(Click here for bottom)

Channel Unit.

Civil Union. A marital contract between persons of the same sex. So called because many of the supporters needed to pass laws making C.U.'s possible object to having such unions called marriages. They say that politics makes strange bedfellows. (Compare and contrast PACS, and PAC's for that matter.)

The politician Benjamin Disraeli said

I have always thought that every woman should marry, and no man.

Lois Farnham and Holly Putterbaugh have been together since the early 1970's. In 1997, they and two other couples were plaintiffs in a suit against the state of Vermont that led to the first C.U. law. In December 1999, Vermont's State Supreme Court ruled that denying gay couples the benefits of marriage (they counted 300, wow!) amounted to unconstitutional discrimination. In April 2000, after months of bitter debate, the legislature passed and the governor signed a civil unions bill. When it went into effect July 1, 2000, Lois and Holly got married.

That's fine for them. However, at churches around the state, other brides were not having such a good time of it. Their ``special day'' became a day of special tragedy, as grooms in large numbers decided that C.U. had abased the value of marriage. Some simply were no-shows, some went through most of the ceremony and then refused to say ``I do.'' Of the few grooms who were prevailed upon to fulfill their engagements, most insisted on having a second, traditional ceremony in Reno, Nevada, and refused to consummate their marriages until then.

Outside the churches, the situation was only worse. Convoys of marriage-minded gay couples have been sighted streaming north from Gotham. Already, starting in the seedier districts of Vermont's larger villages, bigamists are protesting violently for their rights. In many towns, the dollar that is passed around each winter to facilitate economic activity has been looted. As perverts fan out into the forests, deer are rioting and chipmunks stampeding. Governor Dean refuses to call out the National Guard, even as the green mountains turn red, millions reported dead! Save us! Save us!

The University of Colorado. ``Founded in 1876 in Boulder, the University of Colorado includes three unique campuses at four locations [Boulder, Colorado Springs, downtown Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver] each set against the dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.''

University of Colorado at Boulder. Part of the University of Colorado (also CU). To disambiguate, you can use UCB.

Color Units. Term used in the wastewater treatment industry. It often happens that water that is perfectly safe to drink has unappetizing color.

Things work the other way too: sometimes people expect color and won't accept a product that lacks it. A prime example might be soft drinks, which get caramel and other food colorings that have no effect on the flavor. Back in the 1950's, a chemical plant my father managed produced large amounts of chlorine as an unused byproduct, so he burned it with hydrogen, bubbled it through water, and sold it [hydrochloric acid, known industrially as muriatic acid (see HCl(aq))]. The customers were unhappy with this extremely pure product because they expected their muriatic acid to look like the low-purity product they were used to, which was urine-yellow, more or less. To make the customers happy, an iron nail was dropped into each transport tank, which dissolved in the acid and provided the necessary color.

Columbia University. In New York City. They don't actually use ``CU'' as an abbreviation or anything, but there's always a first time.

Consumers Union. An organization that tests consumer goods and services and publishes the results of its research (in Consumer Reports). On principle, CU does not accept advertising in its publication and forbids -- to the extent it can -- the use of its results in advertising. Originally founded with a more activist progressive agenda (observe the word Union), product ratings used to be accompanied by information about the labor policies of the product manufacturers.

For years I never wondered that Consumers was written without an apostrophe.

Control Unit.

Cuba domain name code. Propaganda here and famous news source here.

Chemical element symbol for copper, atomic number 29. In the same group with silver (Ag) and gold, but does not achieve noble metal status. Yet even base metal elements like copper have their own homepages now.

Matter of fact, some people with base tastes or motives can't tell red-brown copper from yellow gold. I've worked where bulk copper had to be locked away from metallurgically unsophisticated thieves. Perhaps gold can be protected by labeling it ``yellow copper'' or ``soft brass.''

The opening lyrics of ``Brilliant Mistake'':

He thought he was the King of America.
Well, they bought Coca-Cola just like vintage wine.

(Elvis Costello and the Attractions)

Once when I was hanging out at Ventura and Van Nuys, a kid on a bicycle came up and offered me a deal: If I would go in to the jeweler's and sell this gold necklace (putatively his), I could keep half the price.

In Germany (.de), jewelry stores have big signs that read ``Schmuck.''

When a man walks up to you on an Atlanta backstreet and asks if you'd like to buy a gun, the correct answer is ``I don't need one'' with a hand in your pocket. I have road-tested this advice.

Copper is a soft metal, inappropriate for gun barrels, though it's not as soft as gold. If you machine it as fast as you would, say, aluminum, it comes off unevenly and cruds up the tool like peanut butter. For related advice, see the PCB entry. For practical purposes, copper is alloyed to form brass or bronze, and has been since about the Bronze Age.

Learn more at the Cu entry in WebElements and the copper entry at Chemicool.

More on ``Brilliant Mistake'' lyrics at the ABC entry, of course. Complete lyrics of the song here.

``Dr. Copper'' is a term used among financial analysts for the price of copper when regarded as a leading indicator for equity prices. Generally speaking, Dr. Copper is a good prognosticator of economic trends and markets, sometimes. Sometimes it's not. I have a copper coin in my pocket that's about as accurate when I flip it for advice. It's a quarter (91.67 wt.% Cu). The only US coin minted today that isn't mostly copper is the penny, which is all zinc except for an outer plating.

See You. Shortened version of the expression ``I'll [or We'll] see you [later].'' Cf. BCNU.

Catholic University of America. Located in Washington, D.C.

Common User Access.

Control Unit logical ADDress.

Trivial name of a polycyclic octane (C8H8) with carbons and their bonds at the corners and along the edges, respectively, of a cube. First synthesized by Phil Eaton and Tom Cole in 1964.

Cambridge University Bridge Club.

Credit Union Business Environment. (Fiserv software.)

cubic foot
Gas tank capacities may (depending on the context -- this is a catholic glossary) be given in terms of the volume referred to atmospheric pressure. [dive flag] Thus, for example, a high-pressure diving tank (say 3500 PSI) described as ``100 cubic feet'' has an internal volume of
100 cu. ft. × (14.7/3500) = 0.42 cubic feet

Calspan-UB Research Foundation. Pronounced like Stanley Kubric's surname.

A Spanish prefix that functions about as English suffix `-cover.' As it happens, although the meanings of the compounds are usually clear, the uses don't always coincide. So un cubrecadena is literally a `chain cover' (better known as a `chain guard'), and un cubrecama is `a bedcover' (or `bedspread,' the somewhat more common word).' The absence of some corresponding compounds works both ways: a slipcover is una funda. This is just as well, since slip here is not the usual noun, but instead indicates that the cover is loose.

This brings us to another point, which is that while cover alone can function as an English noun, cubre alone is not a noun. It is the form meaning `it [or he or she] covers' of the verb cubrir (`to cover'). The usual noun is the female past participle cubierta. (The male plural past part., cubiertos, means `silverware.') Make of this what you will, but don't ask me why cubre- compound nouns above are masculine when the only true nouns that occur in them (cama, cadena) are female. (Cubre is the form for other conjugations. In particular cubre la cama can be the command `cover the bed' as well as the observation `it covers the bed,' but in no case does it have a gender.)

In Spanish, the plural pops up occasionally where non-native speakers wouldn't expect it. Probably the best-known examples of unexpected plurals are the common salutations buenos días and buenas noches, meaning `good day' and `good night' (spoken to many persons or one). You won't be too surprised, then, to learn that formally plural words are more common (e.g., cubrecadenas) or about as common (cubrecamas) as the formally singular words. (They're still singular male terms, by the way.) Somehow, this just feels right, the same way plural attributive nouns feel right to Brits.

I see that un cubreruedas is moderately common for `a wheelcover,' but I suspect that it's a recent loan-translation from English. Notice that the compound is masculine and singular, even though the ruedas is feminine and plural.

This-all ain't so interesting, and I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open too, but the reason I mention it is that I'm trying to resolve some questions regarding the English word curfew. Thinkin' out loud, see? That word curfew is a corruption of an Old French compound that French now spells couvre-feu. Italian has a similar construction, coprifuòco. These constructions correspond to English fire-cover (which means something else altogether, if it means one thing) and cubrefuego[s] in Spanish, which is a very much rarer expression for curfew than queda (or toque de queda).

Citizens United for Baseball in the Sunshine. An organization of Chicago Cubs fans that wanted to keep lights and night games out of the team's Wrigley Field, a stadium that was built in 1914. Lights were finally installed there in 1988, and C.U.B.S. quietly disbanded some years later.

Cambridge University Conservative Association.

cuerpo muerto
Spanish: literally, `dead body.' In maritime usage, it means `mooring buoy' -- from the resemblance to a floating corpse, I suppose. Mooring buoys tend to be rounder and lower than other buoys, since they mustn't cause damage when repeatedly bumped into, and they're not placed primarily for visibility: A mooring buoy is a buoy that supports a mooring chain; this reaches a permanent anchor at the bottom of a body -- there's that word again -- of water, allowing a boat to moor on open water without dropping its own anchor.

The Spanish word cuerpo, like the English word body, has a range of somewhat figurative meanings, but the range is broader in Spanish. For example, some expressions using corps or corpus in English use cuerpo in Spanish. In chemistry, where compound has been nominalized in English, cuerpo compuesto may still be used in Spanish (though compuesto is normal among chemists and other scientists discussing chemistry).

Nevertheless, in ordinary speech cuerpo still typically means a human body, alive or dead. Whether the body is dead or alive is usually allowed to go unspecified. If you mention a body (un cuerpo) lying on the ground or on arranged on an easy chair, it will be assumed -- absent contrary evidence or context -- to be more or less dead. The usage is generally similar to that of English, and when the deadness of the body is explicitly noted in Spanish, it suggests -- to a landlubber, at least -- about what ``dead body'' does to in English. I'm not sure what most Spanish-speakers would make of a cuerpo tibio (`warm body').

Spanish: `crow.' So José Cuervo means `Joe Crow.'

Credit Union Executives Society.

Collection des Universités de France.

Center for UFO Studies.

Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Console User Interface. Contrasted with GUI (graphical same). You might suppose this is an alternative to CLI (command-line interface), constructed to parallel GUI, but that's probably not the whole picture. CUI and CLI both refer to a text-based user interface (UI), but CLI is a general term, while CUI is primarily a Microsoft term for an application UI based on a sort of terminal-emulator window created within Windows.

Clive's Underground Line Guides. A set of unofficial but authoritative webpages ``describing the London Underground system and the independent railways of the London area -- the Docklands Light Railway and the Croydon Tramlink (neither is a part of London Transport, though the DLR used to be).''

See You Later. Rebus.

Champaign-Urbana (IL) Mass Transit District.

cumulant expansion
The cumulant expansion is defined by

      /   ____              \
      |   \                 |
      |    \     1  / n\    |       /        \
  exp |     >    -  \S /    |    =  \ exp(S) /  ,
      |    /     n!     c   |
      |   /___              |
      \    n=1              /

      / n\
where \S /  is the nth cumulant of S;

angle brackets without a subscript denote an ordinary average.

Equating order by order in the expansions of the two sides, one finds successive expressions for the cumulants in terms of the ordinary average values of powers of the variate S:

	/ \      / \
	\S/   =  \S/

	/ 2\      / 2\     / \2
	\S /   =  \S /  -  \S/

	/ 3\      / 3\       / 2\ / \       / \3
	\S /   =  \S /  -  6 \S / \S/  +  5 \S/

	/ 4\      / 4\        / 3\ / \        / 2\2
	\S /   =  \S /  -  24 \S / \S/  +  12 \S /

	                       / 2\ / \2         / \4
	                +  156 \S / \S/   -  121 \S/

The third and fourth cumulants are measures of skewness and kurtosis, respectively. For Gaussian distributions, only the first and second cumulants are nonzero. Cumulant expansions are often useful because distributions may be nearly Gaussian and have cumulant expansions that fall off rapidly with increasing order. It is possible to create distributions which have only finite subsets of cumulants nonzero, whereas ordinary moments of a distribution are all nonzero for any but the most trivial distributions.

Cumulant expansions occur in quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics because these involve exponentials of the Hamiltonian. [The Hamiltonian, if you don't know and haven't the time to find out what it is, is normally the energy expressed in terms of (possibly generalized) momentum and coordinate variables.] For oscillatory systems near equilibrium, the Hamiltonian is a quadratic in the momenta and coordinates, so the ``averages'' to be evaluated are essentially Gaussians.

A music label. Email them.

City University of New York.

cuota de mercado
`Market share' in Spanish.

Cambridge University Press, founded in 1534, now has servers in the U.K. and in the U.S..

Contagious Uxorial Paralysis. A highly transmissable but fortunately nonexistent ailment. But just in case, there's a quarantine list.

College and University Personnel Association.

Copper (Cu) PhthaloCyanine. A non-metallic conductor. Yes, copper is a metal, so it's got atoms of a metallic element, but the material itself, like copper oxide, say, is a molecular solid, not a metal, and chemically it doesn't have metallic bonding. But it conducts. It's one possible conducting substrate for TOLED's.

Contagious Uxorial Paralysis Syndrome. One of the many names for CUP. (Stepford Syndrome isn't one of them.)

Casa Unida de Publicaciones, S.A. Spanish that could be translated as `Unified Publishing House.' It seems that they were unified out of existence. So far as I was able to determine, Cupsa Editorial (a name they preferred instead of one in the conventional order, which would have been Editorial Cupsa) was originally an independent publisher based in Madrid, and also publishing in México, D.F. By 1977 it appears to have been part of Editorial Planeta (Barcelona), and by the 1990's no new books were published under the Cupsa imprint.

Carbon Usage Rate. Wastewater treatment industry abbreviation.


(Bermuda) Commission for Unity & Racial Equality

Counties United for Rural Environment.

Curious Bible
A capitalized common noun for any Bible known for a significant error or strange choice of wording. Following are a few examples, with the texts that gave rise to the names and the normative KJV (1611) version (even the standard wording of which can look quite curious now).
  • The Breeches Bible (the first edition, at least, of the Geneva Bible):
    Genesis 3:7:
    KJV: ``And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.''
    oddity: ``... made themselves breeches.''
  • The Treacle Bible (an issue of the Great Bible, first published in 1539):
    Jeremiah 8:22:
    KJV: ``Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?''
    oddity: ``Is there not treacle in Gilead...''
    (Treacle is molasses.)
  • The Adulterous Bible (an issue of the KJV):
    Exodus 20:14:
    KJV: ``Thou shalt not commit adultery.''
    oddity: ``Thou shalt commit adultery.''
  • The Basketfull of Errors, a/k/a The Vinegar Bible (a printing of the KJV; the publisher was John Baskett) Bible):
    Printed marginal note at Luke 20:
    KJV: ``Parable of the Vineyard''
    oddity: ``Parable of the Vinegar''

Many more are listed at the Wikipedia Bible errata entry. I'm taking my examples from A. Edward Newton's The Greatest Book in the World and Other Papers (1925) and from Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice: Definitive Edition (2000). There are some minor inconsistencies, which I'll try to sort out later, between these sources and the Wikipedia entry. Bibles with errors that turn intended proscriptions into prescriptions, like the third example above, or which make similarly infamous errors, are also called Wicked Bibles.

The Center for Urban Research and Learning. Alright people! That's the way to construct an acronym. Unlike some other programs that shall remain (almost literally) nameless. CURL is a UAA member and ``a non-traditional university research center'' at Loyola University Chicago.

CURL, curl
Consortium of (mostly British and mostly) University Research Libraries. The twenty-four members as of 2003 include one Irish library (Trinity College Dublin), the British Library, and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales.

currency converter
The OANDA Currency Converter will compute the up-to-date exchange, has historical data stretching back to 1990, and some other services, but doesn't handle specie.

Here's Universal Currency Converter, a term Xenon Laboratories claims as its trademark. Try to register it.

A program called Exchange (people are getting really wild and creative with trademarks) runs on your PC (or would, if you don't have a PC). There's Hmmm. dead link. Must have failed to make a name for itself.

Currencies are listed by ordinary-language names (``American Dollars,'' etc.) on the Inatos Currency Converter. The list is short, but it represents something close to an actual offer (from Currencies Direct).

There's another from TravelFinder.com, which would be happy to offer you other travel-related services. They feature an extra-long (fifteen digits) text-input field, for those who like to dream and those who must deal with hyperinflation.


Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

-- Par Leijonhufvud (and probably others)

The Marteau Currency Converter provides conversion among European currencies of the early eighteenth century, using exchange rates of 1709.

currency symbols
International symbols for currencies are part of a standard designated ISO 4217. Normally, the currency symbols for national currencies are constructed by taking the two-letter ISO 3166 country code and appending the first letter of the currency: hence USD, CAD, JPY, DEM, FRF, NOK, and so on. There are exceptions, many due to the introduction of new currencies (which need new symbols) having similar names. (See ARS for an example.)

The EC (then the EU) not (yet, in both senses) being a country, it has no country code. Country codes starting with X are not allowed, so a code beginning in X is a no-country code -- just what was required. XEU was the currency symbol adopted for the ecu (with U for Unit, apparently). An initial X followed by a chemical symbol (fully capitalized) is used to represent each precious metal: XAU, XAG, XPT for gold, silver, platinum, etc.

When the ECU was replaced by the euro, the new currency got the symbol EUR, which obeys the rule that hecha la ley, hecha la trampa. (Loosely translated, that means that all laws come with loop-holes pre-installed.) EU is now on a reserved list of ISO-4217 prefixes.

There is also a euro sign, which looks like the variant "e" usually used for an ``is an element of'' sign, but with the horizontal stroke doubled; or if you prefer, like C and = overstruck.

The name euro is supposed to be the same in all languages, but 1/100 euro is translated (cent, centime, lepton etc.).

A Unix function library for controlling the screen from a C program.

curtain wall
A wall that doesn't support the roof. Usually refers to an exterior wall.

Center for Urban Studies. Actually, it seems they don't use this acronym. They pointedly refer to it as `CENTER.' This is what comes of too hurriedly selecting a name for one's organization. Mmm. Just checked the link today (May 7, 2003). A nice dramatic Flash presentation of the words ``University of Buffalo Center for Urban Studies Enter.'' It reminds me of the dramatic slide presentation at the leader's cloning in Woody Allen's Sleeper. (Note: it takes a few seconds for the ``Enter'' link to warm up. Isn't Flash technology great? Isn't wasting other people's time what it's all about?)

The Center is a member of UAA. CURL is too.

Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate. CUSID shares domain namespace with SUCDI.

Canada-United States Partnership. A binational forum of customs, immigration and law-enforcement officials. Announced at a joint press conference of US Pres. Clinton and Canadian PM Chrétien in Ottawa, October 8, 1999.

Slang and eye dialect for curse (usually the verb).

Circuit Under Test.

A crease in the skin between two muscle bulges. Someone with a lot of cuts is said to be ripped. You get the idea that body-building must be some kind of blood sport.

One common way to get more cuts quickly for competition is to tighten up using diuretics. It's reminiscent of how fighters used to compete below their natural weight class, by sweating off the pounds ahead of the weigh-in (which took place a day or two before the bout). Immediately after making the (weight) cut, fighters would start dosing themselves with dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) in order to be recovered for the bout. This and other abuses of DHMO are listed on this page from the DMRD.

Canadian Urban Transit Association.

Conference of University Teachers of German in Great Britain and Ireland. Previous name of the organization now called the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (AGS), q.v.

Librarians' jargon for CUTTER number. There ought to be a joke in verbal shorthand for cutter, but I can't think of it.

You probably guessed that cutter number, and thus cutter, is a noun. I haven't seen cutter used as a verb, but the gerund cuttering occurs in the term ``double-cuttering'' (the use of two cutters; this will eventually to be more fully explained at the cutter number entry).

cutter number
An alphanumeric code devised by Charles Ammi Cutter, or a similar code. The common codes mostly use one letter or two letters (the first always upper-case) followed by two or three decimal digits (optionally followed by one or more usually lower-case letters). Such codes are defined by Cutter tables. (However, the second letter, or the letters following the number, are typically added locally on an ad hoc basis, and may not be strictly a part of the cutter number.) ``Cutter'' is normally written in lower case (especially by noncataloguers) because Cutter himself is mostly forgotten, and the name in a library context looks like some slightly obscure direct use of a common noun.

Cutter numbers are used primarily to encode the names of authors and titles, and are used following a subject classification code like the LC number. Together, the subject classification and one or two cutters are usually enough to construct a unique shelving number for a given work, but don't distinguish different editions of the same work. It has thus become common to add the year of publication as the final element in the shelving number. Similarly, separately-catalogued serials receive a volume or year number.

An important goal of cataloguing is to assign shelving numbers that keep similar and related works close to each other. Sometimes this results in the continued use of no-longer-appropriate cutters. For example, here at Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame, the reference section has an item entitled Cassell's French Dictionary, with a label on the spine that reads ``Ref. PC 2640 .L837n 1978.'' The reason is that the original 1881 edition, according to the title page of a crumbling boxed copy, was ``A French and English Dictionary compiled from the best authorities of both languages by Professors De Lolme and Wallace, and Henry Bridgeman, revised, corrected, and considerably enlarged by Professor E. Roubaud, B.A. (Paris).'' The cutter was assigned on the basis of the name of De Lolme. Interestingly, the 1881 edition has a shelving number PC 2640 .L75 1881. The cutter is slightly different (L75 instead of L837n), probably because from time to time, libraries change Cutter tables. (More about that in the cutter-number evolution entry.) As it happens, De Lolme is not mentioned in any of the later editions that the library currently owns, making it hard to see how L837n was chosen to provide any continuity. I am told that De Lolme was mentioned in the 1930 edition (which we no longer possess).

The De Lolme of that early Cassell dictionary is widely identified with J.L. de Lolme (J.L. stands for Jean-Louis and John Louis), who died in 1806. (See, for example, this entry in WorldCat.) The identification has some plausibility, since de Lolme was a French-English bilingual (born in Geneva 1840 or 1841, went to England at 26), and appears to be the only prominent person of that name. [He's the only de Lolme or Delolme, vel sim., listed in the most comprehensive references, including the 46-volume Nouvelle Biographie Générale of 1860, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (index entry here), and the sacred eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (but not the current pretender). La Grande Encyclopédie has an entry for Lolme (Jean-Louis de) as well as a shorter entry for Delolme (Jean-Louis), neither cross-referenced to the other. At least they don't contradict each other much (he died July 10 (typo) or 16).]

De Lolme is rarely mentioned in smaller encyclopedias (or anywhere else, for that matter), but in his time he was an important translator of French and English ideas to the English and French respectively, and he influenced some of the drafters of the US Constitution. As a writer of pamphlets and books in England, he was a popularizer of Montesquieu's ideas in English; his most successful work, a study of the English constitution, was with Hume's History of England the main source for the philosophes' ideas of the English constitution.

On the other hand, I can find no record of his ever having compiled any dictionary, and he was never a professor anywhere. If this was a courtesy title, it was an extravagant one; on the evidence of his La constitution de l'Angleterre, he was not fastidious about accuracy. Still, he might just have done a sloppy first job of a French dictionary. At various times, he could certainly have used the money.

cutter-number evolution
For various reasons, and sometimes for no reason, a library will change the Cutter table that it uses to construct shelving numbers. One major change occurred with the Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication system (more at ECIP). Under that system, at some point, publishers began defining their own shelving numbers -- not only a subject classification (the LC number proper) but a cutter as well, based on some common Cutter table. Many libraries that use shelving numbers based on the LC classification now use the shelving number proposed by the publisher, instead of constructing their own, and this has had the effect of switching Cutter tables at many of the libraries. For example, Hesburgh Library (at the University of Notre Dame) now uses the CIP numbers. As a result, some books are clustered under two or three different cutter numbers. This is especially noticeable (for me, at least) in the QC16 and QD22 (biographies of physicists and chemists).

Cutter table
Tables that define a mapping from general alphanumeric strings into cutter numbers.

Cutter tables in cataloguing are a lot like hash functions in database design. A hash function is a lossy compression of somewhat general string inputs into constant- or bounded-length outputs. An important goal in defining a hash function is minimizing collisions. That is, one wants a hash function that is practically injective (i.e., one-to-one), or perhaps strictly injective for a given domain of arguments. The practical way to achieve this is first to make the function surjective (onto); waste not, want not. Beyond that elementary step, the strategy is to level the load: have all hash values mapped to with equal probability. Without any very precise model of the probability distribution of arguments of the hash function, the way to level the load is to make the map chaotic. That is, to make the hash value an exquisitely sensitive function of the argument, so that any clustering or concentration of argument values is mapped into a broad spray of hash values. Hence the name hash.

The design criteria for Cutter tables are similar to those for hash functions, because the goal is to construct compact but distinct shelving numbers. A crucial difference is that chaotic shelving numbers are considered undesirable. (One wonders if Borges had anything to say about this.) Hence, Cutter tables map the first few letters of a string monotonically into the space of codes, with more codes assigned to more-common initial strings. Often, particularly in cataloguing fiction, one distinguishes the works of an author by adding initial letters from the title after the cutter number for the author.

cutting edge
The cutting edge of a chisel is straight in a first approximation, but the ``[c]utting edge [should be] slightly rounded to give better cutting action.

Just one tip (in the caption to Fig. 300) from chapter 7, ``Chisels and Chipping,'' in Shop Theory, Revised Edition, prepared by The Shop Theory Department, Henry Ford Trade School, Dearborn, Michigan (London and New York: McGraw-Hill, 1934, 1941, 1942), p. 45.

Chapter 15 of this page-turner is titled, with majestic understatement, ``Gearing.'' You think I'm kidding, but the mathematics of gear design, and things like involute curves, once stayed the thoughts of great minds.

Cross[over]-Utility Vehicle. The expansion ``cross-utility vehicle'' seems to have been common in the late 1990's (the category did not exist until 1997 or so), but as of 2011, ``crossover utility vehicle'' is much more common.

A county and a valley (with a national park and a scenic railroad) in Ohio. There's a city of Cuyahoga Falls (you've got to be impressed with a town homepage that calls the swimming pool a ``natatorium''). There's also a Cuyahoga River, which passes through another city in the county. That other city is Cleveland.

It looks like the Ohio pronunciation of ``Cuyahoga'' should be definitive or authoritative or something. The vowels and stress pattern of the word coincide with ``[give that] guy a toga.''

Capacitance Voltage. A wafer/circuit testing technique. Because the capacitance of an MOS-C (metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitor) depends on the thickness of depletion region, and this in turn depends on the dopant density, measuring capacitance while sweeping slowly in voltage is a way of profiling the dopant density as a function of depth.

Cape Verde domain name code.

CardioVascular. As in ``CV events'' and CVD.

Cataclysmic Variable (star). There was a workshop on CV's in 1997 at Yellowstone.

Coding Violation. Ethics for a fundamentalist compiler.

Coefficient of Variation. A statistical measure defined as the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean. This is not an especially useful statistic for distributions of quantities that may be nonpositive.

Commercial Vehicle.

Composite Video.

Constant Velocity. I just dropped $450 on two CV joints and a right front axle damaged because I waited too long to do the first repair. The car is aging so fast now, it's gaining on me. Gary says I might as well resign myself to its expensive steepening decline and write out a few post-dated checks to the shop.

Just the other day, I stopped to help a couple of women pushing their car off the road. ``What's the problem?''

``Oh, I think a CV joint broke.''

``Oh, I understand, I have a Honda too.''

Control Valve.


Curriculum Vitae. [Latin: `course of life.'] Also Vita (`life'). More on the Latin at the AM entry.

In his diary for January 16, 1922, Franz Kafka meditated upon ``something very like a breakdown,'' in which it was ``impossible to sleep, impossible to stay awake, impossible to endure life, or, more exactly, the course of life.''

Here is a nonstandard etymology of CV.

Cyclic Voltammogram. Electrochemistry abbreviation. Never knew it.

CerebroVascular Accident. A stroke. Cf. TIA.


Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum.

Convention and Visitors' Bureau.

Current-Voltage Characteristic.

Coalition for Vehicle Choice. (Sounds like a lobbying organization to soften fuel economy standards; some federal constraints were imposed as overall limits on ``fleet'' emission -- this doesn't prevent a manufacturer from making any guzzlers, but does limit the fraction of total sales that these may constitute.)

Conserved Vector Current.

Compound Vortex-Controlled Combustion, perhaps. The acronym is Honda's trademarked name for a stratified-charge engine technology that doesn't seem to involve vortices as a means of control. Some efforts to stratify engine charge (the fuel-air mix admitted through an intake valve) do attempt to use vortex motion, but the CVCC doesn't.

Central Valley of Costa Rica.

CardioVascular Disease.

Chemical Vapor Deposition. A method of film growth in which all materials to be deposited are present in a vapor phase above the deposition surface. Distinguished from PVD, in which deposition materials arrive from their source in beams. In other words, the distinction between CVD and PVD is essentially that between mean free paths smaller and greater, respectively, than the chamber dimensions.

The term CVD pointedly excludes film growth in which some component of the grown film is a reactant from the growth substrate. Thus, growth of oxide and nitride layers on silicon have the specific names of oxidation and nitridization, and both in fact are pyrolysis (the reactions burn--oxidize in the chemical sense of changing the oxidation level--the substrate silicon). In CVD oxidation and nitridization, on the other hand, additional silicon is supplied in the gas phase, typically in silane or dichlorosilane); vide SIPOS and silicon nitride.

Applied Materials sells CVD systems for industrial application. Visit their CVD product page (link here is to their lower-graphics page; they seem to have a slow or busy server).

CVD is used extensively to grow epitaxial layers of compound semiconductors. In this application it is called MOCVD or (more descriptively) MOVPE.

In Britain and Anglophiliated places, however, CVD is ``Chemical Vapour Deposition'', probably something completely different.

ConVert to Decimal. IBM-360/370 assembly mnemonic.

Capacitance-Voltage (characteristic versus) Frequency.

Chemical Vapor Infiltration.

C-ville, VA
CharlottesVILLE, VirginiA.

Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks. Quite the buzzword in trucking.

Christlichen Vereine Junger Frauen. `Young Women's Christian Unions.' German YWCA's.

Christlichen Vereine Junger Männer. German YMCA.

Copper Vapor Laser. Used to generate optical-light pulses as short as six femtoseconds, last I recall.

(US FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Christian Veterinary Mission. I have faith this means they're finally admitting that animals have souls.

{ California | Colorado | Connecticut } Veterinary Medical Association. See also AVMA.

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. (In French: ACMV.)

Cleveland Veterinary Medical Association. In existence since at least 1902; while I've seen indications that it is still active in the twenty-first century, I can't find a website for it. See OVMA, AVMA.

Canes Venatici. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

College of Veterinarians of Ontario.

Commercial Vehicle Operations.

Chorionic Villi Sampling. Surgical extraction of a tiny amount of fetal tissue, normally performed between the ninth and eleventh weeks of pregnancy. There is a 1% to 2% risk of miscarriage following the procedure. Amnio is safer and more common, but cannot be performed as early as CVS.

Computer Vision Syndrome. ``90% of those spending 3 hrs or more per day headaches, stiff neck, tired or dry eyes, blurry or double vision.''

We got trouble! Right here in River City!

Constant-Voltage Stress.

Consumer Value Store. The original name of a store that opened in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963. It was the first in what became a large chain of pharmacy and general merchandise stores, the acronym long since sealed.

Judging from my extremely limited experience in northern Indiana and northern New Jersey, CVS has more of its stores open all night. I never studied the thing in detail, but I have the impression that OTC pharmaceuticals and other health-related goods tend to be a bit cheaper at CVS, while other prices are a little lower at Walgreens. OSCO/Jewel used to have the best prices in my area, but they pulled out of the region and sold stores off to CVS. I can't imagine that their price point had anything to do with their decision to pull out. There are no Rite Aids convenient to me.

There are still a few stores without customer loyalty systems (you know -- discount cards that allow a store to monitor your purchases and feed you coupons only for things you don't normally buy, that sort of thing), so nowadays I avoid CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and other stores that do have them.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Continuously Variable Slope Delta Modulation (DM).

CardioVascular Technologist.

Chemical Vapor Transport.

Continuous Variable Transmission.

Ceske Vysoke Uceni Technicke v Praze. I think that's it; I'm having problems with ISO Latin-2 (ISO 8859-2). `Czech Technical University in Prague.'

``Czech Technical University has the Most Popular College Web Site in the Czech Republic.''

Cable & Wireless. Wouldn't it be a lot clearer if they called that ``Wireline and -less''? Okay, maybe not. It's actually the old Ma-Bell-type monopoly in many Caribbean islands, providing phone and Internet services in a selection of countries, and now finding out all about ``deregulation'' as it simultaneously tries to reposition itself as an IT company.

Cancer Watch. This is taking voyeurism too far.

CBS-Warner. The CBS Corporation and Warner Brothers Entertainment, at the beginning of 2006, operated the UPN and WB television networks. Those two had been launched separately in January 1995. Viewership, never comparable to that of the big three or four broadcast networks, was sagging at both networks after a decade. On January 24, 2006, the owners announced that the two would be merged. Technically, the two older networks ceased operations and a new separate entity called the CW Television Network was created as a 50-50 joint venture of Time Warner and CBS Corporation. (Wikipedia delves into the corporate details.) The new network began broadcasting in September 2006. ``The CW'' (``The New CW'' for its first year) continued airing some of the content that UPN and WB had aired.


Classical World. Continues the earlier title Classical Weekly. It's the journal associated with the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS); catalogued by TOCS-IN.

It was called Classical Weekly until 1957, but the U.S. Post Office insisted on a name change, claiming that ``weekly'' was deceptive because it wasn't published when school was not in session (viz., Summer and other holidays). But there's less; see below. CAAS chose ``World'' in part to keep the same initials.

Hey, Mr. Postmaster General, psst! Have you ever heard of a man named Ed McMahon? YOU ARE ALREADY A WINNER!!!

Hmmm. My comments above regarding the USPS were based on mailing-list posting from someone who's been involved with CW. She's usually accurate, but the name change must have been a bit before her time, and perhaps it was fair to demand it.

The journal was published under the title of Classical Weekly from Oct. 5, 1907 to May 20, 1957. Those fifty volumes comprised numbers 1 through 1227. That amounted to 24.54 issues per year, or almost one issue per fortnight, averaged over the calendar year. Since the primary and secondary school years in US public schools conventionally have 180 class days, there are a bit over 36 weeks per school year, so the Weekly averaged 0.68 issues per school week. That's not too terrible, especially allowing for a publication schedule that only began in October (i.e., about a month into the school year).

In fact, those coarse-average numbers hide a reality of slow decline in publication frequency that seems -- prima facie, I should say -- to reflect the declining popularity of Latin study in the schools. Before getting into the history of the latter decline, however, I should note that the actual amount of published text per year in CW has remained about constant or increased; it's simply been published in bigger chunks. Volume 93 (first issue September/October 1999) was the last to be bimonthly. It's been quarterly since then.

It's only fair to warn you that the rest of this entry is tedious, even by the standards of this glossary, or of the first part of this entry. I gathered a lot of data and it turned out to be of no interest whatsoever, but I would feel bad if I didn't use some of it for something. That's one of the reasons for this glossary: to have something to do with that kind of information, so I don't feel so bad about having collected it in the first place.

Through the end of volume XX (which had 27 issues), there were 557 total issues, or about 27.85 per year. From issue XXI to XXXIII (the latter had xxvi issues; yes, I must use Roman numerals, don't you see?), there were 434 issues, for an average of about 26.38. Volume 34 also had 26 issues, and right through the war years (vols. 35 to 38, 1941-1945) there were 25 issues per school year. Oddly, it was only in the April 29, 1946, issue that the publishers made this announcement:

   Because of the difficulties under which printers are laboring these days by reason of shortage of skilled help and materials, a few issues of the current Volume of The Classical Weekly will be omitted. Hence this will be the last regular Number, with the exception of the Index Number (22), which is expected to appear in the fall.
(Capitalization and boldface sic. I've spared you the small-caps.)

Volume 40 also had 22 issues, and for the final ten Weekly years, there were 16 issues per year. This was typically described by a formula such as ``published weekly from mid-November for sixteen issues, except for any weeks in which there is an academic vacation.'' (The formula often changed slightly from one year to the next.) They found rather a lot of academic vacations.

ClockWise. The reverse of CCW.

Cold Water.

Combined With. Or maybe Coupled With, or anything with an equivalent meaning and the same initials. Used to designate the B side of a 45 rpm record without actually calling it the B side. Equivalently and more commonly b/w (backed with). The only ``single'' in history to have two number-one sides was Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" c/w "Hound Dog." See this Cecil Adams column for related vinyl reminiscences.

Elvis Costello's 2002 album is ``When I Was Cruel.''

cw, CW
Continuous Wave. Among laser jockeys this means not pulsed. Among ham operators this means Morse code.

Conventional Wisdom. Uninformed opinion.

Country and Western (music). See ACM entry for both.

Civil Works Administration. A relief program dating to 1933, FDR's first year in office.

Clean Water Act.

Communication Workers of America. A union with a very catholic and energetic unionization effort.

Construction Writers Association. ``[A]n organization of almost 300 professional journalists, publicists, photographers, public relations professionals, and other communicators in the construction industry.''

Canadian Women in Communications.

Center Weight Control.

Not widely available for people.

Chemical Weapons Convention.

Chronic Wasting Disease. A spongiform encephalopathy of North American cervids (hoofed ruminants; the males characteristically have antlers), with mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose the most common hosts. Like other spongiform encephalopathies, CWD is believed to be caused by prions, q.v. In the US, the disease is more common in the west, but it has been found in New York State and West Virginia.

Constant-Wear Garments. A kind of long underwear worn by astronauts.

Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica. ``National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands.''

They used to have a functioning acronym search tool.

Campus-Wide Information System.

Child Welfare League of America.

Charge-to-Weight Ratio. The ratio of explosive charge weight to total weight of a bomb. The three main categories of bombs used by the RAF in WWII were G.P. (General Purpose, CWR 30-35%), M.C. (Medium-Capacity, CWR 40-50%), and H.C. (High-Capacity, CWR 75-80%).

CWR, cwr
Continuous Welded Rail.

Case Western Reserve University.

College World Series. An NCAA-sponsored late-Spring playoff tournament for American college baseball teams.

Collision Warning System.

Community Water Supply Survey.

Community Water System.


Cwt., cwt.
Hundredweight. (C for Latin centum.) About a hundred pounds; exactly one twentieth of a ton, so a Cwt. (long) is 112 lb. (8 stone), and a Cwt. (short) is 100 lb.

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. ACTS in French.

(Domain name code for) Christmas Island.

(Domain name code for) Cyprus.

Short for Cyrus, pronounced like Sy (/sai:/).

cyanoacrylate gel adhesive

Cygnus Support
``Makes free software affordable'' by offering support and some customization of freeware products -- primarily gcc. Reconstructive surgery and talk therapy for an ugly duckling?

Charing Cross.

The link is to an entry that is initially about the use of X to represent the word ``cross.'' It has some interesting stuff about Charing Cross from a ``book'' of Samuel Butler (the much ``younger'' one). Those aren't all scare quotes, you know. Please remain calm. Please remain calm!

Anyway, on account of all the Charing Cross content that doesn't really belong there, that X entry is a bit crowded, so I'm going to put some other thoughts I had here. Samuel Butler's work Erewhon is divided into ``books.'' This usage is a carry-over from the time when works (like the Bible) were divided into separate codex volumes or scrolls (or not). Describing the largest subdivisions of your work as ``books'' instead of ``parts,'' even though two or more such books are intended to be bound in a volume, is old-fashioned -- a kind of affectation. It's still done, but it is what linguists call a ``marked'' (i.e., meaningfully nonstandard) usage, like scattering Elizabethan words in one's otherwise, methinks, modern English (a speaker using such a mode of speech is said to be using a different ``linguistic register''). JRRT divided his purposely (but slightly) archaized LOTR into six dreary books. (And the six books constituted three volumes: The Hobbit; The Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, and the Return of the King, and Silmarillion; and Bored of the Rings. Nobody enjoyed any of those books, but they were so enormously popular that peer pressure forced everyone to read them. And now they've been turned into enormously popular movies. Will this torture never cease!?) Now where was I? Oh yes --

The ``book'' mentioned at that X entry is ``The Book of Machines.'' It has a nice sort of technologically ecclesiastical sound. It reminds me of something I can't remember the name of right now, but I promise to look it up when I get home. (I'll -- I'll make a note of it. Somehow.) It also reminds me of ``Monty Python and the Holy Grail'' (1975), where a ``Book of Armaments'' is described.

(I didn't rip off Yogi Berra. My enormously popular comments above paid ``tribute'' to his observation of the place so crowded that no one went there any more. That quote is so widely used that I can't google an authoritative version.)

Caribbean eXamination Council.

Hey, let's all go examine the Caribbean!

Okay, seriously? CXC sets school-leaving exams for high schools in the Caribbean.

Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Chief X Officer. X is sometimes intentionally unknown. CXO may take values in { CBO, CDO CEO (good they didn't use the X of eXecutive, eh?), CECO, CFO, CGO, CIO (not to mention CIO), CLO (but more often CLO), CRO, and CSO }. Cf. OXR.

Calendar Year.

Nowadays, in most places, that means January 1 to December 31 of the Gregorian calendar, but it hasn't always been thus.

The Gregorian calendar was first promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church in 1582, and was immediately adopted in Catholic countries. Protestant countries (or duchies, principalities and tiny little specks of territory, in the case of Germany and some other areas of Europe) adopted the new calendar gradually over the coming centuries, and Orthodox countries did not adopt it for secular use until late in the nineteenth and early in the twentieth century. (The Russian revolution rather accelerated the process.)

The Orthodox liturgical calendar continues to be based on Julian reckoning, and eastern churches celebrate holidays about two weeks later than western ones. The Department of Internet Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America offers a service called Iconograms, which enables you to ``[s]end a message to a loved one or friend in celebration [according to the Orthodox calendar] of a name day, feast day, or sacrament.''

England switched to the Gregorian calendar in the 1740's or so. Under the Julian calendar, the new year began on March 25 or thereabouts (you expect me to look this stuff up?), so March 20, 1730 fell one week before March 27, 1731. The new year was moved up to January 1 at the same time that the date was shifted to Gregorian. Thus, for example, George Washington, who was born on February 11, 1731, Old Style, had a birthdate of February 22, 1732 after the switch. In fact, he always celebrated February 11 as his real birthday, one day before Lincoln's birthday. Nowadays, we celebrate both days on a Monday -- ``Presidents Day.'' I dont no if that gets an apostrophe.

Because of the phase shift in year, dates in the first quarter of the year (New Style) could be ambiguous. To avoid confusion, people would write ``January 15, 1751/1752,'' meaning the date that was January 15, 1752 New Style, or January 4, 1751 Old Style. By the 1760's I think everyone was reading from the same New Style page and the double-year notation was abandoned. Old and New Style were usually abbreviated (O.S., N.S.).

Container Yard. For containerized shipping.

College Year in Athens. Take four or five courses (13 or 16 credits) per semester (language of instruction is English). Tuition in AY 2000-2001 was USD 10,200 per semester. It seems to be more of a college semester in Athens.

Cover Yours.

A ``pseudohalogen'': (CN)2. Like the halogens (in the modern sense of elements in the period of fluorine), the dimer gas dissolves in water to produce monovalent anions. (There are other similarities, but they're not mentioned in this entry because this entry is short.)

This now-popular prefix is not a Greek root, but a piece of one, abstracted from the word cybernetics, q.v. (I needn't mention that cyber- means something like ``having to do with computers, or possibly other information technology.'' If the prefix is to continue to be at all useful when imbedded computing and wireless integration are ubiquitous, its meaning will have to be restricted to mean something more like ``exhibiting highly context-dependent behavior'' -- i.e., a kind of sophisticated ``cybernetical.'') Cf. cyborg, nom de cyber.

This word has at least a couple of meanings. I encountered one definition in Marco Perella's Adventures of an Unhyphenated Actor, (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2001). Hmmm. Let me check that. Okay, it's Adventures of a No Name Actor. What ever. I also mention this book in the entry for do a book, but since Marco's not a big-name star, it's not mentioned until far down the entry after various marquis names, including even that of the late Molly Ivins, who wrote the foreword (cf. forward).

Perella was hired to staff an IBM booth at SIGGRAPH 2000, and his definition of cybermuffin occurs as an aside in the story of his misadventures there. Here's the definition (from p. 177), spiffed up a bit to meet our high lexicographic stadnards:

Cybermuffin /sigh bur MUFF in/ n. A curvaceous young woman in a short skirt, hired by a software company to sit on a stool in front of its booth and pass out literature to hordes of panting geeks [ < cyber + muffin].

Despite the impeccable provenance, I was skeptical. I'd have thought that definition would go with cybertart. The word cybermuffin suggests ``stud-muffin.'' Do these people really understand their breakfast cybercarbs? Yet I ventured out on the web, and was surprised to discover only two pictures of cybermuffins, both female, although one was from ConventioCon II (an MST3K convention) and the other was a rabbit or similar animal. (I did get a lot of hits for Cybertart, an Australian outfit that sells shlocky clothing accessories.)

Investigating further, I found an old David Barry column entitled ``You Have to be a Real Stud Hombre Cybermuffin to Handle Windows.'' This involves at least two-plus-epsilon reentrant levels of irony, but I think Dave nailed the meaning of cybermuffin precisely.

This word is usually (and often) described as having been coined by the American mathematician Norbert Weiner (1894-1964). Here is a typical retelling of the story, from pp. 145-6 of Jason Epstein's Book Business:
  Weiner coined the title of his best-seller [viz., Cybernetics, (1948)] whose first two syllables have since become ubiquitous and lost their meaning, from the Greek word for steersman. His idea was that self-regulating feedback mechanisms in search of equilibrium are analogous to the steersman adjusting his tiller in response to the flow of air and water, the weight and balance of the boat, and other unpredictable variables. ...
Epstein goes on to draw ``implicit moral lessons.'' The later editions (1961, 1965) of Weiner's surprising best-seller had a longer title: Cybernetics: or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. His other successful popular book was The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (1950).

Weiner certainly believed that he was coining a new word, but -- doesn't anybody ever look in a dictionary? The word already existed in Ancient Greek (kybernêtikê, `art of steering'), and had been used in various ways in the modern era, so Weiner's may be regarded as a re- or re-re-coining of the word.

Along with the multiple recoinings, there have been a number of differing definitions. The meanings tend to cluster or overlap, but there is a surprising outlier, explained at the cybernetic warfare entry.

cybernetic warfare
A nefarious activity of the World Communist Conspiracy (you know: the vast left-wing conspiracy), as understood by American anticommunists of the 1950's and 60's. The word cybernetics was defined in this context as ``the science of giving controlled doses of propaganda to a broad sector of the population without their knowledge'' [Slightly to the Right, p. 19]. I think this term was created more to inject some freshness into the discussion of propaganda than to make a useful distinction.

CYBernetic ORGanism. A human with at least one noticeable and highly sophisticated prosthetic device, particularly if the device has a mind of its own. It's interesting to recall the Greek etymon of organ and organism: organon, meaning `tool.'

A plant that grows in the Scrabble tablelands and also in tropical regions her on Earth. The plural form is cycads, but if you're missing a D, hey, no problem. Cycas is an accepted alternative (plural cycases).

Cygnus. Official IAU abbreviation for the constellation.

See You Later. This is used, but is deprecated in the programming sense. (I mean ``deprecated'' in the programming sense of the word deprecated, not deprecated in the programming sense of -- oh, never mind!) Use CU.

Consult Your Local Orthodox Rabbi. (Also: ordained rabbi.) Same as AYLOR.

Common abbreviation for Shakespeare's play Cymbeline.

Huh? I never heard of this. Could you be thinking of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK (CMYK)?

CYprus Nurses Association.

Absence of delusion.

The word cynicism has a negative connotation in English, and probably in most languages with a cognate of the word. That is not surprising, in view of its etymology (for which, see the entry for Diogenes of Sinope). A cynic is regarded as not just jaundiced and suspicious of others' motives, but (perhaps in consequence) manipulative, scheming, dishonest.

Argentina, however, is different. My Argentine friend Laura, visiting the US, met my clear-sighted pessimist friend Robert, an American. Later she told me she thought he was very cynical. I passed along the compliment to Robert, and then I was forced to explain to him that from an Argentine, cínico is a compliment. Avivado is another word whose different use in Argentine Spanish is indicative of a different mindset, but it doesn't have an SBF entry yet. (Look it up in a dictionary of argentinismos.)

Perhaps Argentines are not entirely unique. Here is some equivocal usage from Simon Jenkins, in a July 21, 2011, option piece in the Guardian, wrote this:

The chancellor, George Osborne, showed impressive cynicism in abandoning his opposition to a "two-speed" Europe and demanding that the eurozone move swiftly to fiscal union -- with Britain firmly outside. Only such a union, he said, would discipline the debtor nations and thus avoid bank anarchy that would spill over into the British economy. Britain would have no part in any rescue, but it relied on the eurozone to continue on its path to ever closer union.
Cynical Osborne may be, but he is right in his historical analysis. ...
The single currency bound the politics of Europe with hoops of steel. Osborne wants those hoops to tighten further, to trap the 17 eurozone countries in a realm of unaccountable federalism, a fiscal rigidity that he must know will eventually snap.
... The attempt to impose fiscal union on all Europe will bring its demise. But where Osborne and his brand of scepticism are wrong is in so obviously willing this demise. When monetary union reaches breaking point and unravels in an orgy of xenophobia, Britain will not be immune from the chaos.

CYtochrome P450.

CYTosine. A pyrimidine nucleic acid.

Canal Zone. A broad swath of territory across the Isthmus of Panama. From the 1830's on, varying degrees of control over increasing amounts of territory were granted by the Colombian government in contracts with mostly American and French companies proposing to build a canal, railroad or new road across the isthmus. The contracts were eventually bought by the US government, which turned over control of the canal and the CZ to the government of Panama at the end of 1999. See ACP.

(Domain name code for) Czech Republic.

Ariadne, ``The European and Mediterranean link resource for Research, Science and Culture,'' has a page of national links.

Here's the Czech page of an X.500 directory.

CZochralski (growth, -grown wafer). ``Pulled'' crystal. Method developed by Teal and Little at AT&T for Ge. Shockley & Read experiment demonstrated that single crystals had minority carrier lifetimes at least 10× greater than polycrystalline semiconductor. Since current gain in BJT's depended on long carrier lifetimes of minority carriers in the base, single crystal growth proved worthwhile. It has continued to be worth the cost of the extra growth steps for almost every semiconductor technology since that time. Teal later went to TI and set up a group to pull silicon crystals. This was technically more challenging than pulling Ge, and for years TI had a monopoly on Si devices.

Czochralski first developed the method to pull metal crystals.

Canadian Zionist Federation. The name since 1967 of what had been the Zionist Organization of Canada (from 1925), which had been the Federation of Zionist Societies of Canada, created in 1899 as an umbrella organization for local groups that had begun to form the previous year.

The main purpose of Zionist organizations is to encourage Jewish emigration (aliyah) to Israel. Thus, one of the unusual difficulties faced by Zionist organizations is that they lose their most active members... who do aliyah. (At least nihilists understand that they have to stick around for the good of the unconverted. See also the related Roe Effect.) So after a while, the ones left are those who, yeah, uh, next year in Jerusalem, uh, but not right now. (Kind of reminds me of Augustine's youthful prayer: ``Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.'')

First Cervical vertebra.

Command and Control. Cf. this C3.

Second Cervical vertebra.

Coast To Coast AM. An overnight talk show with enthusiastic interviews with people bringing news of the other dimensions, electronic sound effects from the other side (see G.I.S.), alien abductions, exorcisms, and various other mostly unknown phenomena. The host is sympathetic and curious, and very fascinated or worried by the astounding news (as appropriate), but not especially critical. He is respectful of his guest, and trusts their expertise implicitly; he's the ultimate straight man. The website's logo for the show reads ``Coast to Coast with George Noory'' (pronounced George NOR-ee), but it's a seven-nights-a-week show; Art Bell often fills in.

Look it's not just nutty theories. It's unproven nutty theories, so you should suspend judgment.

Customer-2-Customer[s]. Like a lot of what goes on at <amazon.com>.

Cf. B2B.

C2W, C²W
Command and Control Warfare.

Third Cervical vertebra.

C3, C³
Command, Control, [and] Communication[s]. Also expanded Command and Control Communications.

General Curtis LeMay, once head of SAC, used to say

``Without communications, the only thing I command is my desk.''

C³ has been superseded by various C3-something's and C4something's. Just as a reference point, I saw C3 in the Annual Defense Department Report, FY 1977, submitted to Congress by outgoing US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on January 27, 1976. (Why does that name ring a bell?)

Command, Control, [and] Communication[s] CounterMeasures.

C3I, C³I
Command, Control, Communication[s] & Intelligence. The word order reflects the priorities of the military.

Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability. Part of the Institute for Health and Disability. As of 2004, it seems to have changed its name or disappeared.

Channel Four in Britain.

Command, Control, Communication[s], [and] Comput{ing|ers}.

Controlled-Collapse Chip Connection. Often where one expects an expansion of this phrase, one gets ``flip-chip solder connection.''

Fourth Cervical vertebra.

Command, Control, Communication[s], Computing & Intelligence.

Command, Control, Communication[s], Comput{ing|ers}, Intelligence, and Electronic and Information Warfare.

Command, Control, Communications, Computing Intelligence. Surveillance, & Reconnaissance.

Fifth Cervical vertebra.

C-5, C-5A
US military designation for a a couple of transport airplane models. (I guess the C is for Cargo.)

Sixth Cervical vertebra.

Seventh Cervical vertebra. And there ain't no more.

(Click here for top) Previous section: CS (top) to CTY (bottom)

Next section: d (top) to DAZ (bottom)

[ Thumb tabs and search tool] [ SBF Homepage ]

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

© Alfred M. Kriman 1995-2013 (c)