
of a hearing woman who is married to a deaf man and is learning ASL. It's
affecting her use of spoken English: she's leaving off verb inflections -- so I
- Association for Symbolic Logic.
- American Society of Landscape Architects.
- AS-levels, A/S-levels
- The AS stands for Advanced Supplementary. The AS-level exams are now taken
by students in England and Wales at the end of the lower sixth form, one year
before the A-levels.
Society for Legal History, founded 1956. Sponsors Law and History
Review and Studies in Legal History, a series of book-length
monographs available to ASLH members at substantial prepublication discounts. It holds an
annual meeting, publishes a
semiannual newsletter, and sponsors the electronic mailing list, H-Law.
A constituent society of the
ACLS since 1973. ACLS has an overview.
See also ASCL and ASIL
(American Societies of Comparative and International Law).
- Association for Information
Management (UK). Name is evidently a holdover
from a less sexy time.
- Advanced Semiconductor Materials.
- American Society for Microbiology.
- Aerospace Medical Association.
- Spanish, `asthma.' The noun is
grammatically male despite the final a.
Like many of the -a exceptions, this one betrays a
There's a standard filthy joke that puns on asma. It can be found on
the web at any of the following
The incidence of childhood asthma is increasing rapidly in the industrialized
world today, in the face of many general health indicators that would lead one
to expect a decline. One rap song includes a common asthma drug in its lyrics.
One proposed explanation of the puzzling increase is based on the hypothesis
that a certain level of exposure to pathogens is needed during infancy to train
or calibrate the immune system. If this hypothesis is correct, then excessive
use of antibiotics, in an urban environment that minimizes casual exposure to
pathogens, may exacerbate asthmatic symptoms in those with a genetic
predisposition to the syndrome.
- Association of Sales and Marketing
- American Society of Magazine
Editors. ``[T]he professional organization for editors of consumer
magazines and business publications, which are
edited, published and sold in the U.S. [Some copyeditor should point out that
they probably don't want a nonrestrictive clause there.] ... ASME was
organized in 1963 as the successor to the editorial committee of Magazine
Publishers of America (MPA).''
- American Society of Mechanical
- Association of Sales and Marketing Companies.
- Advanced Storage Magneto-Optical.
- Abstract Syntax Notation. (ITU-T.)
- Advance Ship(ping) Notice.
- American Society
- ASsociatioN. Second-level domain name in Australia (.au).
- American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.
- American Society of Newspaper Editors.
The sky is falling, and the sky has been falling on the newspaper business for
much of the past century. This isn't prominently mentioned on the website.
The most acute problem continues to be that smaller markets can't support an
independent hometown newspaper, so various kinds of mergers, consolidations,
and resource-sharing arrangements are made, and smaller newspapers go out of
business. The only odd thing is that the newspaper editors, who ought to be at
least vaguely aware of developments at large, don't seem to realize that their
situation is not unique to newspapers.
Let's add a column inch or two to this entry. On April 13, 1999, Andrew Grove
(then still the chairman of Intel), spoke before the annual meeting of the
ASNE. ``You are where Intel was three years before the roof fell in on us,''
he said, referring to the time in the late 1980's when Intel lost its command
and then most of its market share in memory chips, and switched to making
microprocessors to survive and then prosper. He suggested that to survive,
what newspapers should do is focus on their putative strength and provide
better ``insight'' -- analysis and context. (This was before blogs became big.)
- American Society of NeuroRadiology.
Founded in 1962. Publishes the AJNR.
- American Society for Nutritional
Sciences. Founded in 1928 as the AIN.
- American Society for Neural Transplantation. Throw the microswitch,
Igorrrr! Maybe some people found their name a little scary. Now they're the
- American Society for
- American Society for Neural Transplantation
and Repair. Earlier known as the ASNT.
- Abstract Syntax Notation 1. An ISO/ITU-T standard
language for the representation of data. There's a hyperlinked description at FOLDOC.
- Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
In Birmingham, England. No really, in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Arteriosclerosis obliterans.
- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
The devil went down to Georgia...
- Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.
A lobbying (``information-proving'') coalition of NGO's. You know -- Save The Penguins, that sort of
- Spanish, `I associate.'
- Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry
Organization. ``[E]stablished on June 4, 1984
in Tokyo, Japan to
promote, encourage and foster trade between the various members and to
develop the computing industry in the Asian and Oceanian region.''
- The American Schools of Oriental
Research. Founded 1900. ``ASOR's mission is to initiate, encourage
and support research into, and public understanding of, the peoples and
cultures of the Near East from the earliest times.'' It's pronounced
like the words ``as or'' (stress on initial syllable).
A constituent society
of the ACLS since 1998. ACLS has an overview.
Surface Observing System[s]. (More at this link.)
- The kind of snake that Cleopatra used to commit suicide.
- Abstract Service Primitive.
- ASP, .asp
- Active Server Page[s]. Microsoft's name
for html pages with dynamic content.
I first tried a product called DB Web, from a company named Aspect Software
that had just been acquired by Microsoft. After a bit of experimentation, I
realized that DB Web ... was more of a tool for querying data from Microsoft
Access databases (it wrote VB code on the back end) than a real application
development platform. (As a side note, Microsoft stopped supporting DB Web
shortly after I evaluated it and rereleased it as Active Server Pages (ASP) a
few months later.)
The quote is from the preface of Rob Brooks-Bilson's book Programming
ColdFusion (O'Reilly, August 2001). Brooks-Bilson started using what was
then Allaire's Cold Fusion in early 1996, shortly after evaluating and deciding
not to use ASP. Cold Fusion was created by J.J. and Jeremy Allaire, and first
released in 1995. [Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons (not physicists as
Brooks-Bilson claims, but electrochemists) made headlines in 1989 with exciting
claims about cold fusion that failed to be confirmed by anyone else.] Early in
2001, Allaire was acquired by Macromedia. In 2003,
Jeremy Allaire took the title of Macromedia Founder Emeritus. He
then that ``[a]fter eight years with Allaire and Macromedia, I've decided
to move on. What a ride its been, and will no doubt continue to be.''
- Advanced Speech Processor.
Society of Papyrologists.
``[F]ounded in 1961 to further the study of ancient Greek and Latin papyri
and of the materials contained in them. The Society supports and encourages
research in the field, the teaching of the discipline, and opportunities for
international cooperation by the scholars in the field. The ASP publishes
The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists (BASP),
the only North American journal in the field of papyrology. It also publishes
a monograph series, American Studies in Papyrology, and occasional supplements
to BASP. Each year, the ASP holds its Annual Meeting in conjunction with the
Annual Meeting; the Annual Meeting
features speakers as well as the election of officers and other business.''
- American Society of Parapsychologists. I bet you didn't know that.
This organization doesn't have an existence yet in your world of ordinary
experience, but it's coming. Don't ask me how I know -- I just ... know.
Do not follow the link to CSICOP! You'll
be sorry! Don't say you weren't warned!
- Analog Signal Processing.
- AntiSocial Personality. Visit AES; you can
all form a Mohr's Stress Circle
and feel all better. Jerks.
- AppleTalk Session Protocol.
- Application Service Provider.
According to an advertising section in the New York Times, Monday, May 22, 2000
(hey, I gotta get my ``information'' somewhere) ``revenue from ASP services
that were essentially nonexistent just three years ago hit $150 million [in
1999], according to researchers at IDC...''
There are many different kinds of ASP's. The general idea is that they
provide application software to customers' machines, on a subscription or a
per-use basis. Among the kinds of support they provide: research (into
hardware, software, and user need compatibilities), installation, upgrading,
help-desk, and maintenance.
- Association of Shareware
Professionals. This entry and the Microsoft ASP
entry above are glaring at each other over the shoulders of the
AntiSocial Personality (ASP) entry.
- Association of Subspecialty
Professors. A part of AAIM, ASP is the national
organization of subspecialty internal medicine divisions at the US medical
schools and several non-university teaching hospitals.
- Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
- Average Selling Price.
- American Society of Pension Actuaries.
``Actuaries, Consultants, Administrators and Other Benefits Professionals.''
-- ``Dedicated to the Private Pension System.''
- Association of Specialized and
Professional Accreditors. ``ASPA-member accreditors set national
educational standards for entry into about 40 specialized disciplines or
Corresponding Canadian organisation: AAAC.
- American Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals.
- AntiSocial Personality Disorder. ``Yer SICK, that's your
- Antarctic Sea-ice Processes, Ecosystems and ClimaTe. A GLOCHANT program.
- Appearance. The ``aspect'' of a railroad signal is its color. The
two standard British signalling schemes:
||Stop and wait here.|
||Next signal is red; prepare to stop there.|
||Next signal is not red; full speed permitted.|
||Stop and wait here.|
||Next signal is red; prepare to stop there.|
||Next signal is yellow; prepare to stop at the one after it.|
||Next signal is not single-yellow or red; full speed
The advantage of the four-aspect scheme is that for any given signal spacing,
higher speeds are possible (with the same margin of safety). For any given
top speed, 4-aspect signals, placed twice as frequently along the line, allow
closer spacing of trains than 3-aspect signals.
When I was in eleventh grade, driver education replaced one term (half a
semester) of gym. The main thing I was taught was that there are no yellow
traffic lights; the colors are red, amber, and green. ``Remember: there are
In tenth grade we got a term of sex ed. You can
imagine what that was like.
(Tenth grade corresponds chronologically to fourth form in Britain.)
Come think of it, the main thing I learned in ninth grade drafting class was
that Mr. Moran had scrimped and saved, scrimped and saved!, to get all
us ingrates fine plastic triangles and high-quality number-five pencils. I
was by the old school a couple of years ago; the mechanical drawing room is
now just another computer lab.
According to Desirable Men, p. 179,
... Karen, for instance, knew that Tom would walk down the hall by the science
room after third period. So, naturally, Karen would be there waiting for him
to pass by. You see, high school teaches girls how to plot and scheme to get
the boy they like. ...
- American Studies PEERS. Evidently, ``as'' is meant as a pun; here's the
general description from the November 1, 2007, announcement:
as|peers is a new, annual, peer reviewed
journal for young American Studies scholars in Europe. It is a platform
for the best work done by American Studies graduate students below the
PhD-level. It aims to foster academic exchange among young Americanists across
Europe, and to thereby advance the field and its genuine European perspective
on 'America' and its presences and effects around the world.
as|peers is the only American Studies journal specifically targeting graduate
students enrolled in MA Programs in Europe. It is located at the American
Studies MA program at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Every issue will
contain peer-reviewed, academic work, as well as a section of art, poetry, and
other contributions. Its first issue, scheduled to be in print in March 2008,
will aim to produce a snapshot of graduate American Studies in Europe.
I'd heard of dancing about architecture, but rhyming about American Studies is
a new one on me.
(Yes, the name is uncapitalized and contains a vertical line. Some people hate
- Advanced SCSI Programming Interface.
I think maybe it's originally an Adaptec design.)
- Application Service Provider Industry
Consortium. Like most ASP sites, the ASPIC site includes the character
w h a t i s a n A S P ?
- Armed Services Personnel Interrogation Center.
- A savory meat jelly containing portions of fowl, game, fish, hard
boiled eggs, etc. See more.
- Association des Pilotes de
Cage. `Cage Pilots' Association' in French. Founded October 30, 1999. Gosh that's
recent. ``The Cage,'' invented by Jean-Louis Darlet, is sort of intermediate
between a paraglider and a hang glider.
- Association for Strategic Planning in Internal Communications.
- Author's Standard Prepress Interfacing Code.
- Spanish: `vacuum cleaner.'
Active ingredient: salicylate.
(Link to 3D chemical model, mirror of
- I saw a small pickup truck mounted with yellow warning lights, and on the
tailgate this word was written in all caps. Perhaps you saw the same truck and
wondered what that long acronym stood for. I'm not saying that's what I
wondered -- I'm an expert! If you want to know about Asplundh, you
should visit its subentry under
Nomenclature is destiny.
- American Society of Pediatric
- American Schools of Professional
- Application-Specific Programmable Product.
- Advanced Sleep-Phase Syndrome. Falling asleep and awaking earlier.
Common in the elderly. Due to the noisy background -- i.e., the
broad range of natural variation in sleep patterns -- a genetic variation
in sleep pattern was not reported until 1999 (see
- American Society of Plastic Surgical
Nurses. No kidding!
- ASQ, A.S.Q.
- American Society for Quality.
If you don't care what kind of quality you get, you can have as much as you
- Airport Surveillance Radar. Radar used to detect and display aircraft
position in terminal areas. ASR provides range and azimuth information but
not elevation. Coverage can extend up to 60 miles. Cf. ARSR.
- Automatic Send and Receive.
- Automatic Speech Recognition. Approximately the inverse of
text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis.
- American Society for Reproductive
Medicine, founded in 1944 as the American Fertility Society.
- ASRT, asrt
- American Society of Radiologic
- The Academy of Superior S(tuff).
- Athletic Sport Sponsoring GmbH.
Oh, so they're athletic supporters! That's close enough.
They also provide nutritional advice and
rental. Both things useful for one kind of ass or another.
- A simple past-tense form of the German verb meaning `eat.' It's hard to
think of anything more appropriate to say.
According to the very latest orthographic rules, this is spelled
aß. It is the past-tense form (of essen) in first and
third person singular. Cf. Arsch.
- assassination, political
- Beatification, instant. Or is that ``beatification, Instant''?
The word assassin comes from the Arabic hashshashin -- `hashish
eaters,' originally referring to a group of Muslim terrorists or heroes,
depending on your point of view, whose main activity
was assassinating Crusaders. They were active in
Persia and Syria from 1090 to 1272. Persia and
Syria... hmmm. (No, there weren't a lot of Crusaders in Persia. This forced
them to kill other people instead.)
The Roman Catholic Church, which instigated the
crusades (Christian jihads or rescue missions, depending on your
point of view), has increasingly stringent rules on
who may be sainted. It's still pretty easy to get beatified (although you have
to die first -- cf. Tiberius K.,
James entry). This gives some of the prerogatives (appropriate word) of
sainthood, and may satisfy a cult of your enthusiasts that might wane and cause
no more trouble. With continued lobbying, however, your possible
sanctification will eventually be considered. Bede was beatified not long
after death, but went a long time without the big promotion, so he is still
widely known as ``the venerable Bede,'' although he ranks as ``Saint Bede.''
In order to become a saint, you have to have led an exemplary Christian life.
(Achieving the B.S.A. rank of Eagle Scout usually
isn't enough, not even with a religion merit badge.)
Also, you have to be found responsible for three certifiable miracles. But
don't worry about that now. If you aspire to sainthood, you should concentrate
on public relations (PR), taking care that everyone
should know how enormously humble you are. God will provide, as they say, the
necessary miracles: After you're gone, someone will pick up your pen and be
cured of arthritis or writer's block -- something along those lines, usually
involving your relics, so leave behind a lot of
chotchkas. Needless to say, you should have your name inscribed on your
pencils (order a big supply and donate them to thrift stores) and sewn into
your undershirts. (Start wearing undershirts if you don't already; they reduce
chafing from the hair shirt. Don't complain about the expense -- Pope Pius X
used to give away his shirts.) As you can see, sainthood is a bit like going
to summer camp -- a lot more pleasant if you plan ahead. A little bit
like summer camp. Monogrammed cuff-links have not been associated with
church-certified miracles, AFAIK, but there's
always a first time.
Obviously, name recognition is very important. Pick a name that is distinctive
but not weird. Changing your name is a good opportunity to put some distance
between your saintable persona and an unexemplary past. If your past is too
odious to ignore, you can turn a potential problem to your advantage by writing
about how your conversion or redemption turned you from your earlier downward
path. Lay it on thick, and remember to be humble. (For good news about a
couple of famous guys who won't be competition, see SJ,
A number of popularly but informally acclaimed saints have been quietly cast
out or desanctified, particularly early martyrs for whom there is inadequate
information. [Note to self: documents in safe deposit box.] No towns have
been required to remove the Santa from their name on that account, but I
don't know what happens with the commemorative feast day.
Probably the most famous decommissioned saint is St. Josephat, who turned out
to have been Buddha. Cosmas and Damian, patrons of physicians, were suspected
of being fictitious Christian retreads of the Dioscuri (who were sons of the
pagan god Zeus). That case was not proven.
A frequent showcase and stepping-stone to sainthood has been the
papacy. You should get a copy of Piers Marchant's highly informative How To
Be Pope: What to Do and Where to Go Once You're in the Vatican (San
Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005). In addition to the Roman Catholic Church,
Orthodox churches and some Protestant churches also recognize
saints. Shop around, and leave likenesses in all
the standard iconographic formats.
For more tips, read Saint-Watching by Phyllis McGinley (New York: Viking Pr., 1961). (The same year that this
was published, McGinley won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Don't tell me you
didn't know.) ``Although I cannot imitate the saints, I can stare at them,''
she said. Is that polite? Sure: they're dead!
Speaking of staring, once you're in, you'll want an assignment so you
don't have to spend eternity just twiddling your thumbs across a harp. See the
patron saints entry about that.
I was talking recently with an expert in this stuff, and she reminded me of an
important hagiogenic loophole: martyrs can be sainted without any proven
miracles. This method does have its drawbacks, though. One problem is
publicity, er, documentation -- but cellphone cameras are becoming more common.
This isn't the route for everyone, but if you choose it, I suggest packing some
bibles and heading for North Korea or Saudi Arabia. I hear that in Saudi
Arabia, beheadees are usually drugged for the event. In North Korea, however,
at least some executions of Christians have been somewhat more, um, creative
and memorable (death by crushing, for example).
- As Seen on TV, AS SEEN ON TV
- Label on store merchandise indicating that when it was advertised on TV, it
was described as ``NOT AVAILABLE IN
STORES! CALL NOW!''
- Lots of words begin with the letters A-S-S, so this stretch of the glossary
is generously endowed. Un embarras des riches. For reasons of space,
therefore, we have stored our extensive discussion of ``Assessment'' at the VAG entry.
- ArSenoSilicate Glass. (Chemical symbol for arsenic is As, vide supra.)
- Ass, gas, or grass.
- Nobody rides for free.
- associations, mental
- I have a book published in 1915 by The Travelers Insurance Company of
Hartford, Connecticut. The title is Safety Engineering Applied to
Scaffolds. When I see that title, I usually think that well, yes, there is
the executioner to think of. Maybe I should have made this the ``divergence,
semantic'' entry. It seems to me today that the term scaffolding is
used generally, and scaffold in practice refers principally to the
elevated platform used for execution by hanging.
- Application-Specific Standard Product.
- Axially Scattering Spectrometer Probe. Used in determining aerosol
- American Society of Spine Radiology.
- ASSR, A.S.S.R.
- Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. A somewhat obsolete term.
- Asst., Ass't.
strike on record might be 33-year Danish barbers' assistants' strike, which
ended on January 4, 1961.
What -- the end of the entry already? For such an important position? Well,
then, follow the link to second second.
- Ass't. Head
- ASSistanT HEAD. A useful managerial concept if Cerberus is to avoid
spending all its time chasing its tail, and vice versa.
- All Systems Test.
- ASpartate aminoTransferase. An enzyme released by hepatocytes (liver
cells) when they die. Measurement of serum AST levels has been used to
detect liver damage since the 50's. ALT is
- Atlantic Standard Time. GMT - 4 hrs.
- Atomized Suspension Technique.
- At (the) Same Time.
- Average Sampling Time.
- German, Allgemeine StudentenAusschuss. `General Student
- American Society of Travel Agencies.
Pronounced like Spanish hasta, meaning
`up to' or `until.'
See also Tourism entry.
Their motto: ``without a travel agent, you're on your own.'' Wow -- I didn't
realize that! I still don't realize it!
- American String Teachers Association.
- A-stage, a-stage
- An early stage of thermosetting, during which the resin components are
fusible and still soluble in solvents that will not dissolve the final polymer.
- Advanced STatistical Analysis Program. Analyzes electronic circuits and
- AST Computer
- Founded by Albert Wong, Safi Qureshey and Tom Yuen in 1980.
- American Society for Training &
Development. Founded in 1944. Publishes the glossy monthly T+D.
- Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets. A program of
NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth
Sciences (ROSES). That's one small... oh never
mind, I'd only flub the line.
- Advanced Spaceborne Thermal
- A city in the Piedmont region of Italy, and capital of the province of
Asti. The region is probably best known for a sparkling wine, Asti
Spumante. Spumante is literally `bubbly, frothy,' and many other
other less prestigious wines are called spumante; in apparent
consequence, it is reported (in
Wikipedia, but I also have that impression myself) that Asti
Spumante is increasingly called simply Asti to deemphasize the
association with the downscale spumanti.
- ASTI, Asti
- Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland.
The ``main second level teachers' union in the Republic of Ireland,
representing teachers teaching in schools attended by 75% of second level
students. They include voluntary secondary schools, community and
comprehensive schools and colleges.''
ASTI disaffiliated from the ICTU (Ireland's
umbrella organization for unions) in 2000. In March 2005, the ASTI convention
voted overwhelmingly in favor of holding a vote of the membership in 2006 on
whether to reaffiliate. However, the move was a tentative one, with the
reaffiliation vote contingent on talks with the ICTU and the development and
distribution of extensive informational material for members. An overwhelming
tentative vote is an unusual thing, but the course of nonevents seems to have
confirmed it; as of late 2008 there doesn't seem to have been any follow-up.
The other two major teachers' unions, TUI and
INTO, remain members of the ICTU.
- Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development. A program of
NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth
- As Time Goes By
- Composer-lyricist Herman Hupfeld's greatest hit by far, this song was
introduced in 1931 by Frances Williams (a platinum blonde, Frances Jellinek,
b. 1903 in St. Paul, MN, d. 1959,
NYC) in the musical Everybody's Welcome.
Rudy Vallee's recording of it was mildly successful. (That year's hit was
Vallee's recording of Noble, Campbell, and Connelly's ``Goodnight,
Sweetheart.'') Jacques Renard and others also recorded it. It was revived in
the 1942 Warner hit movie Casablanca
(Bogie, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre
...), where it was sung by Dooley Wilson. Due to a general dispute about
royalties, ASCAP had a kind of strike going at the
time -- a ban on all new recordings -- so a new cover of the song could not be
released. A rerelease of Vallee's became a hit in 1943.
Hupfeld was born and died in Montclair, NJ (1894.02.01-1951.06.08). Known as
Dodo by his family, he never married and he rarely ventured very far in any
direction, except possibly into the bottle. His
WWI service was stateside, playing in a Navy band,
and as an adult he lived in a house he had built next door to the one he grew
up in. (See Harmetz, pp. 253-257.)
Bogie's line is not ``Play it again, Sam.'' Nobody says that; the again
is implicit. It was ``their song'' (Bogie and Bergman's characters') before
she found out that her resistance-leader husband was still alive and abandoned
Rick Blaine (Bogie). Now in Casablanca, she asks Sam (Dooley Wilson) to
play it [again after all that time has gone by] and then he asks Sam to
play it [again after playing it for her -- if she can stand it, he can too].
Arthur `Dooley' Wilson (1886.04.03-1953.05.03) couldn't play the piano; he
faked it and the camera worked around that. Faking is easier with an upright
piano. Channel-surfing one ill-starred evening, I wiped out on a
Monkees rerun. The scene
showed the boys recording ``in studio.'' I guess it must have seemed
obligatory to have a few such scenes, since it was a TV show about a rock
group, duh. The camera played lovingly over the, uh, acting guitarist's
guitar. If the camera could have played on the guitar instead of
over the guitar, it would have done a better job. What was happening on
the fretboard had nothing to do with the guitar sounds in the sound track. It
would have looked slightly less fake if they'd filmed him playing
air guitar. It's not as if there's a law
against having movie musicians played by actual musicians (cf.
The Blues Brothers).
That Casablanca could ever have come so perfectly together out of production
chaos must have seemed a poor gamble. The
script went through a gazillion rewrites (see
WGA entry); Bergman was on loan to Warner, and the
highlight of her time during the filming was learning that she had been cast as
Joan of Arc in another movie. In the airport scene, she asked for directorial
help -- she didn't know what emotion she was supposed to be expressing. It was
obviously an Eisenstein moment.
Speaking of Ei-steins, back in the early
1980's I learned that the coda of As Time Goes By mentions Einstein's
theory of relativity, and I spent many days failing to track it down. Today,
of course, you just search the Internet and find it in the
time it takes type a few words. Just as quickly, you can see the lyrics
Dooley Wilson (the Einstein bit, if he sang it, never got into the sound
track) or to
John Lennon (clear demonstration of the Matthew Principle, I think).
- Asti Spumante
- `Foaming Asti' would be one translation. See Asti.
- American Society for Testing and
- Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
American Society of Theatre [sic] Research. They have an
electronic mailing list [subscription
information for <ASTR-L@POSTOFFICE.CSO.UIUC.EDU> here].
ASTR was founded 1956 and became a
constituent society of the ACLS in 1975. ACLS has an overview.
- A girl's name. A woman's name if she grows up.
- A meteor impact crater on the earth's surface, or the remaining traces of
one. Generally, a crater is much larger than the meteorite that formed
it. For example, Meteor Crater in Arizona about 1.2 km in diameter and
180 m deep. It is estimated to have been formed about 50,000 years ago by
an iron meteorite about 30 m across and 110,000 tons in mass. Some of the
meteorite is supposed to be visible in the side of the crater, but I couldn't
make out what the guide was pointing at.
Meteor Crater is very convenient -- just a few miles south of I-40 -- but when
I was there in 1991 or 1992 it was just barely wheelchair-accessible. The
viewing area was reached by a stairway of stone steps that spiraled around a
hill. The rise per step was shallow, and we [the strong young man in the chair
and his female companion and I] got the chair to the top, but still... There's
also a crater at Haviland, Kansas, but no matter how many people visit, it will
never be a big attraction -- it's 10 meters across.
The largest astrobleme I'm aware of is the one centered on the Yucatan
peninsula, 180 km in
diameter and 65 Ma old... The impact that created it is a or the prime
candidate for the cause of the mass extinctions associated with the
Satellite imaging keeps discovering new ones, but I think that the largest
known terrestrial ones, about 140 km, are still those at Vredefort, South
Africa (1.97 Ga), and Sudbury, Canada (1.84 Ga). Boy, the ol' British Empire
was really poppin' a coupla billion years ago.
The word astrobleme is a modern compound of astro- and the Greek
blema. The latter is related to ballein, `to throw,' and had the
meaning of `missile'; it also had the meaning of `wound' -- a metonym, I guess.
The English word blemish was borrowed from the Old French
blemiss- < blemir, `to render livid or pale' (that's quite a
range in color), of uncertain origin. The TLF
doesn't list any hypotheses related to Gk. blema.
- Astro Boy
- A cartoon
character known in the original Japanese as Tetsuwan-Atoma (`Captain
Atom'), created by
Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989). Tezuka, like his father, was trained as a
physician, but in the 1950's he was successful as a manga writer (Astro Boy
appeared in the manga magazine Shonen,
serialized April 1951 to March 1952). He founded Mushi Production (1961-1973)
and came out with an animated version
(anime). (The word
mushi here means `insect,' and I suppose it must have a better
connotation in Japanese than the translation has in English. The universal
Japanese phone greeting, which sounds like mushi-mushi, is actually
moshi-moshi.) The black-and-white Astro Boy
series, 1963-1965, was the first animated TV series to be produced in Japan. It became a worldwide hit (but surprisingly many of the fan sites are
Australian) and opened the market for Japanese successors and imitators (like
Gigantor); it established many of the conventions of the genre, such as large
oval eyes. A color version was produced in the early 1980's.
A very good site, but mostly in Japanese:
Tezuka Osamu World (requires Flash, like
this Astro Boy page in English).
Osamu Tezuka is said to have seen Walt Disney's Bambi eighty times.
Maybe that's not a precise count, but evidently WD
was an influence. Eventually, things came full circle. Tezuka Osamu created
Kimba the White Lion (or Jungle King, or Jungle Emperor),
a B/W TV series, 1965-1966. (The lion's name in the
original Japanese is Chimba. I guess they want to reserve that for a
sequel about a chimp.) This
index page links to Tomoyuki Tanaka's minor obsession with the apparent
sincere flattery that Disney's Lion King paid to Jungle King.
I suspect that ``manga magazine'' is at least etymologically redundant. (A
good glossary entry raises as many questions as it answers.)
According to the original story, Astro Boy was born at the Science Ministry on
April 7, 2003. A new ``Tetsuwan Atom'' TV series premiered in Japan on April
6, 2003. SONY has been working on an Astro Boy
movie now (March 2003) scheduled for release in fall 2004. The English
name of the little robot, according to its Japanese creators, has generally
been AstroBoy, spelled as one word, but only the more fastidious Anglophone
fans spell it that way, and SONY apparently will use the two-word spelling.
- astroturf lobbying
- Institutional lobbying that dissimulates grass-roots lobbying.
- Advanced Schottky TTL. See AS entry.
- German, Abgassonderuntersuchung. `Gas emission
Special Investigation.' This is serious! AU is
- Appalachian State University. A
school located in Boone, North Carolina. Don't ask ``what's that close to?''
It's close to the junction of state highways 321 and 421. It's close to a
population of 10 thousand. On August 31, 2007, the 1-AA App State Mountaineers
went into the University of Michigan's Big House and outplayed the home team,
coming away with a 34-32 victory. It was a college football upset that finally
eclipses Carnegie Tech over (the absent) Knute Rockne's Notre Dame team at
Pittsburgh in 1926.
- Arizona State University. The main
campus is in Tempe, southeast of Phoenix;
cf. UA.) Tempe was so named because it
reminded a founder of the Vale of Tempe. New York
(the Empire State) was also settled by classicists, apparently.
In the late 1980's they opened a satellite campus in northwest Phoenix adjacent
to Glendale -- ASU West. In the
mid-nineties they opened an ASU East
satellite in Mesa.
- The Associated Students UCLA.
``[T]he not-for-profit organization which operates the Student Union,
Bookstores, Restaurants, and Trademarks & Licensing at UCLA.'' Banners hanging outside Ackerman (the student
union) actually expand this in a declarative sentence: ``ASUCLA is the
Associated Students UCLA.'' If they can afford a two-letter copula, why not a
two-letter preposition? It's probably due to the severe cutbacks the UC system
has suffered during California's budget crunch.
``Associated Students. Stuff you need since 1919.''
- Associated Students of the University of
Montana. The student government at MUM.
- A variant spelling of asyndetic, the adjective corresponding to the
The Roman alphabet was adopted with negligible adaptations from the Etruscan,
and the Etruscan alphabet was typical of the western Greek alphabets used on
the Italian peninsula. The Etruscan letter U occupied the same place and
apparently had about the same sound as the upsilon in the classical Greek
alphabet. Over time, the Romans made a few adjustments. For example, as the
gamma had become devoiced in many but not all contexts, the original letter (C)
was recognized as having a new value regularly. That's why our a-b-c
corresponds to alpha-beta-gamma. The old gamma sound was assigned to a new
letter G (a modified form of C) which was placed in the seventh position, where
the disused letter Z (Greek zeta) had been. They dropped some other letters,
like phi and psi, that were kept in eastern Greek alphabets; they kept others,
particularly digamma (F) and qoppa (Q), that the Greeks discarded.
When the Romans started adopting large amounts of Greek vocabulary, they
adjusted to the alphabet mismatch in a couple of ways. For the aspirated
consonants they deployed H to indicate aspiration. (Hence P for the consonant
pi and PH for the consonant phi, K for kappa and CH for chi, etc. The H also
stood for the breathing mark; hence ha for initial aspirated alpha, and rh for
aspirated rho.) For fricatives the approach was mixed. The sound psi was
represented by the consonant pair PS, but the sounds of xi and zeta, instead of
being represented by the equivalent consonant pairs KS and DS, were represented
by the letters X and Z, readopted or restored to the Roman alphabet. The
situation with vowels was more complicated, as it usually is. Quantity
distinctions (long and short in the old sense) originally distinguished in
Greek (epsilon vs. eta, omicron vs. omega) were often (as is usual for Latin)
not indicated. Diphthongs were used to represent some single-letter vowel
sounds in Greek. These tricks were apparently not enough, and upsilon (the
original of the U) was added to the Roman alphabet along with X and Z.
The historical identity of U and Y is often present to the mind of a
classicist, however, so that even to this day, classicists writing Greek in
Roman characters often use u in place of y. (Of course, a different form of U,
originally used word-initially, was eventually retasked to represent the
consonantal sound sometimes represented by U. With the duplicated form W, that
makes four distinct modern letters from the original upsilon.)
- ASUSTeK Computer, Inc.
It looks like an acronym, but the company was founded in Taiwan, and the
letters A and (especially) U are strange initial letters for Chinese.
- An archaic Spanish adverb meaning `up,'
from the Latin ad sursum. Its place has been
taken by arriba, from the Latin ad ripam.
- Spanish verb meaning `to scare.'
- (Airborne) Anti-SUrface Warfare.
- American Standard Version (of the Bible). The standard acronym is
SARV, so look there instead, okay? ``American
Standard'' makes enameled plumbing fixtures.
- Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. As a point of comparison,
perhaps, the mental qualification requirement for the USMC OCC or PLC program can be satisfied in any of three
- ACT score of 45 (Math + English)
- SAT score of 1080 (Math + Verbal)
- ASVAB EL score of 115,
- American Society for Veterinary Clinical
Pathologists. The ASVCP and ACVP hold a joint
- Analog Simultaneous Voice and Data.
- American Society of Veterinary
- Anti-Submarine Warfare.
- German, Außersinnliche Wahrnehmung. `Extra-sensory
- Association of Social Work Boards.
Formerly the AASSWB.
- Australian Stock EXchange.
- A list of items joined without any conjunction. A list of this sort is
said to be asyndetic.
- Julius Caesar (laconic comment on swift successful campaign in
Pontus, as recorded by Suetonius in Lives of the Caesars):
veni, vidi, vici (Latin: `I
came, I saw, I conquered.')
- Abraham Lincoln (closing words of Gettysburg Address, recorded by
various newspaper reporters present): But, in a larger sense, we can
not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this
ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have
consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world
will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have
thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated
to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead
we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last
full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead
shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have
a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the
people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Asyndeton can have at least a couple of distinct effects, which we might call
distillation and compression. In the examples from Lincoln above, it may
impart a certain gravitas. The asyndetic phrases sound as if they have been
purified of unimportant words, so what is left is distilled truth. In the
example from Caesar, asyndeton achieves narrative compression. It helps
encapsulate or summarize (one view of) the story, and it may suggest that
nothing more need be said, or that success was such a foregone conclusion that
nothing beyond a bald recitation of the elements is ultimately important.
There are various kinds of laconic moods and motives, and in less memorable
instances, asyndeton may be used simply for a little rhetorical fillip. Use is
a matter of taste. For reasons that I can't understand, I can't remember any
really unmemorable instances of asyndeton, so I've had to contrive my own, one
of which you can find at the ST:TOS entry.
A closely related idea is parataxis. Parataxis
is the bald placement of statements without the connectives that normally
signal the logical structure of an extended argument. A completely unrelated
idea, but with a similar name, is adynaton.
- Advanced Series 400. Midsize
IBM computer that has run the OS/400 operating
system, which used an old-style host-and-dumb-terminal paradigm rather than
a client/server paradigm. Now ``AS/400 Advanced Application Architecture''
- Accunet Switched 56.