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Central African Franc. (As it was originally known; official name now corresponds to African Financial Community Franc.) A currency whose value is pegged to the French Franc, used in countries of former Central French Africa. After the French acronym CFA, this is pronounced `seh-fah.' After the use of the currency was expanded from the original central African countries to include a number of former French colonies in west Africa, the system ended up with two central banks in Africa. You would think this could be a problem, but not to worry: the whole thing is a tightly controlled arm of French neocolonialism. Cf. CFP.

Chicago Architecture Foundation. Here's a bit more on chicago architecture.

Conductive Anodic Filaments. Damage (by electromigration from the anode, I guess; it would make sense).

Confédéracion Africaine de Football.

California Alliance for Families and Children.

Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. Their domain, <cafc.ca>, is Kafkaesque. [Which reminds me that, as I point out at the KDE entry and elsewhere, Immanuel Kant's grandfather was a Scot named Cant. Kant was deeply influenced by the Scottish philosophers David Hume. Yeah, yeah, so were various others. But the fact remains that the greatest philosophers (or at least epistemologists) of the eighteenth century were both of Scottish extraction. Sean Connery too.]

Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs.

Carsten Fjellerad Christensen. Carsten Christensen is a still photographer in Denmark; he owns the domain <cafc.dk> and displays 148 of his pictures at the site. A lot of the pictures have poor depth of field. (This is normally called ``shallow depth of field,'' perhaps because the camera is typically focused on what is nearest, leaving only the background out of focus. It's really a thin depth of field, because things closer to the camera are also out of focus.) The way to get poor depth of field is to use a wide aperture. I'd like to say you do it by ``stopping up,'' since ``stopping down'' is narrowing the aperture. Likely reasons for the poor depth of field: (1) artsiness, and (2) a small value of f-stop used to reduce exposure time for insufficiently stationary subjects like people.

I suppose Christensen chose <cafc.dk> because <cfc.dk>, was already taken. The latter forwards to the main website of Kopenhagen Fur. Why does a Danish company use a combination of German (Kopenhagen would be København in Danish) and English (fur is pels in Danish and Pelz in German)? Indeed, why was <cfc.dk> an appropriate domain name for Kopenhagen Fur? You better know the answer because it's going to be on the test. I hope someone gets it right because I'd like to know the answers.

Their motto is in English whether the language you select to read is English, Chinese, or Danish. (You need to know the reason for that too. It's because the Chinese start page text is in English. You should have realized long ago that the academic solution to a difficult problem is the answer to a simpler question.)

The motto itself is ``Simply the world's finest fur.'' Oh, simply that. The model has fine skin too. It reminds me of the expression ``neither hide nor hair.'' [Typical use: ``I've seen neither hide nor hair of him.'' Almost literally equivalent to ``I haven't seen any part of him.'' Essentially, it's just a colorful intensification, so the full sentence is equivalent to ``I haven't seen him at all.''] There's a German expression that's parallel, but the hide cognate still refers unironically to human skin (``Haut und Haar,'' meaning `skin and hair'). It seems to be widespread, at least in West Germanic. In Dutch it's ``huid en haar.'' English used to have the phrase ``[in] hide and hair'' meaning, like the previous two, `wholly, completely, like, totally, man!' but I've only encountered the English version in a dictionary. (I also owe the Dutch version to a dictionary, but since I rarely read or try to read Dutch, this isn't very significant.)

Kopenhagen Fur offers auction services (see the webpage) for fur ranchers. I once briefly (about 20 hours) dated a woman whose father had been a mink farmer. He fed them chicken, which he also raised. They're mean, nasty critters (the mink, especially the American species, but maybe the chicken too).

Castlereagh Aquatic and Fitness. A workout club in the Sydney (Australia) central business district. If their hours are at all adequate (closed Sundays, open 6-9 Monday-Thursday), then Sydney must be one of those sleepy little towns where they roll up the sidewalks after dinner.

Catch As Foo Can. No, not really. A domainer bought <cafc.net> (on Bastille Day 2009), so that CAFC may stand for anything or nothing. They only bought it for a term of two years; maybe they thought CAFC was peaking.

You know, in many countries you can't register a trademark unless you're actually going to use it (or a similar one that you're protecting) for something. Of course, the page includes the usual ``search tool'' returning paid links irrelevant to your search terms. And it deposits three cookies, so now you know something less appetizing than store brand.

Charlton Athletic Football Club. Charlton Athletic F.C. (a/k/a the Addicks) is based in Charlton, an inner suburb of London, on the south side of the Thames about 7 miles east of Charing Cross; Charlton is part of the London Borough of Greenwich, England. I'm pretty sure that usually, in that particular part of the world (as opposed to Wembley Stadium when that hosts the NFL), the ``football'' they play is ``association football,'' or ``soccer'' for short. Association football is played between associations called ``football clubs,'' whereas North American football is played between football teams, so all that detailed geographic information is superfluous if you're not going to the game.

Clean Arms for Community. Taking antiperspirants to a whole new level! Hey, you don't believe me? Follow the link.

What, back already? Well, I didn't claim they would confirm my antiperspirants claim. Clean Arms for Community seems to be a gang-tattoo removal program operating at a juvenile facility, the ``Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic.'' The word ``Southern'' here refers to southern California; the facility is in Norwalk. ``Correctional Reception Center and Clinic'' and ``facility'' are euphemisms for prison or perhaps part of a prison. Sure, ``Reception Center'' sounds welcoming, but why not ``Residential Lounge''? A ``gang tattoo'' seems to be any kind of tattoo on anyone who has ever been a gang member.

(The youngest son of a woman I know was recently kicked out of Catholic school and entered public middle school, where someone asked him if he was a Crip or a Blood. He explained or pointed out that he is white. His dad is actually Mexican. I also know Mexicans who would be regarded as pale in Spain and who consider themselves neither ``whites'' nor ``Westerners'' -- on account of their national origin. ``Race'' is no longer socially constructed; now it's a matter of personal choice, like hair color and gender.)

CAFC has a lot of video and stills, but they don't show any before-and-after comparisons. Absence of proof, they say, is not proof of absence. Here it is the absence of proof of absence that is not proof of absence of absence, but it does raise a doubt.

Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. There is no free Cuba, so they have nothing to do. No wait! ``This plan is not an imposition but rather is a promise we will keep with the Cuban people to marshal our resources and expertise, and encourage our democratic allies to be ready to support Cuba when the inevitable opportunity for genuine change arises.'' So they maintain ever-ready supplies of rum and Coke at secret locations throughout the Caribbean. They only buy Coke that's kosher for Passover, so it's made with real cane-sugar sugar, and not that corn-syrup, uh, stuff. (I'm just guessing here, but it seems more than plausible. On the other hand, to be on the safe side, I'm not going to check any of this.)

(United States) Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Back in Abraham Lincoln's days as a lawyer, circuit courts (at the federal and lower levels) would travel a circuit and convene in different localities to hear cases locally. Lawyers like Lincoln would travel with it like camp followers, offering their services to the local litigants (and, starting in the 1850's, to the railroads that were starting to be built through those parts).

The use of circuit-riding appeals courts was begun under the reign of King Henry II and extended to North America in colonial times. Until 1891, even justices of the US Supreme Court had circuit-riding duties. (Carried out in summer, when the old dirt roads were more passable. This is supposedly the origin of the traditional long summer recess. They ended the tradition just as the bicycle craze led to a rapid increase in paved roads.) Below the level of the Supreme Court, there are still many itinerant judges.

The federal appeals court system below the Supreme Court comprises thirteen ``circuits.'' Individual cases are heard by tribunals. For some reason the much-preferred term is ``three-judge panels.'' Maybe the word ``tribunal'' is deemed threatening or forbidding. The judges for a case are selected at random from among the sitting judges. They're still called sitting judges even though the larger circuits use courthouses in far-flung districts, so they have to get up and travel to another city. The Ninth Circuit is by far the largest, with jurisdiction for the districts from Alaska to Arizona, and Montana to Hawaii (and Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands). Most cases are heard in Portland, San Francisco, or Pasadena, but panels occasionally sit in other venues.

Eleven of the thirteen US Courts of Appeals have multi-state jurisdictions. The DC Circuit has jurisdiction for Washington, D.C. (the federal government gives them a chunk of caseload). The CAFC (remember? that's what this entry is about) is the only one without a geographically defined bailiwick. It was created in 1981 (actually inaugurated in 1982) in a merger of the US Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (CCPA) with the appellate division of the US Court of Claims, and its jurisdiction is nation-wide. It hears cases originating in various specialized lower courts, and also cases that originated in district courts but concern patents and scattered other legal matters specified by statute. (Because its jurisdiction is national, giving it the authority to rule on interpretation of a law prevents conflict-of-precedents problems in the administration of laws affecting activities that might span multiple circuits.)

They mostly sit in one of their DC courthouses, but once or twice a year they'll have a panel sit somewhere else. Frankly, the US Patent system today (2010) is broken, with clerk shortages, long delays, and poor quality of work. I don't know where that leaves the CAFC.

Crewe Alexandra Football Club. I trust you stayed awake through the CAFC entry for the Addicks, so you realize that this too is a soccer team.

Most of these websites are written for people who already know a lot about the F.C. whose webpage they're visiting, and who just want to get caught up on the latest bluster and trivia. This is opportunity wasted. Webpages are like dictionary entries: most people visit them while looking for something else. If Crewe Alexandra F.C. had a link to follow that provided information such as, say, where their stadium is located... But no, if you want to know that sort of stuff, you go to the Wikipedia page. (Their stadium is ``at Gresty Road in Crewe, Cheshire and [they're] nicknamed The Railwaymen due to the town's historical links with the rail industry.'')

I'm going to have to go dig through the anthropology literature to see if anyone has solved the great mystery of why people attend sports events and care who wins. Don't tell me ``because it's fun.'' That's like ``explaining'' the existence of the world by saying that ``it was created by God'' (using materials he found on the back of the giant turtle, no doubt). No, sports fandom is a great mystery, and great mysteries should have deep answers. No explanation short of the cosmological is likely to be right.

Computer-Assisted Fecal Élimination. Accent on the ee, as in Email.

Carbon Alternative Fuel Equivalent. A replacement of the existing CAFE standards proposed in outline by former (can I say ``repudiated'' please, please?) Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and second author Vinod Khosla (``a founder of Sun Microsystems, is a venture capitalist'') in a New York Times op-ed, May 8, 2006.

``This new CAFE will measure `petroleum mileage' and give automakers incentives and credits for increasing ethanol consumption as a percentage of fuel use of their vehicles, not least by promoting flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on either gasoline or E85 fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. This approach promises several significant benefits.'' Particularly to corn farmers.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy. [Pronounced ``café.''] (The corporate average refers to the average of a car manufacturer's fleet, and is important because some legislated fuel economy standards in the US are referred to this quantity (the idea being to give a car company the option of satisfying consumer demand for more expensive gas guzzlers while still lowering fuel consumption overall). However, YMMV. The US first adopted CAFE standards in 1975.

Computer-Aided Facial Image Inferencing and Retrieval system. A project described in this 1993 paper, to organize the retrieval of facial images in databases.

A romantic movie location that allows traffic movement to mask the fact that there is no action, only dialogue.

Also, if you mix in some accordion music you don't need to film Paris on location.

A genus of single-celled plankton. As of 2001 (see its entry in the online AlgaeBase, it had at least two taxonomically accepted species -- C. minuta and the type species of the genus -- C. roenbergensis. The latter was described by T. Fenchel and D.J. Patterson in ``Cafeteria roenbergensis nov. gen., nov. sp., a heterotrophic microflagellate from marine plankton'' in Mar. Microb. Food Webs, vol. 3, pp. 9-19 (19 July 1988).

According to marine biologist Tom Fenchel (see above) ``We found a new species of ciliate during a marine field course in Rønbjerg and named it Cafeteria roenbergensis because of its voracious and indiscriminate appetite after many dinner discussions in the local cafeteria.'' (C. roenbergensis mostly gorges on bacteria.) The quote is taken from the species entry at the Encyclopedia of Life, which has a lot of other interesting information, as well as a more sober comment on the name, of the sort that may be necessary to get a scientific joke accepted into the nomenclature: ``The name Cafeteria reflects the importance of this organism in marine microbial food webs.''

The family Cafeteriaceae now includes three other genera besides Cafeteria: Acronema, Discocelis, and Pseudobodo.

Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.

Central American Free Trade Agreement. An agreement between Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and the US. I never knew that the Dominican Republic was in Central America.

Carcinogen Assessment Group. Also expanded Cancer Assessment Group. People like me often get confused or change our minds halfway through and write Cancerogenic Assessment Group. You can read as far as you like, but you're not going to learn any useful actual facts about CAG's because I don't know any, besides what they're called.


Corpus Augustinianum Gissense (a Cornelio Mayer editum).

Cartography and Geographic Information Society. Member organization of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). Cf. American Cartographic Association (ACA).

County Adjusted Gross Income Tax. In Indiana there are separate state and county income taxes. One way they are separate is that, subject to certain constraints, the counties can assess different rates. I think there's one county that chooses not to tax income. (I think all the counties tax real property. There used to be a tax on inventory which the ``local option'' county income tax was partly designed to compensate counties for the loss of... you know, this tax thing is kind of a big topic.)

Anyway, a county gets a cut if you live in it or if you work in it, and those two cuts can be different. The county income tax calculation is part of the state income tax filing, and you add it all up and send it to the state. You also have to list which school district you live in. When a married couple that files jointly works in two or more different counties and lives together in a third, it gets so complicated that they usually get divorced to avoid the paperwork. Just kidding; they shoot themselves.

Compound Annual Growth Rate. Expanded as ``combined annual growth rate'' by the same kind of people who write FAB instead of fab.


Cambridge Ancient History. A celebrated multi-volume reference work (first edition mid 1960's) and its progressively less celebrated revised editions.


Committee on Ancient History. ``[A] diverse body of practicing ancient historians from all levels of the North American educational system,'' part of the American Philological Association (APA).

Critical Access Hospital.

California Association of Health Facilities.


Occasional Papers of the Committee on Ancient History. An electronic journal published by the CAH since 2002.

``The Committee on Ancient History desires to publish papers and short manuscripts that employ original research, critical review, and innovative methodology to promote the pedagogy of Ancient History. The Committee understands Ancient History generally to reflect all aspects of the development of societies in those areas about the Mediterranean basin and its peripheral regions before ca. AD 500. Submissions that make use of digital technology are encouraged, as are those using traditional print styles. All submissions accepted for inclusion in the Occasional Papers will be published electronically. Though English is preferred, the editors will consider submissions in any of the major instructional languages of North America.''

Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study. An annual US-wide survey of Medicare beneficiaries' experiences with managed care plans.

Computer-Aided (CA-) Instruction.


Common acronym for the Canadian Academic Institute in Athens and the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens, for a time after they were founded in 1974. I never figured out whether the CAIA really regarded itself as one or themselves as two organizations (the next two paragraphs report my findings), so I am happy that as of 2007, the CAIA is or are the CIG.

``Although known in Greece as the Canadian Archaeological Institute at Athens, the Institute is directly responsible to its mother company, the Canadian Academic Institute, which operates solely in Canada.'' So in CAIA expansions, ``in Athens'' means in Toronto, Canada, and ``at Athens'' means in Athens, Greece.

The French is no better: `L'Institut Canadien Académique à Athènes / L'Institut Canadien d'Archéologie à Athènes' (ICAA).

Also on the page quoted above, an explanation of why you might expect other such institutes at Athens (e.g.: ASCSA, BSA):

``Because the Greek government requires that archaeological work by foreigners ... be carried out under the auspices of their own national organizations with offices in Greece.''

Columbia Accident Investigation Board. From the executive summary of the Columbia Accident Investigation Report produced by the CAIB:
The physical cause of the loss of [NASA space shuttle] Columbia and its crew was a breach in the Thermal Protection System on the leading edge of the left wing, caused by a piece of insulating foam which separated from the left bipod ramp section of the External Tank at 81.7 seconds after launch, and struck the wing in the vicinity of the lower half of Reinforced Carbon-Carbon panel number 8. During re-entry this breach in the Thermal Protection System allowed superheated air to penetrate through the leading edge insulation and progressively melt the aluminum structure of the left wing, resulting in a weakening of the structure until increasing aerodynamic forces caused loss of control, failure of the wing, and breakup of the Orbiter. This breakup occurred in a flight regime in which, given the current design of the Orbiter, there was no possibility for the crew to survive.

Conflict Archive on the INternet. Northern Ireland. The acronym says it all.

California Association for Institutional Research. ``Institutional Research'' (IR) appears to be research into the administration of post-secondary education.

Council on American-Islamic Relations.

A town in Alabama (the state also has an Arab), Arkansas, Egypt, Florida, Georgia, Illinois (this is the famous one), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and West Virginia. That's nineteen states, in case you lost count. The one in Illinois, at least, is pronounced ``KAY-roe.'' (Cf. Arab.)

The Cairo in Egypt is a few miles west of the site of an ancient city called Heliopolis by the Greeks. It is called On in the Bible, and the Egyptian name when it flourished was Anu.

Canadian Association for Information Science.

Canadian Association of Independent Schools.

Computer-Aided Interactive Video. As opposed to the other kind, I suppose. An acronym that was still in use in the 1990's.

Canadian Association of Journalists.

A tree found in Australia and in the Scrabble forest, where it can also be spelled cajaput and cajuput.

California Association of Japanese Language Teachers. An affiliate of the NCJLT.

Computer-Aided Knitting. My mother wrote a Pascal program to rescale patterns, but she had the dignity to refrain from inventing this acronym, which I have placed here strictly for hortative pedagogical purposes, without in any way meaning to encourage its use. Cf. CA-.

The University of California at Berkeley. UCB.

CALifornia University of Pennsylvania.

Cal., cal.
Calorie, or kilocalorie (Calorie). See the calorie entry below for clarification, or switch out of chemistry.

Computer-Assisted (or -Aided) (CA-) Learning. Productive in CALMET. Quite the rage. Soon your every textbook will have a CD-ROM disc inside the back cover. This page of links is for CAL software developers.

Conservation Analytical Laboratory. Now SCMRE.

Continuous Annealing Line.

Copyright Agency Limited. A private Australian licensing agency.

Customer Access Line.

Chinese-American Librarians Association. An affiliate of the American Library Association.

Clergy And Laity Concerned. A funny name for a group, but the etymology clarifies: It was originally created in the fall of 1964 by Fathers Daniel Berrigan and Richard John Neuhaus, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, with the name Clergy Concerned About Vietnam. After some leadership change, it veered sharply left in the late sixties.

A calculator used to be a person who performed calculations. Now it is a machine or software that performs calculations. You might want to have a look at the calculus entry for the etymology of this word.

Edmund Burke, a great favorite of quote books, wrote this eulogy in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790):

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,-glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart I must have, to comtemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever.

Somehow the ideas of women and calculators seem to attract, sure. At Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, most of the calculators (calculatrices?) were women. (I think Richard Feynman described in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman how at one point, his task was to organize the human card-sorting dance that got the calculations done.) Stanislaw Ulam told a story about one calculatrix in his autobiography (p. 218; title and the rest at the 86 entry), although by the time he wrote the book he was using the anachronistic term ``programmer.''

I particularly remember one of the programmers who was really beautiful and well endowed. She would come to my office with the results of the daily computation. Large sheets of paper were filled with numbers. She would unfold them in front of her low-cut Spanish blouse and ask, ``How do they look?'' and I would exclaim ``They look marvelous!'' to the entertainment of Fermi and others in the office at the time.

There's a picture of an attractive young woman and an old mechanical calculator at the HW (for hardware) entry.

In August of 1914, Edward Grey, Viscount of Falloden, wrote an echo of Burke's words on Europe and the extinction of the light:

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we will not see them lit again in our lifetime.

He died in 1933. More on the end of the age of chivalry at the Taxasaurus entry.

Incidentally, you notice that Burke referred to the Queen of France as the Dauphiness? The King of France was called the Dauphin after the dolphins on his coat of arms.


In Latin, calculus is a small stone or pebble. The -cul is a diminutive ending, just as in animacule and the nonce word philosophunculist. Today, dentists use the word calculus as one name for the hard build-up on teeth that is also called tartar. The Romans used small stones to perform calculations (it would seem to go without saying) or computations. The stones were moved around on an abacus that was basically a tray of sand. (The kind of abacus that is familiar today, with beads on rods, used to be called an ``Oriental abacus.'')

The word calculus has continued to be used for various methods of calculation, as in ``differential calculus,'' or simply to emphasize the mathematical quality of a reasoning process, as in ``moral calculus.'' I really didn't want to write this much, but as long as I'm on this I'll mention that the words checkerboard and Exchequer are derived from the use of a table or sheet (a checker board) cross-ruled in squares to function as an abacus (for checking figures). We actually have more information on calculus at the abacus entry than at the calculus entry, and vice versa. If I'm not careful, this glossary could get to be quite odd.

Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). Conventional in the sense that it carries a non-nuclear warhead.

Collected ALGOrithms. Part of the family of publications produced by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

``Software associated with papers published in the Transactions on Mathematical Software, as well as other ACM journals are incorporated in CALGO. This software is refereed for originality, accuracy, robustness, completeness, portability, and lasting value.''

The more recent algorithms can be downloaded from the ACM server, and used subject to the ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement.

The accuracy of a measurement is limited by the accuracy of the instrument used to make the measurement. By using the instrument to make a measurement of some standard, one can check its accuracy and possibly either adjust the instrument or discount its readings to derive a more accurate result.

The idea of calibration can be applied even when the measurement is qualitative rather than quantitative, and when the instrument is a person's judgment. For example, on November 21, 2008, the Wall Street Journal's Opinion page contained a column recounting an interview with Bhutan's first elected prime minister, Jigme Y. Thinley. The interviewer and author of the column gushed that Mr. Thinley ``studied in the U.S., and his English is so articulate that it borders on poetic.'' Setting aside the possible objection that poetry is not exactly the apotheosis of articulateness, one may still wonder about the accuracy of the general positive judgment of PM Thinley's English. Happily, the column contains specimens of it, so one may judge directly, and the column is written in English, so one may perform an independent calibration of the instrument herself.

Here is an example of the instrument's English: ``But the election, comprising of two parties with fairly similar agendas, was remarkably peaceful.'' The column ends by showcasing a sample of the PM's English: ``the individual himself and herself must pursue happiness.''

Computer-Assisted Language-Instruction COnsortium. With the assistance of your computer, you can see that we have a related CAL entry.

An option to buy. Complementary to a put option (more at that entry).

Center for Army Lessons Learned. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Created in response to the small disaster of Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada, October 1983, minor opposition, 19 US service members dead).

Computer-Assisted Language Learning.

They can put a man on the moon, but they can't make a pill that you swallow and the next day you wake up speaking a strange language. (Not counting LSD.)

call? didn't he Why
This is the Why didn't he call? entry with the head terms in alphabetical order. Oh yeah --

again, Because didn't he meet not obviously. or question. really talk That's the to want with you

Spanish, `street.'

California Low Emissions Vehicle.

call into question
This is a very subtle statistical phrase used in the social sciences. Research is said to call into question a claim when:
  1. The claim is unpopular with the speaker, and
  2. the research fails to demonstrate that the claim is true or false with any degree of probability.

If the claim at first appears to be demonstrated false, but then the research is shown to be so flawed as to make any conclusion impossible, then the research is said to seriously call into question the (obviously false) claim.

Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) in METeorology. This page is a start.

A number of energy units. In chemical and chemical engineering usage, this is a standard and traditional unit for thermodynamic quantities. A standard unit for intensive quantities is kcal/mol (kilocalories per mole).

The calorie was originally defined as the quantity of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The precise pressure and temperature (interval) at which the defining measurement is supposed to be made have varied, and calorimetry itself is not such a hot (Ha-ha! Pun intended. Laugh, netsurfer, this was for you!) way to define an energy unit. Thus, over time there have been a number of different calorie definitions; it has been 4.185 ± 0.001 joule according to the most widely accepted definitions.

Okay, for you anals out there, the 4-degree calorie is 4.2045 joules, the 15-degree calorie is 4.1855 J, the mean 0-100 degree calorie is 4.1897 J. There's also the international steam calorie, 4.1868 J, and the ``thermochemical'' or ``defined'' calorie, which is simply an assigned value of 4.1840 J, the preferred value today.

[The value of a calorie, expressed in a unit such as joules or ergs is sometimes called the ``mechanical equivalent of heat,'' because it allows conversion between energy measured as heat flow to energy defined fundamentally in mechanical terms.]

Medical Calorie

The ``calorie'' used on nutritional information labels is not actually a calorie but a kilocalorie. The French, who gave us the word calorie in the first place (1787), often distinguish petit calorie (the thermochemical calorie) and the grand calorie (1000 petits). In English, there has been some effort to maintain a distinction in technical usage based on capitalization: 1 Cal. = 1 kcal. Such a case-based distinction wouldn't work in German, since all nouns are capitalized in that language. (Another interesting feature is that in German, the (stressed) final ie of Kalorie is pronounced as the single vowel sound /i:/ (English ``long e''), but in the plural Kalorie the ie becomes a diphthong /i:e/. This is typical of nouns ending in -ie, all of which, so far as I know, are loans from French.)

Other languages, such as English, used to capitalize much more extensively than they do now. Capitalization of all nouns was a feature of Danish -- a language used in Denmark, Greenland (at least theoretically), and in the more urban areas of Norway when it was the subordinate partner in a Danish-Norwegian dual kingdom. Norway gained a kind of independence, and complete political independence from Denmark, by the Treaty of Kiel of January 14, 1814. Under its terms the dual monarchy was dissolved, and Norway was ceded by the King of Denmark to the King of Sweden. Norwegian national spirit expressed itself partly as language reform, a phenomenon which I'm amazed to discover I haven't discussed at any length elsewhere in this glossary, though at the bok entry I do mention Bokmål. The latter (`book language') is very similar to Danish (called Rijksmål, `language of the empire,' at the time of independence). FWIW, Danish pronunciation is so odd that the Norwegian and Danish versions sound rather more different than Norwegian and Swedish do.

The major language reform during the period of Swedish rule (to 1905) was the establishment of Nynorsk on an equal legal footing with Bokmål (this was initially more de jure than de facto, since officials tended to be educated in Bokmål or Swedish). Nynorsk (`New Norwegian') began as a synthesis of Norwegian dialects spoken in rural areas, created by the native philologist Ivar Andreas Aasen (1813-1896) and introduced by him as Landsmaal (`Country Language') in 1853. Aasen promoted his synthesis as the authentic Norwegian language, and advocated its use as a literary language. He even wrote some original poetry in Landsmaal (whether this actually advanced the cause, I'm not sure). Anyway, around 1880, and probably mixed in with this though I don't know the details, universal noun capitalization was abolished in Norway. Denmark itself abolished universal noun capitalization in 1948. In Denmark, this capped (Another pun, netsurfer! You're helplessly ROTFLYAO!) a period during which universal noun capitalization had become increasingly uncommon. (You know, Shakespeare's Hamlet is set in Denmark. You should read our more honored in the breach entry.) Nevertheless, I note that the reform came three years after the end of WWII and the German occupation of Denmark. So whatever other factors may have been involved, two countries that formally abolished universal noun capitalization did so following the end of involuntary foreign rule. (Per tells me that back home in Denmark, nutritional information is listed in the tiny calories. It must make the food seem richer.)

The attempt to distinguish different things by different capitalization of a single word has been tried in other situations, and it has a poor record of success; among the reasons must be counted the different capitalization conventions of different languages (see previous two paragraphs), the ignorance of copyeditors (see kT entry), and the general carelessness of writers (see this sentence). A recent example of the attempt, already failed, is in the distinction between the unitary Internet and various relatively disconnected or insulated internets. The hoped-for usage was still described in the 1992 edition of the O'Reilly book on DNS and BIND, still in print as of 1997. However, at least since 1995, the lower-case kind of internet has been approximately what is now called intranet. Another example of an attempt to make a case-based distinction in informatics is in the case of gigabytes and gigabits (GB and Gb, respectively). Case is also significant in the abbreviations of many numerical prefixes in the SI.

Ultimately, the only reliable way to be sure of which calorie is meant is to observe context and to use common sense: it's hard to make a 1000X error if one is familiar with chemical quantities. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) for an adult human is on the order of a couple of thousand kilocalories a day.

In Ronald DeLorenzo's Problem Solving in General Chemistry, which had a second edition in 1993, there is a calculation of the energy needed to melt one kilogram of ice at 0°C and warm it to body temperature. Our university libraries have not seen fit to acquire this pedagogical work, but I found it excerpted in my copy of Kask and Rawn's General Chemistry, p. 439 (also neglected by our libraries), as a 2/3-page box labeled ``Applications of Chemistry 11.1''). To summarize the box, it takes about 1.2 × 105 calories. Someone must have thought this was a big deal: the box is titled ``The Dangers of Eating Snow for Emergency Water.'' I thought it was going to be about pollutants or albino dogs or something. ``Fortunately, there are several simple ways to get your water from snow and conserve valuable calories so that you do not freeze to death. As part of their car winter emergency kit, some people carry a candle and a metal container such as an empty coffee can in which they can melt and warm the snow.'' Or you could try one of the techniques enumerated in one of the earlier paragraphs of our Veep entry.

Also, for those thinking of putting emergency candles in the car this Winter, where they will be forgotten and melt next Summer (and spoil the water purification tablets), I have an alternate suggestion: emergency candies. For example, one (1) Twix-brand chocolate-covered cookie bar, about the size and shape of a candle but without the wick, provides 1.4 × 105 calories, more than canceling out the calorie cost of a liter of water and providing needed proteins as well. Okay, Twix cookies also melt, assuming you really forget them. You could substitute M&M's or something, but you'll have to do that calculation yourself. I've already done so much research for this part of the entry that I'm about to burst a button somewhere.

Look, if you haven't got the joke yet, I have another suggestion. Turn DeLorenzo's warning around and you have DeLorenzo's golden diet recommendation. If you want to lose weight, don't just eat low-calorie foods, eat negative-calorie foods: ice cubes! Yes: one barely-frozen ice cube, with a volume of, say, 8 cc, costs over 900 calories to warm and bring to room temperature. Compare this to a typical diet of 2000 or 2500 Calories, and you can see how, with just a few cubes (about 2137 or 2671, to be otiosely precise), you can wipe out your calorie Consumption as well as your ability to taste food.

Calories beyond medical help

Typical reaction energies in chemistry are in the range of 10-100 kcal/mol. Molecular weights -- well, you can figure those out. TNT has a molecular weight of 227 g/mol, and releases a bit under 250 kcal/mol when it explodes, so its explosive power is roughly 1.1 megacalories per kilogram. That's about 1 gigacalorie per short ton. You can forget the kind of ton if you're interested in the practical unit: one ``ton of TNT equivalent'' is defined as 1 Gcal. Hence, a kiloton of TNT is 1 Tcal (T for tera-, 1012) and a megaton is 1 Pcal (P for peta-, 1015).

calorific rays
A term coined by Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), the organist and renowned astronomer who discovered Uranus in 1781. (This elides a complication. He did discover the planet, but at first he thought it was a comet.) The term ``calorific rays'' refers to what we now call infrared light.

Herschel had been observing the Sun through various colored filters, and noticed that filters of different colors passed different amounts of heat, and this led him to do interesting experiments that he reported in 1800. Using a prism-and-thermometer set-up, he measured the heating caused by different spectral colors, and found greater heating with increasing wavelength (i.e., increasing from violet to red). He found that the greatest heating occurred in the region just beyond red. [This is an accident of the exprimental set-up, in which greater heating can be caused by greater absorption or by greater concentration of the light spectrum (if the index of refraction inside the prism varies more slowly with wavelength at longer wavelengths, or by simple geometric effects); for the solar spectrum, the energy per unit wavelength actually peaks around green.]

This was the first demonstration of light not visible to the eyes. Herschel went on to demonstrate that rays of this light could be reflected, refracted, absorbed, and transmitted as visible light could. (Of course, these facts were implicitly assumed in the original experimental operation.) Just the next year, 1801, Johann Wilhelm Ritter announced the discovery of invisible light on the other side of the visible light spectrum -- what we now call ultraviolet light. These didn't seem to have a direct heating effect, but he observed that they promote certain chemical reactions.

Calpers, CALPERS
CALifornia Public Employees' Retirement System. More like calipers, in the experience of California governments. Calpers handles pension plans for many California cities and counties, according to some commentary at the time that Stockton, CA, filed for bankruptcy.

Cal Poly
California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. According to the homepage (not quoting precisely): Many students seek admission to Cal Poly not only because the 6,000-acre campus is nestled in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, just minutes from California's Central Coast beaches, but also because of its excellent academic reputation.

A loan translation. A word created by combining the translations of morphemes in a word from a different language. German uses a lot of calque; English tends to borrow words directly, without analysis or translation, and calque, a French loan, is an example. That is, calque is not a calque (it wasn't even a calque at any stage of its etymology from Latin through Italian to French). I think it is appropriate that English, which makes little use of calque, has a noncalque word to describe calque. Examples in German include unabhängig (from Romance languages' `independent') and Geisteswissenschaften.

If anything about modern European languages can go without saying, it is that their vocabularies were all enormously influenced by Latin. In the areas that were dominated by Western Christianity, the influence was widespread not only among elites but directly at all levels of society, and there was correspondingly greater wholesale direct adoption of Latin words. The German language, or more precisely the various German languages, did follow this general pattern, and German today has a large number of naturalized Latin words, particularly in the language of the intellect and the traditional crafts, trades, and agriculture.

However, German is unusual: not only did it not absorb as much Latin as, say, Slavic languages that had a weaker direct exposure to the Roman Empire, German went further and replaced a number of Latin loans with calques. (The Académie Française -- the official arbiter of the French language -- would like to do that today with the language of the American empire.) The phenomenon was driven by a movement of mystics that arose in the fourteenth century, centered in the Rhineland; most prominent among these were Meister Eckhard (Johannes Eckhard, c. 1260-1327) and his pupils. These mystics preached and wrote in Latin and in a German filled with calques of Latin words. Their innovation was influential both directly and indirectly. The indirect influence consists mainly in the fact that Luther followed their lead, using their calques in his Bible translation. In those days German (like English, Spanish, and other languages spoken over broad areas) consisted of a very variable range of dialects. The choices made by Luther in his translation of the Bible established a de facto standard for German, and played a role in German similar to the works of Shakespeare in English. A good traditional source on the history of the German language is Adolf Bach: Geschichte der deutschen Sprache.

It should be recognized that the Reformation (and Counter-Reformation) involved a number of related developments in language, government, and religion. The Roman Catholic Church had not authorized published translations of the Bible into various vernaculars, so the Reformation brought not only a reform of religion but also, with official translations of the Bible, changes in language status. The translations required increased attention to local language and began the establishment of national languages, usually based more or less closely on the prestige dialect spoken in the national capital.

(Concerning Bibles and language, it's worth noting that the King James version of the Bible was produced during the time that Shakespeare was active. This has led to speculation that he was a member of one of the mostly anonymous committees of translators, writers and editors who worked on it. There's also a place in the King James translation where some information about the bard can be ``decoded,'' but it's not statistically significant, from what I recall. Vide KJV.)

Another example of calque is the Hebrew shen-ha'ari, meaning `tooth of lion.' [The definite article ha in this position more-or-less puts the noun it determines in genitive case. A translation using an attributive noun -- `lion tooth' -- is also fair.] The Hebrew term is calqued from the French dent de lion. English, as usual, simply borrows the word with slight spelling and greater pronunciation changes, in this case to dandelion.

The Hebrew word ari in the previous paragraph should be recognizable: the Biblical name Ariel means `Lion of God.'

A more systematic and extensive, though trivial, instance of calque is the translation of organic chemistry and SI terminology.

CALifornia RePorTeR. A legal journal.

The Current Revolution of the Supply Chain Management is the English title of a book published (1998) in Japanese by Yoshiaki Fukushima. Most of the romaji initialisms, when introduced, are given as abbreviations for Japanese terms, without an expansion in English (or some other alphabetic language). However, on page 109 there's a chart illustrated by four fish; the fish for later times are larger. These visual cues are so helpful. (Also, the fish for earlier times are smaller. Funny how that works. They look a bit like cod.) Each fish corresponds to a different expansion of the CALS acronym:
  1. tiny fish: Computer-Aided Logistic Support.
  2. small fish: Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support.
  3. medium fish: Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle.
  4. large fish: Commerce At Light Speed.

CALifornia State Teachers' Retirement System.

Caltech, CALTECH
CALifornia Institute of TECHnology. A geek monastery in Pasadena, California.

CALifornia TRAIN. Commuter service from San Jose to San Francisco. Cf. BART, Muni.

Cal U
CALifornia University of Pennsylvania.

CArl Reiner, Sheldon Leonard, Dick VAn Dyke, and DAnny Thomas. Carl Reiner conceived (and co-produced, wrote for, and acted in) the Dick Van Dyke Show; Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas were the executive producers. The name Calvada was used at various places as something of an inside joke. This was only one small part of the self-reference built into the show. The Dick Van Dyke Show was something like an autobiography of Carl Reiner's experience as part of the legendary comedy-writing team for Sid Caesar's ``Your Show of Shows.'' That team included Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. Mary Tyler Moore (MTM), who played the part of Dick Van Dyke's wife on his show (1961-6), rehearsed for a part in a Neil Simon play a few years later (2003). (See the MTC entry for too much further detail.)

Calvin, Melvin
Melvin Calvin was born in April 1911, on the eighth of the month, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He died in January 1997, again on the eighth of the month, in Berkeley, California. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1961, for his work in photosynthesis, but you can be sure I wouldn't have bothered to mention him in this glossary if it wasn't for the fact that his name rhymes. (Well, nearly.)

Camelopardalis. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

CAMouflage. Mostly military usage -- desert cam has less green than the usual.

Carbon Adsorption Method.

ADsorption, not ABsorption.

(Biological) Cell Adhesion Molecule.

Slang for camera, in compounds like ``minicam,'' and DL's ``skycam,'' and DomeCam, courtesy of Robert Louis Stevenson.


Center for the Ancient Mediterranean. At Columbia University -- that sounds more like the periphery for the Mediterranean to me.


Classical Association of Massachussetts.


Classical Association of Minnesota.

Computer-Aided (CA-) {Management | Manufacturing | Mapping}. Pronounced ``cam.''

Content-Addressable Memory. The Tank-Hopfield net was once the paradigmatic example. Now CAM is achieved in integrated circuits by using partial matches to memory content to generate memory addresses.

An eccentric wheel or gear.

A river that runs through Cambridge. Clever of them to name it that.

Spanish: `bed.' Kind of makes Kama Sutra a more compelling title.

Centralized Automatic Message Accounting.

Civil Aviation Medical Association. ``CAMA began in 1948 as the Airline Medical Examiners Association. It was organized to meet the demands peculiar to the civil aviation medical examiner who, in those days, examined primarily airline pilots. It provided a voice for private aviation medicine where and when necessary.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association adopted its present name in 1955. CAMA later became affiliated with the Aeromedical Association, now known as the Aerospace Medical Association.''

Computer Automated Measurement And Control. [Pron. ``KAY-Mack.''] Used to designate ``Camac crates,'' the standard frames, about 6' high and 15'' wide, in which electronic gear was installed. IEEE 583 instrument interface standard.

Center For Advanced Molecular Biology and Immunology at UB has a page for its Nucleic Acid Facility.

[Camel on bookcover]

A dromedary appears on the cover of Programming Perl by Larry Wall (creator of perl) and Randal L. Schwartz. The book is part of the O'Reilly & Assoc., Inc. series of quality paperbacks with odd animal drawings on the cover and excellent bindings that don't crack apart and drop pages, unlike that horrid Mathematica paperback by Steven Wolfram, which falls apart after maybe four uses.

The O'Reilly perl book is sometimes called ``the camel.''

The surname Oliphant might be supposed to stand for elephant, but in fact it may stand for camel. Many family names arose from locales, and some locales were most easily identified by the prominent sign of a pub. Pubs bore simple, easily identified illustrations (like ``Cock and Bull,'' at the most felicitously named public establishments) for the convenience of otherwise valued but illiterate, or possibly extremely inebriated, patrons. Some pubs were named after exotic animals like camels. However, if one accepts the premise that illiterate persons at the dawn of surnamehood might wish to patronize a pub, then the possibility must be entertained that persons with a limited education might misidentify the simple, easily identified et cetera. In this way, I've read, some persons living in the neighborhood of pubs identified by the sign of the camel came to be named Oliphant. After all, who would name a pub ``The Elephant''? (Don't answer that; it's a rhetorical question. Just shut up and lemme finish.) Anyway, se non e vero, e ben trovato.

[column] Excavations of ancient animal bones at Tel Jemmeh [ftnt. 34] (once a crossroads near Gaza) indicate that camel caravans were not used in the area until around 600 BCE. On the evidence of Genesis 24 (describing a trip by Abraham's servant) and the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, it is clear that camels visiting Palestine until that time did not die locally, but waited until they had left.

Another book with a cheap binding is Wheelock's Latin. As with Wolfram's Mathematica book, a more expensive and durable hardcover is available.

A brand of heavily advertised cigarette. It has been suggested that it stands for ``Come Adam Meet Eve Later.'' Right.


Classical And Modern European Languages. The name of a department or something at the ANU. It may have been renamed in a subsequent reorganization.

They say that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Blended departments like this are created by university administrators to, um, achieve greater interdisciplinarity and efficiency, and maybe find a way to reduce spending on and hiring for disciplines that are no longer valued, that's the word, quite as much as they once were. Anyway, the ANU used to have a Classics Department; now mail should be directed to the Classics Program, School of Language Studies.

The Web Site of the Canadian Mathematical Society / Le Site Web de la Société mathématique du Canada. They don't say that Camel is an acronym for CAnadian Mathematics ELectronically or Canada mathématique électronique. Definitely a bactrian. Actually, they show a picture of a bactrian camel (two humps) just above the words ``Canadian Mathematical Electronic Information Services.'' (You'd be amazed how much discussion this generated between the editorial and typesetting staffs here at SBF.)

[Normally we wouldn't put that last comment in parentheses, but we didn't want to make this entry confusing. You know -- mathphobia. Boo!]

Giraffe. The word was originally Greek kamêlopárdalis, a compound of kámêlos (`camel') and párdalis (`leopard' -- for the spotted hide). [You guessed right -- our word leopard is itself a compound derived from léôn (`lion') and párdalis (or some other similar form meaning `leopard'). The locus classicus of the error (the belief that the animals known to Europeans as leopards were a hybrid of lions and real leopards) is Pliny's Historia Naturalis, 8.17.]

You think it's bad to go bald? Just imagine if you had as many as five stumpy little lumps growing out of the top of your head.

Captious lexicographers insist that since the word was originally camélopard in French, the spelling ``cameleopard'' and the ``vulgar'' pronunciation ``camel-leopard'' are wrong. Not me. It isn't wrong, it's calque.

Entry coming soon to a browser near you. (When it does, it will probably be the llama entry.)

An obsolete (since about the sixteenth century) altenative form of cameleon (obsolete form of chameleon) often mistaken (then) for cameleopard (obsolete name for giraffe). (I mean the words were confused -- not the animals. Sheess! Give some credit!)

A beautiful and expensive fabric originally (13th century) imported to Europe from ``the East.'' The word has had a variety of spellings (chamlyt, camblet, camlott, etc.). Regarding the etymology, OED2 says ``[t]he ultimate origin is obscure; at the earliest known date the word was associated (by Europeans) with camel, as if stuff made of camel's hair; but there is reason to think it was originally the Arabic khamlat, from khaml....''

It's not clear what was in the original material, but over the course of centuries silk, Angora goat, wool, cotton, and linen have all been used in (or claimed to be in) the imported material or the domestic (European) imitation.

Presumably the Camelot of English folk history -- the Castle of King Arthur's Court, World Class Round Table Knights Centre -- is the same word, possibly through the association with luxury. In late nineteenth-century France, the Camelots du roi were what we might today call operations people (``bodyguards'' and spies) for La Ligue d'Action Française. Man, that looks like it would be pretty tough to translate into a known language. Whatever the name meant, the group itself was the most extremely monarchialist (Bourbon restorationist) group of significance. Hey, you know what? We've got some more bits of French history in this glossary. Look under Charles Bullion. Also, some Camelot characters star in the courtly love entry.

Cross-relaxation Appropriate for Minimolecules Emulated by Locked SPINs. (Those NMR guys are a laugh riot.)

According to Kehlogg Albran,

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.
This also works with camel-twirling on the head of a pin, though it's also likelier to fall off. The trick is to use a very big pin (something a rich man could easily afford). For more on lubrication (and pins), see this aside.

You're probably on pins and needles wondering who Kehlogg Albran is. You can learn more of his work at the fate entry, which features a picture of camels.

Computer-Assisted (CA-) Management and Emergency Operations.

CAmpus Market EXpo. Sponsored by NACS, each year in early April in New Orleans.

Convection And Moisture EXperiment. ``[A] series of field research investigations sponsored by Dr. Ramesh Kakar, Program Manager for Atmospheric Dynamics and Remote Sensing at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters.'' (This is an interesting novelty in the etiquette of grantsmanship -- thanking by name the program manager who approved the proposal for money. Normally one just thanks the organization.)

Cation-Adjusted Mueller-Hinton Broth (MHB). The cations are those of calcium and and magnesium, and the stuff is also described as calcium- and magnesium-supplemented Mueller-Hinton broth. I thought I saw the corresponding initialism, but maybe it was a typo with S for A.

Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. (CAMI previously stood for the ``Civil Aeromedical Institute.'')

Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing -- International.

Cf. the Japanese word kami, discussed under the kamikaze entry.

Computer-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Spanish, `shirt.'

Spanish, `undershirt, tee shirt.'

French, `camisole.'

camisole de force
French, `strait-jacket.'

Not ``straight-jacket,'' okay?


Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.

The Durham Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East draws its membership from the Departments of Classics and Ancient History (http://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/), Archaeology (http://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/), and Theology and Religion (http://www.dur.ac.uk/theology.religion/). The Centre aims to promote the study of cultural encounters and exchanges in the ancient world, from India in the East to the Iberian Peninsula in the West; and to foster diverse approaches to, and perspectives on, this area. It particularly encourages projects that straddle disciplinary and/or cultural, temporal and geographical boundaries. Most of the Centre.s work focuses on the ancient world (ca. 3000BCE . 650CE), but all discussions have a strong theoretical underpinning and are based on a clear understanding of how the ancient world has been received and studied in the modern period. The Centre hosts major collaborative research projects but also maintains a broader programme of seminars, workshops and conferences. Members of the Centre are involved in teaching and research across a wide spectrum of relevant disciplines.

Chemically AMplified Positive resist. For lithography. There doesn't seem to be a comparable acronym for the less-common chemically amplified negative resists, but there's CAR for the general case.


Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance. A committee within the APA.

Association for Condensed Matter Photophysics. A Japanese organization, but even in Japanese the word order doesn't justify the acronym. They should have gone with CoMaPA.

If a movie is so gracelessly incompetent and untrue to life that it seems just willfully, militantly bad, then you can always pretend that the disaster was intentional. As of fall 1996, they were casting for a movie based on the television series ``Lost in Space,'' which is now described as ``camp.'' It came out in 1998. Most of the original cast had cameos, but Jonathan Harris refused.

This just in: Jonathan Harris, the actor who played the greedy, pusillanimous, and otherwise no-good ``Dr. Zachary Smith'' on that TV series, dead at 87, Sunday, November 3, 2002. He died while receiving treatment for a chronic back problem. A death straight from central casting. The pain, the pain! Another character in that show was the robot (a Model B-9, q.v.). Harris would stay up late nights thinking up scornful, typically alliterative epithets for it. (``Bumbling bag of bolts,'' ``primitive pile of pistons,'' ``bubble-headed booby,'' etc. For a list of 378 or so of the ways he referred to or addressed the robot, see ``The `compleat' List.'') Maybe he was partly inspired by the fact that the robot didn't have a proper name. In after years, he said that he adopted his style of ``comedic villainy'' because he figured otherwise he'd be boring and soon out of a job. He stole the show.

Cyclic 3',5'-Adenosine MonoPhosphate. More at this online dictionary entry.


Campanian Society
``[A] non-profit educational organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in the humanities and the fine arts and in the social and cultural history of Naples and Campania and of the ancient Greco-Roman world. In particular, The Campanian Society, Inc. sponsors activities and programs that are designed to heighten awareness and critical appreciation of the classical humanities, Greek and Roman social history, fine arts and architecture. Activities designed for innovative educators, discriminating travelers seeking cultural enrichment, adventurous adults, energetic retirees and explorers include programs which appeal to anyone interested in the literature, history, archaeology and overall culture of the Greco-Roman world and of ancient and modern Naples and the cities on the Bay.''

To read about how I didn't visit Naples (or Campania) once, kindly take a trip to the ID entry.

We pass along here some news that as of 1997.7.14 had not made it into the web site, that I could see, though they were announced that day on the Classics list. Robert M. Wilhelm, Exec. Dir., announced

two Special Programs for the Blind and Visually-Impaired:

Museums, Monuments, Churches, Gardens and Music
September 3 - 11, 1997

A special program designed especially for the blind and visually impaired which will include the followings sites:

Limited number of participants (several places are still available). Family members and friends of the Blind are welcome to participate.

For details and itinerary contact:


(Milan, Lugano, San Bernadino, Verona and Florence)
April 26-May 8, 1998

This program has been designed especially of the Blind and Visually-Impaired. Tactile experiences and hands-on opportunities are a special feature of this unique program. Family members and friends of the Blind are welcome of participate in this program. This program will be limited to 16 participants. For details and itinerary contact:


I guess this is a bit out of date, but maybe they'll do it again.

Campbell's ordinary soup does make Peter pale.
Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and Permian. The periods, from earliest to latest, of the Paleozoic era (extending from about 570 million years BP to 225 million). The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods together are called the Carboniferous period. This mnemonic is given by Stephen Jay Gould in his Wonderful Life, where he decribes it as ``traditional and insipid.''

campus maps
The Interactive UB Campus Map gives phone-book-quality maps for UB's two campuses. Detailed (room-level) campus maps for UB can be found at the Facilities Planning and Design site.

Community-{ Acquired | Associated } Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Occasionally also ``community-acquired MRSA'' or ``community-associated MRSA.'' There's a tiny bit more at the MRSA entry.

Continuous Air Monitoring System.


Classical Association of the Middle West and South (of the US). Pronounced CAM-wiss. Do not confuse with MACAWS. This mirrors the CFP for their April 1998 meeting. It's too late to send your abstract. It's too late to attend. You are really late; you need to get on the ball.

CAMWS publishes The Classical Journal (CJ). You wouldn't have imagined that was a unique journal title, but it apparently is in English.

``Middle West and South'' in the organization name is taken to extend (in the North) ``east as far as Ohio, South from Virginia, West to Utah and Arizona and North into the Canadian Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan'' (and they mean it -- the 2001 annual meeting was April 19-21 in Provo, Utah). For other, even more expansive definitions of the midwest, see the entry for MWSCAS.


CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin. You can probably find an expansion of ``CAMWS'' somewhere in this glossary.

ChloroAcetoNitrile. Other haloacetonitriles popular in water treatment are BCAN, DBAN, DCAN, and TCAN.

Controller Area Network.

CAribbean News Agency.

Tell me when I'm ``done'' so I can roll over.

A large North American country (.ca). Not the US. Only one country as of this writing. The place where most TV newsfaces in the US seem to come from, and a cheap nearby place to make movies. In a Fox 411 feature dated August 30, 2003, Roger Friedman details the work-related marital difficulties of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, who have film roles in ``Paycheck'' and ``Taking Lives,'' respectively. He explains that
"Taking Lives" has been shooting in Montreal while "Paycheck"'s schedule was in Vancouver. Although both cities are in Canada, this is the equivalent of filming in Los Angeles and New York at the same time.

Hey, we're not going to waste your time with unimportant information! See the .se entry (Sweden) for more don't-know-much-about-geography piffle.

See the BNA entry for an earlier usage of the word Canada.

This isn't an acronym or particularly edifying. It is, however, a somewhat interesting and doubtfully ironic country-name antonomasia.

At the Nazi death camps in WWII, shoes, clothing, and other personal belongings were confiscated from the prisoners who entered the camps, whether they were selected for immediate death or for death through work. The collection was stored on-site for shipping back to Germany for, uh, Aryan use. At Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), the storage warehouses, located near two of the crematoria, ``were called `Canada,' because the Poles regarded that country as a place of great riches.'' (Quoting here a webpage from the Holocaust Encyclopedia served by the USHMM.)

CANadian-AMerican. Two countries as of this writing. This term illustrates the use of ``American'' to mean ``US.''

Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields. A bioelectronic sensor project at MIT Lincoln Labs that uses cells modified to emit light in response to antigen binding.

A disease in which some cells of the organism itself malfunction, replicating rapidly and generally not performing their standard function. Cancerous cells infiltrate normal tissue and may metastasize. (I.e., break off from one part of the body, migrate, and lodge elsewhere. This makes treatment much more difficult. The probability that metastasis will occur depends on a variety of factors and varies by type of cancer.) Types of cancer are usually distinguished by the first type of cell affected.

Existing treatments are pretty crude. They consist primarily in destroying the cancerous tissue by irradiation or chemical poisoning (chemotherapy or ``chemo''), and surgery. Cancerous tissue is targeted on the basis of its greater metabolic and reproductive rate, and the substances it consumes disproportionately as a result.

Many years ago, when there were no treatments and little hope of recovery, the name of ``cancer'' was spoken only in whispers; it was never mentioned on the broadcast media.

Many of the colored cause ribbons that have become popular refer to cancer or cancers. Here are some of the cancers with their assigned ribbon colors (according to this color code listing from 2004):

cancer ribbon color Comments
melanoma black Good choice.
colorectal cancer brown Too graphically appropriate.
multiple myeloma burgundy This is what happens when you delay.
childhood cancer gold There probably isn't any good color here.
brain cancer gray This is clever, but they should give it a slight pinkish or brownish hue.
ovarian cancer green ?

CANadian CONtent. See CRTC, think CBSC.

Hey waitasecond -- isn't that French for song? Oh well, close.

Citizens AgaiNst Drug Impaired Drivers. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

candid shot
A photograph posed to appear unposed. The scientific-laboratory subgenre of candid shots calls for one person to point a finger at the apparatus and the other person or persons to stare with feigned interest.

The (Christian, not Newtonian) mass each year when candles are blessed. If you don't get enough candles blessed on that day, then at some point I guess you have to use damned candles, or candles that aren't explicitly redeemed or whatever. Then after your candles go up in smoke, they go down again and burn in hell forever. Is that so bad? Isn't that a candle's idea of heaven?

Perhaps this contrariness involving heat explains another tradition, encapsulated in an English proverb that dates from the late seventeenth century:

If Candlemas day be sunny and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
If Candlemas day be cloudy with rain,
Winter is gone and won't come again.

...that year. I.e., winter won't come again that year. A Scottish version is explicit on this point, and also avoids claiming that winter could end that early:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year.
Candlemas day falls on February 2. (Yes -- every year. No correction for the precession of the equinoxes or leap years or nuthin'.) In the US and Canada, February 2 is known as Groundhog Day, and the associated legend is that if the groundhog comes out of its hibernation burrow and sees its own shadow (something requiring a day no more than partly cloudy), it knows that six weeks of winter remain. In principle that would be good news, since the spring equinox is still almost seven weeks away. Oh yeah -- another possible reason why February 2 might be associated with a ``second winter'' is that it falls close to the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Candlemas day is also the date of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Let me say that that's wonderful, because it's a sin to have only one sentence in a paragraph.

It occurs to me that by February, traditionally, one would have been done making candles for awhile. If you're not going to keep an animal into the next year, you might as well have slaughtered it before then, since it wouldn't gain much weight during winter (possibly at the cost of grain) and it's cool enough for the meat to keep well by then. So you'd have had the tallow, and the long nights (and indoor work) around the winter solstice would have depleted your supply and motivated you to use the tallow for candles. (Soap? What's that?)

And don't tell me meat doesn't keep. In the US, livestock is `fattened' in significant part by hydrating the animals. Wet meat rots fast. In all other places where my family has lived, in Europe and Latin America, meat hung and bled on a meathook is quickly dry enough to need no further preserving. In Germany in the 1920's and 1930's, my family used their small icebox (cooled by ice delivered by an iceman) for milk. The meat (which there wasn't much of by the 1930's anyway) stayed in a cupboard that was built into an exterior wall with louvres to keep it well ventilated. When my grandfather and his future second wife came to the US, they learned to store meat (transported long distances by the miracle of refrigerated train cars!) in the refrigerator. When my great grandmother followed them to the US, she threw all the meat out of the refrigerator, because it smelled rotten.

CANada-Deuterium-Uranium nuclear reactor. By using heavy water (deuterium oxide: D2O) as a moderator (in the original version, this was also the coolant), it can be fueled by cheaper natural uranium rather than enriched uranium as required by most reactors. The government of India acquired a CANDU reactor for peaceful purposes and used it to produce the fuel used in the explosion of its first ``peaceful nuclear device'' in 1974.

John Aristotle Phillips visited India afterwards and inspected not only the plant but the contract under which the plant was built. That included special provisions intended to prevent use of the plant for nonpeaceful purposes [Canada is a signatory of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT).] Phillips learned, however, that India had exploited a loophole in the contract: India used the reactor to enrich its own thorium (Th) material.

[John A. Phillips is best known for submitting plans for an atomic bomb as his Junior Paper -- a standard requirement for physics undergraduates at Princeton (PU). He researched the project without any security clearance, but his paper was not returned because it ended up containing information that was considered classified. I've forgotten the precise details; he tells that story in Mushroom: the Story of the A-bomb Kid. The visit to India came later. It's not in the book; I heard about it from a friend of mine at the New Delhi Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses who met him there. Around 1980, Phillips co-founded a company called Aristotle Publishing, which provides campaign-management software to political candidates. That company has been renamed Aristotle and will focus on web-based fund-raising tools. Aristotle has venture capital from the market research firm Odyssey, but it's not all ancient Greek: the Nasdaq ticker symbol VOTE has been reserved in anticipation of a public offering. In 1998, $125,000 was raised online, about $70,000 of that by Jesse Ventura. On February 4, 2000, the day after John McCain won the New Hampshire primary by nineteen points over George W. Bush, his campaign raised between a half a million and a million dollars online. As of 2008, the typical numbers have gone up by a factor of ten.]


Classical Association of New England.

CANE Listserv. The Electronic discussion group (i.e., mailing list) of the Classical Association of New England. Temporarily disabled for a few months in early 2000. Still down as of late June. It has its own web-page. To subscribe, send an email to <mailserv@wellesley.edu> with the content

subscribe CANE-L

University of Miami (Florida) HurriCANES. School teams name.


CA News
A publication of the Classical Association (UK). Free with membership. Two numbers published per year, June and December (#1 was December 1989). Even though it is an enormously valuable periodical, containing as it does translations of nursery rhymes and snarky reviews of popular movies, some libraries discard (okay -- my library discards) issues after just one year.

Cuban American National Foundation. (Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana.)


Classical Association in Northern Ireland. Yes, the in does make it sound like an itinerant association that's just visiting the area. No, I don't know the backstory.

And because you asked: cani means `am' in Quechua. At least it does if you pronounce cani in Spanish. The preferred spelling is kani now, but since most Quechua-speakers are illiterate, that's somewhat academic.

Perhaps more relevantly, cani is the dative singular of `dog' in Latin. More straightforwardly, cani is Italian for `dogs' in any case. It's hard to know what those canny Northern Irish classicists had in mind. They could have used NICA, but see the next entry.


Classical Association of New Jersey. Common name for what is officially the New Jersey Classical Association (NJCA).

CANadian Legal Information Institute. Only available in English and French (the latter as IIJCan).

CANadian LITerature.

CANada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology. A network of energy and mining laboratories managed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

A misspelling of Stanislao Cannizzaro's surname. Don't feel bad -- it could happen to anyone. Honest, it's a common misspelling. It even happened to me! There, there.

Cannizzaro reaction
Stanislao Cannizzaro's signal service to science was patiently and repeatedly explaining, from 1858 to 1860, what his fellow Italian Amadeo Avogadro had already explained in 1811 -- the then-hypothesis we call Avogadro's Law. More precisely, the confusion arose from the distinction between atom and molecule.

It is fortunate that he did something original that we can attach his name to. Specifically, he discovered that benzaldehyde reacted with potassium hydroxide in a reaction producing benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol. You can get the original article from the library -- just go to Ann. I mean, check with Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie, vol. 88, pp. 129-30 (1853), and vol. 90, pp. 252-4 (1854). This reaction is a specific case of

                   _            _
        2RCHO  + OH  -----> RCOO  + RCH OH
with a phenyl group for R.

Okay, technically, the product does not include the acid RCOOH but its conjugate base. On a quick glance, this looks like an acid-base reaction (strong base to weak base: OH- to carboxylic anion); it is actually a redox reaction (specifically a disproportionation). The name ``Cannizzaro reaction'' is now applied generally to the reaction given above (where R has no alpha hydrogen).

cannot be overstated
Makes God jealous.

CANada Oil -- Low Acid. Or maybe < CANada + OLA (from Latin oleum, `oil'). Or maybe not. When you trademark a name you're not required to provide an etymology. Canola originally referred to oil from hybrid strains of rape plant developed between 1958 and 1974 by Baldur Stefansson and Richard Downey of Canada. In 1978, the Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers' Association registered Canola as a trademark in Canada, but the legal status of the term seems unclear now. In 1980, ownership of the trademark was transferred to the Rapeseed Association of Canada, which that year changed its name to the Canola Council of Canada. On the other hand, in 1986 the Canadian government established a statutory definition of Canola, with upper limits of 2% erucic acid in the seeds and 30 micromoles glucosinolates per gram of canola meal.

Historically, ordinary rapeseed oil has for the most part not been for internal consumption. Originally used for lamps in Asia and Europe, rape has been grown in Europe since the thirteenth century. In the nineteenth century it was used as a lubricant in steam engines. It was also used as a cooking oil, but it had a bitter taste. Reducing the acid and the glucosin (a toxin) have dramatically increased the economical value of rapeseed: canola is promoted as high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and the rapeseed meal is an economic livestock feed.

Check the canola entry in the alt.english.usage FAQ before you buy any of the competing dictionary etymologies for canola.

canonical bias
The canonical bias is HJ researchers' term for the tendency to dismiss evidence other than the canonical Christian texts -- i.e., the New Testament. For an example of research that seeks to counter canonical bias, see TFG.

can opener
During one of the nonobscene interludes in a chat room that I frequent, uh, very infrequently, one young lad reported that he had given his ex-gf an electric can opener for Valentine's Day. I could probably end the entry right there. He said he was tired of opening cans. Someone suggested tentatively that perhaps this explained why she was no longer his girlfriend, but the lad countered that he found out that she'd slept with two other guys while they were dating. Someone suggested that perhaps this wouldn't have happened if he'd given her the can opener earlier. One of the females present in the chat room offered to go out with the lad if he gave her a monogrammed electric can opener. Some people think chat rooms are just stupid, but I think they're fascinatingly stupid.

can potentially

CAnadian Network for SAmpling Precipitation. Tssp ... tssp ... tastes a bit sour.

CANadian TEST. It's offered by the University of Ottawa's Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), and is described thus: ``The CanTEST measures English language knowledge and skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Scores are reported in each of the four areas using a `band system' that relates test scores to a descriptive statement about the candidate's ability.''

I know, I know: the capitalization raises the expectation that TEST is itself a backronym (backorpheme?) standing for as many as four or more words. This is a revelation to me. I mean, this is the first time I've ever found the ``as many as ... or more'' locution less than completely pointless. Anyway, no ulterior expansion seems to be given. There are contrary signs, moreover. A message above the quoted explanation informs the Francophone reader that ``(Les renseignements au sujet du CanTest [note dearth of caps] sont disponibles en anglais seulement).''

There is also a link to something called TESTCan that is offered by l'Institut des langues officielles et du bilinguisme (ILOB) at the (and let me say that I'm always relieved when I don't have to enter diacriticals) Université d'Ottawa. Le TESTCan est le ``Test de français ... pour les étudiant(e)s et les stagiaires au Canada administré par l'Université d'Ottawa [qui] a lieu trois fois par année.'' Never mind what this means; I doubt they managed, or even tried very hard, to make a French backronym of TEST. If I had achieved back-to-back English and French backronyms, they'd be in <font size="+10"> at the top of every webpage.

So to summarize our findings so far, CanTEST is an English-language test (remember this for later). Its name conforms to a small but representative subset of English-language naming conventions, such as that modifiers generally precede the noun they modify. TESTCan is a French-language test (remember this for later). Its name conforms to a small but representative subset of French-language naming conventions, such as that a modifier usually follows the noun it modifies. I don't doubt that this is intended to make the greatest number of people happy. It is very useful, even for a rabid Angloimperialist like me. I learned the new French word test (masc.). I think I'll remember it. This is even easier than learning Japanese garaigo. (The link isn't dead; it hasn't come to life yet. Gairaigo are words borrowed from languages like English. Especially English.)

All this symmetry is very wonderful, but confusion can result. Above the French-language description of the French-language test, there is a parenthetical phrase like the one discussed earlier. It reads ``(The information about the TestCan is available in English only).'' There are some problems with this translation. The first is that it is manifestly false, since le TestCan (or at least le TESTCan) is described in French immediately below the parenthetical. It seems that one of two bad things has happened.

  1. One possibility is that the supplier of the parenthetical remark thought that what the French page needed was an English translation of the French remark on the English page. This person proceeded further to treat TestCan as a translation of CanTest. I imagine that it (the test) is not, and certainly the word is not. TestCan is a French test, not the French name of the English test, and even less the English translation of the French name for the English test (i.e., the English name of the English test -- which, by assumption, would have been what was wanted). A proper translation would have been ``(Information about the CanTest is available in English only).'' This would at least have been correct, though of little use to the non-Francophone who has somehow mistakenly stumbled into the French-language page about the French language exam.
  2. Another possibility, and at this point I'm not prepared to dismiss it out of hand, is that the correct and relevant parenthetical was prepared in French. Its translation would have been ``(Information about the TestCan is available only in French),'' but somehow the French word français was translated into the English word `English.' Maybe it just seemed fair and symmetric, or perhaps the translator thought he was told to ``translate the `French' into `English','' or French words to that effect, and decided to go ahead and do so.

None of this would have happened if the English and French departments had simply stayed out of each other's way. If you're still reading, go on to the RevCan entry.

Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations.

In Spanish, a language not unknown in the Caribbean, canto means `I sing.' In many languages, canto means `canto.'

Can. y Am.
If you were reading this Spanish abbreviation from North America, you might think it meant (vaguely) Canada y América. But if you were reading it in the DRAE, it would mean Las islas Canarias y América. (Capitalization sic.)

Many words and usages common in American Spanish seem to stem from the Canary Islands, which were an important staging area for ships sailing to colonial Spanish America. For example, the word concuñado, is shortened to concuño in the Canary Islands and America. The words mean `brother-in-law.' It would be out of place, I guess, for a Spanish dictionary (the preeminent Spanish dictionary, in this case) to just define concuñado as simply the Spanish for brother-in-law, so the DRAE goes through the circumlocution of defining it with the Spanish equivalent of `a sibling's spouse or a sister-in-law's husband.' That's how it is with those boring old monolingual dictionaries. We're not subject to that restriction here, which allows us to be much more concise (if we want to be). I suppose that gay marriage (already legal in Argentina, that I know of, and probably other Spanish-speaking countries), along with other progressive change, will eventually require rewording along the lines of `sibling-in-law's male-identifying spouse' for the latter possibility.

Another change has already taken place. I should have published this entry when I first noticed the concuño, ña entry of the 21st edition. Now the localization is narrower and longer: ``Can., Am. Cen., Bol., Cuba, Méx. y R. Dom.''

CAlcium Oxide. Traditionally in English, and for the centuries before there was a science of chemistry, this was called quicklime. Quick here is understood in the sense of alive (as in ``the quick and the dead''), and the compound's name in English is parallel to its name in Latin: calx viva.

Quicklime is prepared by heating limestone. (Breaking it up a bit first helps speed the process.) Limestone is essentially microcrystalline calcium carbonate (CaCO3), from the point of view of a physicist or chemist, or a sedimentary form of calcite, from the point of view of a geologist or mineralogist. The reaction to quicklime goes thus:

CaCO3 (s) + heat --> CaO + CO2 (g)

Canadian Association of Optometrists. In French: lACO.

Chief {Accounting|Administrative|Analytics} Officer. Don't be CAO'd -- it's just CXO.

Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Makes possible some fellowships.

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