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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 at Chemicool.

Arts and Sciences. A productive acronymic suffix, used mostly by educational and entertainment institutions:

Read on.

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, but that page, like all of its constitutent-society pages, has changed in the past and now has a demeaning and transient-looking URL (seriously, ``societies.aspx?sid=363E4D14-98A2-DB11-A735-000C2903E717''?), so I'm not even going to link to there.

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 ASA Newsletter (ISSN 1089-1668). Both publications are free to members.

American Society of Anesthesiologists.

American Society on Aging.

American 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.

American Studies Association. Founded in 1950 (and chartered in 1951?), a constituent society of the ACLS since 1958.

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 louse.''

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 from the 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 Molecular Biology.

ASBO, Asbo
Anti-Social 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 that.''

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 ASBP.

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.

Snicker. Snort.

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 and society.''

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 $500.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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 ``Fixed-Width Days.''

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 Comparative Law.

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 History).

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 Nutritional Sciences.

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 Oncology).

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

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., `anti-scurvy').

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 2001.

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 down to 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 handbasket'' (tm).

Here's 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 appropriate. The 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.

American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Founded in 1899. Its official journal is DCR.


Yeah, so what does he want to know? Oh: Australasian Society for Classical Studies.


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.)

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 X12 Committee.

Academy for Sports Dentistry. It hurts just thinking about it.

Anti-Shine-Dalgarno. Explanation at SD entry.

Adjustable-Speed Drive[s].

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 Children.

That's probably as deposited, and no arsenic.

Air Self-Defense Force. The Japanese Air Force. Cf. MSDF.

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 automotive technicians.''

``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 & Truck).

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 wind power.''

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 nineteenth century.''

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.''

American 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 reason.

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 Endoscopy.

Related links: ADHF, NOSCAR, and SAGES.


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 abbreviations.

The Association for the Study of German Politics.

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 myself.

American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Association for the Study of Higher Education.

A name given to girls born in 1965, and a few more since then, and to this guy (CV here, in RTF).

American Society of Head and Neck Radiology.

American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

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 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety education and awareness. The ASI is sponsored by Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Bush Hog, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Patriot, Polaris, Suzuki, Tomberlin, and Yamaha.''

Atomizer, Source, Inductively-coupled plasma in Atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (AFS).

And I Swear I Am Not Making This Up. Usenet abbreviation.

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 power consumption.

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.]

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

American Society of International Law, founded 1906. Has a number of publications, including American Journal of International Law.

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 Diagnostics.

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 images.

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 GU entry.

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 signers).

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 hear.

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.

American 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 Greek etymology.

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 Companies.

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 Engineers.

Association of Sales and Marketing Companies.

Advanced Storage Magneto-Optical.

Abstract Syntax Notation. (ITU-T.)

Advance Ship(ping) Notice.

American Society for Neurochemistry.

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 ASNTR.

American Society for Nondestructive Testing.

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 thing.

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.

Automated 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 blogged 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.


American 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 APA/AIA 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.

Hah! See?

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 defined professions.''

Corresponding Canadian organisation: AAAC.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Vide SPCA.

AntiSocial Personality Disorder. ``Yer SICK, that's your problem!''

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:

RED Stop and wait here.
YELLOW Next signal is red; prepare to stop there.
GREEN Next signal is not red; full speed permitted.

RED Stop and wait here.
YELLOW Next signal is red; prepare to stop there.
DOUBLE YELLOW Next signal is yellow; prepare to stop at the one after it.
GREEN Next signal is not single-yellow or red; full speed permitted.

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 no...''

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 cataloguers.)

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 sequence

              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 <http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/multimedia/images/gif/a/aspirin.gif>.)

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 NeuroRadiology.

American Schools of Professional Psychology.

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 FASPS).

American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. No kidding!

American Society for Quality.

If you don't care what kind of quality you get, you can have as much as you like.

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 Technologists.

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 Handy-phone 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 . 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, S.J.)

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 droplet concentrations.

American Society of Spine Radiology.

Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. A somewhat obsolete term.

Asst., Ass't.

The longest 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 used similarly.

Atlantic Standard Time. GMT - 4 hrs.

Atomized Suspension Technique.

At (the) Same Time.

Average Sampling Time.

Allgemeine StudentenAusschuss. German `General Student Committee.'

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.

The pet dog of Nick and Nora Charles, protagonists of the Thin Man movie series of the 1950's. William Powell played Nick Charles, and Nora was played by the devastatingly beautiful Myrna Loy.

One day in 1995 or so, over dinner with our seminar speaker that day, I said something like, ``my relationship problem is that I want all of our conversations to be like Nick and Nora Charles.'' The chairman of the department, sitting next to me and across from his fianceé, mentioned that she had made him watch the Thin Man series. I guess it was a kind of prenuptial training.

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 other networks.

AST Computer
Founded by Albert Wong, Safi Qureshey and Tom Yuen in 1980. Here's their homepage.

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 Emission Reflectance.

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 Sciences (ROSES).

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 attributed to 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 Materials.

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 K/T boundary.

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 first 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 bad enough.

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 noun asyndeton.

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 ways:

American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathologists. The ASVCP and ACVP hold a joint annual meeting.

Analog Simultaneous Voice and Data.

American Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology.

Anti-Submarine Warfare.

German, Außersinnliche Wahrnehmung. `Extra-sensory Perception' (ESP).

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.

    Famous examples:
  1. 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.')
  2. 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'' is available.

Accunet Switched 56.

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